Fillyjonk, Friday Fluff

Friday Fluff: A crazy box of crabs

As I mentioned the other day, this Talk of the Town column about Paul Giamatti is easily the best example of the genre I have ever read. People in the comments to this post are encouraging me to write a scathing letter to the New Yorker about Kolbert’s article; I’m more inclined to write them a letter letting them know they can retire the feature because it’s peaked. End on a high note, guys.

Evidently Giamatti is working on a film about a soul extraction and storage company, a conceit that sounds pleasingly Kaufman-esque. His character’s soul, it turns out, looks like a chickpea. In the piece, Giamatti freewheels through descriptions of other famous souls, and apparently the guy majored in soul-description or something because he is AMAZING at it:

As he sipped chicken soup, reputed to pep up the soul, he grew less agitated. “I’d like to try Willie Nelson’s soul for a day,” he volunteered. “It would be like an ear of roasted corn. And I go to Dolly Parton, for some reason—her soul would be light and airy, like a hummingbird. Yes, I like the idea of having a country singer’s soul. But not Merle Haggard’s—it’d be an engine block. Powerful, but kind of rusty, with lots of buildup.

“Freud would be interesting,” he continued. “I’m seeing a piece of Babylonian statuary, with the curly beard, the half-a-lion, the wings. Or Donald Trump: a nice set of whitewall tires.” To Giamatti’s surprise, he was also drawn, like many another, to the apparently soulless Jessica Simpson: “I can’t get a read off of her, which is why I’m curious. Her soul might just be a tape measure.” He drew the line at the guitar player Slash, “a blood orange left on a windowsill, all dried out and leathery”; Kim Jong Il, “a crazy box of crabs”; and Henry Kissinger, “a doorknob.”

I don’t know if any of us here have Giamatti’s surprising facility with soul imagery, but let’s give it a shot. What would your soul look like if it were extracted? Some people, including me, find it a little daunting to codify their own soul (Giamatti says his is “a hand-painted ceramic toad,” but he’s clearly the master of this art) — so alternately, describe the soul of someone you know here or a famous person. (Obviously we’re not talking theologically here — you don’t have to believe in The Soul to play, and it should go without saying but let’s please not touch that with a ten-foot soul pole! Forget it, Jake, it’s Friday Fluff.)

213 thoughts on “Friday Fluff: A crazy box of crabs”

  1. hhmmmmm
    I think right now my soul would look like a hair elastic!
    No particular reason, it’s just the first image that came to mind.

  2. I love this, it’s so intriguing a game.

    I’d love to be able to claim something light and airy like the hummingbird – although hummingbirds are also quite fierce – but I think my soul would be a badger.

    Sort of awkward looking and tending toward ill-tempered, but also endearing in its own badgery way.

  3. I think maybe my soul would be a three or four day old cupcake, frosted, covered in plastic non-edible glitter. Alternately, a half full vial of purple glitter, coated in something kind of sticky.
    I get kind of stuck on the glitter thing, but I wouldn’t say I’m a particularly glittery person. I think it might be a bit easier to come up with other people’s souls. My mother’s would definitely be some kind of novelty keychain, for instance.

  4. My soul would be a cat staring at a closed door.

    My boss’ soul would be cherry jello filled with thumbtacks.

    My son’s soul is a flash of sunlight on a lake.

    My daughter’s soul is a beautiful piece of amber with a bug in it.

    I could do this for days. What a great concept!

  5. Mr. Twistie’s soul is definitely a piece of music. It’s a deceptively simple one that gets deeper and deeper as you listen. I think it was written by Mozart, with lyrics by Donald Fagin and John Lennon.

    My soul? I think it’s a particularly acidic remark of George Bernard Shaw’s rendered harmless in appearance with swoopy letters in rainbow colors. The whole thing is followed by a cream pie on a mechanical arm that smacks the unwary in the face.

  6. My soul is a half-grown black cat who’s just done an embarrassing header into a pile of fabric scraps and is looking at you with the classic feline ‘What? I meant to do that!’ expression.

  7. I think Sweet Machine’s is a Queen Anne chair, Kate’s is a card catalog, and A Sarah’s is a knot of polished wood with a flower planted in it.

  8. My soul is a Regency-era dress.

    My unhusband’s soul is a stainless-steel Stratocaster.

    ….hey, this IS fun!

  9. I see my soul as an old fashioned magnifying glass.. not sure why.. Am I the only one who was strangely moved by his self-description? It actually choked me up a little..

