Mantelpiecing – [man-tel-pee-sing]
Verb – To bring a foreign photo, sometimes pre framed, to someone’s house and leaving it in amongst their own photos, usually on a mantelpiece or dresser.
A while back, when I used to go on tour quite a lot, my brother told me about Mantelpiecing, which, you will see I’ve cleverly already explained for you above; you’re welcome. Ben told me that George Clooney liked to ‘mantelpiece’ swanky hollywood parties by leaving a polaroid on his penis at unsuspecting victim’s houses. Whether that’s true or not, I don’t know, although there are rumours he left one on the fridge, whilst filming for ‘Roseanne’.
Now, for me, despite the fact that we did have a polaroid camera on tour (our bus was covered in hundreds and hundreds of polaroids), leaving a picture of my penis anywhere was out of the question. Polaroid cameras with a decent ‘macro‘ mode are hard to come by. I did, however, love the idea of mantelpiecing so I would take 4 or 5 framed, signed, photos of myself on tour to leave in various pubs/bars. Some of which were still there when we returned some months later, most of which just got binned the next day, I imagine. You see, the thing I love about mantelpiecing is that unless you’ve crashed out and wake up in said party/pub/bar the next morning (we often did on tour, to be fair), you don’t get to see the reaction of your victim when (and if!) they find it.
Since then, I do still regularly mantelpiece, although not always pictures of myself now, I’m not that cruel. My Dad’s ‘study’ in our family home had my friend’s primary school photo on the wall next to his actual son’s pictures for about 3 years before he noticed. My brother mantelpieced my house last year with a small picture of Saddam Hussein, but I noticed it and turned him into ‘Peter Criss‘.
So this brings me onto 2014, and a surprise visit to my Dad’s new house in Spain. I hadn’t visited yet and Dad was constantly asking when we were coming. I kept avoiding the subject, full well knowing we had tickets booked for early September. In the end, I cracked and told him that he did indeed have flights booked – but for late October, good save.
The surprise was great, we turned up past midnight and Dad loved it. However, it being past midnight, he’d kind of worked out something was up after his wife spent the day cleaning, buying croissants and then telling him not to go to bed. To be fair, she didn’t just spend all day doing those things. Presumably the croissants took about 10 minutes, and she only needed to do the ‘keeping up’ bit for about half an hour.
He’d worked it out…
What he hadn’t worked out – was my next planned surprise.
Yep… For not the first time in his life, Dad was totally surprised by Ben’s arrival (Surely they didn’t plan him? Also… I think Dad was playing golf when Ben started being born… kids can be a right nuisance). I went out to ‘pick up my bag’, and Ben walked back in – Dad didn’t even spot him. I know a lot of people actively try to ignore Ben sometimes, but I’m taking this as the surprise worked – see it for yourself!
So anyway, I know what you’re thinking… “you’re waffling, Tippers, did you mantelpiece your Dad?”
Yes… yes I did.
I like to prepare, you can’t mantelpiece without some good prep, unless of course you’re Clooney with a polaroid. My prep on this particular occasion was to print out 20 pictures of Ricky Gervais’ ‘Bath Pics’ (technically 25, but I then noticed a few repeats…).
Most people spend their holidays on the beach, visiting landmarks, trying local foods and chatting over beers with friends – I mantelpieced my Dad’s house with 20 pictures of a man in the bath. I did go to the beach (Guardamar), visit landmarks (some odd caves), try local food (Bacon baguette, but it’s an expat area) and I did indeed chat over beers (or Cervezas, for you language buffs out there).
Anyway… Dad noticed 2 or 3 of the bath pics, and blamed Ben… first borns, amiright!?
He’ll find these eventually, but here are the rest, just in case you didn’t believe me. They’re in draws, under stuff, on stuff, behind stuff, in stuff, indoors, outdoors….
Enjoy… oh, and let me know about your mantelpiecing exploits (e̶v̶e̶n̶ especially if it’s penisaroids)