Salvation is a helmet. – Vance Havner
« Moi, je ne vois que trois bites, » says my friend from his little box in the Zoom call. I am holding up Malas noticias, that week’s artwork of choice. I had seen snakes, which seemed comical enough. Dicks, though? That’s funny!
Three years later, it’s my boyfriend’s turn to interpret what he sees. « Des grosses merdes qui se parlent ? » Snakes are comical. Dicks are funny. But big turds? That’s hilarious! Especially since the interpretation is delivered in the form of a question whose potential answers can only be absurd. Here, let’s test it out:
Big turds talking to each other?
- a) Yes, those are indeed big turds, but only the green one is talking.
- b) No, those are actually dicks.
- c) Really? Those things are clearly snakes.
See? Absurd. And thus hilarious.
Besides the laughter it elicits, what does this piece wish to communicate to the woman who painted it? To answer that question, I’m going to first posit that the turds are in a locker room. The orange and yellow ones are the players. The green one is the coach. From the title of the piece, we know that he is delivering bad news. What is this bad news, and why is the coach so pissed off about it? Why does the orange player look confused by it, while the yellow one seems joyously oblivious to it? What the hell is going on here?
The answer to these questions lies in another question, the one my shaman taught me to ask when interpreting my dreams: And if you are every character in the painting?
I am the green turd, and I am pissed off. As the coach, I had designed a play in which I would be married until the end of my days. The play had failed, but that’s not what I’m pissed off about. What I’m pissed off about is the fact that the play was flawed from the very beginning, that I knew it was flawed, and yet insisted on executing anyway. Why did I do that? I don’t know why I did that. But I did. And it cost me a lot of time. Time I can’t get back. And I am so pissed off at myself about it.
I am the orange turd, and I am confused. I’m waiting for the coach to explain the next play, the one the team is going to execute in the game that’s happening right now outside on the field, but instead all he’s done is back me into a corner of the lockerroom to tell me some bad news. Yesterday’s bad news, mind you. What kind of coach is this green turd, anyway?
I am the yellow turd, and if I appear oblivious to what the green turd has to say, it’s because I am. Why would I listen to him? He’s just a dumb jock who has shown up late to the game without his helmet. He thinks he’s the coach, but he is mistaken. Only God is coach. Hence my joyousness. With God as coach, I can never lose. I will only ever be victorious.
What happens to the turds? Does the green one keep them all backed up in the corner of the lockerroom to fester and stink up the place, or does he put on his helmet and join God’s team? I’ll let the artwork answer that question.