brain-dead fortnight

A Slight Accolade to Miniature Things

Photo: Winfred Evers/Getty Images

Does anything really happen in the last two weeks of the year? If it did, would you care? Welcome to Brain Dead Fortnight, two weeks of mental vacation.

I love miniature things. My favorite type of miniature things are tiny bottles of Tabasco sauce, because they are so small but have all the strength of regular Tabasco sauce. The best thing a person can do with miniature things, far and away, is to pretend she is a giant person. She can accomplish this best if she squints, so she can just see her hand (SO BIG NOW!) holding a regular-size bottle of Tabasco sauce. She can also be a giantess eating a whole tree (broccoli, sold at most grocery stores) or using shampoo (travel-size bottle, sold at most drugstores). 

It’s best if these things are perfectly proportioned, realistic, useful things, like nips. It’s like they went through a Lewis Carroll wormhole and got lost in our world. Amy Poehler in Yes Please notes that she and Rashida Jones share an affection for small plastic foods. These are good. I don’t really like dollhouse stuff because these things have their own world, which I suppose I can curate, but I’m not a part of this. I prefer something like a tiny corn, served on veggie platters at medium-fancy events. A teensy straw hat for a pen or something is great as well. Sometimes a smaller-than-usual can of soda can do it.

In the realm of cute things, I prefer miniature objects over animals or babies or baby animals. Perhaps it’s because tiny living things trigger a caregiver instinct that requires responsibility. If I see a YouTube video of an adorable, motherless otter holding onto a bottle, I think: Maybe I should get a small otter of my own to care for. Then I’m wondering about motherhood in a way I never do when I see a small suitcase or tiny screwdrivers.

The explanation of why miniature things appeal to me is unclear and likely uninteresting. It’s an affection that started, I’m pretty sure, while trying to distract myself during church and finding delight in the tiny pencils left for writing on the congregation membership address form. So it’s probably related to an inferiority complex as it relates to questions of a higher power.

Just kidding! They’re just teeny pencils, man, and they make me feel like I’m a spectacular Olympian goddess casually mini-golfing. 

A Slight Accolade to Miniature Things