Living With The Dead

Okay, more like Living With the Plastic.

On Monday you might have seen my video of my trooper assemblage. A bit of a pre-story as to how I got the mannequins:

I email postbear about where I would start to look for mannequins, knowing that he trolls craigslist and kijiji like the Eye of Sauron. Not that I could have looked myself but wading into these sites makes me nervous. postbear sends off a couple links and I find my guy. Two male mannequins with no dings or dents, all their fingers and going for cheap. I call and make arrangements to pick them up.

Sunday, I enlist Josh and Sean to drive us out to some homestead out in Scarborough. As we pull up, a squat, thick, swarthy Latino fellow is sitting by his truck staring off into the middle distance. He doesn’t look over as I approach. “Raul?” I say, walking up his driveway.

His head snaps towards me, whipping his waist-length braided pigtail like a serpent’s. Like I suddenly appeared.

After that initial awkward moment of personal introductions, Raul takes me to his back yard to a large shed. “Dexter style kill room?” pops into my head. I look back to the car to three faces looking at me possibly for the last time.

In the shed, it’s a riot of shop fixtures. Torsos in glass cases. Arms sticking straight up in the air. Jewelry cases holding garbage bags of… things? My mannequins are deep in the back, inside a rack designed to hold tuxedo rentals.

“This is great! We just got ourselves Stormtrooper uniforms and we need a mannequin to display them so that they’re not stuck …in… a … duffel… ba…” I trail off. He’s not listening. Doesn’t care. I get serious: “All the fingers are intact, right?”

“Si. Yes.” and he hands me a green garbage bag with a torso in it. With breasts.

“Male?” I say, economizing my words for some reason.

“Yes.” And he digs further. We extract two male mannequins from the riot. I notice his arm tattoo: Evita and I decide not to comment, and if I did, then maybe mentioning Madonna would not be appropriate. SharkBoy comes and helps with the back and forth of plastic human parts from shed to car.

At home, we amuse ourselves by dressing up SharkBoy’s mannequin in our Panty Game underwear and finally his old luchadores singlet with a smart belt around the waist. Very 80s. After all that, I made the video. When I’m done we had to find places to put the mannequins: mine in the office, SharkBoy’s in the hall alcove by the bikes, awaiting further accoutrements.

Within the last 48 hours we’ve both managed to scare the shit out of ourselves just by spotting the damn things out of the corner of our eyes. Who would have thought that having a mannequin in your home would make you think that someone was standing there (albeit headless) in some dark corner of your house?

I figure this is the closest I’m going to get to living on the set of Blade Runner.

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  1. point: i just police craigslist these days and am trying to figure out ways to get them shut down. the site is terrible unless you approach your target with surgical precision and ignore the mouthbreathers as soon as they can be identified.

    of course they freak you out – you have just entered the uncanny valley.

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