Last week, I showed off the first ‘generation’ of American Boys characters, including Washington, Dallas and Chicago from the previous exhibition before that one. Towards the end, I talked a little about Nashville and Des Moines, Washington’s assistants on House of America, but as they were barely visible, I decided to leave going through them in detail to this week’s exhibition.
Washington’s first helper. Resembling a sea admiral in her outfit, she helps him get dressed up smartly to present the show, touching him up and spritzing him with perfume. She is a very imaginative type, and she loves to adapt the cartoons seen on House of America into comic books of her own creation, or acting out her favorite scenes.
Washington’s second helper. He usually helps with setting up the stage and props for House of America, but when he doesn’t have a job to do, he likes to annoy and frighten Nashville by blasting his music out loud, pouncing on her, hitting her with Washington’s cane, or pelting her with marbles. He likes to perform tricks to amaze his onlookers and audiences.
A swimming enthusiast. His favorite hangouts are the leisure center or hot springs in winter, and the water amusement park or the beach in summer. He practices techniques such as the butterfly and synchronized swimming, but he will also ride the water flume and go surfing or drive a speedboat. He carries a water pistol to spray people who anger him.
A man with a penchant for dressing formally. He is in fact mentally ill, and he experiences slight body tremors whenever he sits down or stands up. He has a tendency to lose his mind in public places, and he also suffers from an allergy to pollen, sniffing flowers to make him sneeze and make his eyes water. He harbors a craving for sugar, frequently making him sick.
A teenage girl who believes she can fly. She wears a pair of fluffy ‘angel wings’ and she often tries to flap her arms as hard as she can to raise herself into the air, but she usually ends up crashing and crying at being unable to fulfill her dream. She rides on fairground attractions like rollercoasters and flying plane carousels to simulate the feeling of flying in the sky for a short time. She loves to watch birds, imagining that she is a bird herself.
A dreamy young adolescent who wishes to commit suicide, but cannot do so as he seems to be an otherworldly being who is immune to death. He has a tiny ‘buddy’ named Denver, who is also some sort of magical entity, and he tries (unsuccessfully) to kill himself in myriad ways, such as falling asleep in the swimming pool so to drown, stepping out into the road in front of a car to get knocked down, or throwing himself down stairs. Despite all this, he never seems to feel any kind of pain or discomfort, for which he attracts criticism.
New Orleans’ little ‘buddy’. He was born out of hatching from a magic egg which New Orleans carried around with him in his pocket. He is so small he can fit inside a teacup or in the palm of a person’s hand. He frequently causes minor accidents like bumping into things, knocking down a tower of bricks or relieving himself in his pants. At night, he sleeps inside his egg by New Orleans’ pillow.
A librarian. His job involves organizing books by subject into numbered aisles and scanning in book barcodes for borrowers and returns. Easily irritated, he is particularly inflamed by people chattering or laughing out loud in the library, and he deals with these annoyances by squirting the offender or offenders with a good spray of cold tea.
A park regular. He usually spends time playing about in the children’s playground or splashing about in the fountains, but sometimes he simply relaxes on a bench and watches the world go by. He plays a wide range of sports, like basketball, tennis and swimming in the summer months. He practices a healthy diet.