David: At first I thought the blue padded mat was part of one of those Barton Patient Transfer Systems, a device that allows folks to maneuver their elderly and addled family members effortlessly in and out of bed. But no, no, no this divan sandwich has been put together by a homeowner who is completely mobile and independent — in fact he’s a bit of a revolutionary. Any and all rules of taste, symmetry and sanity have been jettisoned in favor of this mish-mashed paean to Dadaism — the World War I art movement that rejected logic and embraceed chaos, irrationality, Girl Scout badges and Hollie Hobbies.
Shawn: When you mount me, it’s okay to get excited, but not too, too excited because I still haven’t built the wall brace and shelving for my enamel pin collection (every roller coaster between Mississippi and Vermont) and these dolls I found. I’ve discovered that when the motion becomes vigorous or too rhythmic, everything topples down into the space between my electric sleeping bag and the water sofa.
While you’re up, could you get me another Grapico?
File Under:Bedroom Terrors
Richard: On a cold winter night, there’s nothing better than spooning under the pelt of a black unicorn with a 12th-level druid you picked up over half a dozen pints of honeymead. You can drift off to sleep, cozy and warm, secure in the knowledge that, although he has an abundance of spells at his fingertips (literally), his order prohibits him from carrying certain weapons, so it’s highly unlikely your new-found wood-worshipper will leave you kidney-less in a bathtub full of ice, a vorpal blade poking out of your lower back.
This room wants to promise that kind of magical one-night-stand, but sadly, it doesn’t deliver. Don’t get us wrong: we can forgive clutter. We can forgive a new-fangled photograph of a favored horseless carriage (i.e. pickup truck) mixed in with the dragonalia. After a flagon or two, we can even forgive a wall sconce that’s missing its shade, exposing a bleak CFL instead of the slightly more period-appropriate faux-flame bulb. (They still make them, you know. Check Home Depot.)
What we CANNOT under any circumstances forgive is sharing our fuckfantasy with Aunt Penelope, who has colonized the right side of this lair. Even now, we can smell the violet pastilles wafting from her rose-covered comforter, and while the 1980something drapes remind us of Dorothy, Blanche, and happier times, they most certainly do NOT represent the adventure-loving, butt-pirating action hero we are today. And what in the name of Tiamat is hanging up on that wall? Some LightBrite/MS Paint/neon string art bullshit? What ringwraith’s castle did Aunt P. purloin that from?
You know what? This isn’t working out. We’ll call you later.
David: Although this interior has all of the markings of a heterosexual dwelling (as per the blow job being administered by what we think is a female), we decided to allow it entry into our collection because, well, it’s such a wonderful example of how close to living like animals some folks are capable. We’re thinking of critters like squirrels or rodents that instinctively hoard. But then that’s an entirely different television show; so never mind.
When you picture the disastrous economy, the dire unemployment numbers, the many citizens poisoned by chemical dumps and genetically modified food products, your mind can’t help but imagine what the origin or ‘center’ of our collective clusterfuck might actually look like, symbolically speaking.
Well, as indicated by the proud display of Old Glory in this horror, we’re looking at the very core, the hub, the center of the mandala of American chaos and woe in this picture. Yes, just think of it. All of the nightmare and tears generated from one lone makeshift playroom in the back of a spooky house located somewhere deep in Alabama or perhaps Arkansas. We can’t say for certain — even the NSA hasn’t developed equipment sturdy enough to ferret out such a location.
We’ve no decorating tips for this disaster other than gasoline and some matches and a strong wind, the quicker to welcome complete annihilation.
Shawn:Is it a couch? Or is it a chair? The fuck if I know, but it definitely was purchased from a furniture factory outlet a stone’s throw from Niagara Falls in 1986.
When your retired teacher parents seethe at condescending politicians who bash their union, this is the fabric pattern they have in their minds when they bitch about making a paltry $4000 a year after spending five years in school. Really, everything here has a vestigial feel to it: the all-purpose cabinet doing time as a makeshift entertainment center, the Extreme! sports bottle, the too-blocky computer keypad, the analog-looking TV set — it’s all sort of comforting in the way that a nostalgic fugue is.
Before Bush, Jr. Before The Crash. Before compulsory lifestyle empires.
Richard: I’m not an expert in substance abuse because it’s not abuse if you show up to work on time. However, I have a theory that J.R.R.Tolkien is a gateway drug.
It starts innocently enough with a summer reading of The Hobbit. Your interest piqued, you plow through the Lord of the Rings trilogy in the fall. Then you start The Silmarillion, get 20 pages in, say to yourself, “What the hell?”, and move on.
Within a year, you’ve devoured all the Ursula K. LeGuin and Roger Zelazny Barnes and Noble has to offer and find yourself in the Piers Anthony aisle. You start trolling websites for bumper stickers like, “You shall not pass!”, and the next thing you know, you’re buying non-ironic replicas of Bilbo’s ring with inscriptions in Elvish. WHICH IS NOT A LANGUAGE YOU CAN LEARN ON ROSETTA STONE AND IS THEREFORE NOT AN ACTUAL LANGUAGE. (Please tell this to those who make wedding vows in Klingon and/or Esperanto.)
Eventually, you have to purchase an étagère to display your Dwarven dust-catchers. This one looks downright tasteful compared to many I’ve seen — sturdy and nicely proportioned — but something about it seems vaguely SkyMall-ish. And while the dagger and figurine and dragon are nicely arrayed, I wonder about the coin collection: necromancy and numismaty seem unlikely bedfellows.
If you’re looking for a Grindr bedfellow with a passion for fantasy and five-dollar blinds, you could do worse. But remember, honey: there’s no Betty Ford for this kind of addiction.
Eric: I’ve just returned from vacation. Bear with me while I get back into the zone and try to frame a Sphinxter joke.
Our recumbent He-opatra can say it ain’t so until frogs fall from the sky, but this bed is a shrine, a big gay altar to a young Egyptian dragqueen. Pharaoh Fawcett-Majors, I’m guessing.
As such, being plagued by decorative restraint is a curse easily broken. Bring on the oil lamps, I say. Dust off the gauzy linen sheets. Don’t scrimp on the slyly pornographic hieroglyphs and jokey cartouche. Paint a big red smear on the door. Flaunt your big black Annubis and don’t be afraid to stick out your asp.
Even though it isn’t quite enough for this space, that amazing technicolor bedspread brings only one thought back to my mind — I love Andrew Lloyd Weber. I hope someone sets his work to music someday.
And I would never say it isn’t so.