Saturday, March 28, 2015

Janice Jokin'

About nine months ago, we had a controversial visitor to the neighborhood. Joel and I ushered her into our community after saving her from the terrible fate of being crushed in the dumpster on our college campus. We carefully carried this damsel's 40 pound body to our home and prepared her for the life of laughter and mischief she would lead under our care. 

We named her Janice. We don't know why, it just seemed right and it has stuck.

Janice was sculpted into existence by God himself. Well, not really, but pretty close. She was created by one of our very talented friend's who is the ceramics professor at our alma mater. She was a concept to him, just an idea which led to other ideas that developed into art. I believe Janice was the masterpiece, but I will keep that opinion to myself. She is a concept possibly inspired by the Venus of Willendorf and was used as a model for teaching a ceramics class how to paint with glaze. 

Venus of Willendorf

Her days as a model are not over but there have been some additions to her job description. Amused by the garden gnome in Amelie who traveled the world with an airline hostess who took pictures of her traveling companion everywhere she went and sent them home to Amelie's confused father, we thought we might find a similar amusement through Janice. 

The first night we had Janice, Joel and I stiffed our giggles as we creeped into our neighbor's back yard and planted her right in front of their kitchen window. No matter what, they would have to look out and see her piercing green eyes. We waited all night for a call or a text and finally, in the morning we had one. Janice had lost her balance in the night and face-planted into the yard. By the time our neighbors noticed her, she looked like a small, naked man who has passed out in their grass. They were tickled and disoriented, something between delight and revulsion. It had begun...

Before long, Janice ended up in another neighbor's bed after a trip. He came home and screamed when he noticed there was a figure lying beside him in the dark. Janice has slept in many beds since then. 

photo provided by John 
Janice has appeared in the back of neighbor's cars, in the branches of trees peeping into people's homes, in a dryer, under dinner tables, in shower's, closets and most wonderfully, in the manger scene during the Christmas season. 

photo provided by John

Janice has provided our neighborhood many grins and chuckles (and the occasional raised eyebrow of disapproval). We all pass her around. She has been dressed up, dressed down, been hidden and been shown with pride. Passersby think she might be a Buddha who has lost her manhood. Other's think she is a woman but wonder at the strange placement of her vagina. Either way, Janice is Janice and Janice has helped to shape our community in laughter. 

Photo provided by John

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