I got this squirrel planter last week when I was up in Sonoma recording. At least I think it’s a squirrel. Maybe it’s a gopher, or even a beaver. I’m not that up on my animals with buck teeth but whatever it is I love that it’s got two separate compartments and, as such, I will be putting it to work here at Willis Wonderland. I’m not sure if the squirrel/gopher/beaver will hold pencils in the large compartment and paper clips in the little ashtray/bowl or Q-tips in the large compartment and safety pins in the smaller one. These types of decisions are the joys of being a collector who actually uses what they collect as opposed to putting things behind glass as so many collectors do, squeezing the life out of the object whose role usually grinds to a halt because of such practices. Though as a whole I find that very few collectors of kitsch actually relegate their artifacts to imprisonment in glass jails. Kitsch lovers usually put their objects right to work.  There’s a utilitarian pride in collecting such a genre, making this squirrel/gopher/beaver about to be very happy in its new home.


Speaking of new homes for squirrels, I have long been the enabler of fine living among the species. I apologize for the graininess of the following shots, all grabbed from videos at least 15 years old. This particular squirrel is enjoying a corn cob at a miniature picnic table and chair I erected for him/her to dine at.


Before I bought the squirrel his/her own patio set, he/she used to snack at my table:


A few times the squirrel dined in a fashionable 1950’s wrought iron planter:


And oftentimes when he/she was full he/she relaxed on the head of a statue that James Brown himself removed from my backyard when we wrote together in 1985 and he combed my collection for any mammys and Sambos and sent them packing.


After a few years I had to close the squirrel cafeteria because it just got too messy as every squirrel in Los Angeles eventually heard about it. As much as I miss all the activity in my backyard, this goofy little squirrel planter fulfills all my animal needs as he’s cute and I don’t have to feed him.

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