Posts in Murder

A Pigeon in My Flashing (and Other Bedtime Stories)

published by Fran Shea

When Nature and Civilization collide it sounds just like stirring twelve tin cans in the bathtub with a golf club. This sound, combined with another sound—the sound of a pair of teeny-tiny hands strangling a pigeon.

I laid in bed for 1…2…3…4…5 hours and listened to, what I concluded was, a pigeon trapped behind the flashing on my house.help-me-pigeon

A squirrel met its maker (Bruce Hornsby) that same way last Summer. But not before it spent several days running itself to death. Was the pigeon luckier? It shivered in the cold until shortly before dawn. Like the Little Match Girl, it shivered to death, clutching a clawful of burnt matches.

We have a client that needs graphics for its trucks so while I listened to the pathetic cries of the dying pigeon, I thought about that.

It was a productive night.

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.

 

School’s in Session

published by Fran Shea

and that means homeschoolin’ my kids. Don’t be afraid – one of them has come through relatively unscathed (9 fingers!). The other two just rebuilt the carburetor in our truck and can field dress a deer in under ten minutes.

Oh, and reading Beatrix Potter

inspired our small rodent and woodland creatures taxidermy course – so lifelike! That’s a pretty diverse curriculum. I know. I created it myself – Winter might see some hydroponics in the pole barn – we’ll see. WE’LL SEE.

While the kids were digging through the compost pile for fat worms, I managed to do some letterpress printing – I made a new card. It features a flamboyant police officer:

Urine in the Snow

published by Fran Shea

Being buried alive happens – especially if someone thinks you’re dead. Why be unprepared for such misfortune? I practice digging myself free of the shallow grave by waking from daily, coma-like naps. That, and a spoon in my pocket give me peace of mind.

After I shake the dirt from my hair, I ask myself a series of questions: What time is it? Did I really just stab that woman in the neck with a pencil? Why did I have to use that toilet on the 50 yard line? 

Whew! Every day is like a new adventure.

Sometimes my subconscious dreams up a new card and that usually comes out in my post-coma Q&A.

Vulgar! I know. I won’t apologize for ideas that The Lord puts into my head.

A Bunch of Rambling and a New Card

published by Fran Shea

Everyone knows that discovering a centipede on your toothbrush is an omen. That sounds scary! It is. In my case, the foreshadowing is still in its mystery stage. To be safe, I am zipped up to the neck in a sleeping bag.

In other news: I was almost hit by a car in St. Louis Park today. Hey! THAT’S what the centipede was trying to tell me! Thank you centipede/sorry for telling my husband to make sure he really smashes you.

This change of seasons (mood swing) forced me to think about cold and Winter – and because I always try to find the nugget in the pan – I thought about Santa. Good ol’ Santa. I refuse to let him be this one-dimensional “ho, ho, ho-ing” character.

Gang of Bees Attack Woman Straightening Trellis

published by Fran Shea

The swarm of bees came at me like a swarm of bees and stuck their stingers efficiently into my face and left arm. 

The disfigurement that followed was sideshow-worthy and while I’m as eager as the next gal to take the show on the road, I knew this hideousness was only (sadly) temporary.

My forearm doubled in size and I considered tattooing an anchor on it a la Popeye (the sailor man).

Don’t worry, a can of Raid was emptied into their home/my trellis/the doorway to the shop. I’ll be getting back to work as soon as this Benedryl wears off.

Goodbye 2010

published by Fran Shea

2010 has a short driveway and as we backed down it we (I) felt wistful. It seems like only last year we were freezing in Brainerd. Here we are again, eating thick-cut bacon and praying for the strength to survive round after round of Name That Tune. I don’t believe in New Year’s Resolutions because the prisons are overcrowded as it is and also because the world isn’t ready for my style of leadership. (Deer-in-the-headlights.)

deer

This was a big year for Zeichen Press – and as I sit in my Fiberglass Insulated Cell, I feel gratitude. I also feel greasy from all of the bacon, but like the sparrow, I will take a sand-bath to freshen up when the time is right. A new website, a fleet of repsprints in Room & Board, the dog’s wig:

millie-wearing-a-wig

Who wouldn’t be grateful? I believe Jen and I are coming up on The Five Year Anniversary of Our Zeichen Press Partnership – we will celebrate by not murdering each other in cold blood.

Don’t worry, we’ll send out Save-The-Date cards.

Thank you, Owl!

published by Fran Shea

What a lucky day I’ve had! While on a Nature Hike* we discovered something remarkable: A squishy mass of hair and bones that was once inside of an actual owl!

Oh, Mother Nature, you are so full of treasure! Dissecting this was like a dream come true.

Teeth and a beak?! Yum! After using two sticks to pull apart the wad of regurgitation, I felt like writing a card. Woot, indeed.

*Hahaha, Andrea! I Uppercased it!

Canadians are just as dark and twisted as Minnesotans!

published by Fran Shea

I knew it!

People always ask me, “what made you write that card?” This question is usually followed by either laughter or tears and then I am dumped on the side of the road with a pack of cigarettes and a mix-tape.

If I even had time (or could pull the gag out of my mouth) to answer, I’d say that the inspiration for each and every card is just a reaction to some experience that I’ve had. I’m not a scientist but I’m pretty sure that the brain works like a Rube Goldberg Machine. One observation leads to a series of tangents and the end result is either a small, quiet room in a mental institution or a greeting card that part of the (dark and twisted) population can relate to.

Example: My grandmother decided to spend her twilight years traveling. She and her companion wanted to tour some parts of Hawaii in a helicopter. Tragedy struck, and the helicopter and all of its passengers were smashed against the side of a volcano. The only identifying evidence available were the teeth.

What?! Yes, it’s true. That card is not a big seller in the U.S. but strangely, it’s quite popular in Canada. What does that even mean?? And now are you going to wonder if there is a story behind this card?:

There isn’t. THERE ISN’T.