  10. Mine is a ball of handspun warm brown wool yarn, with some of that gold sparkly stuff in it.

    My mother’s is a pink plastic lawn flamingo wearing a pirate hat.

    My boyfriend is some excessively complicated gadget with lots of levers and flashing lights, which will make rhubarb pancakes when you push the button.

  11. I think mine is a glass of Madeira (a fortified wine that is like sherry but more delicious for those of you who don’t know it). I can visualize the exact glass,too–etched crystal with a faceted stem and a sturdy base.

    The Largely Mythological Husband is a big granite boulder, warmed by the sun, solid with beautiful sparkly bits.

  12. My husband’s is a boat battery.

    Oh and stlwtr, no, you’re not alone in that. That’s part of the reason the piece floored me so much — because it was so funny and surprising and then ended on that poetic note.

  13. i’m very much enjoying all of these descriptions! ^_^

    when i thought of what my soul might look like i instantly got an image of a chrome flashlight that was turned on. very curious.

  14. I’ve seen these crazy Halloween decoration/hanging doll things, part witch, part sproingy antennae, part fuzzy fluffy stuff, and I think that’s what my soul looks like.

  15. I’m thinking my soul is an antique teacup full to the brim with sea water and maybe with a few opaque marbles and bits of drift wood sloshing around in it.

    My husbands soul is almost certainly a geode full of amethyst and swedish fish candies.

  16. Ohhh…great game/idea

    I can’t come up with a single object…I keep ending up with a room setting lol

    My soul would be a heavy antique desk with a worn copy of Tennyson, a fountain pen and a doodle pad on it, with a wire trash can with crumpled papers inside.

    My sister’s soul is a whirling Dervish

  17. My husband’s soul is a well worn piece of boot leather. Mine – well, mine is a beautiful piece of torn orange sari silk.

  18. I think mine would be the academic library bound copy of If on a winter’s night a traveler that I am currently reading, including the frayed bookmark ribbon and the gently snarky, companionably frustrated marginalia penciled in by a bygone lit student.

  19. For some reason at this moment I picture my soul as something unsettlingly gelatinous, like a silicone breast implant (but not really one), covered on one side with ashes.

    My husband’s soul is a cardboard box containing broken toys and a priceless edition of a rare old book.

  20. I think my husband’s soul may be a pavane/galliard set. definitely some kind of early (pre-baroque) dance, both music and motion.

    I’ll have to think about myself some more. Maybe I’ll ask my husband. :)

  21. stlwtr — mine immediately came to mind and nearly brought tears to my eyes.

    limesarah — I want your boyfriend’s soul, or your boyfriend, or at least the pancakes : )

  22. I think mine would be one of those pink pencil erasers with staples poked through it in just the right way to make it look like a hedgehog.

    my fiance’s would be a breaker that had been used as a pencil holder/junk catcher

  23. I’d like to be fluffy but I just found out I have a bed full of bedbugs. We’re going to have to wash every scrap of clothing we have to get rid of any eggs, get rid of our bed, and have the slumlord come in and do whatever it is he does to get rid of them. I’m not sure our problem will be solved today, which is a real pisser since I have not slept yet and will not be able to sleep until we are bug free and have a new bed. As it stands, between washing the clothes and getting a new bed, we won’t make rent. The slumlord will probably chuck us out on our asses and move someone new into the hellhole. To top it all off, it will take roughly 15 hours to wash everything we own because our slumlord was kind enough to only have two working washers and dryers for the whole 80 unit building, and the closest laundrymat is too far to carry six giant plastic tubs to.

    So that’s my Friday, life shitting in me for being poor, as usual. If we can’t wash our clothes, we’ll have to throw them out, which means I’m not only out of a bed, a place to sleep, and possibly an apartment, I’m out of that rare and precious resource: fatty fashion. Oh yeah, and I had to chuck a couple hundred worth of yarn because it won’t stand up to the extreme heat washing that’s necessary.

  24. My soul is an old-fashioned multi-colored india rubber ball that’s been chewed a little.

    Mr. H’s is a silvery grey suede/silk blend button up shirt with the sleeves rolled up that’s been washed a whole lot.

    The little tiny piece of baby matter in my belly desperately trying to keep being alive’s is a wet black and white green eyed kitten stuck on a trellis trying to get a bird on the second floor window sill. Hang in there, little guy.

