There’s a man that lives just around the corner from my house, no surprises there, in fact I’m sure there are probably quite a few. But the particular man I’m talking about is famous among the local community. Well, infamous. He must be, he’s a very noticeable chap. Most of the time he’s a solitary figure, he stands on the corner by the bus stop, sits on the bench outside where he lives or paces up and down the road. He’s always smoking. But this is not what is remarkable about him, no, what is remarkable is his choice of head gear. He is the Wiggy Man.
The first time I noticed Wiggy Man was shortly after I moved to Southsea, just over a year ago. I was walking to the shop and saw a man by the bus stop that was clearly wearing a wig. It was long and unnaturally black, very plasticky looking, matted and very dirty. Also it was pulled forward on his head. “How odd,” I thought, “doesn’t he know how obvious that wig looks?” I carried on my way and promptly forgot all about him. Until the next day when I saw another man standing in the same place also smoking and also sporting an obvious wig. This wig was shorter, slightly mullety, brown, equally plasticky, equally dirty and equally wrongly positioned atop his bonce. Could this be the same man? Yes, yes it could. On another day there was another man too, bald as a coot, smoking and pacing. Surely….? Yep, same man.
Wiggy man is a bit of a mystery to me. Clearly some of his faculties have been mislaid at some point, possibly along with his hair, but I wonder what it is that makes him alternate wigs and baldness. Does he select his look daily in the same way that we choose which pair of shoes to wear? And why, occasionally, does he shun both the wigs and the natural look in favour of a South American style tassle hat? I really don’t know. But I don’t want you to think I’m mocking the afflicted, although I suppose I am a little. I see Wiggy Man as a sort of local celebrity, I’m always on the lookout for him and his outrageous headgear and seeing him is always guaranteed to raise a smile. If I’m really lucky I’ll catch his eye as I walk past and he’ll give me a big beaming smile back.
So if you ever find yourself on the corner of Outram Road and Campbell Road have a little look. If you see a man chain smoking and wearing a wig, be it long and black, short and brown, his favoured black mullet or shiny and blond (an exciting new addition) give him a wave. And if you have any unwanted hairpieces lurking in your loft send them my way, I’m sure all donations would be gratefully received and worn jauntily.