See this picture?  One’s my phone and the other’s my coffee mug.  Somehow I’m really into shit like that.  Shit that looks like some other shit.

That cassette tape phone cover has brought on countless conversations with complete strangers.  Perplexed strangers who squint at first with half confusion, half “what’s-this-asshole-doing-with-a-cassette-tape”.  Then they realize what it is, and then I’m dogged with shitloads of “Dude, where’d you get that?”  That’s not to say that I’m stupid enough to think that this phone cover wouldn’t fetch some attention when I got it.

Same thing with the coffee mug.  When I first saw it online, I knew I had to get one so I ordered it right away.  I ordered it while I was at a photo shoot in L.A.  So I took the opportunity to show it to my photographer.  Turns out, these designs had been around for a while, and he had already had one.  Stupid me, thinking I could actually show off photography paraphernalia to an accomplished photographer.  He would put the lens-shaped coffee mug in with his other real lens collection, then he’d pick up the mug and hurl it across the room to his unwitting and unprepared assistant, who’d invariably drop the mug, and shriek in horror thinking she’d just fumbled and destroyed a four-figure lens.  Photography hijinks, oh what hilarity.

I realized that I’d been after this certain aesthetic my whole life.  Taking something for which it was not intended and using it for another completely different purpose.  Why I’m so fascinated by this practice, I have no idea.  But I’ve been trying this forever.

I go into a hardware store, and I’ll do shit like wander into the plumbing section – not because I have any interest, capacity, or need to fix anything in my bathroom.  It’s because I’m looking to see if I can repurpose gadgets or parts for my mountain bikes or some other toy I have around the house.  I was once in a boating shop looking for some boat mending compound to patch up a hole in my paddleboard  (long story, don’t ask), and I spent an hour in that place after I found the compound because I kept coming up with ways to repurpose all the stuff in that store.

I once needed a new coffee table.  And since I couldn’t find a coffee table that I liked, I had an idea of using a sectioned trunk of a felled tree.  I was just going to drive around a drag one off the side of the road if I found one.  I wanted to put some polyurethane finish on it, affixing four caster wheels at the bottom, and call it a coffee table.  I’d leave the bark on and everything.  Like a big tree steak.  A slice of tree stump in the middle of the living room, as a coffee table.  How fucking cool is that shit (don’t answer that).  Well, the missus wanted no part of it.  Hard to imagine why she wouldn’t want some discarded tree in the middle of the living room.  Dream = dead.

But let’s get one thing straight here – I fucking loathe all that hacky shit that you find in SkyMall catalogs.  Shit like table lamps that have hidden cameras or lawn furniture that turn into sprinklers or what not.  That’s the sort of awfulness that makes the rest of the world hate us with the fury of a billion jihads.  That shit’s just not on.

No, I’m fascinated by repurposing.  If that is what I’m doing here, I’m not sure.   Maybe I need to feed some manner of creative chicanery.

So why do I keep looking for this shit?  Maybe I have some innate need to be deceptive.  “This is not what you think it is.”  These are not the droids you’re looking for.  Is that it?  I’m into trickery and chicanery?  If so, what the fuck does that say about my character?  Holy shit.

And where does it end?  The day I come home with a crepe maker that’s fashioned out of a Technics turntable is probably the day I’ve crossed the line with this bollocks.