  25. Jon Stewart’s would be a sink full of dishes from a nice party that turned into a drinking party

    Vladimir Nabokov’s would be a pile of index cards

    Richard Nixon’s would be an unused deflated football

    Thanks for the new party game!

  26. “A Chair Can’t Marry a Book” just became my favorite thing in the world.

    Piggy Moo album title!

  27. I think my soul is a worn comforter that’s faded from years of washings. My beau’s soul is a teddy bear that’s absolutely beat to hell.

  28. I’m not sure about my soul – I imagine it would be made out of something vinyl-like, though. But really my favorite all time surprising imagery was in a poetry-writing class I took one summer, where a fellow student wrote that she “lost her virginity” and thought the expression was weird, and imagined her virginity sitting somewhere, like a retainer thrown out with the trash.

  29. Godless Heathen, if your slumlord tosses you in this mess, his soul is truly composed of bedbugs.

    Also, I would think that a chair and a book would be natural partners…unless the true partner of a book is the chaise longue I’m dreaming about right now. Mmmm…chaise longue.

  30. Godless Heathen, I doubt that bedbugs can survive freezing, so I would think you could save your yarn if you could put it in the freezer for a day or two – and anything else that can be frozen without harm, too. I speak as a vet rather than a pest controller, though, so please check before following my advice. Poor you.

    On a happier note, Amy, I love your antique teacup soul. After some thought, I think mine is a silver feather (I mean made of silver, not coloured silver). This is a great thread!

  31. My soul is an ancient wooden bowl holding freshly made, steaming oatmeal (made with milk, not water) and a green, plastic child’s spoon with Kermit the Frog on it.

  32. My soul begins with a coiled snake which never stretches itself straight, a sun-circle, a bowl, chalice or grail, and a lingam, and ends with the same snake.

  33. I think my soul would be a lemon cupcake, or perhaps a crocheted afghan.

    This is fun! :)

  34. For some reason, I think my soul is a teacup. An a adorable little brightly painted one, missing the rest of the set, found on a discount store shelf. It’s a little dusty and has a big thumb print on the side.

    I think this because every time I go to one of those salvage stores, I look for lonely teacups.

    My husband’s is a very large dog, smiling and wagging its tail.

  35. Shit, Godless Heathen. I’m so sorry to hear about this ordeal. If you lived near me, I would offer you my extra bedroom and unlimited use of the washer and dryer.

    Go to etsy, and find me, my username is emmster. I have a lot of yarn that’s up for “sale or trade.” Pick one or two that you like, give me a place to send them, and I’ll help you rebuild your yarn stash, at least.

  36. this is hard! I don’t know if I’m the right person to say what my soul is like. And Paul Giamatti has set the bar way to high for poetic and apt descriptions anyway.

    Is it cheating to say my boyfriend’s soul would be one of the Statler and Waldorf puppets, given how often he declares his aspiration to be just like Statler and Waldorf?
    I mean, his soul is absolutely a grumpy muppet.

  37. Agh. Correction to the last post. I meant ravelry, not etsy. My etsy store is empty for the moment. And I may not have all my yarns properly marked, but all the ones in “stash” are not being used in projects, so pick whatever you want.

    Curses on typing faster than I think.

  38. My soul is a tiny little pinprick of light in the night sky. Not an actual star, just the idea of it.

    My husband’s is a wanderer in an old forest, deep in thought, not lost but without a destination.

  39. Hmmm… My soul is a stuffed penguin made of purple plush, wearing a red bandanna Rambo-style around it’s head. Sewn in the grip of one flipper is a large stainless steel spork.

  40. I love this! Posted it to my FB page … I think mine might be a bag of old Scrabble tiles, some missing and some worn. :)

  41. I think my soul would be like rain over a lake. It’s the first thing that popped into my head.

  42. #
    My soul? I think it’s a particularly acidic remark of George Bernard Shaw’s rendered harmless in appearance with swoopy letters in rainbow colors. The whole thing is followed by a cream pie on a mechanical arm that smacks the unwary in the face.


  43. Mushroom Mushroom?

    Shinobi, I nearly just snorted blueberry cider all over this keyboard.

    My soul is an old, battered guitar, painted purple and covered in stickers, that got left out on a park bench for a long time but when found, was astonishigly still in tune.

    My husband’s would be, I think, an old Russian camera that’s been customized with model paint and plastic doodads, and which contains a black-and-white film on which are genuine photos of Bigfoot.

