Tim and Jeremy are both waiters at a restaurant in downtown New York City. During slow times at work, to stave off boredom when it is slow, the two young men draw pictures. These pictures are made using ink and what is called the "Triple Dupe Pad," a book of paper used to place orders in the kitchen. The drawings usually take about a week to make, all the while also being used by fellow employees to take orders; this sometimes leads to other collaborators or in a couple cases, to the loss of the work. The drawings are then scanned and colored in Photoshop where they come to life in stunning technicolor! The subject matter varies from piece to piece, as they are made over a long course of time and under various moods and states of mind. They all retain a playfulness that serves as a coping mechanism after spending a night catering to the endless needs of hungry patrons.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

#64 June 19, 2013

Click on the Image to make it appear LARGER!

One of my favorite parts about this one was making the ant farm. It seems to help this giant machine devised by large-brained aliens run well. Although maybe it is really just cosmetic. Regardless, I enjoyed drawing it, and I am not sure I had ever drawn one before. It's funny how there are some things that you never draw even though they are part of your history. When I was a kid, we had an ant farm. I am pretty sure we were inspired to get one by Raul's Wild Kingdom on the classic Weird "Al" movie, "UHF." Whatever the inspiration, my brother and I thought it would be a cool thing to have an ant farm. So, we went to the mall, and picked one up from Kay-bee toys or from the Nature store. You don't get ants at the store, which I initially thought was a little weird, but these kits are all sealed up so there's no way the ants would be able to survive on the shelf for so many weeks/months/years, so instead you had to send away for the ants. The company who makes the farms will then send you live ants through the mail. At this time in my life, I was living in Syracuse, New York, and anyone who has been to Syracuse, knows that it is cold there pretty much 10 months out of the year. So, when we finally got our ants from the real farm/factory, they were frozen solid and dead. It's crazy to think back on that, only because I am remembering them all frozen and dead, but also packaged in a test tube, essentially. So, my brother and I are looking at all these dead ants in a frozen tube and we are obviously pretty bummed out because we want to see these ants dig! Right? That's why you get the ant farm in the first place, because you can't believe that they will actually be able to do the digging (even though your whole life you've seen ants doing just fine on their own). So we sent back the frozen ants, and soon enough we had ants in a tube that were totally alive! We put them in the green plastic farm that was three-quarters filled with white sand, and watched to see if they would really dig. And weren't we pretty excited when they did! Wow, those ants really digging tunnels! Minutes of fun!
We had the ant farm for about as long as the average kid has an ant farm, which is to say, until the first batch of ants dies. Once they were in there and working away, the whole novelty of thing had worn off. Don't get me wrong, the inventors of the ant farm are geniuses. Whoever can make money by mailing bugs to suburban homes for 50 years is pretty smart. Not to mention, the simple design of the thing is pretty amazing. It's no more than a couple inches deep, and about the size of an 11 x 14 poster that is a self contained, living  picture. The more I write about it here as an object, the more I want to get one again, but in my adult life. I think I want one just to see if I could take better care of the ants now that I am a relatively normal, functioning adult. Or, would the ants grow to be a finite age and die, but not cannibalize each other. Because, that was one of my questions then, as it is now. What happens to the remains of the ants when they die? I doubt the ants bury one another, so where do the corpses go? Also, since there is no queen sold with the set, how does one continue the colony except by introducing new ants into the existing farm?
Luckily for me, there are still thousands of people buying and selling ant farms. In fact, NASA developed a new gel as a sand substitute which also contains nutrients for the ants, so they could be observed in zero-gravity. All of the questions I have just asked have been answered by the internet. That is a great thing about writing these blog posts. While I am writing, I have some pretty random stories that send me down strange rabbit holes of internet. This post is a perfect example of this; I would never look up ant farms or be interested in getting one, but since I was going down memory lane, it just kind of happened. Now I know NASA is interested in ant farms and their history goes back to 1900's era France. Yes, this knowledge is all but useless, but it might make for some interesting conversations at the bar tomorrow.

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