Sunday, January 23, 2005


D.C. is not New York City. I know that a thousand pot-boiling stories have been written in workshops about the mystical/hyper-realist adventures one can have by just turning down a different street on the way home in New York. Not so much in D.C.

Sometimes, however, you can be greeted with utter random madness, even in the outlying spots like Arlington. The sign above greets me as I walk from my apartment to the Metro station. I would pass it, remark, "Jesus, that's strange. Is it some sort of day care...," and try to remember to go to the website. I finally did. You should, too. In fact, go there, click on the links randomly for a minute or two, and come back here.

I'll wait.

How do you feel? Do you want to know more? You can't, sad to say. Mr. Hummer asks for donations and offers licensing and merchandising opportunities for his creations, but there's no contact information. The sign is just in front of an apartment building, mocking all passerby with a lunatic stab, but you don't know which apartment to bring your questions, your demands, your summons.

Imagine if you stumbled onto that webpage by accident through random weblink clicks. The twisting and turning pathways of the internet lead to strange places and this is no stranger than most.

Now, instead of some isolated node of the electronic world, the origin of this website is two blocks away from where you sleep. The cartoon characters with words stitched across their lips, the theme songs, the very goddamn HummyKids Mansion and the stickers... the stickers... are all within the mind and hard-drive of someone your friends and loved ones could run into if they followed directions to your apartment incorrectly.

D.C. is not New York City, but they don't have a monopoly on rabbit holes, wardrobes to Narnia, and phantom tollbooths.