“The question we have to ask is, ‘What in the heck?'”

Wheelchair monster at Grosvenor stationBack in March, when I visited the Grosvenor-Strathmore station on the Metro, I encountered the creature seen at right on the platform. I took a picture of it because it’s just an amusing creation. And I never found out what it is, what it was for, or why it was created. All I did was after asking this creature’s owners permission to take the photo, I jokingly asked, “Did you have to get it its own farecard?” And then we parted company. As a result, I never found out the story behind this thing. And as we all know, nature abhors a vacuum. And so does humanity. When there’s a funny picture with no explanation, people make up a back-story for it, which becomes as much a part of the picture as, or even more so than the actual story behind it. For creating a back story, all we know is what we can see. There is a girl in the background, apparently associated with the creature that is the subject of the photo. The creature is in a wheelchair. It is apparently smiling. And it’s got some seriously long fingers. We are outdoors, judging by the lighting and the ground in the background. Based on the floor tiles, you can tell we’re in a Metro station, but not what station. So let’s see. What could we say about this creature’s appearance at Grosvenor? It’s up to the imagination, really. The stories that stick to the pictures particularly well are the ones where even if they’re not the real story, people can believe that it happened. For instance, let me create a back story of my own. Imagine that this is the mascot for a group of friends’ softball team. Say they call themselves the Gremlins, and this is the Gremlin in Chief, the one who represents all that is Gremlin in the team. And it sits near or in the Gremlins’ home dugout and serves as a source of inspiration for the players. And it’s at the Metro because its handlers are in the process of transporting it to the next game. I wonder what other stories people can come up with to go with this photo… post it on The Schumin Web Community!

Date posted: May 11, 2004