Posts in Freaks

MERRY (name)MAS!

published by Fran Shea

Times were simple then — pre-Facebook… cats fixed… no Dance Moms

The air was thick with anticipation — it wasn’t fair to keep Zeichen Press hidden from the public.mj-blanket-balcony-wordsIt was time to pry open the (heirloom-quality) tupperware lid. Time to expose the rotting and pungent living carcass to the unblinking eye of its critics.

The Universe demanded documentation. Who am I to refuse?

That was four years ago (today).merry-blankmas-2Now, readership of the Zeichen Press blog hovers somewhere between cable-access viewership and meaningful Craigslist encounters.

Cheers!

THINKING OF YOU

published by Fran Shea

Time alone was rare. But in a pinch, I was forced to conjure up an imaginary playmate. This was a strange exercise and not something I was particularly good at.

Other children lived in complex and exotic worlds of make-believe — I don’t think the “friends” in their pretend worlds were from Minnesota — with names like Carura Fadida and Anarada Salsa.

There was a girl who lived in the glossy tile next to the toilet. I spoke with her when there was no soul around.

Her name was “Fran.”fran-balance-beam

Rooted in reality, with a strong sense of the superfluousness of an imaginary world. I was, and am, from German stock. Zees duss neecht make senss.

It must be that toe-hold in reality that permits me to create the following:thinking-of-you-lady-3thinking-of-you-because-thought-dont-violate-restraining

Shaaawwwp Chedahhh

published by Fran Shea

Well, here I am, back on The Cape for some Rest & Relaxation. Sharks are the big news out here

shark-on-cape-kayak

(sorry, Andy) so I sent the kids right out into the ocean.sitting-ducksI told them that we need to make clam chowder and clams don’t clam themselves — so get to work.

I believe the following card captures the feeling of every citizen on our planet:i-am-disturbed-and-yet-intriguedWhy would I send that card/who would want to receive a card like that?

Um, I don’t know your friends and I’m guessing we all have at least one unabomber in our lives.

Wanted: Design Pimp

published by Fran Shea

It was a fat PVC pipe, coated in Crisco, pitched at a 25° angle and suspended over a pit filled with filthy water. A $5 bill was clipped to the high end and my job was to shimmy my way to it. (Why am I always shimmying poles?) With my glasses pushed tight to my face, my stringy blonde hair moved back and forth as I slid myself toward my goal. I wore my lucky shorts — Granny Smith green with pink piping — and “my 4th of July” shirt — red and blue striped off-brand Izod.

A crowd gathered.

I wanted that $5 and the glory that came with it. With that $5, I could buy enough candy to satisfy my aching sweet tooth and with that glory came a lifetime of bragging rights. “The greased pole in the Hollow in Barnstable? Yeah, I did that.”

I entered a competition today. This one does not involve poles, pits, or Crisco. It does involve money and Jen and I have both agreed that we will do (almost) anything for money.

uncommon-goods-logo

Uncommon Goods invited us to submit designs for an iPhone case and after slathering myself in Crisco, I submitted some designs. I know you’ve seen these before. I’m really into recycling.

did-someone-say-party-iphone-case myphone-iphone-case im-worth-it-iphone-case stereophonic-iphone-case

J’Accuse!

published by Fran Shea

My mind wandered as I listened to the Second Reading. I wondered if I could get my hands on a chocolate milk for lunch. I watched the third graders fidget. I planned my fishing-themed diorama. …Children, let us love not in word or speech but in deed and truth… I figured out what the initials TGIF stood for — oh, that makes sense! …I felt something crawl up my uniform blouse. 

I felt something crawl up my uniform blouse! Or did I? The question went unanswered because, like Abraham Lincoln in the balcony of Ford’s Theater, I’d been shot. Most likely, an assassination plot carried out by those boys that dumped Mountain Dew on my head last week. Oh, the pain! I signaled my teacher and was escorted to the nurses office by a girl that needed a hero badge to add to her girl scout sash.

The nurses office was familiar to me. Homesickness was an ailment I suffered from semi-regularly.

