I don’t know how it is at your house, but around here New Year’s is the symbolic season of change when everyone in the family entertains good intentions for the coming 12 months. “Don’t worry”, we tell ourselves. It will all be over soon and we can get back to whatever we were doing before.
New Year’s resolutions seem like such an inconvenience. Here we are, happily skipping through snow at Christmas time, eating like pigs, wallowing in gifts….having a good time! And BAM! - New Years!! THIS SHIT HAS GOT TO STOP!!!!
In atonement we will then go on an obligatory purge of gruel and sewer water for 3 or 4 days in the expectation that our bodies will shed 30 pounds just to end the 3-4 days of torture. It never ends well.
Now we do things differently.
Instead of looking in the mirror and thinking about all the major life changing things we’re GONNA’ do in the next 10 days, we look at the cumulative behavior of our immediate family over the last year and make a list of all the stuff we’re NOT gonna’ do. Not accomplishing most of the items on the list is made infinitely easier by the exemplary results achieved by family members who have gone before us.
Even so, forearmed with best intentions and a list of things to avoid doing, we still manage to discover new and even stupider things to do. It’s a growing list, this New Years thing – a work in progress.
Around this time of year we get an unaccustomed and unnatural urge to clean the studio. We looked back, took stock, and tried to recall why we had accumulated 234 pair of old shoes over the last 18 months. Surely it was a spectacularly brilliant artistic epiphany at the time. Our deep meditation on the meaning of 234 pair of shoes was interrupted by a phone call from Uncle Chet. He was in the throws of a not dissimilar dilemma.
Having caught the New Year’s bug going around, Uncle Chet had determined that he too had good intentions, and must divest himself of the myriad objects and treasures that had found their way to his garage/vault. This was colossal! Uncle Chet considers it a mortal sin to throw anything away. His preferred disposal method is to transfer his unwanted stuff to someone else’s garage. This keeps balance in Uncle Chet’s universe and ensures that if he eventually remembers why he accumulated the stuff in the first place, he knows where to come get it. Uncle Chet was wondering if we could use a half-gallon of “yellow liquid.”
This prompted one of those hurried discussions with one hand over the phone receiver you have between you and your spouse. “Its Chet…want some yellow liquid?!...Dunno, whatisit?…. Who knows? Muriatic acid?, chlorine?, urine!........ its Chet!.... OK, I’ll find a use for… NO!!!!
Back on the phone this all came out as, “Uh…Uncle Chet we already have a big bottle of yellow liquid, we’re going to have to pass.” Chet replied we were the last call to a long list of family members who were all remarkably well stocked with yellow liquid at the moment.
This is when it occurred to Uncle Chet that he could at least save some of the containers. He would just fill all the partial contents into as few containers as possible.
This seemed to be going well until he got to the yellow liquid.
According to the police report, Uncle Chet, added “blue liquid to a half gallon of yellow liquid. Suspect then noticed the mixture becoming warm, and then quickly getting hot. The mixture then began to bubble and smoke.”
At this point Uncle Chet allegedly ran out of the garage with arms waving and screaming for everyone to evacuate the house. This did not strike anyone as particularly odd...its Chet. So, everyone assembled on the front yard as instructed, just in time to watch the garage explode in a huge fireball. This piqued the curiosity of the neighbors who joined us on the front lawn and wanted to know if someone was filming a movie and if any celebrities might be hanging around.
Everyone, including the town’s police and fire department, seemed quite disappointed to learn that celebrities were nowhere to be seen, and it was just Uncle Chet blowing up the garage. No one was injured, no celebrities were sited and nobody knows what the yellow or blue liquids were.
Uncle Chet got a stern talking-to from the town authorities and then released to the custody of Aunt Robin. Chet had asked to be remanded to county jail for a few days but the authorities weren’t feeling lenient.
Disclaimer: This is our January blog entry for EtsyMetal Blog Carnival, where various artists post their experiences on a shared topic. Unfortunately the characters and events depicted in this post are all true and no one's name has been changed since there are no innocent parties.