Just when you think you’ve seen it all

Published 12:19 am Wednesday, July 31, 2013

When I saw the story in our sister paper, L’Observateur, I had to look twice. Or I guess it wasn’t the story so much as the photo with it. It seems one of LaPlace’s local artists, Carly Maurin, has been selected to be a part of a big showing at a New Orleans art gallery. Maurin, 25, will have five of her sculptures on display.

Now we’re getting to the weird part. This artist, working not with metal, or wood, or stone, has crafted her sculptures in what she calls soft-mediums, and the subjects of her sculptures are — you won’t believe this — fleas. You know those cartoons where the critter sees something and his eyeballs zoom out of his head on springs? Well, that’s kind of how mine felt when I got to that part of the story.

Seriously? Fleas?

When she was asked why she chose an insect, Maurin said she wanted to get a mixed reaction from viewers. “Fleas are such a horrible problem, but I want to create beauty in this ugly, horrifying thing. That’s what I’m really searching for as an artist, the reaction,” she said.

OK, here’s my reaction — You’ve got to be kidding me! Fleas, especially right now, in the middle of summer, are the bane of my existence and I fail to see any beauty in those beasts. My poor cats and I are jumping from one piece of furniture to the other so we don’t have to touch the carpet. Well, really it’s just the cats that are jumping, but I’m wearing shoes in the house, something I never do.

My poor kitties never go outside and by the rules of logic they should not have any fleas. However, thanks to some less than human person who dropped off a pregnant dog at my house a couple of months ago, I now have fleas all around my house, jumping off the mom and her two adorable puppies. In fact, I’m sure most of those fleas have fleas. And of course, every time I enter the house, those freeloaders come in with me.

I have sprayed in the house and gave the cats fleas meds, but still the high-jumping bugs seem to remain happy campers in my carpet. I finally was able to vacuum this weekend, something I haven’t been able to do for the past couple of weeks. The vacuum cleaner just quit on me, and by the time I had the time to investigate, I realized I needed a new belt and a new filter. So, I ordered the parts and waited for them to be delivered. When they finally arrived, I wasn’t able to fix it right away so it sat until Sunday. Of course, then I couldn’t find the book that went with the cleaners. But, no worries, the manufacturer’s website provided that online.

I worked on that thing for about an hour, installing the parts and giving it a good cleaning while I had it apart. But when I started it up I knew by the sound there was still a problem. It turns out the fitting on the end of the beater brush (I think that’s what they’re called) that snaps it into the machine has been damaged. It looks like it melted. Of course, most everything on the machine is plastic. That’s what you get these days. Everything’s plastic. So, I have to order another one of those brushes before I can get it to work again.

Luckily, I as able to borrow a vacuum and sucked as many of those biting monsters into the bag as I could. I will spray outside again. I will spray inside again. I will vacuum. I will give the cats more meds. I will hope and pray.

So, sorry, Ms. Maurin, I won’t be attending your show, just like I don’t watch horror movies. There are things that the eyes should never see. That includes giant fleas. Ugh!

Oh, and anybody want a cute puppy?