Local investigators uncovered a major fraud in the world of preschool art last week when it was discovered that a group of elite housewives/mothers bribed their local garbage collector to set up a simulated art museum in the back of a manicure shop. The desperate women generously tipped the city employee weekly for transporting their children’s finger-paintings and paper-mâché trinket boxes into the makeshift gallery each and every time they tossed these lovingly crafted projects into the trash.
Oscar Krouch, city sanitation department employee for over twenty-three years stated, “At first I thought it was a sweet idea. Mothers wanting to make their children feel special. I was all for it.” Pulling out an ugly green finger-knit scarf, he continued, “Then I realized it was just old-fashioned maternal guilt. Imagine throwing away everything your precious kids bring home from school, but not wanting your conscience to bother you. For shame!”
During an interview with the mothers in question, Yolanda, mother of three (who prefers not to give her last name) claimed it all started with good intentions. “During our weekly coffee klatch at Lisa’s house, we noticed her refrigerator bursting at its Sub-Zero seams with scotch-taped rainbow construction paper because stainless steel fridges aren’t magnetic, ya know? Nothing hanging on those doors matched her mid-century décor and she already tried discreetly tossing these projects after a couple of weeks of prominent display, but her only child Leonardo threw a tremendous fit.”
“I can relate to that,” interrupts Brandi, mother of Salvador and Vincent, ages 3 and 5. “I even resorted to Martha Stewart’s time consuming suggestion to take digital pictures of everything before discarding, but my kids wailed, ‘How could you really love us if you’re capable of throwing out things we’ve made with our very own two little hands?’ Our house was being overrun because the Montessori PTA insists on tons of enrichment. I could wallpaper three of my larger walk-in closets with the amount of stuff they were bringing home.”
The mastermind of the entire charade was Kim, (mother of Pablo, Georgia and Andy) who conjured up the clever ruse after a desperate moment during a particularly fruitful Mother’s Day. “A pretend art museum was the perfect solution — a win/win for everybody involved. The children could visit their craft projects once a month during our family day. And Oscar Krouch isn’t so innocent in all of this. He confided that becoming an art curator made him feel important, especially because his own mother always admonished that if he didn’t go to college, all he would ever amount to was a garbage-man.”
In a strange twist, the plot thickened (just like a kindergartener’s poorly executed oil-painting) when Krouch decided to open the “gallery” to the general public, taking in thousands of dollars selling the wayward kiddie knickknacks.
Krouch justified, “I noticed on my garbage route that certain trash cans were consistently filled with store bought birthday or Valentine’s Day cards, machine stamped candles, and placemats made in China. Nothing looked homemade and it dawned on me that some mothers don’t have little artists to deluge them with paintings. Instead they gave birth to mini-athletes or nerds who prefer Bill Nye the Science Guy. I felt bad for these macaroni ornament deprived moms who seemed to yearn for some amateur holiday art to hang in their windows.”
Indeed Krouch charged $20 for simple Crayola family sketches, but it was the personal work like the toddler-traced handprints turned into turkeys that fetched huge sums before Thanksgiving. “Believe it or not, mothers couldn’t throw away their little darling’s glittery pinecone art fast enough to satisfy the demand I was seeing from these art-starved moms for Christmas,” added Krouch.
None of this would have come to light if human nature didn’t run its typical course of greed. About a month ago Eileen, mother of Matisse, gleefully threw an entire Nordstrom’s bag full of her son’s art away, never realizing there was a dormant masterpiece lying within. “It was just a sloppy purple sharpie outline of a sprig of grapes I had packed in his Antman lunch box that morning. Not even organic fruit. Suddenly I see the same drawing featured on the 10:00 news with our neighbor’s sports obsessed son identified as the artist. I realized this dishonest mother had purchased my Mattise’s grape portrait from our garbage man, then claimed her son doodled it during a timeout on the ball field. A boy who had never clasped anything in his hands but a football his entire life!”
What does Krouch, the shrewd trashman turned art-curator have to say about this unpredictable turn of events? “I think it’s a classic case of sour grapes. Or possibly The Grapes of Wrath. And you know what they say – One Mom’s Trash is Another Mom’s Treasure.”
Mr. Krouch, are you sure you didn’t go to college??
Little Miss Menopause Reporting.
(Inspiration credit for this piece goes to one of my favorite bloggers, The Underground Writer, the expert on news story parodies. Check out one of hers right HERE! )