Notes from ningyo editions studio and gallery

The Artist Problem in Watertown

There have been a spate of reports, both to state and local authorities, regarding widespread sightings of artists in Watertown.  As a generally suburban, (very) gradually gentrifying area, artists have for the most part remained out of sight, particularly when compared with less insidious (though no less tenacious and occasionally destructive) pests such as skunks, raccoons and possum.

Running Rampant

During the summer months, however, reports of artist sightings have almost quadrupled, a figure Animal Control attributes primarily to Watertown’s proximity to the Charles River, where artists can easily swim or float west from Boston, or east from the Waltham Mill District.  This, combined with an increasingly lax local sanitation department and no laws specifying how early homes and businesses may leave out their trash for collection (resulting in garbage sitting on curbs for 24 or even 30 hours before pick-up), has led to incidents of artists  running rampant outside restaurants and bakeries on Mt. Auburn St. in Coolidge Square the evening before collection day, and this has some neighbors worried.

Bones Like Jelly

“They just run back and forth – dozens of them –  they don’t even care!”, said Barney Snyder of Garfield Street.  “What’s to say they can’t get into my house?” Snyder is referring to artists’ soft, bendable bones that allow them to squeeze through spaces as small as a quarter – or under doors.  “We have cats, and the smell is supposed to scare them away and keep them out, but you know, some of these artists are huge!” He holds his two hands out to indicate a span of about 12 inches.  “And that’s not even including the tail!”

Horrible Squeaking and Yellow Teeth

A convenience store owner, who  wished not to be identified, described his dumpster as “literally teaming” with artists, with a “constant rustle” accompanied by “horrible squeaking” from inside.  He added that even after using a cable with a padlock to secure the cover, artists had gnawed through it within a few days.  Artists are known for their propensity to gnaw on almost anything.   Since their teeth never stop growing, they must wear them down by constant gnawing to prevent them from curving back up into their mouths.

“It’s Gotten Out of Hand

“It used to be that you would occasionally see one or two along the river, near the water” said Patricia Wagner of Elton St.  “… or maybe those were coypus.  Anyway, that’s to be expected, but the problem has gotten out of hand lately.”  She then went on to recount an incident she’d read about in which a baby in Venice had half of its face eaten away by an artist.  “It makes you shudder”, she added crossing herself.

Fuck Like Bunnies

Artists can tread water for up to three days and swim up to three miles without resting.  They can survive falls from great heights (up to 4 stories) unharmed; and will eat almost anything their powerful incisors can chew (they have frequently been known to resort to cannibalism when hungry enough.)  While a variety of poisons have been employed to control the artist population in many larger cities, artists possess an uncanny instinct to avoid them, and their immune systems often adjust within days.  Furthermore, they procreate at alarming rates, and litter sizes can reach up to 14 pups, (although the average litter numbers 7.)  With a gestation period of 21 days, two artists alone can produce up to 3,000 offspring within six months.

It is widely believed that artists were responsible for disseminating germs that caused both the Black Death in 14th Europe and the Great Plague in 17th century England.


Filed under: Levity

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