On the Transitory Nature of Art

Yesterday, I bought 10 Vitamin Waters and a bunch of Power Bars from the grocery store.

Rather than casually tossing them on the checkout conveyor belt like everyone else does, I thought I’d do something special.

So I arranged the 10 Vitamin Waters in a circle.

Then I layed Power Bars atop them, each spanning from the top of one bottle to the next.

Now it was no longer a bunch of random groceries.

It was Stonehenge.

When the grocery store clerk saw it, she just stared at it.  Then she looked up at me.

“You mind if I break up your little sculpture here?”

I paused and lowered my head.

“If you must,” I said.

34 thoughts on “On the Transitory Nature of Art

  1. Sounds just like you, I am not surprised. What I am surprised about is that you did not make the clerk stop and have everyone come over and take a look.

    I like to line up all of my stuff so that the bar codes are set up to be scanned easily, and then watch the clerk screw the whole thing up.

  2. Yup, that will be my next mission while grocery shopping. Thank you for the inspiration. 😉

    You should have demanded that she rebuild it in the bag. Hehe.

  3. Vitamin water??? You did the most useful thing you can do with it by making your art project. I suppose you buy premium gas for your vehicles and always purchase the extended warranty for your toaster.

    Now I’m convinced that the Rat character is written by someone else. I’m sure you’ve heard since your playground days, but :

    pastis, you’re a patsy!!!



  4. I’ve done that! I once piled all my dairy products into a tower, and then made sure the cashier knew it was called the “Leaning tower of Cheese….a.”. She looked at me for a long couple of moments, and then just sighed and shook her head.


  5. I agree with the person that was shocked she didn’t make everyone in the store come look. I can tell you do not come from New Hampshire. They’re rednecks here. They see creativity and they must marvel at it, like it’s from another planet. “What? Yeh don’t drive a tractor for a living? Yer a writer? What? They make those? What’s this yeh’ve got there? Well aren’t yer just the cleverest! Bill! Come take a lookie at this here thing Bill!”

    I brought my dog for a walk to Dunkin Donuts once, left him tied to the dog leash thing while I went and got a coffee (my sister was with him), and some lady saw that he knew how to sit and she literally had every one of the DD employees outside within a minute shoving like 20 munchkins down his throat.
    My dog was pleased.
    I was not.

  6. whyyy don’t you take pictures of these little adventures you have to the grocery store, coffee shop, book store, etc. you must add more live pictures.

  7. Dang man..Now I have to run to the grocery store and make MT Rushmore 😛 LOL..

    btw Love todays strip!! Guard Ducky FOR THE WIN!

    Hrm…guard ducky..and maybe a machine gun…made out of candy bars…

  8. that sounds like a waitress when she places my plate over the coloring portion of the kids menu.

  9. One day my dad decided to have a stern family “meeting” at the dining room table before the month’s groceries had been put away. While my dad gave the gruff lecture to 4 solemn, downcast looking kids, I sat there and was making a magnificent tower of products.

    My dad went on with his speech as my tower slowly grew – Crest toothpaste, box of Ritz crackers, Wrigleys gum (10 pack), etc etc.

    Every now and then my dad would glance over while continuing his little tirade. He didn’t say a word about my endeavour, just kept talking.

    Finally, when the tower of stuff was about 3 feet tall, it fell over with a goodly amount of racket. There was a stunned moment of silence and then my dad yells, “Gawddammitt boy! Lissen up when I’m talkin’!”

    I cracked up, got beat and was sent to my room.

    But dang it was funny.

  10. I just got off a seven and a half hour shift running a register at the grocery store… if one of my customers had done that, I don’t think I would have had such a boring day. Way to go.

  11. I think you should try something like that the next time you go through airport security. Empty the contents of your carryon and make a a little sculpture. You might tell the TSA screeners it’s Mecca.

  12. “There was a street clown called King of the Mice: he trained rodents, he did horoscopes, he could impersonate Napolean, he could make dogs fart on command. One night he jumped out his window with all his pets in a box. Written on the box was this: ‘Life is serious but art is fun!’ ”
    John Irving, The Hotel New Hampshire

  13. No one understand my humor either. But then I’m a gynecologist, i’m not supposed to be amusing..

  14. This certainly cheered me up from the depressing mood I’ve been in, because anybody who can make himself happy for even a moment is truly an inspired person.

  15. Look I’m British so I know about Henges. What you’ve made there is a henge, but not Stonehenge or a stone henge because it’s not made of stone. It’s made of bottled drinks and energy bars. It’s a Bottled-drinks-&-energy-bar-henge. Sorry to be a pedant, but the druids can get pretty militant about things like this; believe me you don’t want to end up like Belgium.

  16. LOL!

    I think I love you.

    (in a totally non-stalkerish, platonic, “I’m married” kind of way)

  17. My five year old twins play a similar game using rectangle jelly packets and plastic half and half cylinders. They used it to keep themselves amused at the diner we go to every Sunday morning. Did you have to wait in your line a long time?

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