When I staggered through the door, the nurse stopped her mimeographing and looked at me. I pointed to my gunshot wound — nearish my right armpit but closer to a more embarrassing region. She lifted up my blouse. I stared at the poster on the wall.hang-in-there-poster-1970shang-in-there-new

 

Yes, kitten. I will hang in there.

It turned out not to be a bullet lodged in my ribcage, but a bee sting.

In honor of that important event, I created my own Hang in There! card. Do not accuse me of ripping off the original, it is an homage. An HOMAGE.

ACTUAL Cards With Real Healing Powers

published by Fran Shea

Step right up, step right up!

It’s here, a cure for all that ails! Do you suffer from one (or more) of the following complications?:

Bumpy skin?
Webbed toes?
Nagging wife?

No? How about?:

Limp tongue?

Rotting scalp?

Too many fingers?

Fear not! Just one purchase of a Zeichen Press letterpress greeting card will set you on the proper path to wellness!

(The following photographs are guaranteed to cure any inflammation:)oldcrab-smaller-forgot-birthdaythanksss-smaller hugh-smaller freaktastic-smaller fatgratitude-smaller facebookbd-smaller chicken-smaller beast-smaller

American Psychiatric Association Adds Clown Phobia to list of Disorders: Clown Uprising Imminent

published by Fran Shea

Do I have to write the script myself? The script that tells the tale of an experiment gone horribly wrong — a pharmaceutical company hot on the heals of developing a drug that ends all pain and suffering forever??

The drug, nicknamed “Bozo” does so well in animal testing… So well, in fact, it is released to the general population of prison inmates.

Death row no longer feels like a death sentence, cold concrete cells feel like a day spa, “relationships” feel special.

Until… The unexpected “side effects” begin to develop… Oh, it’s too sick. Just imagine a zombie movie but replace the zombies with clowns.

Here’s a birthday card:clown-card-orange

When Good Kittens Go Bad

published by Fran Shea

Some kittens are sociopathic — everyone knows that. Do not be fooled by their charm! Beneath that furry, purring coat lies a circuit board of complex manipulation.

I’ve heard some successful rehabilitation stories but if you, or someone you know, lives with one of these creatures, it might be better to abandon it on the side of a highway.even-birthdays-blue

You Can Take the Girl Out of Minnesota

published by Fran Shea

The odyssey began exactly three and a half miles West of the Mississippi during what would later be called “Friday.” No need for an alarm to be set because rising at 4am comes so naturally to me – getting a jump on the day makes me feel like a dynamo.

First legs of journeys are often fueled by earnestness and without vigilance, that fuel can turn to ennui. (ahn-wee)fran-ennui

Ennui can turn to desperation and when mixed with starvation, can lead to tragedy. Remember the Chilean rugby team? Their plane crashed in the Andes and they ate each other. Survival and cannibalism are in cahoots, everyone knows that.

Our airline didn’t want that blood on their hands so they loaded us up with a rib-sticking breakfast.

coffee-cookie-airtran

Our plane did land safely on the ground and we were stuffed into a sweat lodge/taxi-cab that smelled like thousands of weary travelers. (Curry + pine tree + urine).

I don’t remember my own birth but I bet it felt similar to exiting the taxi – the crying, the relief, the hotel cradling me in it’s arms.

Like good tourists, we went right from the hotel to the subway. Now I know that when I go to Purgatory (and I know I will) it will look, feel, and smell like the subway.

It will make heaven even more glorious.

manhattan-night

Because traveling underground on a train isn’t strange enough, the subway was filled with hundreds of boozed-up Santas.

santa-subway-2

santa-subway-1

And because my touristy feet were killing me, I had to go to the T.J. Maxx on Wall street to buy slippers. I did see the Occupy Wall Street people and asked them if they wanted to occupy T.J. Maxx with me but they (all five of them) looked at me like I was crazy.

occupy

Oh, we also walked across the Brooklyn Bridge. Has anyone seen that thing? It’s pretty cool and people should really be aware of it.

fran-and-lucy-brooklyn-bridge

Don’t I look serious? I didn’t crack a smile all day.