Another Houston Art Car Excursion
Mantler's Explanation of


"I live in a tiny garage apartment next to an equally tiny one bedroom house. My neighbor is a good friend. One day we were ranting back and forth about our inadequate combined partying space when a beatific epiphany washed over me like an electron tsunami. We looked out over our driveway (an extremely unusual side-by-side two car driveway amongst the 20's-50's architecture that surrounds us) and simultaneously saw the Great Vision. Yes, the driveway was easily a 20'x20' space that yearned to be exploited. Without warning, we started dragging out what I would describe as `leftover divorce furniture.' Couches, end tables, lamps, coffee tables, recliners, and plenty of extension cords gave us the means to construct an outdoor living room. There were plenty of advantages. Fresh air. Anti-claustrophobia. Chicks. The yarns are too long to spin here. Perhaps another time.

"`The Outhouse,' as it came to be known, was a glorious celebration of all things in excess. Then winter came. Nobody wanted to sit out in the cold in our driveway anymore and drink beer. We started thinking outside the box. After the last `outdoor' event, we had unintentionally stashed the piles of furniture in such a way that we were actually able to sit down on the couches. Another electron tsunami visited us. Quote: `I think we can fit all of this stuff in here if we do it right.' People had been and continued to donate things regularly: stereos, speakers, a beautiful bar that we put on wheels, bigger and better couches, and a globe. And that's just a small sampling. And then there was the `Jesus Lamp.' This was a supercool 70's style light fixture that he had to rewire. I saw him working on it in the driveway with a beer on top of a cooler. Suddenly, he jumped up and whacked the fixture up and off of him and down to the pavement in a jiffy. It had shocked the crap out of him and we laughed our asses off. The joke was that if you touched the lamp, you would get a hearty jolt and yell `JESUS!'. See what Shiner Bock can do?

"With the finishing touches of a motorized fully functional disco mirror ball, a beefy quadrophonic stereo, a VCR connected to a 27'' TV (I ran the cable from upstairs through a dryer vent in the rear of the garage), and a smattering of blacklight fixtures, The Red Room was nearly complete. The spirit and soul of The Red Room was soon revealed when I saw a box of red dimpled glass restaurant candles at a local restaurant supply. Those candles are now scattered liberally throughout the room and provide the primary atmosphere, which is thick, amorphous, and saturating. Many pre-event gatherings at The Red Room led to the abandonment of the event altogether in favor of Martinis and Miles Davis. Again, the stories are too long to tell here (possibly anywhere).

"I was thrilled to host the illustrious Wagner, who, much to my delight, enjoyed a Bombay Sapphire Martini with two jalapeno stuffed olives. I look forward to his next visit with vim, vigor, and vitality. Wagner the universe: the universe Wagner."