All tarted up

November 14, 2008

manet-picnic-nov-14-20081

PHILIP
“What’s that cheshire cat grin about?”

TONY
“It’s those butter tarts.”

PHILIP
“What did you say?”

TONY
“You’ve never heard of butter tarts?”

PHILIP
“Yes I’ve heard of butter tarts.”

TONY
“Well, I’m glad to hear that. A guy like you should know about butter tarts, if you know what I mean.”

PHILIP
“No actually, I don’t know what you mean. OK, now exactly why are you smiling about butter tarts?”

TONY
“They’re not just your ordinary butter tarts.”

PHILIP
“Am I missing something? What’s this thing about butter tarts?”

TONY
“The best butter tarts I ever had if you ask me.”

PHILIP
“OK, I give up. What the heck are you talking about?”

TONY
“Don’t you know? The new bakery next to Brad’s. You’ve seen them — they just opened the other day. It’s called Mabel’s. She gave me some of their butter tarts yesterday. They’re the best ones I ever had. You should try ’em. I can’t believe how good they are.”

PHILIP
“I can see that. Are they at least paying you for promoting their butter tarts?”

TONY
“Yup. They’re actually paying me in butter tarts, which is a great deal if you ask me.”

Advertisements

13 Responses to “All tarted up”

  1. debbielynn Says:

    I tend to agree. Nothing like ’em.

  2. Karen Says:

    There is a factory in Northern Minnesota which makes the Tickle Me Elmo toys. The toy laughs when you tickle it under the arms.

    Well, Lena is hired at The Tickle Me Elmo factory and she reports for her first day promptly at 8:00 am.

    The next day at 8:45 am there is a knock at the Personnel Manager’s door. The Foreman throws open the door and begins to rant about the new Employee.

    He complains that she is incredibly slow and the whole line is backing up, putting the entire production line behind schedule.

    The Personnel Manager decides he should see this for himself, so the 2 men march down to the factory floor. When they get there the line is so backed up that there are Tickle Me Elmo’s all over the factory floor and they’re really beginning to pile up.

    At the end of the line stands Lena surrounded by mountains of Tickle Me Elmo’s. She has a roll of plush Red fabric and a huge bag of small marbles.

    The 2 men watch in amazement as she cuts a little piece of fabric, wraps it around two marbles and begins to carefully sew the little package between Elmo’s legs.

    The Personnel Manager bursts into laughter. After several minutes of hysterics he pulls himself together and approaches Lena .

    ‘I’m sorry,’ he says to her, barely able to keep a straight face, ‘but I think you misunderstood the instructions I gave you yesterday…’

    ‘Your job is to give Elmo two test tickles.”

  3. awareness Says:

    Hey Tony and Philip….

    I havent been by in a long time and am just catching up on your posts. Good to see you’re still in the blogging world.

    You guys should connect with a Toronto city photographer and put a book together with this dialogue. Just a thought. Maybe I can get a arts grant and come up and take the pics that would go along with your words? that would be fun.

    I loved the post on the swedish woman….made me laugh out loud.

    Sorry someone stole your hubcap

    Feel badly for the guy who lost his paycheck $$

    love butter tarts…..there are worse ways to be paid. You know I think butter tarts are kind of a Canuck phenom. Out east, we make them with maple syrup….yummy.

    Tonight, I am attending a memorial service at the soup kitchen in Fredericton. It is a service to recognize the homeless people in the area who have passed on. I don’t ever remember a service like that here and I think it’s more than overdue.

    Keep on writing and posting!

    dana

  4. Maya Says:

    Posting Manet’s Le Déjeuner sur l’herbe painting with this post without an explanation – ie a naked woman at a picnic with dressed men – is kind of like walking down a street, seeing a homeless person and saying ‘ahh let them eat cake’

  5. Philip Stern Says:

    Maya,
    It may indeed be that I misread how you — and perhaps others — would “take” the intended message from the painting. I trust you are not further suggesting an intent to offend. Understood this way, I think you ask a decent and entirely fair question.

    Here’s my PoV. The painting is a well-known Manet, notably emblematic of a certain time and a certain imagistic language and a certain segment of society.

    IMO, Manet intended to depict, perhaps serruptitiously, his version of ultimate male sex fantasy his day. (Undeniably, such images were one of the few venues of pornography back then.)

    I see in this a metaphor in Tony’s rapturous response to an “ultimate” element of his life, the consumption of exceptional butter tarts.

    In historical terms, do I really wish to deny that this depiction was ever created? No. That the Romans fed humans to lions in the a public arena? No.

    This painting is a universally accepted piece of great art, even if it might be deliberately offensive to paint iand display in today’s world — which I doubt given what other pictures are quite easily available.

