I won’t say I’m an art lover, that would be something of an exaggeration. I do, however, have quite a few framed prints, posters and flyers on my walls, more than a few, in fact, and while none of them are high art, they all have meaning for me.
Some are quirky, like the spoof L.P. cover showing four images of Jurgen Klopp mimicking the cover of Kraftwerk’s classic album “The Man Machine”, re-titled “The Gegenpresser”, (here’s the original)
or the ink drawing of Cthulhu in the style of Edward Gorey. Some are important, like the poster of Bill Shankly holding a red flag over his head, honouring Liverpool fans. Some are music related, such as the fake Clash concert poster, with my band as one of the supporting acts. Actually, it is a poster for a real concert altered to spec. Apparently I pushed Vic Goddard and the Subway Sect off the bill.
Having read “Publikation” by David Buckley a couple of months ago I went on a bit of a Kraftwerk bender, playing their music as I walked to and from work for the best part of two weeks. In fact, during my recent period of mental turmoil, the only thing keeping me sane was a Kraftwerk track playing in a loop in my head ( subject of an upcoming post). I decided to take a look on Etsy.com and came across a framed print of the cover to Autobahn, taken from a high end art book.
I duly ordered said print and awaited it’s arrival. I’m fortunate that the local post office is on my daily route, so about a month ago I stopped in on my way home from work in order to check my P.O. box, hoping to find a slip announcing that my print was awaiting pickup at the counter. Guess what?
I’ll tell you. My box was full, mostly with junk mail, but bent double and crammed into the box was a large Manila envelope. Can you guess what was in it? Again, I’ll tell you, but I reckon you already know. I had to work hard to get the envelope out of the box as it was jammed in, but with some effort I got it free. I’m not a violent man, but I nearly went full Incredible Hulk at that moment. You see, the envelope that had been so violently forced into my mail box was indeed, the print I had ordered. Clearly printed on the envelope in red capital letters was the phrase “PLEASE DO NOT BEND”. Not exactly a proposition from Wittgenstein, to paraphrase Basil Fawlty. Yet the fucking genius who had last handled said envelope had managed to bend three layers of card in order to get it into my mail box. This wasn’t some half arsed home made effort, but a purpose made mailer with a stiff cardboard back, as well as the print and the card frame, so it would have taken quite a bit of effort to bend it.
You can’t even begin to understand just how angry I was, and I am glad I didn’t encounter anyone on my way home, as a single word would have been enough to set me off. Let me show you what I had in my possession when I got home.
See what I mean? How I managed to sleep that night I’ll never know. Of course, I took it to the Post Office in order to lodge a complaint. The alleged adult in charge did a good job, but not a thoroughly convincing one of feigning remorse, and blamed it on a “new trainee”, presumably an illiterate one who doesn’t understand spoken English. She gave me her email and a number to call, and I left very much less than satisfied. Cut to the chase: because the sender didn’t buy insurance, I’m fucked.
I emailed the manager and the seller, but answer came there none. To say that I’m unhappy about this is the understatement of the millennium. I didn’t expect the seller to do anything, as she’s already been paid, but an acknowledgement and expression of sympathy wouldn’t have gone amiss. Of course, I knew the Post Office wouldn’t do anything, despite my further emails, but to misquote Ernestine, one of Lily Tomlin’s finest creations: “The Post Office. We don’t care, we don’t have to”.