Wednesday, March 21, 2007

fun with clip art

I'm in the process of designing a poster for a local community theatre's production of Oklahoma!. I've never actually seen a production of Oklahoma!. I have had two close calls, though. My high school's drama department did it when I was a student there. I had a friend or two in the cast. Of particular note, I recall my biology-class buddy, Dominic deBellis was in the show. He had a really great voice. Too clean for rock, though, as was painfully evident when my brother and I had him come out to sing for us in our first attempt to form a band. He was the best musician among us...but even then we knew that it just wasn't right. He wanted to sing Don't Stand so Close to Me by the Police...that was pretty cool. But anyhow, I knew Dom was in Oklahoma! because he told me, and because we were herded into Biester Auditorium (the big one!) for a "preview" in lieu of class one day. It didn't convince me to buy a ticket. I think I was still a bit sore from my first brush with the drama club. It was cliquier than I would have imagined; I learned that the hard way. It really turned me off to theatre for a while.

The next opportunity I had to watch Oklahoma! was on a PBS presentation of the London revival of the show, starring Hugh Jackman as Curly. This happened to come on the TV in the hospital room while my wife was recovering from the birth of our second child. After the opening number, the doctor came in to tell us that Jack was having some breathing difficulties and had turned blue and they were checking him into the NICU. While I would probably have been content to keep watching the show, my wife was in no mood to do so at that point. (Bear in mind, before you judge me, that there was NOTHING we could do and NOTHING they would tell us...but I knew better than to argue with a woman whose hormones were all a-twitter.) So I missed another opportunity to watch a show that I probably wouldn't like much.

In all honesty, if I had a burning desire to ever see Oklahoma!, I'm sure I could have tracked it down and seen it at some point between my sophomore year of high school and now. What I know about the show tells me that I probably wouldn't care that much for it. I will watch and enjoy just about any genre of play, if it's well done, but I prefer muscials that are little bit surreal or bloody or otherwise edgy. I hated the whole notion of musicals until I saw Sweeney Todd and understood that as long as there is killing and cannibalism I was willing to accept that the actors might occassionally break into song. (In the spirit of full disclosure, I did perform in Camelot once...possibly the squarest of square musicals. But I played Mordred, the villain, and had a lot of fun. And thankfully, I didn't have to watch the show...because it really isn't the kind of show I would ordinarily like.) I'll probably end up seeing the production for which I am designing the poster, and thus will end my unintentional lifelong boycott of Oklahoma!. Maybe I'll only watch the parts that I haven't seen already...

By the way, I have visited the state of Oklahoma. My good friend Brent, one of the best guitarists I've had the pleasure of playing with, moved there and we drove down for a visit. But that's irrelevant.

So, I'm designing this poster with only the vaguest notion of the plot of the play. I know that it involves a conflict between cowboys and farmers. There is also a beautiful morning made more so because the grass is as high as an elephant's eye...but that may just be hyperbole. The first step in designing the poster is to flip through my trusty book of clip art. I'm not a big fan of using clip art, but often it's a starting point. I don't really expect to find much that helps...but I look up "cowboy" in the index anyway. As I scanned down the page of alphabetical listings, I was somewhat taken aback as the word "constipation" caught my eye.

That's right...somebody took it upon himself to create a graphical representation of constipation. I had to look.

Yep. I guess that's constipation. And now I know that if I am ever in need of clip art showing a guy desperately trying to poop, I have it. I'm going to see if I can get a contract with the good people who make Metamucil.


The Moon Topples said...

That "toilet" looks an awful lot like a Flintstones version of the old "dogcow" from early versions of the Mac OS. I hope you aren't being subliminally clever here.

basest said...

i see the dogcow...but i had nothing to do with it. subliminal cleverness is too subtle for me.