Wednesday, January 16, 2013


I am quite tall and have most of the usual requirements of a human person such as bones, liver, kidneys, heart, plumbing and so forth. All those essentials are kept in place by skin, to stop them escaping. In addition I wear clothes – not flashy but, you know, visible: red top, navy pants – that sort of thing. And, in the supermarket I'm usually pushing a trolley. Together it makes quite a sizeable, solid whole.

However, it seems that in spite of all this, I can be invisible.

In the bread and cheese aisle of my small local supermarket the other day there were three large pallets containing goods for re-stocking the shelves. In charge of those were three young men transferring the goods from pallets to shelves. They were chatting to each other and laughing about their jolly weekend.

I wanted to select a pack of bread rolls. There was a pallet in the way. The man in charge of it was so caught up with the riveting account of what he'd got up to that he didn't notice me trying to reach across. Indeed, several times he looked straight through me. Amazing, I was invisible! How did I do that?

I waited. After all, people have jobs to do and I wasn't in a hurry. I leaned against the shelves on the other side of the aisle and listened to the conversation. It was bog standard for a weekend by the sound of it – a footie match, a few bevvies at the pub afterwards, and a barbie on the Sunday with a bit of a rave-up that went on, and on, and on ... yeah, no, ha ha, ho hum.

Enough. With some difficulty I reached up and across the pallet, said "excuse me" and managed to scratch down a pack of rolls. The three of them chattered on, oblivious.

It occurs to me that there must be a fortune to be made here, if I could only work out what the magic was. Could it be bottled? Would it need some kind of manufacturing process? Imagine how interesting it would be to wander round at will, watching and listening without being seen. But hey – that's what happens now. Anyway the technique still needs work. It's all very well to be invisible, but it can be inconvenient. It would be handy to be able to turn the magic off now and then.

NB: for some reason I can't upload pictures from my computer any more. If anyone knows why, please tell me.

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