It’s weird how a human brain works. When my partner in crime, or rather the other half of publisher Ben Sclair’s Double Trouble, Suburban Times columnist Joe Boyle sent me the pictures below, my imagination went haywire immediately. Interestingly enough not with what would be the most natural explanation for an object that was covered respectively not covered with a foil, to whatever purpose.
If you are the kind of people who see elephants, sheep, or people in the clouds, if you wonder where a rainbow hits the ground, or if you are walking by the side of the first settlers when you are in one of our historical towns, wondering how they might have experienced it, you might not find it so very out of the usual that I came up with a weirder explanation first. Before I told myself: But, of course, it’s plain logical and uninteresting to the point of boring.
Take a closer look at the fire hydrant. Any fire hydrant by the roadside around here. Has it ever struck you how much like a mannikin they look? They could be little workers, helmets pushed so deeply into their brows that you can barely make out their eyes under the rim, their arms stretched out widely. Right? Trust me, once you start having this picture in your mind, all fire hydrants will look like little mannikins to you. For the rest of your life!
Now, I didn’t ask Joe before I wrote this which of the pictures he took first, the one with the foil or the one without it. Because I didn’t want him to foil my take on my own double take. I’ve got two, by the way. Double takes, I mean.
Double take number one: Imagine you were put under a foil and taped up, and then somebody released you, wouldn’t you scream, too? Yes, and I guess now you realize the huge big screaming Munch-like mouth of the mannikin, right? And the poor little guy has been chained at his arms at that!
Double take number two: Imagine a veritable Rumpelstiltskin, screaming and wreaking havoc. Wouldn’t you want to chain it down and cover it up because sometimes a dark place calms down anything wild?
Ooh, now you have come to see a dark place in my mind that I have tried to keep undercover for so long. Everybody has been knowing me as the writer of mindful articles for a while, and here I reveal myself as having some dark imagination …
Well, the only thing I can advise you of is this: If ever you come across such a foil-wrapped and taped creature by the roadside – don’t unwrap it, don’t set it free! You don’t know the reason why it’s been put into this situation, and you might get yourself into trouble, either with the mannikin or with the people who wrapped it that carefully. On the other hand, if you see them without the foil cover, you most likely won’t hear anything because they have already shrieked themselves into a state of muteness. (Which makes me think: Are the words muteness and mutiny related in any way?) So, just leave them alone. Park your car away from them lest they toss their chains and run wild. Give them a berth. I think they are best tamed by the people who are trained on that job. In case of emergency they are wearing helmets, too. And now you know why – because you never know what those wide-mouthed mannikins might be up to.
Care to read Boyle’s Double Take? Click here.
Joe Boyle, author of the Suburban Times’ column “Westside Story”, and Susanne Bacon, novelist and author of the Suburban Times’ column “Across the Fence”, are sharing their thoughts about a variety of topics in their joint project of double features called “Double Take”. Comments are more than welcome, as they know that the world has more than their two angles – the more the merrier.
Joan Campion says
Yes I see it now in a new light. A mini helmeted fireman arms hidden. And here all these years I thought they were for the use of children for jumping over or for a convenient first or third base in a pickup game of street stickball as we did as kids in NYC so many years ago. Also as Joe implied as a fast splash of cool water on a hot August day.
What will you come up with next. Happy imagining.
Susanne Bacon says
Thank you, Joan, for making me laugh so hard! It never occurred to me they might also be bases! I wonder to what I heights (or depths) our next topic will inspire us, too. It’s always a surprise. And see, we got a third angle through you already!