    My brother’s soul is a small, compact black and white box of very modern, formal design, which now and again emits small puffs of multi-colored smoke.

    My four-year-old nephew’s is a psychotic Great Dane. On Twinkies.

    The soul of my work colleague in the next door office is a pink furry blanket with a cunningly concealed pocket for a Stanley knife. And our secretary’s is a sort of cross between a chipmunk and an alarm clock that won’t stop going off.

    Hey, I like this…

  44. Hmm, you really have to think about your qualities, don’t you? It is an interesting exercise. I’m definitely a bird. A little elusive, shy, but I’m hanging around ‘cos I want to know what is going on. I think I’m a pigeon. I don’t fly as often as I should and spend a lot of time running from thing to thing. And I’m not afraid to crap on stuff. :-)

  45. Holy cats, godless heathen, that’s horrible. What sizes do you wear? I have a bunch of good used clothes that no longer work for me.

    My soul is a bed pillow, covered in a pillowcase of soft blue and white striped cotton edged in hand-crocheted lace.

  46. My soul is definitely a bee, drunk on wine, flying around a pepper tree on a late, hot summer afternoon, with one slightly wonky wing.

    My bosses’ soul is a beautifully organized database with absolutely no password protection at all.

    My mother’s is a wooden kitchen spoon that’s been washed so many times the wood is soft.

    My dad’s is a toy train with very little track and an extraordinarily loud whistle. And a four-year-old red-haired conductor with chocolate stains in the corners of his mouth.

  47. Two more favorites:

    My soul would be rain on hot asphalt.

    My bosses’ soul is a beautifully organized database with absolutely no password protection at all.

    I keep trying to think of what Mr. K’s soul would be, and I keep coming up with a detonator, one of those ones like Wylie Coyote used to use on his Acme dynamite (with the big plunger handle). Is that bad?

  48. I think that my soul would resemble an old book…you know, the pretty ones you decorate your study with.

    Side note: Just found out that my baby is a boy! My heart swelled with pride, when the ultrasound technician said he had a “big, Buddha belly.” “Just like his mom’s,” I said.

  49. My soul is a piece of gingerbread, warm from the oven but not too hot to eat. With a dollop of whipped cream on top.

    @interfacings — OMG, your boyfriend and my husband have the SAME SOUL. Does that mean one is Statler and the other Waldorf?

  50. Godless Heathen- if you e mail me at I would happily send you some knitting wool (that’s yarn isn’t it?) as I have more than I know what to do with :)

    My husband’s soul is the smell of a cricket bat that someone has lovingly rubbed down with linseed oil and left in the sun to warm for one hour.

    My mum’s soul is the smell of hot rice pudding with a big swirl of raspberry jam, sat on a warm soft blue blanket (if a smell can sit on a blanket).

    My father’s soul is a lemon doused in Tabasco sauce with a sprinkling of hundreds and thousands.

    My best friend’s soul is a big sea-green cat asleep on a windowseat in the library of a country house.

    My soul is a gleaming scimitar slicing through a Turkish Delight, like this

    this is a great game! :D

  51. It occurs to me that this reminds me of my dad’s speech at my wedding, where he said I was like mercury (the metal, not the planet) and Dan was like the earth (the planet).

  52. My soul is a well-worn copy of the original Better Homes & Garden Cookbook with the red gingham cover. Its pages are filled with notes the margin like, “Omit salt” and “increase to 1 cup” and “Not good – don’t make this again.” It can’t be picked up without little slips of paper falling out because it’s just stuffed with recipes clipped from newspapers, magazines, and jotted down on the backs of old shopping lists.

  53. My soul is a tennis ball that looks brand new but is actually completely saturated with doggie drool.

  54. I was having so much trouble with this, and then it came to me!

    My soul is a small plastic bear I had as a child. Her name was Garbo the Ted.

  55. One of those ugly and gaudy but inexplicably awesome pins you occasionally find at a thrift store. Probably shaped like a starfish or a turtle or… I don’t know… maybe a goat? Some weird animal.

  56. Jmars, I think it does. I don’t know if these means they should be kept far apart from each other, or if we should be trying to arrange a meeting…

  57. My soul is a small Japanese maple branch, just starting to turn. My husband’s is a perfectly rectagular crystal of watermelon tourmaline. Oddly enough, they go together fine.

  58. Mine is purple northern lights on a black night sky. Iridescent and shimmering and it won’t stop changing shape.

  59. A crazy quilt, the one my grandmother made, that’s all faded and torn and still somehow perfect.

  60. My soul is a tree that has grown out of solid rock. It is over 2 miles above sea level and is twisted from the hurricane-force winter winds.

