• Vol. 05
  • Chapter 02
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Living the Still Life

It's been three years now since the government introduced their controversial 'from doorway to window of opportunity' scheme. This initiative aimed to tackle both homelessness and unemployment by getting vagrants out of shop doorways and into shop windows, working as mannequins. Despite the initial flurry of public outrage on social media, all the major department stores signed up for the deal as it proved to be more economical to hire a fully-jointed living person than purchase an inflexible resin mannequin.

As with all new ideas, familiarity breeds indifference and, caught up in the exciting commercial whirl of Christmas, customers actively warmed to these 'Humannequin' window displays. Huge crowds gathered outside to see their favourites; stores competed with each other to produce bigger and better displays; the most popular Humannequins were able to command sky-high fees as negotiated by their agents.

The golden age of the superstar dummies had begun: acting wooden was the cool in-thing to do. The 'non-movement' movement boomed. Dummy chic was big business, the look was all: shaved head, botox expressions and those big static eyes. The public could not get enough of it.

The craze spawned many 'wannabe' Humannequins who began sleeping rough in shop doorways, hoping to get noticed, to be the next big thing. It was not to be. There just weren't enough windows to accommodate them all. And besides, a week after Christmas, Humannequins were last year's thing. Boring.

So, the wannabes went back to their warm homes at the first sign of snow; the Humannequins went back to being vagrants in shop doorways; the government went back to ignoring the rough sleepers and the ever-conscious-of-trends window dressers decided the next fad for fashion window displays would be plain old wire hangers.