"Hi, dear -- no, save the casserole, I haven't finished
my latest design. I call it 'Art Deco Ugly Stick...'
If you spent any time watching America's favorite TV family, The Brady Bunch, you know that a fair proportion of the jokes revolved around Mr. Brady's architectural career. Many a domestic scene at Chez Brady revolved around scenes of Mike in his vomit-colored patterned shirts and polyester suits -- oh, and let's not forget that quintessential '70s fashion of patches on the elbows! Makes me queasy to think about, even now.
That being said, I'm "happy" -- those who didn't take Sarcasm 101, you may want to cover your eyes and ears at this point -- to report that Mike's questionable architectural legacy is alive and well in my crappy little corner of the universe. Every time I take The Squawker to a medical appointment, I see the symptoms in full effect -- tiny, crappy, puke-colored art deco chairs with arms that nobody but the skinniest, wafer-thin California model could ever fit in.
A few offices here changed -- if ever so begrudgingly -- with the times by getting a few plush sofas to sink into, or even a full-length couch (gasp, shock, horror, oh, how innovative!) Our latest unhappy run-in occurred a couple of weeks ago, when -- you guessed it -- we walked in and found ourselves surrounded by a sea of tiny, crappy, puke-colored art deco chairs that somebody probably picked up at an '80s bankruptcy auction.
What made me feel worse, though, was seeing the medical staff sitting quietly at their plush chairs, gazing out with their usual bovine incomprehension (hey, uh, why's everybody so upset? can't you just put a finger down your throat and vomit up your meals like the rest of us?). I was reaching the point of waving imaginary semaphore flags in their complacent faces when I finally snapped. I'd reached the end of my tether. As usual, my partner needed help, and nobody was lifting a fucking finger. As usual...
So I floored it home, grabbed this sturdy wooden chair that we keep in place by one of our computers -- zipped back, and came dragging it in full view. Of course, by then, somebody had finally roused themselves out of their semi-permanent nine-to-five coma, so I wound up having to put the chair back in the car -- but I'd made my point, I suppose.
What else can I say about this image, except -- "Honk if you love Habitrail-style furniture?"
I can just imagine an alternate script exchange between Mr. Brady and the eldest member of the tribe:
(CUE upbeat transitional music: Bah-dah-DAH-DAH, Bah-da-dah-DAH-DAH...)
GREG BRADY (GB): Gee, Dad, these plans for the new Tippity-Top ice cream buffet complex look great! There's just one thing, though...
MIKE BRADY (MB) (furrowing brow): Gee, son, what's that?
GB (points to schematic drawing): Um, why aren't there any handicapped ramps or elevators? Seems like I'm seeing those downtown now, everywhere I go...
MB (rattles drawing for a closer look): Hmm...well...I'm not sure if we should encourage handicapped people to chow down on Rocky Road, son. It's bad for their constitution. (CUE canned laugh track.)
But that's OK -- they can leave their wheelchairs downstairs, and we'll have some volunteers carry them up to the second floor! Sam the Butcher has already said he'd take some Friday volunteer shifts. We'll pull 'em up by their bootstraps, 'cause that's the American Way!
GB: You're the greatest, Dad.
(Free frame father and son hunched over drawings in study as background theme begins to cue up.)