Thursday, 14 February 2008

Jelly Baby Archaeology

In the Summer of 1985, I was studying at Oxford, and by chance was wearing a dark grey polyester suit jacket I had bought earlier that year in a thrift shop for a buck. (The kind of dumpster-dive thrift shops that no longer exist.) I think I wore that jacket that entire year, and it collected various extraneous objects - a tuft of wool from a sheep, a little bell from a Scottish woman I adored, a star-shaped pin of Baby Lenin. All these are still in the pockets. Along with the remnants of an orange Jelly Baby, put in the left hand pocket one afternoon in Oxford. It was half eaten. A girl named Jane bit off the lower extremities, pronounced it revolting and put it in my pocket, where it has remained for the past 23 years. Recovering it from my closet was a kind of archaeological experiment - how long can such food last? Not that I would consider eating it, but if you look closely, you can see Jelly Baby is still smiling.

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