One photo a day until I meet Jonathan Harris

21st April


This morning I opened a mysterious letter that arrived in the post yesterday and was shocked.

As the address was handwritten, it was one of those letters that you look forward to opening. I thought it might have been a wedding invitation, but couldn't think of anyone I knew who was getting married.

But this was no wedding invite. The envelope simply contained a superb and elegantly hand-crafted card consisting of a cutout section of the telephone directory which listed all the "Harris J"'s in town. That was the shock: there was no return address, no indication of who sent it and no instructions on what to do with it. The whole thing was a beautifully constructed mystery.

Of course I had suspicions on who might have sent it, but I couldn't be sure. Apart from the fact that making the card meant someone had to sacrifice a page of their telephone directory, what most impressed me was that whoever had sent it had completely understood the spirit of this project. For the entire day I was buoyed by the thought that at least someone was getting a good message. Maybe they just did it because they knew I would write about it, but either way, I was very happy.

To honour this beautiful mystery I decided to do the only appropriate thing I could think of. That is, call every single "Harris J" listed on the card.

Unexpectedly, I discovered that this town is actually teeming with Jonathan Harris's.

Of the 14 Harris's that actually answered the phone, 8 of them were Jonathan's! One conversation was as follows:

Them: "Hello?"

Me: "Oh hello. I was hoping to speak to a Jonathan Harris."

Them: "Yes, which one?"

Me: "Umm... how many of them are there?"

Them: "Seven."

Me: "Oh. Really?"

I guess I have to learn to expect the unexpected.

Unfortunately none of the the Jonathan Harris's I spoke to were artists from America, but that wasn't really the point of the exercise.

I still can't be exactly sure of who sent the card, but it has been elevated to the status of artefact. I will keep it safely alongside the unopened envelope from Bill Drummond, ready for when I meet the Jonathan Harris I'm looking for. Until then, all other beautiful mysteries are sincerely welcome.