Underside Carpet Murals. Usually of fish. Vivid, robust images of sea creatures, bordering on bawdy. Some in the ashcan style. They're large and painted at night. The whole point is that you don't see them. They're face down under your feet. The artists are ashamed of how they earn their living. Sometimes they'll draw an extra arm on one of the fish or paint a group of tropical fish entirely in gray tones. Local tradition (and now county law) insist the artists' work be hidden. We want the artists to paint – to stay active – as it keeps them from stealing.

And not just money: an artist will kidnap your children and smother your wife if given the chance. The children will be sold for coal dust and drugs. They'll cut off your woman's hair and glue it to a dog. The dog will bury your kids and go after your ankles.

And there sits the artist. With a big smirk, wearing Montreal pants. Now he's got the title to your house. Now he's got your daddy's name. Now he's using that name to sell dinnerware.

It's easier to give them a crayon and some space behind the china cabinet.

Chris Weagel

Chris Weagel writes about the intersection of technology and parenting for Wired Magazine. No he doesn't. He can't stand that shit.

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