"I hear you are having a hard time getting the shoes on the mannequin," he says. This is not some fantastic new euphemism; he is being literal. So we crawl up into the display window together to where the plastic lady lurks, shoeless, but in a sundress and with an Easter hat under her arm. There is a basket by her side filled with too-large speckled eggs, more dinosaur than chicken. He hoists her by the boobs while I kneel and shimmy her feet into the white sandals with silver buckles. We are totally exposed to the sidewalk and streetscape in front of us except for the panel of glass. It is like red-light Amsterdam, only without the prospect of tricking.
"Have you ever seen Are You Being Served?" I ask, buckling.
"Oh. Well, they were always dragging mannequins around on that show. BBC. It's really, um, great."
"My wife and I collect mannequins."
"Yeah. We set them up in our house and put them in outfits, like, cheerleader outfits and stuff."
This toes a creepiness line. Not crosses, just approaches and regards, thoughtfully. Can we talk about how much you like Bratmobile instead? Or how Ladytron clearly intended "Paco" to be an homage to AYBS? Or at least the charm-weirdness of being asked to make window displays when we do not work in a department store?
"I think she's crooked."
"The mannequin. Doesn't it look like she's leaning to the left?"
"Yeah, actually, it does."