Peacock Design at Long Last

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Vanity Has a Thousand Eyes

This work was a long time in coming, something I tinkered with sporadically for probably about 6 months. For a while I figured it would never be done, but tonight I just went at the last bits and got something I could live with. This design looks pretty boss on this smartphone case, and does its job just fine on a T-shirt. It also makes a particularly stunning throw pillow.

I actually don’t care too much for peacocks as living, breathing creatures. The summer before 7th grade, I went to camp at the Philadelphia Zoo. We had a lot of special privileges, including getting into the zoo 15 minutes before it opened and being allowed to go behind the scenes in a lot of exhibits. There were peacocks, everywhere, taunting me. Every kid there found a peacock feather that summer. Every kid but me.

Well, you say, that’s no reason to hate peacocks. OK. My second year in college I did an internship at an elementary school that kept peacocks on the grounds. For atmosphere, I guess. Peacocks were sort of their mascot. Part of my compensation was the use of a trailer on the school grounds. The compensation wasn’t all that great: besides the trailer I got $25 a week and leftover pizza on Fridays. And not only did I have to share the trailer with the principal’s 12-year-old son (apparently he was so obnoxious that the principal and his wife didn’t want him in the house either) but I had to share the roof of the trailer with a flock of peacocks.

I had a rough time getting to the school; there was an utter lack of communication on the school’s part concerning my arrival, compounded by the fact that I had sprained my ankle earlier in the week. When I finally got to my destintaion, many hours later than anticipated, and with my leg swollen to twice its normal size, I just wanted to sleep. The principal casually mentioned that I might hear some strange sounds in the night, as it was the birds’ mating season. He did not mention that the birds’ preferred mating ground was the roof of my trailer. At 4 o’clock in the morning. He further did not mention that the mating call of a peacock sounds eerily like a small child screaming for help while suffering excruciating pain and abject terror.

Ha ha. Peacocks. They’re terrible birds. The elementary school also kept a potbellied pig, a flock of chickens, and a sheep on the grounds, all of which would have made better mascots. When the peacocks laid their eggs and hatched their babies, the rat snakes ate all the chicks. Rat snakes would have made a better mascot.

Like many creatures, peacocks are successful in the modern world because they are nice to look at. Because if they weren’t, they would have gone the way of the passenger pigeon. Peacocks take irritating to the next level. I understand they were considered quite tasty in the medieval world.

I photographed this proud gent at the local zoo. The Girl and I had lingered after closing time and security had not yet found us to throw us out. I could tell the peacock thought we should leave, but I don’t like to be kicked around by birds, no matter how magnificent their tail feathers may be. If you, like me, enjoy looking at peacocks but would prefer not to experience them in person, consider purchasing “Vanity Has a Thousand Eyes,” now available on a variety of garments and household goods in my RedBubble store.

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