    Also, I believe that fanciful paintings are one of a very few artifacts that can deliver a gut-level sense of another time. That’s very important to me and many others.

    Hope this clarifies my meaning(s). 🙂
    ps

  6. Sharon Says:

    Philip is Tony OK I have knot seen him on lately

  7. Philip Stern Says:

    Hi Sharon,
    I spoke to Tony today (he called me from a payphone). He’s a bit skinny, but he’s OK, such as that means. He has, howevr, warned me that he may be off the streets in the Don Jail if he can’t find an organization prepared to accept 20 hrs of community service from his trial last yr.
    ps

  8. Maya Says:


    ahh….other readers please excuse this segue..

    before I address this ‘issue’ of the painting I want to say Phil that I do feel you have good intentions with this blog. This blog makes us aware of homelessness in ways we may not have access to otherwise. You’ve done many good things with this blog, you’ve opened my eyes wider for sure .. so I want it to be clear that I do see this…

    However, this homelessmanspeaks is really a collaboration between you and Tony. And the blog of course strongly has your stamp on it, in the way you write and edit the text, the images you select the content of the writing and so on. It’s not a documentary rather it clearly delineates your sensibilities. And again while in many ways this works – it could possibly- if one is not careful- become your blog – where you ‘use’ (and with positive intention) the homeless ‘character’ Tony as you tell this ie your story… Kind of like being in the role of a screenwriter…

    I do sense you are caring and sensitive person Phil.. I’m just commenting as a reader and observer..

    Now to the issue at hand.. the painting.. in my next post….

  9. Maya Says:


    ahh….other readers please excuse this segue..

    before I address this ‘issue’ of the painting I want to say Phil that I do feel you have good intentions with this blog. This blog makes us aware of homelessness in ways we may not have access to otherwise. You’ve done many good things with this blog, you’ve opened my eyes wider for sure .. so I want it to be clear that I do see this…

    However, this homelessmanspeaks is really a collaboration between you and Tony. And the blog of course strongly has your stamp on it, in the way you write and edit the text, the images you select the content of the writing and so on. It’s not a documentary rather it clearly delineates your sensibilities. And again while in many ways this works – it could possibly- if one is not careful- become your blog – where you ‘use’ (and with positive intention) the homeless ‘character’ Tony as you tell this ie your story… Kind of like being in the role of a screenwriter…

    I do sense you are caring and sensitive person Phil.. I’m just commenting as a reader and observer..

    Now to the issue at hand.. the painting.. in my next post….

  10. Maya Says:

    .. so on the premise of contextuaizing the blog from *your POV* you chose to illustrate the last post with a ‘classic of Wester art, the painting ‘Le déjeuner sur l’herbe’ by Monet And obviously only those schooled in western art history would know the painting.

    But to those who wouldn’t know this painting they see an image of a naked woman sitting on the grass with dressed men. Now.. gee hmm… what could be odd about that???

    Now as an intelligent man you do know about ‘reading images and symbolism Phil. And If feminism or analyzing the representation of women – has completely bi passed you (and I doubt it has) this image is offensive. ESPECIALLY when you make the reference to the woman and tarts. I don’t need to spin into the socio economic condition of women through history.. do I? Or the way women have been objectified?

    (and don’t be misled and think I’m saying nudity is offensive.. please)

    One of you two *got it* that the Swedish woman walking down Roncesvalles did not like to be gawked at, rather respected. I’m telling you that when you so liberally post images of objectification of women – remember that we women, take issue with what patriarchal representation has done with us. Hence I said ‘no context’ and alluded to Marie Antoinette’s ignorant ‘let them eat cake’ phrase.

    Get it now… ?

    I hope so..

    Now back.. consciously to deal with another social blindness.. homelessness through the dear man Tony .. and the light you are giving to his story.

    … written with good intentions

    best to you both
    Maya

  11. Lily Says:

    Phil, I love the obscure pictures, the sassy titles, and the way they highlight Tony’s bright simple unintentionally philosophical comments.
    The universe speaks to and guides us constantly. We just need to recognize what language is being spoken and when.
    Thank you for translating for us.

  12. jennetcetera Says:

    Philip & Tony – just found your blog a few hours ago and read the entire thing. Glad to see people reaching out to the homeless community. Always try to watch out for some of the regulars here in Austin, TX. Homeless people generally have great stories and really appreciate when you can do something for them. I loved hearing that people need socks. I think I’ll get some later today and go hand some out tomorrow. Thankks for the advice!


  13. […] “Just here at Mabel’s, just last night. They showed up at 3am, got through the window and they went downstairs and they […]


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: