Mark McGowan: Nutter

On September 1, 2003, the eccentric British performance artist Mark McGowan began rolling an unshelled peanut seven miles from Goldsmiths College in New Cross, south-east London, to 10 Downing Street -- with his nose. Upon arriving at his destination some nine days later, McGowan presented the nut to a clerk at Number 10, along with a letter asking Prime Minister Tony Blair to accept it as payment for his ?15,000 in student debts.

("I want them to bring back student grants," he later explained. "Hopefully, I made my point." Though McGowan was complimented on his "remarkable achievement," both Tony Blair and Education Secretary Charles Clarke refused his "payment.")

[This was not McGowan's first brush with fame. His earlier stunts included:
* dressing up as a constable and inviting visitors to Clapham Art Gallery to hit him with his truncheon
* rolling himself across London for four-and-a-half miles singing "We Wish You a Merry Christmas" to highlight the work of office cleaners and
* trying to persuade fat people to eat less by walking for 11 miles around south and central London -- with a 27lb turkey strapped to his head.]

[Easter egg rolling races -- symbolizing the rolling away of the stone from Christ's tomb -- were popular in the late nineteenth-century.]

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