    My son’s soul is a river that flows up the mountain.

  61. My soul is a clear large turquoise marble shot with bubbles and streaks, spinning slowly and apparently unsuspended in midair.

    My husband’s soul is a cheerful bakelite bannana on wheels.

  62. I think my soul looks like a box of legos: brightly colored but you’re not quite sure if all the pieces are there but you’ll build something stunning anyway.

  63. Hmm. Mine is an opened but still-unused box of fresh, crisp stationery. My husband’s is a well-worn-in, threadbare comfy chair.

  64. My sister’s is a fine red wine in an unusual, funky glass.
    My partner’s is an antique rolltop desk with lots of pigeonholes and secret compartments.
    His father’s is a really nice, classy fountain pen.
    Our cat’s…well, I’m pretty sure her soul looks just like her.
    I haven’t been able to figure out my own yet. But this is great fun!

  65. Mine is a pair of green and yellow curtains in a sunny kitchen.

    The kitchen where my mind goes when it isn’t anywhere else.

    [Caitlin, yours is stunningly perfect.]

  66. My soul is an old hammer, with a time polished handle that feels cool in your hand and a comfortable heft that lets you know it’s quality goods.

  67. I think I’m visualizing mine as a small fluffy pink cloud that smells a little bit sweet, maybe like pomegranates. And it can float over all the bad stuff in the world and not be tainted by it.

  68. My soul is a pink Mr Kipling’s Fondant Fancy.

    My best friend’s soul is a pretty bone china mug two thirds full of Rose Pouchong. That’s probably why we get along so well.

    My cat’s souls are, respectively, a bright greeny-gold dragonfly zigzagging across a pond in bright sunlight, and a dusty pewter urn with the word “doom” engraved upon it.

    MeMe Roth’s soul is a very small yellow metal stapler.

  69. I really do not have a feel for this game, because I don’t think I really get it, but I am accepting submissions for objects for my soul.

    This is my favorite book chair. I chose not to sit, because I wasn’t sure it could handle being sat upon, but apparently it can!

  70. My soul is part red & green dragon & part four-year-old who loves everything about October & Halloween above almost all things.

  71. My soul is a pointy witch hat with jaunty peacock and ostrich plumes attached by an antique broach. :-)

  72. Why do I feel like I’m just a half-step away from writing The Golden Compass fanfic? ;-)

    “If your soul were an animal…”

  73. Volcanista –

    I see your soul as a heavy, handmade, red ceramic bowl. The kind with little swirled finger marks left by the artist on the bottom.

  74. Oh, this is interesting!

    I think my soul may look like a combination of a Bible, a Bach cantata, and a bucket of purple paint.

    Hmm, that sounds messy, lol.

  75. Hmm, that sounds messy, lol.

    But what a great excuse for any disorganization! “Sorry it took so long to find the tickets. I’m having a messy soul day.”

  76. I like the soul imagery from the “His Dark Materials” trilogy (i.e. The Golden Compass, etc.) better, where a person’s soul is externalized in the form of a representative intelligent mind-talking animal.

  77. My soul is the feeling of walking into a used bookstore, knowing there are treasures to be found but only if you are willing to take the time and search for them.

  78. I’m having a messy soul day

    I totally need to start saying this on a regular basis, especially at church. :)

  79. My soul is a day planner with every line filled in, which are then scratched out and ignored completely.

    My husband’s soul is Dug (the dog) from the movie UP. Seriously, when I saw that movie I literally sat there thinking “holy crap! that’s my husband!”

  80. @Godless Heathen,

    I know you weren’t asking for help, but if said offers are acceptable, please let me know if there’s anything I can do. I’ve got yarn and clothes, depending on what yarn type/ clothes size you require.

  81. Mine would be something awkward and messy and asymmetrical – maybe like a Calder-esque mobile, only less structured.

    (First-time poster, btw! I love your blog and I love what you do.)

  82. This thread reminds me of A Dirty Job by Christopher Moore somthing fierce.

    My soul is probably like the first edition copy of “The Moon Is Down” by Steinbeck that my dad gave me a few Christmasses ago. It’s battered and probably not worth that much, but it smells divinely book-like. I’m a little afraid to open it because I don’t want it to fall apart; I actually had to borrow it from the library so I wouldn’t hurt my copy.

