Why, it’s almost impossible to believe something this beautiful was made with mere egg cartons, isn’t it? But it’s true! It only takes a little time - 47 hours, to be exact - some gold paint, and some of those spices they put on pizzas down at Shakey’s, and you have yourself a real fake floral wreath made from the tombs of birds who will never know the feel of the sun or the sound of another chicken interested in procreation. The silence of the chicks, Clarice. The silence of the chicks.

“Aleen” had a big series of these, as you’ll see in a moment. But consider the era from which this comes: no big-box stores - well, K-Mart, yes, but they sold plastic wreaths that just looked awful, and there wasn’t any pride in putting them out. They smelled, too. Smelled like weed-killer, in a way. With this, why, a body had a sense of i something. Making something. And there wasn’t nothing fancy required, either. You could get everything you needed at the Ben Franklin. Everything except “enthusiasm,” which you wish you could buy in a cream and put if on your teen-aged daughter, because she rolled her eyes when you asked if she wanted to help make a festive wreath out of egg cartons. You used to daydream about having a child who loved to do these things with you. Oh, she did, once, but that was a long time ago, and while you still have the little things you made together, you can’t help but think of them now and blame those goddamn Beatles.