Wow! You really can order anything from Amazon.

Did you know you can buy mannequins on Amazon.com? I didn’t until I read a follow up news article about the guy who is protesting a city order to lower the height of his fence. I suppose I should explain how this particular revelation came to me and why I give a shit.

So this guy by the name of Jason Windus in Santa Rosa, California built a six-foot fence around his yard so that he could let his dogs outside without them running all over hell’s half-acre, but he lives on a corner lot and his city has an ordinance that says you can’t have a fence that blocks the view of drivers at an intersection and one of his neighbors complained so he had to lower part of his fence to 36 inches. It’s probably worth mentioning that this wasn’t a chain-link fence but a wooden slat fence, hence the obstructing the view of drivers issue.

Dude’s pissed so he did what any red blooded American would do to protest government overreach and busybody neighbors: He set up a Naked Mannequin Garden Party in his yard:

Then things took a dramatic turn overnight as someone(s) in the neighborhood stole two of the naked mannequins from Windus protest scene!

Late Wednesday night, Windus heard what he thought was “some kids having fun” outside his house on Peterson Lane. Those revelers, he believes, made off with a mannequin who’d been outfitted with a blond wig, leopard print eye mask and nothing else.

The following morning, a second female mannequin was missing. In their haste to get away, the thieves apparently jostled the life-like figure, whose right leg fell off. The wayward limb spent the night on the sidewalk.

Source: The Press Democrat

What kind of America do we live in where a man can’t have a Naked Mannequin Garden Party without some of the guests being kidnapped?? (Mannequinnapped?)

So all of that led me to this article at the Sacramento Bee titled: “Man orders more naked protesters from Amazon as thieves snatch two of his mannequins.”

Windus blames the thefts on the city order to lower part of his fence to 36 inches, KGO reported. He had outfitted a mannequin with an army-style helmet to serve as a guard, but that apparently failed to deter the thieves, Windus said.

Despite the mannequins gone missing in action, Windus says he’s not giving up on his protest, The Press Democrat reports. He replaced the lost partiers with three other mannequins he had in storage, and has ordered two more from Amazon.

Source: The SACRAMENTO Bee

My first thought was “What the shit?? You can buy mannequins on Amazon?!?” Whereupon I immediately went to Amazon and searched for “mannequin” and — HOLY SHIT! — not only do they have them, BUT THEY’RE CHEAP TOO! $50 for a complete mannequin?? I may have to start my own garden party!

This is relevant to my interests because of Ralph. Ralph is my Security Mannequin. I picked him up way back when I did a stint as a part-time retail worker at a Meijer store for a second job in my early 20’s. They were going to toss him into a dumpster and I stepped in and gave him a proper home. It’s got to be at least 30 years now that he’s been a constant presence in the background of my life. When I moved into the apartment in Canton back in 1998 he sat on the half-wall that separated the stairway up from the front door from the living room area. He wears one of my old Les’s Place BBS t-shirts and one of my many hats. His job there was to stare with dead eyes down the stairs and startle folks coming up from the front door, which he did often.

*Knock Knock*

“Maintenance… GASP!!”

These days he sits on the bar in the basement wondering when someone is going to pour him a goddamn drink. Amazingly enough, in all this time, I’ve never taken a direct picture of him. I have tons of pictures where parts of him are visible in the background, but the best I can do is this heavily cropped shot from the Christmas before last:

Still wearing the same shirt that hasn’t been washed since it was put on him.

As you can see, Ralph lacks arms and, more importantly, anything below the waist. That hasn’t stopped him from loyally guarding my home from intruders by lurking in the background and being a little creepy. I would really like to have at least gotten him some arms by now, but I’ve never taken the time to actually do so. I’ve also thought about trying to find him a female companion and, thanks to Amazon, that reality is within reach! Why, I could have a whole mannequin army now!

Now that I think about it, my wife might object to that idea so I guess it’ll have to wait. The world is safe from my legions of fiberglass minions… for now. In the meantime I’ll have to take a proper picture of Ralph when I get home tonight.

I may never take advantage of Amazon’s offerings of cheap mannequins, but the fact that I could is somewhat amazing to me. When I stop to really think about it, this probably shouldn’t be so surprising to me. I’m sure this has been a possibility for a long, long time. I mean, you’ve been able to buy a 50 gallon drum of lube from Amazon for years now, so why wouldn’t you be able to buy a mannequin? (I just know that search query is going to cause no end of amusing emails from Amazon on “things you might be interested in!”) The only reason I didn’t know about it before was because it never occurred to me to search for it. All these years of loneliness for Ralph and all I had to do was check on Amazon.

Big breasted mannequins looking for good homes.

Retired electrician Mike Martin was a dedicated hobbyist and collector. What he collected were old department store mannequins which he restored and, um, enhanced. Specifically, he gave them boob jobs and then dressed them in various fashions and gave them names. Mike recently passed away and his amazingly tolerant wife is selling off his collection of 60 big breasted mannequins to anyone willing to take them:

Stingl: Retired electrician created mass of mannequins

“Some people are making fun of it online. But everybody collects something,” said Rich Ranft of Beloit Auction & Realty and a longtime neighbor of the Martins.

“Whenever he heard there was a mannequin for sale, he’d go get it. They had a small Ford or whatever it was, and he would strap them to the top or put them in the backseat, wherever he could put them,” Rich said.

Then Mike would rely on his skill in automotive body work to repair and paint the figures. He used Bondo, the fix for rusted-out fenders, to augment the mannequins’ breasts until they were the size of cantaloupes.

“If you’ve seen them, obviously you can tell he was very into big-busted women, to say the least,” Mike’s daughter, Lisa Erspamer of Wauwatosa, said with a laugh.

Here’s a sample of his work:

bbmannequins

If nothing else you have to admire his skill at making those breasts look like they were there from the beginning.

The news article linked above has quite a few more pictures if you’re curious. Mike was devoted to his unusual hobby:

Mike and Maxine granted an interview to the Beloit Daily News in 2007. They said the collection began about 10 years earlier. Mike said he preferred the hobby to watching television. He became an expert on the history of mannequins and could tell you where and when each one was made.

Each restoration took four or five days, Mike told reporter Julie Becker. Some were made to look like celebrities such as Sophia Loren, Rita Hayworth and Elvira. Maxine said she was glad to see her husband busy, though he rarely asked for her fashion advice.

Now the natural inclination would be to make fun of this fellow for buying old mannequins and enlarging their breasts before dressing them up, but I find him to be a bit of a kindred spirit. Over the years I’ve collected clocks and hats and various anime related crap and otter figurines and video games and other total wastes of time and money. Hell, in some circles I’m sure Mike Martin would be considered an artist of sorts which is more than can be said for any of the stuff I’ve collected over the years. His family appears to have been tolerant of his quirky obsession and he clearly wasn’t harming anyone. If it brought a little bit of happiness into his life then all the better.

If you think owning one of these might bring a little happiness into your life then you’ll be happy to know the online auction runs for a couple more days yet, though you’ll have to drive to Beloit, WI to pick it up as they won’t ship them. Outfits and accessories will be shipped if you wish. Just imagine how one of these tastefully posed in your living room or den would act as a conversation starter at your next party!