  83. My first thought was that my soul is an anvil, still warm from the silversmith’s work.

    Then, I thought of a jet engine, all ready to be placed in the jet but the rest of the plane isn’t built yet.

    And then, a thick ribbon of hot fudge about to land on top of vanilla ice cream and chocolate bundt cake.

    Lastly, the first sweet giagntic drops of rain when the cloudburst finally starts after thunder and lightening and stiflingly hot humid weather as they hit the dusty pavement.

    Can you tell I like my soul?

    My husband and vivelafat have the same soul!

    And my daughter’s soul is shaped like the last piece of a puzzle you’ve spent 30 minutes looking for and you find it behind the leg of the couch, only the rest of the puzzle is made of wood and this piece is rose quartz and it fits perfectly, right in the middle.

  84. @Godless Heathen – If you have a vehicle (or a friend with a vehicle – I mean, if you were my friend, I’d bust out my car even though I just use it for “emergencies”), could save you the cost of a new bed. Even if it’s slightly crappy (but bedbug-free), it’ll get you some time to save up for a bed while keeping a roof over your head.

  85. I’m having some trouble. My two favorite animals are cats and gorillas, so what I came up with is a gorilla that likes to cuddle and has a cat tail, which is a really weird mental image, but it makes me happy, so that’s what I’m going with for now.

  86. My soul is an I-Spy book, full of photographs and things to find, thousands of items all with stories.

    My friends soul is a phrasebook, English to a language no one has named yet.

    Another friend’s soul is a slightly misfiring lightbulb circuit, set so no one knows when it will flash.

    My mother’s soul is a Turing (sp?) punch card, everything in it’s place, to excecute a hundred complex functions.

    … I should stop.

  87. “They crowded around her, and Koko, who plays favorites, asked one woman wearing red to come closer. The woman handed her a business card, which Koko promptly ate.”

    Wellroundedtype2 – I heart you! I am in love with Koko! And I have idolized Penny Patterson since I heard about her in second grade (mid 80s). In fact, my parents still have a little paragraph I wrote that year stating that I wanted to teach gorillas sign language when I grew up and then there’s this really bizarre drawing of a gorilla. I think I had to define scientific terms, because a lot of words like “natural habitat” are underlined.

  88. mine is a length of candy-apple red silk rope. flexible and useful and much stronger that it looks. a practical object, but still beautiful. and it might have been used to climb a mountain… or for some shibari… or more likely both.

  89. Huh… the weird thing is that I’ve actually pictured my soul before as some kind of glass globe terrarium thing, with some kind of moth inside that keeps flapping around frantically because the inside of the globe is too slick to get any kind of traction so she can’t land. (And I probably just revealed more than I meant to about my psyche just now.)

    But then Fillyjonk’s description knocked me out of my chair. Yes, let’s go with that one, please! Polished wood, flower on it, couldn’t have done (and in fact didn’t do) better myself! :) (Fillyjonk, it’s downright scary that you came up with that by only knowing me over email! You are one perceptive lady!)

    Also, I REALLY feel like I know someone whose soul is white toast and a glass of orange juice on a formica countertop… but I’m not sure who it is.

    (Incidentally, hello everyone! I’m back! We’ve just moved to another state in another part of the country and are drowning in boxes, so that put me out of the loop for the last week.)

  90. OH OH OH! And whose soul is it that’s the smell of the first day of school? I know there’s someone.

    (Sorry, I know I’m playing the game backwards, but for some reason that’s the only way I’m able.)

  91. My soul is a very old book, big and leather-covered, laying open at a random spot in the middle, with big old-fashioned text and the lovely smell of old books that I love. But also, at the same time, it’s a pitahaya fruit.

  92. My friend Suzanne’s soul is almost certainly a bright pink melanine bowl filled with Flying Saucer sweets :)

  93. Off-topic: is it weird that I keep reading the title of this post as “A crazy box of CARBS”? I keep imagining a big crate of, say, baby donuts, etc.

    Okay, back to your regularly scheduled programming.

  94. This is a fun thread! I’ve always pictured my soul as a white cougar (the cat, not the cradle-robber) with golden tipped fur. It’s probably perched on a mountain of books.

    My husband’s soul is a train built of legos on top of a computer.

    My eldest’s is a blue and white china bowl of butterscotch pudding.

    My daughter’s is a sparkley pink butterfly with a chef’s knife.

    My youngest is a spring with robot arms.

