Art is sometimes difficult to understand. Being on a college campus, I am exposed to many forms of ununderstandable art in the form of sculptures. Here at the University of St. Thomas, we have the “Plumb Bomb” (a large carpenter’s plumb in a marble depression), “Canoes” (two stone dough-nuts that are connected like a chain link), and many others. The University of Minnesota has a building reported to be in the shape of a gopher’s head. Back home at the University of Nebraska, Lincoln, there is a piece of sculpture named “Torn Notebook,” which looks like a huge metal tom notebook. I’m not even going to explain the prices the universities paid for this form of culture.
Well, let’s get to the serious issue here. Stamps. The United States Postal Service, the think tank that came up with the “Mail Missile,” has released stamps commemorating artists. The one I bought was by Mark Rothko (1903-1970). On its yellow background, it has a large orange blob on the top two-thirds, and on the bottom third, there is a red streak. This three-colored work of art is called…. You know I just licked the stamp and put it on the envelope before I sat down to write this and all the information I needed was on the back of the stamp. I hate it when that happens.
Along with those things I mentioned earlier this year in “Hate It When That Happens” (February 6, 1998), I hate it when people write about the same subject they did at the be ginning of the year just because they think they came up with some more humorous situations. I really hate when you have to listen to someone complain again about a situation they hated when it happened. I also hate when you win something but are not able to redeem your prize.
While I was gone over the summer, I won tickets to a Minnesota Twins game, three-day tickets to a concert, and binoculars. I, of course, was not able to receive any of my winnings since I was not in the same state. I was disap-pointed when I returned to school in the fall to find out that I had missed my chance to sit inside the Metrodome on a nice summer’s day to watch the Texas Rangers play against the Twins.
How about spending two hours putting a loft for a bed together and then finding out one of the legs was put on wrong? How about this? Disconnecting all sixteen wires to your computer, taking off the case, installing a new television card, putting the case back on, reconnecting all sixteen wires, and then filling out the registration form, which says: Serial number (located on top of video card left side). How many idiots like me filled out the registration form after we made sure the card worked and met our standards? If you do not disassemble the computer, find the serial number, and then reassemble it, you will not receive a nice, free five-year guarantee. Trust me. You want as many free guarantees as you can get because as soon as you pass up a chance on a free guarantee, something will go wrong. I hate it when that happens.
Here are a few other situations I hate when they happen: licking self-adhesive stamps and rumors being spread that I was a guest on the Jerry Springer Show. Finding my wallet is full of funny money and walking up behind somebody I think I know and slapping the person on the back only to find out he is a complete stranger.
How about being asked to perform your world famous solo rendition of Shakespeare’s Hamlet on air to a national audience? Figuring you’d try something different you put in long hours putting Hamlet to mime. Hour upon hour you practice transforming Shakespeare’s use of the English language to body language, trying not to lose any of the meaning. Hour upon hour you look in the mirror disgusted because you cannot get it right. Hour upon hour you look in the mirror disgusted because you are a mime. Hour upon hour you practice the proper “trapped in box” and “windy day” moves needed to put forth the best Hamlet. Hour upon hour of putting makeup on your face to look like a freak–I mean a mime.
And when you are ready to perform in front of a live audience that will reach millions across the nation, what do they do? Inform you that you will be performing on 720 AM KDUL Radio.