One Does Not Simply Walk Into “A Southern Season”

This store is madness, in the best possible way:

"Fellowship of the PEZ"

One candy to rule them all.

Actually, the website hardly does the store justice: you have to actually walk the aisles to find gems like $70-dollar spaghetti* or reusable red Solo cups**.

As for the photo above, I am not certain how this product came to be. I am not certain I want to know. I am not even certain who’s who (I suspect Gollum used to be Yoda before the mold was tweaked, but is that bearded fellow in the middle Gandalf or Saruman? And is that hipster Jesus next to him? It’s kind of hard to tell. I was expecting Frodo to appear somewhere in there, but the manufacturers seem to have opted instead for averaging the facial features of The Beatles, c. 1964, using that software that lets you upload photos to see what your potential offspring might look like; as for the guy next to him, I have only ever seen that hangdog expression on an actual dog — specifically ours, when she destroys one of my shoes and can’t figure out why she’s not being praised for saving the household from the Slipper Menace), or why they were selected for inclusion in this assemblage. The obvious configuration would be the Company itself, but I’ll admit that some of the actual members are either irritating or downright treasonous, so I can see why the manufacturers would make substitutions. But that’s neither here nor there.

This entire mall is madness, in fact. Witness:

"Jousting with Ostriches"

Jousting with Ostriches.

I really wish I had a better picture of this, because every time I see it, my brain explodes a little. By the way, this used to be an actual store, called…I forget what, because really, when you’ve got two giant metal statues of ostriches being ridden by creepy horned cherubs wearing wings while bearing standards, do you need a name? Don’t you just become “that store at the mall with the freaky ostrich-cherub statues?”

Anyway, this particular store went out of business…and left the statues behind. So now they just sit in the empty storefront, those cherubs riding their ostriches into battle.

I would really, really like to know the story behind how these came to be. I can envision the origin of the concept itself — which had to arise from the depths of some artist’s worst and possibly painkiller-induced fever dreams. What I can’t quite wrap my mind around is how it went from fever dream (i.e. the platonic ideal of a warrior-cherub riding into battle atop an ostrich) to actual object, existing in the world as matter.

All I can imagine is that the artist, while still recovering from his or her…let’s be charitable and call it “divine inspiration”, either verbally described or else sent a concept drawing to a fabricator of some sort. Who likely squinted hard, scratched his or her head, and then eventually shrugged and said “Ok, whatever.” And then it became a thing.

And will continue to be a thing…FOREVER. Or until some brave band of adventurers decides to transport it to a far-off volcano and toss it in. Now that’s something I’d read AND buy the Pez dispensers for.

*How does a package of pasta come to cost $70? Is it the indiscriminate addition of truffle oil? Was it created by the Tuscan equivalent of Jedi Masters, channeling La Forza in order to grind the organic wheat into a mystical flour containing specks of stardust before hand-mixing the ingredients into a sacred paste and then using their powers to place the mixture into artisanal molds? Or is it the fact that the individual noodles are 3 feet long (after all, if you own a pot that can cook spaghetti by the yard, perhaps 70 bucks is pocket change to you)?
**The reusable red Solo cup appears to be an ordinary red Solo cup, except that it is made of a slightly more durable plastic and is thus dishwasher safe. I find this very odd, having had roommates who drank most of their beverages out of such receptacles (usually during bacchanalian bouts of beer pong). Let me just say that people whose drinking vessel of choice is the Fratboy Cup DO NOT EVER WASH DISHES, whether by hand or machine.

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