  95. SM, ok, whose soul is the mist that comes up off Niagara Falls and ruins all your photographs? ;)

  96. Fillyjonk, it’s downright scary that you came up with that by only knowing me over email!

    I actually find it a little easier to do people I don’t know as well! I had to work really hard on Kate’s and SM’s and I’m still not quite sure I got Kate right, but yours just came to me.

  97. I think Z my younger son’s soul would be a shiny bug that can dart across the water surface. S the older son’s soul would be the part in the story that the information you found out before but didn’t make sense suddenly makes sense. My soul is an osprey with a fish in its claws, on its way to its nest. Partner S’s soul is an adolescent dog that is too big for its annoying behavior but still sweet and endearing, and you think, just maybe, it may be getting better.

  98. My soul is a stuffed animal worn near to pieces from years of being a child’s favorite, now tucked away in a box in the corner of an attic or garage. My partner’s soul is surprisingly similar…a LEGO spaceship sitting on the high shelf of a closet in what was once a young boy’s bedroom but is now his parents’ home office since the boy has grown up and moved out.

  99. I love so many of these.

    My soul is a big hunk of white fondant, just waiting to be coloured, rolled out, and put onto a beautiful cake.

    My mother’s soul would be a big organic carrot right out of the garden, with a little bit of dirt clinging to it, but you don’t notice because it tastes so good and fresh.

  100. I think my soul is a souvenir shot glass from somewhere funky and kind of busted, like Detroit or New Orleans. And, of course, it’s full of Jose Cuervo.

    My roommates’ souls are, respectively, a perfectly ripe clementine and a Godzilla wind-up toy.

    My mother’s soul is a pair of old, faded blue jeans that’s soft to the touch, fits perfectly, and has deep pockets for keeping important things.

    My father’s soul is a big, airy room with lots of bright-colored pictures on the walls, mismatched furniture, and a huge skylight.

    My sister’s soul is a hermit crab, its shell painted with intricate Japanese-looking designs in pale green and blue.

    My brother’s soul is an old-school green Cadillac with tailfins and a top speed of about 50 mph, downhill.

    My other brother would be a box in the attic with about six different masking-tape labels, all saying different things. On the inside are piles and piles of paperback books.

  101. Oh, and I have a friend whose soul is one of those trick birthday-cake candles, the neon pink or blue ones that come back to life after you think you’ve blown them out.

  102. threnody, yay!!! All the best to you and your wee one.

    These are awesome. You people are fascinating.

  103. So of course I was all, “Wait, what are we congratulating Threnody for?” and then I read upthread… YAY! Congratulations! I mean, I’d say the same for a girl, but I just mean congratulations on knowing this little bit more about your baby. Isn’t that neat? :) And a belly! Hooray for bellies!

  104. My soul is a pair of earrings made out of wire and King Cake babies. One can only say things that are sweet and nice, and the other can only say things that are snarky and cutting.

    My mother’s soul is a bright blue butterfly with blonde Pollyanna braids that lands on things ever so lightly.

    My father’s soul is the Walking Liberty dime he carries around in his wallet.

    My sister is a giant fuschia golden retriever puppy, but her ears are bigger so she can roll up in them to sleep.

    To me, Barack Obama’s soul is the bright headlight of an old-fashined steam engine as it goes into a dark tunnel.

  105. Also re: bedbugs. You can have then frozen out of your mattress with compressed CO2. My neighbor got them and the landlord did not want to exterminate, so we were going to rig something up with a fire extinguisher. (Making sure it was the CO2 kind, and knowing that it would put fire extinguisher powder in the mattress). But we ended up getting one of my other neighbors, who has a powerful Voice of God voice, to call and convince them extermination was in their best interest.

    So, that’s a possibility . . . well, both of those things.

    Hope everything works out!

  106. This reminds me of the patronus that characters make in Harry Potter.

    My soul is a warm, fuzzy blanket that was bought in 1982 and has purple and pink raindrops on it.

    My husband’s soul is a basketball with a little bit of dirt on it.

    My dog’s soul is warm sunshine.

  107. @GodlessHeathen: Here’s a link discussing a study that suggests putting dry items in the dryer on high heat for 5 minutes or so is effective in destroying bedbug eggs.
    If you are still in the process of trying to launder everything (and I’ve been through it, I know what a pain in the arse it is), maybe this technique could save you time and money. I haven’t used it personally, so can’t vouch for it, but I would be more than willing to try it if I had an infestation again.
    I also second the FreeCycle possibility, if you have access to a vehicle–you can even post a “want” regarding a mattress, it’s not like you have to wait for someone to offer one.
    Best of luck to you, what a shitty situation.

