Strange Sightings Issue # 383


Photography by Frankenräver

Wow, it’s the official start of winter and it’s snowing right on schedule! With the much publicized end of the Mayan calendar looming large, strange things are bound to happen. Like Armageddon and a shitload of cash mysteriously deposited into my bank account. No I haven’t stocked up on tinned food and candles, but I do have a couple of flashlights. Only one has batteries though….anyway, just in case the Internet is still around but I’m somehow relegated to cosmic dust, I thought it would be fun to commemorate this historic occasion by posting what could possibly be my last issue of Strange Sightings. Now I’m gonna run out and score that last copy of The Zombie Survival Guide …BOOYAH!!


Well it’s that time of the year where millions of peeps run around like chickens ugly sweaterwith the neck cut off, spraying psychically violent gore and expletives everywhere in search of that elusively Perfect Gift. With the recession in full swing and malls noticeably less crowded, gifthood is getting increasingly more difficult to come by. Enter The Ugly Christmas Sweater Party. Guaranteed to make foes out of best friends and fuel bitter estrangement between relatives, U.C.S. will most surely create resentment in the darkest recess of otherwise joyful hearts. (“I can’t believe Ange brought me that f*&k!ng ugly ass sweater!”). But you most likely won’t hear anything about it…til the repressed anger surfaces six years later after one eggnogg too many. Ultimately, the Ugly Christmas Sweater scenario is best avoided unless you have an old-fashioned auntie or uncle with eclectically hideous taste. You’re much saver giving Bobby a Grinch hat instead. At least he’ll get the humour.


This strikingly bizarre mural occupies a stretch of wall on Queen Street West. I fishboytried to convince myself that this boy was not biting a live fish. However, the ominously pained expression of anguish in the animal’s eye really begs the question. If human beings could eat live octopi and scoop brains out of a quivering monkey’s skull, what’s to stop ‘em cannibalizing fish? Note how close the boy’s mouth is to the body, as he squints with studied concentration. Is he merely looking at the fish in curiosity or taking a humongous bite? Undoubtedly, the animal squirms in unfathomable agony. Whether this is from lack of oxygen or from the excruciation of being bitten I will never know for sure. Apparently, the artist has decided to torture unsuspecting passersby with this unfinished piece, thereby creating an unsolvable dilemma, thereby fomenting emotional malaise in art lovers as they stroll happily down the sidewalk. Look up and you’re confronted with an image that confounds the daylights out of you, with skillful execution and disturbing ambiguity. Sinister? You bet.


One of the things I love about London are the street signs. Think about how OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAcool it would be to say, “I live on Coke Street!” (that’s in Shoreditch by the way). But who’d want to claim bragging rights for Munday Road? Personally, I’d feel like I’m sentencing myself to a lifetime of small office hell with such a mundane addie fixed to my moniker. Shudder… But if you think that’s bad, check this. Pudding Mill Lane conjures up wonderful images of Bill Cosby hawking chocolatey treats in many a North American mind. I thought, “What a swell address!” Then I found out that street was named for the tripe that fell off carts carrying butchered animal carcasses centuries ago. Munday’s prospects just got brighter.


The perfect signage for horny couples and piss filled alkies. Just in case you pee alleywere wondering where to go for hormonal or instant bladder relief at 2 a.m. London is a city famed for its efficient use of signage. And at this rate, soon Toronto will be too.


Another gem from Mad Magazine, Issue Number Seven. Heroin is aptly portrayed as the proverbial monkey on the junkie’s back. And the poem’s a spoof of an actual song too. What a wicked job that must have been…getting high on your lunch break so you can come up with amazing sketches on drug propaganda. “I’ll be bleeding you – Cause soon the reefers that you puff / Won’t give you wild kicks enough/ You’ll move up to that “mainline” stuff!” One would hope that George Woodbridge (the artist) didn’t seriously believe that crap. But the anti-drug message gets to ya anyway. And therein lies the brilliance of Mad. Fucking with young, impressionable minds everywhere. Classic! 😉

Copyright © 2012 Frankie Diamond. All rights reserved. Excerpts of less than 200 words may be published to another site, including a link back to the original article. This article may not be reproduced in its entirety and posted to another site without the express permission of the author.

About Frankenräver

Frankenräver is an ol skool Ecstatican from Toronto's glory daze of peace, love & Ecstasy. Her e-book on the 90's rave scene, titled "Tuned In, Mashed Out: Confessions of a Rave Junkie" is currently in the process of being published in paperback. Stay tuned!

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