October 23: advice for budding burglars

We went to a private art gallery. It was a gallery tucked away behind some scaffolding. You had to know it was there. It was an exhibition of Dubuffet works from 1978-79. You had to know who he was. It was one of those doors where you press and buzzer and say you want to come in to see the the exhibition. You had to be unintimidated. In the gallery there were a number of guards and just one pair of visitors, two oldish, well-dressed men. We went round the pictures. We liked them. We talked about them. One of the men caught our eye. We got talking about the art. He was a Canadian man who owned a Dubuffet at home in Canada. He told us where he hung it and what kind of picture it was. He asked me if I owned any Dubuffets. I said I had a poster in my hall. He was not threatened by the fact that I did not own any million dollar pictures. He said what was it like in London for security. I said nobody had ever tried to steal my Dubuffet poster. We all got on like a house of fire. Then we went on with our own individual visits and our own individual days. Thinking later, what we should have done is gone for a coffee with him and his friend. Then he would have given us his address and phone number in Canada. We would have gone to visit him there. That’s when we would have stolen the Dubuffet and some of his other art works. or maybe just stolen his money. My advice to any budding burglars is this: meet people in places where only initiates go. There you befriend them easily. They think you are like-minded. They trust you. You are like-minded but a bit different. They like that. It is exotic to them that you own a Dubuffet poster and not a genuine Dubuffet. That way you are in a position to rob them of their assets. Ah well, there’s another calling left unexploited.


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