Here’s the thing about hoaxes, if one happens because some douchebag is trying to swindle people out of money or effort or whatever, then I have a problem with it. If it’s pure delusion, as seems to be the problem here and here, then I still have an issue, but it’s kind of a grey area. I tend to applaud those who enjoy ruffling people’s feathers for the sheer pleasure of the act, which was the case in Oklahoma recently when a concrete pillar appeared on the lawn of the Paseo Grill, seemingly calling for Azathoth, the Lovecraftian god of chaos, to stake his land and claim it. Rather than ancient gods, however, this was the work of two surreal artists who io9 caught up with and interviewed. (Props to the commenter who pointed us to this website on our original post.)
The two men responsible for the random monument are Norman, Oklahoma’s horror-ish author and Editor-in-Chief for Broken River Books J. David Osbourne and artist Eric Piper. You may notice “Eric Piper” is an anagram for the “crier pipi” from the plaque on the pillar. And if you think that little fact is worth pondering, the pair’s answers in the interview questions are even more amazing. When asked if they were fans of H.P. Lovecraft, Osborne, the more vocal of the two, says, “There’s nothing scarier than big slimy things that don’t care. Also I’m really scared of sex, so I’m down with the spooky tentacles.” He then calls upon Cthulhu Mythos-related authors like Thomas Ligotti and Cody Goodfellow.
And how did they make the monument? “I woke up from a week’s worth of fever dreams and the monument was finished,” says Piper. “The fever dreams were the worst,” adds Osborne. “Waited on him hand and foot. Then I saw him get up from his stained sheets and build a pyramid from wood and mix the concrete in a wheelbarrow and pour.” You can tell these guys aren’t on the up and up when it comes to straight answers. However, nothing could be clearer than Osborne’s description for how they got the monument onto the lawn of the restaurant, which neither of them has eaten at.
“The forklift was available at the art school,” explains Osborne. “We kind of rolled it onto the lift and got it up and heaved it into the back of Eric’s truck. Then we drove around with it for a while, kind of feeling it out. We backed the truck up, hopped out, angled it so the ass end was on the tailgate and shoved it out. There it landed.” But he was kind enough to point out that there was no property damage, and that it wasn’t done out of malice or spite. As he says, “Art brings the bored people with fat wallets.”
Here’s the kicker. When asked if Azathoth had given them any feedback, Osborne really lets loose.
It’s really weird. There have been weird things, like an excess of weirdness. After we dropped the monolith the world started spinning closer and closer together. A man in a bright red shirt stopped me in an alley and told me that I was Jesus and he was the Devil and that he crucified me. At work a woman poured all of the money from the take-a-penny dip by the register and told me she’d take all of it if I didn’t give her back her son. Next day the same woman walked into the Bonnet with her shirt rolled up and threatened to hurt the bartender and reached in for her tips and came around the bar and I hopped off my stool and shouted at her to get back. I swore a lot. A man in orange pants came looking for me. I sat alone in a bar and wondered on the sudden influx of weirdness and couldn’t make sense of it. I live by Griffin out here and they keep folks for a three-day examination if they say they’re going to harm themselves or others. Then they let them go and they wander to the Corner and find they can make a bit of money by just asking the mutant cherubim lined up and down the blocks waiting on coffee and beer. We all walk and make little vibrations and then others are bigger like the Devon building up the road. That monument was about as loud as we could yell and I’ll be damned if the touched didn’t hear it.
Not even acid rain and Brillo pads could have wiped the smile off of my face after reading that. Sorry to break it to you that this stunt didn’t have more horrific origins, but at least these guys are the kinds of people who do things like this. We need more of them out there.