Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Just Don't Let it Become a Sort of Crutch For You

And what's wrong with crutches, if you happen to need one?

On the whole, though, I've always thought that canes were classier. And since my ankle has been nigh unto useless for weight-bearing purposes this last week--especially for going up or down stairs--I decided perhaps I needed a cane for a week or two. I was asking myself where one would go to find such an article when I realized that we had one laying around the house.

Some years back, when I was doing a prolonged stint of work in Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands, I bought a few carvings. I was particularly taken with the crocodile-headed cane shown to the left, which has been laying around our various living rooms ever since I brought it back.

Now, I'm not sure if the craftsman who originally carved this intended it to be used, or if it was a work of art pure and simple. It certainly is nicely detailed: cowrie-shell eyes, carefully articulated scales down the reptilian back...I'm especially fond of the way the tail reunites by wrapping around the cane, making the cane asymmetric in all three axes of rotation.

To those who question the practical value of art, I can only say that you never know when you might need some art to lean on.

That said, I promise to stop dwelling on orthopedic matters on this blog and get back to something more relevant. But that's for later in the week; right now I need to go do some physical therapy.


Tim Stretton said...

It's a nice piece of work. Just shows that something functional need not be grimly utilitarian. The only time I had crutches they had a grippy plastic coating that made my hands sweat. I'd choose yours any time.

Matt Curran said...

Ooooh. This is very Giger-esque. Or perhaps even Cronenburg-esque (have you seen Dead Ringers?).
A cane that bites, or at the very least, has a nibble?

David Thayer said...

If you were a ballplayer you'd be facing three weeks in Visalia until those wheels were shipshape.
Keep the cane, though. For authorial emergencies. Or contract talks.

David Isaak said...

Hi, Tim--

Yeah, it's my opinion that the world could use more Victorian gingerbread. It would be fascinating to see this appraoch taken with a pair of crutches.

David Isaak said...

Hey, Matt--

Yeah, as you guessed I'm a Cronenberg fan. But what I think what all of us really need are those typewriters out of Naked Lunch!

David Isaak said...

Hey, David--

Visalia? Isn't that an eyedrop?

As it happens, Pamela and I recently had dinner in Visalia.

It's still there. Of course, you have to have something to keep Fresno from bumping into Bakersfield.

Or do you mean another Visalia?

Jake Jesson said...

That is very cool, David. And I hope your physical therapy has been going well and resulting in... well, results...

David Isaak said...

Hi, Jake--

There's a Robert Downey (senior) movie no one has seen called "Greaser's Palace," about a zoot-suited guy (possibly from the future) who appears in an old Western frontier town. Basically a Messiah story.

But one of the features of the movie is a guy who, after the arrival of the Messiah, drags himself through town, exclaiming, "I can crawl again...! I can crawl again...!")

That's me.

Jake Jesson said...

So you're saying you can crawl again?

Glad to hear it. I think. Maybe.

Either way, I wish you (good) luck. With the, uh, crawling. Or walking. Whichever you so choose to do.