copyright © 2003 Matt Perry

Sick, Sad World

After campaigning for remembering Thanksgiving, I'd really like to write an article on amusing family holiday anecdotes for you guys. However, in lieu of sounding like a hypocrite, I found a story that grabbed my attention far more than any story I could tell. The following is absolutely true, because I am too grounded in reality to make up something like this.

Police in Budapest, Hungary recently took down the body of a man who had hung himself over a year ago in the garden of Budapest's University of Arts. Passers-by believed this was a piece of modern art.

Let's all take a time out to let that sink in, because personally, I cannot believe I just wrote that.

Honestly, I could just leave it at that. I mean, how would you make fun of this event? It would be like making fun of a clown; everything's already apparent. But after that clown goes home and cries his bitter clown tears, we'll still be able to find him and differentiate him from art. Maybe we could get a balloon animal, too.

Now that we've become accustomed to a glimpse of absolute insanity, let me ask this: How do you mistake a dead body for a piece of art? At the age of five, I could tell the difference using only that old song Sesame Street taught us: "One of these things is not like the other, one of these things is losing its' arm!"

I don't think I'd want to live in Hungary, because if I get mugged, then I don't know if I'm going to be helped or if people are going to wonder what medium I'm in. Seriously, what was going through their minds?

Onlooker 1: I really like that sculpture up there.

Onlooker 2: Yes, it's really moving.

*A foot falls on the floor*

Onlooker 1: I thought you were talking about personal feelings, but yeah, I see it too.

What kind of a police force wouldn't catch this? Do they still have to use paint-by-numbers crime scenes? Come on, it should be simple to figure out what's not art; they don't have those little nameplates next to them. Or if they do, you'll know it when you read something like this:

Name: Goodbye Cruel World, No. 1

Artist: Mort D. Ceased

Medium: Watercolor on despair

Have you ever seen the old version of The Wizard of Oz where our four heroes and that wimpy Lion are marching along the Yellow Brick Road and a Munchkin hangs himself in the trees? People noticed that. People saw that. They had to take it out of the re-release because so many people were talking about it. And The Wizard of Oz is art.

I have a theory that nobody noticed this because either A) There was no dog to look at, or B) The man was not a midget. I mean, let's face it, dogs and midgets draw people's attention like a moth to a flame, except dogs and midgets rarely set people on fire.

After this unbelievably odd ordeal, one thing is for sure: Europeans are no longer allowed to make fun of our War on Terrorism. We may go against the will of the rest of the world and kill terrorists, but at least we don't confuse them with art.


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