my apartment is cooler than yours.
© 1995-1998 Jamie Zawinski <email@example.com>
I share my apartment with a large number of mannequins. And thereby hangs a tale...
|The phone rings.|
|Morrisa:||I. Magnin is going out of business.|
|Jamie:||I'm so sorry for them.|
|Morrisa:||They're selling everything.|
|Jamie:||I guess so.|
|Morrisa:||Fixtures. Get it?|
|Morrisa:||You got it!|
So we got there ungodly early in the morning, made our way to the Mannequin Room on the third floor, and made one of the most voluminous purchases I've made. There were mannequins and parts of mannequins everywhere, every one different. We spent close to an hour picking out the perfect bunch, and then quite a long time lugging them downstairs to the car. Would you have expected that you could fit seven mannequins and two people into a Saturn and still be able to drive it? I wouldn't have expected that. It was an abattoir-on-wheels, but unfortunately the pictures didn't come out.
So we got to my place and put them back together (which was like a big
humanoid jigsaw puzzle) and talked for a while about what to do with them
(or, more to the point, to them.)
Laura gave me a sickly green wedding dress (she had tried to dye it black and failed) and Morrisa came up with some lace and gloves, so we dribbled some fake blood and voilà! Instant vampire.
Morrisa managed to construct some impromptu lingerie for one out of an old leather purse. One of them has now been tastefully fingerpainted in frightening neon colors, and I borrowed some more clothing from Sarah and Raven.
Other plans (vague and half-formed though they be) include bolting on various bits of metal for that trendulant cyberpunque look. In pursuit of this, we made a little shopping trip to a junkyard. It was in a residential district in fairly scary part of Oakland; we got there and amid many stares, found our way to the office.
|Junkyard Guy:||Can I help you?|
|Morrisa:||Yes, hi. I'm an artist, and...|
|Junkyard Guy:||Places hand on heart and closes eyes.|
Aaah, an artist. Bless you.
|Morrisa:||And I'm looking for raw material for some sculpture I'm doing; sort of vaguely automotive or robotic pieces, you know?|
|Junkyard Guy:||Well you've come to the right place. We do try to take care of our artists. Feel free to wander around and find what you want, but lemme tell you, it's really dangerous out there, and dirty, and these guys who work for me are all crazy. So be very, very careful.|
|Jamie:||Oh we will, thanks a lot...|
|Morrisa:||If you want us to sign a release or something...|
|Junkyard Guy:||Naah, see, if you try to sue me, I'll just move. Believe me, it's not a problem.|
|Jamie:||Ha ha. And I guess you wouldn't have any trouble disposing of the bodies either. Ha ha.|
|Junkyard Guy:||does not laugh.|
|Jamie:||Oops! Uh... I wonder if he's seen Pulp Fiction...|
We wandered back onto the lot, where there was a virtual mountain of twisted
metal, like something out of a cheesy Roger Corman postapocalyptic movie.
It was a treasure trove; we found springs and rotors and shining
crescent-shaped blades and gears and flexible metal tubing and pistons and
even an old rusty manual typewriter. As we wandered around, spying a new
gleaming prize, we were constantly worried that by tugging on it we were
going to bring the whole razor-sharp mountain down upon us. But we survived,
and filled up a cardboard box with as much raw material as we could carry.
The Junkyard Guy put it on a scale, and charged us twelve dollars for fifty
I've not yet explored the possibilities which lie within this pile of steel sitting on my livingroom floor, since the Netscape 1.1b2 release got in the way. But one possible plan is to turn some of it into a Terminatoresque robotic arm for one of the ladies. Since neither of us know how to weld, we picked pieces that look like they could be bolted, hammered, or strapped together without too much trouble.
I also plan on Gigering one of them (as in
H. R. Giger,
of Alien fame.) I'm not quite sure how I'm going to go about that yet,
but I expect papier mâché or plaster will work better than clay.
The small images above point to the larger images from which those sections have been cropped. And here are some more pictures of my little friends:
My previous upstairs neighbors thought I was pretty weird. Maybe you think I'm pretty weird too. But my neighbors were fratboy law students. What does that say about you, hmmm? Maybe it says you're all just meat for the beast.
Some months later...
Two new humanoids were acquired.
Though it's not a crash test dummy, it will look just like one as soon as I find time to paint the appropriate yellow and black targets on it.
I was driving in downtown Berkeley when I saw the Mayor sitting out on the sidewalk in front of a most excellent store called Trout Farm. I nearly slammed on my brakes. I knew it had to be mine. It wasn't cheap, but as someone pointed out to me later, ``it's always expensive to buy a politician.''
Mayor McCheese is the stuff nightmares are made of, don't you think? A talking burger. He is both food and an authority figure. Such semiotics.
(Apologies for the poor quality of these last few images; I used a particularly crappy scanner on Crash and the Mayor...)
And Lady Luck smiles again...
It was a fortuitous day in October when a certain hair-care professional chum of mine was handed a flyer on Haight street informing him of a warehouse liquidation of Macy's fixtures.
I bought five more. I painted them. One looks like Pris. (And one of these days, I'll take a picture of that one.)