Buy Some Crafts, Save a Life

I got this flyer in the mail the other day. At first glance, it seems like a nice, innocent marketing flyer announcing the imminent arrival of spring and urging residents to consider shopping at some of the nearby shops (as if I need urging).

There’s some flowers blooming, but instead of flower heads there’s some blown glass, a pendant, some other arts and crafts items. Everything is bright and lovely and spring-like. Until you turn the flyer over.

What the what??

What the hell is that? Is that a stuffed animal? Is there a taxidermy shop in Old Town that I don’t know about? Because if there is, I’m very interested. I’ve been on the hunt for a stuffed armadillo since I read “A Prayer for Owen Meany.”

Then I realized it’s not a stuffed and posed animal. But I can’t say for sure exactly what it is but it is awesomely hideous. What kind of animal is that? It’s holding another similar animal so perhaps it’s a kangaroo and her joey?? But why would she be holding her joey? Wouldn’t he just be in her pouch?

It kinda looks like a cat, but I’m just not sure. And, while I am just one boyfriend and a Golden Girls caftan away from being a cat lady, I’m not ready to go down the “collecting cat figurines” route.

Then I started to figure it out. There’s something much more sinister at work here. This is quite obviously a warning from the Old Town Craft Mafia.

This gang of ladies gather at different shops around Old Town, knitting scarves, selling hand-crafted soaps and gathering glass beads, and generally, just displaying thuggish behavior.

Oh sure, they crouch their language in things like, “one-of-a-kind gifts,” and “fair trade handcrafts,” but what they’re really selling is fear.

Look at their description of one of their “stores” (an obvious front for illicit folk art activity):

“A diverse range of artwork from more than 300 local artists.”

See? They’re trying to show you, they’ve got numbers.

Look at this one:

“Three floors of open studios and galleries of more than 160 artists working in a variety of media…”

Would one of those media include human blood? I mean, it’s so obvious what’s going on here.

This decorative (?) animal (?) is quite clearly the equivalent of a horse head in the bed. They’re marking their territory, letting all the residents of Old Town know what’s up. If you don’t buy their goods or take one of their crafting classes or buy art supplies at their stores, you will find large-eared, snarling, shifty-eyed figurines in your mailboxes.

And if you want protection, say from an indigenous Indian wind catcher, you better start opening your wallet.

Well played, OTCM. Well played.

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