Speaking of religious things (as we just were - and I have to say, the word "transubstantalicious" makes me giggle uncontrollably), I swear it's not just me that gets herself in hot water with the Holy Trinity on a regular basis.
(Well, I've never had any run-ins with the Holy Ghost.)
(That I *know* of.)
But anyway. As all of you who have seen the inside of the packing shed Bob and I call a home (the apartment, not the farmhouse - that's the mouldy packing shed), we get a lot of catalogues. In fact, when a major holiday spend-a-strava-ganza-riffic period comes around, we tend to have enough catalogues on hand to insulate twenty homeless guys (though newspaper is a little better; the glossy catalogue paper tends to hold the cold a bit). Suffice to say, you could spend several hours perusing our collection of strange and unusual things that can be yours for $19.95 plus shipping and handling.
We're on so many mailing lists now that when a freakish catalogue arrives, I no longer check the address to make sure that it's actually supposed to be in our mailbox.
(That's how I ended up with the Super 8 Motel catalogue - it was misdelivered, but I didn't realize it for weeks.)
Usually, the freakier ones are kind of fun and informative - for instance, did you know there's a little gravy-boat like thing that you fill with warm salt water and pour up your nose and it's supposed to fix allergies and bad sinuses? Or that you can get the multi-strap leather thong suit in male and female sizes? How about the world's largest collection of "Bob" stuff? Or maquettes (expensive figurines) of porn stars that have completely life-like parts?
It's a strange world out there, and I get the catalogues for it delivered right to my door. It usually doesn't make me bat an eyelid, but I got something a few weeks ago that I thought was possibly in the worst taste ever, and after sharing it with a few people who all went "Oh, my GOD!", I thought I'd share it with you.
No, no need to thank me - I consider it a public service.
There's a company out there called The Winfield Collection, which is basically a wood craft pattern company. You know those ghastly wooden cut-out lawn ornaments of a little boy peeing on a flag pole (and why that's okay, whereas a little cut-out of a girl holding a match to the flag pole isn't, I have no idea), or the cowboy silhouette leaning against a fence? Dogs peeing (there's kind of a theme here, I just realized), little children mooning passers-by, patriotic "United we stand" flag designs (usually right next to the peeing boy), all of that stuff? Well, this is the catalogue that will sell you the pattern to make all of those things and more, using their paper pattern, a jig saw, and a large unwieldy piece of plywood.
There are apparently a lot of things one can make out of plywood, and not all of them are flat, either.
Most of the patterns are your standard stuff as mentioned above (plus a whole load of cowboy, Amish, and seasonal ideas), but there's a large selection of religious patterns.
Even these I can handle (when you hate the whole decorating genre anyway, disliking one type more than any other is kind of moot), because I can see how some people like to put up "He is Risen" Jesus cut-outs for Easter, or two-dimensional Marys blessing an assortment of pastel bunnies, chicks, and bonneted children. Sure, it's kind of down market, but it's their house, and unless they have a mean ol' homeowner's association without a smidgen of a sense of humour, a man's home is his castle (that his wife decorates).
But, sadly, they were not content with patterns of a clearly caucasian Jesus wearing vaguely bathrobe-like garments and simple crosses, no.
On the last page of the catalogue they have the Saviour Trellis. Not content with slapping a crucifix up in the yard, they have decided that it would be a dandy idea if you could grow climbing plants up it. They clearly think this is just a wonderful thing: "Add this beautiful testament to the Christian religion to the outside of your home. Jesus requires only simple painting and plywood layering. Make the cross from common 3/4" boards. Our full-size pattern explains all".
Now, it's very nice of them to offer an explanation of the mysteries of the universe along with their pattern, but seriously - what were they thinking? Jesus has no features, thank God (and I do), but there are *nails* through his hands and feet, and the painting clearly indicates where to put the wound in his side.
I'm sorry - I like some good religious humour as much as the next lapsed Catholic, but this goes too far even for my warped sense of humour.
If they're gonna hit me with the divine lightning, they need to get these guys too. Jesus just doesn't look right with roses growing up him.
On the other hand, the part of my brain that is clearly owned by Satan thinks that a long row of them would look really cool holding up green beans or tomatoes. Rows of Jesuses, providing bounty in the fields.
Keep in mind, this is the same religion that inspired Chartres. If anyone's got to have a sense of humour, it's the Big Guy.
Text and images copyright L. Mellin, 2000-2008, except where noted. All rights reserved.