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The Greenbeard Effect (id-iom @ Upfest 2015)

The Greenbeard Effect (id-iom @UPfest 2015)

Given our proclivity for leaving things to the last minute we were having a brainstorm in the pub on Tuesday for UPfest ideas when we somehow alighted on the idea of pirates as the infamous Blackbeard was allegedly from Bristol. It was a good start but we needed more. We then moved on to Bluebeard (not actually a pirate but an aristocratic murderer from a French fairy tale), then to Redbeard (a pirate plying his trade in the Mediterranean) and finally Greenbeard.

As it turns out there was no such pirate as Greenbeard but we did find out about ‘The Green-beard Effect‘. Which, to paraphrase something that sounds quite complicated when you read up on it, is that people like other people who share observable physical traits like blue eyes or, as in the name of the effect, a hypothetical green beard. With that as a vague plan we then came up with the idea of adding some actual greenery to give him a true green beard and an idea was born.  A quick word with our trusty gardener friend John to secure some foliage later and the whole thing was a go!

Panorama shot of our side of the yard at UPfest 2015.

The original design which I’m only showing for completion’s sake as we didn’t have enough space to get the lettering in.

Cue some feverish design, the standard bickering over the final design and then some swift preparation and hey presto! We’re ready for another road trip. After a good night’s sleep (thanks to Jo & Al for putting us up!) we were down the Tobacco Factory fed, watered and ready to go by 10.30am. It was all going smoothly. Too smoothly. Something had to go wrong. And sure enough we had 10ft less space than we were expecting. Hmmm… What to do? We eventually decided on ditching the ‘Sexual Altruism’ lettering as it was too big. That was a shame but needs must and we went with just the two heads staring at each other to maximise the space to apply the green beard to. After the rain on Friday and the rain on Sunday it turned out that Saturday was a bastion of sunshine and we even have the cheap trucker tans to prove it.

As we were painting a few people asked if it was white Obama that we were painting. Not only would that be a strange concept to begin with he doesn’t have a beard and id-iom doesn’t really do political. Perhaps we should think again. Once we’d just about finished we whacked some LED’s in the eyes and some reflective paint as their laser like stare. I’d love to see if anyone manages to get a decent night shot…

As ever UPfest was a great day out and it’s always nice to put names to faces and chat to all and sundry. Thanks to the UPfest team for having us and Jake in particular for dealing with our whinging.

I think we found us a doppelganger!




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