Lee Burke tells story of her Valentine's Day adventure across Shepparton with Brian the dummy.JENNA BISHOP February 19, 2014 4:55am
When Lee Burke first met Brian, it wasn’t exactly love at first sight.
When you meet Brian, it’s obvious why — he is severely lacking in conversational skills, he doesn’t move well and his facial expressions leave much to be desired.
It’s probably because he’s a dummy, a clothes mannequin rescued from obscurity from a bin at one of Shepparton’s sports clothing stores.
That didn’t stop the pair enjoying a range of activities across the city on Friday to celebrate Valentine’s Day.
It was only by chance Lee and Brian met — she was looking out a second storey office window on Thursday with her boss when she saw several mannequins taken to the recycling bin.
A spur of the moment decision led the pair to rescue the dummies.
‘‘I took the big six-foot one and only just got him in the car. My daughter jumped in and saw him, and said, ‘Mum, it’s me or Brian’,’’ Ms Burke said.
Another spur of the moment decision led the pair on a series of adventures for Valentine’s Day, a modern-day Life of Brian for Monty Python fan Ms Burke.
After a tough year and becoming single for the first time since she was 17, Ms Burke decided to put her own twist on Valentine’s Day celebrations.
‘‘I wanted to make people laugh and see the lighter side of things,’’ she said.
Ms Burke said her social experiment had put a smile on many faces across the city and was memorable.
‘‘You could see people look and then do a double take. You started telling people the story and they thought it was great. They were taking photos.
‘‘When we went out, we attracted a lot of attention.’’
Dressed in hipster fashion — long brown hair, sunglasses, a woven straw hat, jeans and a shirt of Ms Burke’s favourite band, ZZ Top — Brian hit the town, first taking Lee to see the cows near Victoria Park Lake and even planking on one to amuse her. They stopped in for coffee at Hudsons, with amused coffee-drinkers posing for photos with Brian.
After relaxing at Lee’s desk, Brian took her out for lunch and to Shepparton Art Museum.
Ms Burke said they did not visit one of the exhibitions, fearing the faces on the art would offend Brian and his lack of facial features.
After Brian helped Ms Burke complete her work, the pair went for pedicures at Wellsprings Day Spa, followed by a night out at the Aussie Hotel.
Brian propped himself up at the bar, with many curious glances coming his way.
‘‘There were even people just lining up behind him to buy drinks,’’ Ms Burke said.
Unfortunately, she did not really think Brian was boyfriend material and she was not sure if he would make the cut for a second date.
‘‘He didn’t have much to say, which isn’t a bad thing, because he was a good listener,’’ she said.
‘‘Plus, I was literally carrying the relationship, it was tiring.’’
Advertising Standards Bureau slaps McDonald's for offering free fries vouchers to children at SPC Ardmona KidsTown.
Yarrawonga Football Netball Club senior footballer Jeremy O’Brien celebrated his 200th senior Ovens and Murray Football Netball League game against the Wodonga Bulldogs on Saturday.
Following a concerted effort by Merrigum Community Group to upgrade signage in the town, it was announced at last Monday’s community meeting that design of a new information sign, to be located near the bus shelter in Waverley Ave, has been completed.
LBU coach Ady Dohnt headlines the Cats' inclusions for tomorrow's clash with Huntly.
Rochester resident John Constable has received the latest vision scanner available, thanks to Rochester Lions.
100 days at Tongala Primary.
It's not everyday you get 'most sincere thanks' from the Queen - as a Seymour girl found out.
St Joseph's Jerilderie teacher Steve Jones has released an album with his band, Steve Jones and The Velvet Glove.
The district has shivered during the past couple of weeks with night temperatures falling below zero. For those prepared to brave the winter chill, Lake Eppalock offers stunning scenery and yellow wattle brightens district forests.
Black Dog ride participants meet up in Cobram before they burn rubber to beat the blues.
Deniliquin High School students are preparing to take part in the Great Victorian Bike Ride for the 13th year in a row.
Wheat crops sown at the end of April to mid-May were two to three weeks early, increasing the risk of frost damage, the Finley Discussion Group’s meetings earlier this month heard.
John 'Jack' Roe remembered as a gentleman; battle-scared but a genuine, dignified man of integrity.
Discover unbelievable local deals from local businesses every week in the Goulburn and Murray Valley area with Leapon.com.au!
Search properties for sale or rent across North Central Victoria and Southern NSW. Visit your local website for local homes....
Search for published and unpublished photos from McPherson Media Group newspapers and magazines. All our photos are available to purchase.
Place an advertisement in any one of McPherson Media Group's local newspapers.