Eleven years ago Richard Black took paintbrush in hand and changed the face of modern art forever…
Let’s take a closer look, hmm?
In the foreground, we’ve got a rather stern-looking woman in her classic LBD. She’s not a dame to be trifled with, by that look on her puss!
She contemplates life as she peers out over the ocean. Has she been stood up? Perhaps she’s just broken up with someone. Or is she angry that despite trying the controversial and painful hot-glob-of-tar-to-the-scalp treatment, at least one stubborn, hardy arachnid from that tarantula infestation on her head still remains?
And that churning sea — does it call to her? Can she sense Cthulhu beckoning through that vestigial tentacle she’s thrown stylishly over her shoulder?
Now as for the wreckage behind her: A Porsche has careened off the road, onto the sidewalk and crashed into the railing. The impact has caused the hood to fly up with enormous force yet instead of crumpling into a dented, folded, collapsed wad of mangled steel, it now resembles a sliver of uncooked beef at a Mongolian barbecue — a phenomenon someone with a better understanding of physics than myself could probably explain.
Did the driver, or driveh, as the vanity plate reads, survive? Is that him (or her) looking at the Woman at the Railing, or is it merely a pale, black-clad passerby, stopping to peer at the carnage inside, on his or her way to a beat poetry reading at a local café?
There’s no right answer. It’s up to the viewer to interpret the scene.
One thing’s for sure, though: If he did crash because he was distracted by the painting’s main figure — and he survived — he should thank his lucky stars. There was no way he’d have walked away from hitting head-on that enormous wall of matzoh bread that the road dead-ends into just a few yards farther.
“The signs were there all the time,” admitted Beth upon waking to an empty house. Kim and Fluffy were gone, off to start a new life without her.
“Oh, yes, I can’t believe I put it off for so long! Who needs television, anyway?
“Ever since I cut the cord, I’m finding all kinds of time to do so many other things I enjoy!”
“And how nice of you to visit…with your plain, solid color jacket, and your unembellished purse, and oh my, that magnificent wide expanse of unblemished skin on your forehead and…hey, come back here!”
Found in a thrift store near me for a quarter, and I bought it — because why not?, it was a quarter:
Apparently, in addition to Sony Electronics, Sony Pictures Entertainment, Sony Computer Entertainment, Sony Music Entertainment, Sony ATV/Music Publishing, Sony Mobile Communications and Sony Financial Holdings…
…there was, presumably, at one time, a Sony Cake Decorating Supplies Division.
Like you, I can’t imagine why they gave up on this lucrative industry.
Before he freed the slaves, young Abe Lincoln was well-known not only for splitting rails, but splitting pairs.
Update! Adds a pal: “Young Lincoln?! That’s clearly a photo of Robert ‘F’ Kennedy!”
Yes, yes, well, I can see that now, but where was this reader at two-thirty in the morning when I was drunkenly posting this? Besides, what clever wordplay could possibly have accompanied that? Something about cashing in your chips at the Ambassador Hotel? See, it doesn’t work.
Too Soon? Too Soon?
Here’s a Halloween surprise for you, from the good folks at that thrift store up near my gym!
A coupla, whaddayacall, suitcases! Just sittin’ there in the appliance section!
Two of them, there were!
Turns out I’m in the market for a good quality used suitcase! This fits the bill!
Wait a second, it seems kind of heavy! Maybe there’s something inside…
Why, there is something inside!
Oh my — it’s Resusci Baby!
But since there’s two suitcases… Could it be…?
Yes! It’s Resusci Baby’s twin brother! Oh how will we ever tell ’em apart?!
By wrapping electrical tape around one of their wrists — just like they do in the maternity wards of our better hospitals.
“I love you Resusci Baby!”
Resusci Baby comes in his own carrying case. Resusci Baby’s twin brother sold separately. By Hasbr—
…er, by Laerdal Medical Corp.
This here book!
Look! It’s inscribed!
Inscribed books are the best used books, ’cause they can tell as much of a story as the book itself!
And the story this inscription tells is that little Henry didn’t make as much of an impression on Mrs. Robinson as she did on him…
…because, uh, she donated the book to Goodwill.
Do a search on Murderpedia, the online encyclopedia of murderers (the name of which immediately brings to mind two things: 1. How rich we are, living in the 21st century, where such information is available at our very fingertips, and 2., technically, shouldn’t it be called “murdererpedia”?)…ahem, as I was saying, do a search on Murderpedia, and you’ll find there are 5,020 matches, by name, for “Michael.”
Interesting, you shrug disinterestedly, but Ted, why are you bringing this up?
Because, reader, one can’t help but wonder if one of them had a (presumably) well-meaning aunt named Betty.
Let me connect the dots for you, via photography:
In 1968, Aunt Betty put brush to canvas and likely changed her nephew, little Michael’s life forever.
Because this is what she painted:
This is what she painted:
This is what she painted:
THIS IS WHAT SHE PAINTED!
Now perhaps, despite this hanging on the wall of his bedroom as a child, little Mikey somehow eventually grew up to live a perfectly normal life. Perhaps.
But I’m guessing none of his childhood pets did.
Especially that unholy hybrid he was somehow inspired to create — the rabmunk, he called it — that he attempted by grafting together equal parts of rabbit and chipmunk, and then tried to cover up the blood and stitches and squeals and guilt by submerging it in pail of blue Rit dye.
Oh, Aunt Betty, what hath you wrought?
Incidentally, best thrift store painting I, and now you, have ever seen or not, $24 was too steep for my tastes. I did, however, keep an eye on it as the 29th of May crept ever closer — the day everything at the Salvation Army would be marked half-off.
Surprisingly (or not), it remained in the store for a few days, but alas, by the 28th, it was gone, perhaps to damn the future of another innocent tot. More likely, we’ll be seeing it on eBay.
Gee, Thanks Fr iend.
Yes, I’d love to share in the bounty of your box of candy with the toilet-seat lid.
I notice, however, you’re not quite so generous with the wine on the table behind you.
Saw this one in Westero—— …er, Simi Valley’s Goodwill store some months ago, but I cleverly saved it until “Game of Thrones” was back on the air:
Dreamy, exiled bastard Jon Snow! Seen here as part of Funko’s Game of Thrones Legacy Collection! And look carefully at the crappy photo below: This particular figure is apparently from the extremely rare “Jon Snow as Marilyn Monroe from ‘The Seven Year Itch'” series…
…where Jon’s cape has been provocatively blown up from a subway grate on top of the Wall. Either that or someone opened the box, pulled Jon out, and then crammed ‘im back in without repositioning the cape in his blister pack [industry term] coffin.
Now, I don’t watch your so-called “Games a’ Thrones,” so I don’t know if Jon Snow is dead yet or not. But unless he gets his hand lopped off as depicted here…
…I’d say the store’s price of $7.99 (!) may be a tad steep.
There it is! There’s the snapped-off appendage, rattling around in the bottom of the box.
I suppose if you’ve got a Longclaw-like sword to hack through all that excessive packing tape they’ve inexplicably seen fit to bound this in…and then you can employ the magical services of some sort of red priestess — or someone with a tube of super glue — to reattach his hand, I guess you could make the argument that $7.99 isn’t completely out of line.
But it’s a pretty flimsy argument. It’s a good bet that no one’s going to buy this thing.
Unless Tyrion Lannister wanders into this particular Goodwill.
I understand he has a tender spot in his heart for cripples, bastards and broken things.