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Oh what can ail thee, knight-at-arms, alone and palely loitering? Somewhere, in a side-street of Purgatory that attracts the bare minimum of passers by, there is a dead tree, a cash register, and Stuart Bloom. They are perched despondently on a crag, and Bloom gazes out upon the nothingness, with dark eyes hollowed by dread, weariness, and a lack of nutrition brought on by sharing his tins of tuna with a stray cat. Who sometimes doesn’t show up.

 

It’s not clear what Bloom is atoning for, but suffer he does, and he weaves throughout the brightly coloured cloth of Big Bang like a tear-stained thread from a hair-shirt.

 

Rejected by women, men, stray cats, and redeeming plot-lines, he sleeps in the back of his comic book shop, has the bone-density of an 80 year old man, and dwells uneasily on the edges of the viewers' sympathies.

 

Over the years they’ve forced his slight and mournful soul into a variety of puppets; Penny’s amusing and charming date, a suicidal outcast, Fake Wolowitz, futile swinger, and now something that has apparently stumbled in from a Beckett play.

 

Whatever he is, he’s worth keeping an eyeball on. As the independent characters increasingly stagger into bondage, it is a relief to witness the peregrinations of this strange and refreshingly kind personage, as he continues to live within a world of his own, shunned by all, but beholden to no-one. Yet.

 

Let us raise a Sad-tini (coffee liquor in a Chewbacca mug) to Mr Bloom; the Last of the Just.

 

 

by Major Gripe

The        Existential

 

ANGST OF         STUART BLOOM