Not long ago, an obscure TV show called Bob’s Burgers ran an episode in which the protagonist was a man who occasionally pretended to become a mannequin, and who would often pose in seasonal window displays of his own making. As if this is not weird enough, throughout the episode, entitled “God Rest Ye Merry Gentle-Mannequins”, this mannequin impersonator continuously claims to be in love with a woman, who turns out to be – surprise – a female-mannequin!
But it got me thinking…
What if there would be a soul behind that fiberglass facade, a heartbeat in that hollow chest and an active mind behind that vacant stare. What would be the story that this fiberglass man would tell?
Would it be a story of sadness? A bitter account of paralyzed centuries spent watching western style consumerism slowly eat at the fabric of our dignity and communal integrity? Or perhaps a story of simple envy and frustration, as the presence of the surrounding shoppers taunted them with the lives and mobility they would never have. Would it be a story of loneliness, as their deaf-mute companionship with one another never made it past the occasional eye-contact from across the crowded department store aisle. Or would it be a cold, calculated story of facts and figures, as they spent their days analyzing sales-related data for use by the corporate mother-ship that spawned their soulless existence.
After considering these admittedly morbid options, I guess it’s a good thing that the fiberglass mannequins will forever remain only an inanimate shell of a being, for either way you slice it, the story of the fiberglass man is not a happy one.