Creature from Outer Space Lands Next Door

Those who know me know I’m not an art critic like my friend Oma.

I can’t draw a straight line even with a ruler. (Why do rulers have those little bumps and notches, anyway?)

My sister, who always seemed to have a crayon or colored pencil in hand, was the artist in our family. On summer days, she’d insist we draw pictures, then critique each other.

I always won the coveted “Loser” title.

But even someone who can’t draw a straight line knows what she likes, or doesn’t like.

Take this outlandish “artwork” that recently appeared on my neighbor’s backyard deck:

What is this thing?

What is this thing?

At first, I thought I wasn’t close enough to capture it in all its glory without being seen myself. But once inside, I cropped the picture to eliminate the background and there it was.


I found myself at a loss to call it by name.

Now maybe I’m not cultured enough. Or I’m not seeing its rustic charm. Or utility.

Maybe it’s not supposed to be pretty.

But shouldn’t we know what it is?

I mean, somebody went to some trouble assembling it (unless it arrived like that from Mars). And somebody paid good money for it.

What is it?

I’ve compiled a list of possibilities. See if you agree:

  1. It’s a dog. See the metal link “collar” around its neck? And the springy tail? Probably canine. At least it doesn’t require feeding, brushing, or picking up its waste.
  2. It’s a horse. Look at those clunky hooves and the way they’re solidly on terra firma. Why, it even sports horseshoes!
  3. It’s a slinky toy. That disjointed body can only be compared to Slinky Dog from Toy Story.
  4. It’s an abstract railroad. Witness the “wheeled” head. The way it stares off into the distance, raring to travel to far-off lands.
  5. It’s an alien. No one I know has ever seen an alien, so this creature could very well be from a foreign planet. The blessing, I guess, is that there’s only one, so we probably don’t have to fear a takeover.
  6. It’s an old computer. My neighbor is a tinkerer. Perhaps this is what he does on weekends — takes apart old computers (or washing machines) and uses the scraps to create “art” as a side venture. Some people will buy anything if you give it the right moniker.
  7. It’s a flowerpot. That empty “bowl” might be designed to hold pansies or herbs. Something to brighten the deck.

As I said, I don’t really know art, but this doesn’t look very “art-y” to me. I’d go so far as to call it ugly.

But I could be wrong. What say you?

P.S. My money’s on No. 5, the alien. After all, check out that horn-like thing extending from the top of its head!