Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Somewhere In D.C.

When I was out photographing another D.C. oddity, I saw this in my peripheral vision, did a u-turn and swerved around to capture it. I have a certain fascination with the little tributes people establish in their yards.

Studying this grotto combining the Virgin Mary with Santa Claus and candy canes, I couldn't decide if the owners were: 1) incredibly lazy (why take it down and put it up again for the holidays?); 2) they were somehow honoring the V
irgin Birth with the more secular aspects of Christmas; or 3) they are way ahead of the curve.

P.S. They also have two flanking pink flamingos with a row of tulips, so who knows what base that covers.


Anonymous drew said...

Wait... wait... it's been a while. Did the Virgin Mary give birth to Santa Claus, too?

I think this person is trying to say through their lawn adornment that they don't acknowledge the Jewish, Muslim or Buddhist faiths. Just God and money. Not sure about Kwanza, however! “Don't be hatin!”

I think this COULD be the lawn of one of those softy-liberals in reaction to the ridiculous overstated powers given to the police in the name of fear and protection in the "Patriot Act", portraying the Virgin looking after you and protecting you (as well as judging you... and crying) while Santa sees you while you're sleeping, and he knows when you're awake; he knows when you've been bad or good, so don't wire-transfer any money to organizations who support the Taliban, for goodness sake!

Then again... maybe they've just a really spiffy Steven Wright sense of humor! "One time I put a humidifier and the dehumidifier in a room and let them slug it out." "This time we finish it, Kringle! Yoooo tookie!" -- South Park pre-pilot

What it all boils down to is... we've probably now thought about it 20 times more than they did when they initially placed it there. Inspiration is what inspiration does, eh?

2:53 PM  
Blogger Phil said...

Perhaps they are also celebrating the gay lifestyle in Key West, and the Dutch with the flamingos and tulips.

3:17 PM  
Blogger DC Cookie said...

Do you just always have a camera with you??

6:36 PM  
Blogger Washington Cube said...

I was also thinking "Tiptoe through the Tulips," Phil.

Cookie? Almost always. You never know what you'll see out there. I need to harden myself and take some shots I've passed on, but I can't quite overcome the sense, at times, that it would be incredibly rude to take some shots without the person sensing it was a mockery. Every time I shoot these little tableaus in people's yards, I'm waiting for them to come out screaming at me. It has happened before.

My most recent "pass" was a prematurely withered mother...probably in her 20's, but looked 50, standing in front of a rowhouse with her apparent son (they looked alike). He must have been about 10-12, and they were both hunched in, facing each other and puffing away on cigarettes, with all of the accroutements in their hands: lighters, pack of cigs, etc. It was a true Diane Arbus moment.

7:22 PM  
Blogger JordanBaker said...

There aren't enough Virgens in my neighborhood anymore. Damn gentrification.

9:18 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Perhaps the homeowner is attuned to the general trend of federal caselaw on displays of religious items; mixing the secular and nonsecular items may skirt Constitutional prohibitions (which only apply to government actions). Hmm, perhaps the homeowner wrongly believes that he/she is an agent of the government.

Or -- the homeowner is displaying a burst of whimsy. (Groucho aside: Whimsy! It must have been the radishes).


11:56 AM  
Blogger Megarita said...

I admire people who hedge their bets in lawn ornamentation...

3:39 PM  
Blogger Kris said...

I'm not sure what it means, but I didn't realize the Virgin Mary was so short . . .

5:20 PM  

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