“No fucking way!” I said. I meant to mouth it or think it but I said it. If she heard me she didn’t let it show.
“Ve are marching on St Helier,” announced Gertrude the Whore who’s now fully German.
“Sweet!” I said.
I’d heard the approaching ruckus and thought it was that charity thing where soldiers pull a cannon around the Island for some reason but it was an altogether different march. It was a march of Jersey people. Gertrude had broken off the front of the march to enter our shop announcing their intentions. Garnering support. “Ve will take this abomination down!” She said with a clenched fist. I couldn’t believe she was still alive.
“This about the painting?” I asked and Gertrude spat on the floor. It was about the painting.
“Come, come!” Said Gertude pointing a paint brush at me.
“I can’t, I’m working!” I said.
“Work? There will be no work unless ve take action.”
“Enrique?” I asked by saying his name to him. Enrique was with clipboard. “Can I go on the march?” I surreptitiously shook my head at him as I asked.
“No, you work,” replied Enrique.
“Damn!” I lied and Gertrude was gone. I wasn’t important to her.
We watched the march continue down the road to St Peters. It was pretty big already. It was going to be huge by the time it got to town. I doubted very much Gertrude could walk that far. It’s, like, 8 miles but Gertrude had surprised me before.
Jersey keeps having wars or something. Because we’re right near France we’re always getting ourselves into scrapes. Just last Thursday it was liberation Day. A day of celebration marking the end of the five-year occupation by the Germans. That’s where Gertrude the Whore made her name. Another war was The Battle of Jersey. That’s even more olden days than the Germans. That took place in Assassins Creed 3 time. I don’t really know much about it so this history lesson will be about as useful as one of my shoe reviews but here goes. So there was a Battle that took place in The Royal Square in town. I think it was against the French who I’m actually a big fan of. Some guy got killed. A Major Pierson, but we still won or something. There’s a pub in the Royal Square called The Pierson but what’s really captured this moment is a painting.
The Death of Major Pierson, it called. See it here.
Now I, like all Jerseyiers have been brought up with this picture. A copy hung in every classroom and municipal building. I’d seen it so many times I’d stopped seeing. You know what I mean? I’d just register the flags and would have to look no further.
What I, and the other people of Jersey never realised, is that the actual painting is fucking huge. It’s, like, ten feet high. We didn’t know this because the actual painting hung in London somewhere. We only ever saw prints. Are you following me?
This all changed recently when Jersey Museum got a lend of it and because Jersey is so boring we all went to see it. It was the most popular thing since Eddie Kidd came over in the 80s.
When I went in people were looking at the picture in stunned silence. At first I thought they were stunned by its impressive size but then I saw it too. How had I missed it? How had we missed it?
I thought it was pretty cool. I didn’t even know they had black people in the army back then. It made us cool. Perhaps the Island wasn’t full of horrible racists. It’s mad to think there were the same amount of black people in Jersey now as there was hundreds of years ago. 1. It’s well progressive though and I’m pretty sure he was on our side. He’s not shooting Major Pierson. He’s shooting over Major Pierson at the arsehole who shot Major Pierson. He’s a total fucking badass. Probably didn’t follow the rule book. I’m thinking Axel Foley. “Step aside, motherfucker!” I like to think he’s shouting.
Anyway, I was wrong to think the exhibition would mark a paradigm shift. Jersey went mental. “It’s a hoax!” declared The Jersey Evening Post. “Time machine!” was another suggestion. There was a lot of stuff. Jersey felt like it was getting trolled by London and over the days the mood turned ugly culminating in the march that went past this morning. Now, because I’m so slow at typing it’s the afternoon and the Jersey Evening Post has just come out. Seems the march accomplished their goal.