  108. My soul is a spool of black satin ribbon with knots in it in various places.

    My boyfriend’s soul is a Jack Russell terrier: friendly and fun but fierce and loyal.

  109. More awesomeness:

    To me, Barack Obama’s soul is the bright headlight of an old-fashined steam engine as it goes into a dark tunnel.

    and, @ASarah —

    I know this person too:

    Also, I REALLY feel like I know someone whose soul is white toast and a glass of orange juice on a formica countertop… but I’m not sure who it is.

    When you figure out who it is, let me know…

  110. My soul is a fuzzy kitty tummy. Sometimes you can touch me and rub your face in all my fuzzy goodness. And sometimes I just want to be left the hell alone and so I just bite.

  111. Here’s the result of a ‘play at your own risk’ round:

    My husband says that my soul is ‘the bleeding heart of Jesus Christ,’ and his is ‘a vacuum cleaner.’

    He’s taken, ladies!

  112. My husband says that my soul is ‘the bleeding heart of Jesus Christ,’

    AHahahahahaha. That made me laugh harder than I have all day.

  113. My soul is one of those tigers you see in a traveling circus, trapped behind ridiculously heavy cast iron bars.

    My boyfriend’s soul is a battered duffel bag full of transformers, g.i. joes, and bits of electronics.

  114. I’m surprised that only one person so far has mentioned Christopher Moore’s A Dirty Job–a book where people’s souls, in order to move on, inhabit objects that were very important or relevant to them in life, and then eventually the other person “meant” to have that soul will encounter that object, and it transfers. And there are people whose calling it is to make sure these objects get transferred to the right people.

    Although it looks like Giamatti’s film is *not* A Dirty Job, but of a similar strain…too bad. Someone should make A Dirty Job into a movie, stat! :D

    As for my soul…I can’t really figure it out. I’ve tended to describe my mind like a bucket of paint containing yellow and blue paints swirled together without mixing, but that’s not my soul. Maybe I’ll ask my boyfriend.

  115. I feel too tired to describe my soul (or lack thereof)…but I do have to say that I saw this film (Cold Souls) at the New Directors New Films Film Festival in NYC and LOVED IT. Giamatti is fabulous in it (as always) and the conceit is freaking fantastic.

    I definitely recommend it if you get the opportunity.

  116. I think my soul would be a badger.
    Mushroom Mushroom?

    Hey, Shinobi – I think I love you.

    I actually had no idea what this meant so I googled it and found the Badger Badger Badger song thing! Soooo me and my soul. I am a dancing troupe of badgers with mushroom accents.

  117. I’m not sure what mine is, but my husband’s soul is definitely a protractor (remember those from school?). But his comes with extra electronic bells and whistles for functions I can’t figure out.

    My baby boy’s soul is a cute little white goat with a mouthful of prickly but pretty purple thistles.

  118. I’d like my soul to be an amazing red victorian era dress, like the one Alma Garrett wears in Deadwood, or Nicole Kidman wears in Moulin Rogue. Or maybe it would just be a picture of the back of one of those dresses.

    5yr old nephew – a clear stream bubbling over rocks and sand with some tadpoles
    3 yr old nephew – a kitty playing with some yarn, rolling and tumbling.
    1 yr old nephew – a wise bird who sits on a branch and patiently helps his friends with their troubles.

  119. Ooo cute idea.

    Two images come to mind when I think of what my soul might be.

    1. An old dry, twisted piece of driftwood that constantly bursts into flames (driftwood burns blue and green – because of the salt, I think)

    2. An old, worn, dark leather saddle. So used and broken in that its a comfortable to sit in as your favorite comfy chair and you can just ride in it all day without so much as a twinge of soreness.

  120. Off-topic: is it weird that I keep reading the title of this post as “A crazy box of CARBS”? I keep imagining a big crate of, say, baby donuts, etc.

    My soul is a big crate of baby donuts. ;)

  121. My soul is a perfectly spherical ball of crumpled aluminum foil.

    My mother’s is an old-fashioned clothespin, weathered to a grayish-brown from years outside.

    My father’s is a baseball with unintelligible signatures.

  122. Emmz and whoever else first mentioned A Dirty Job, I love that book! Moore is one of my favorite funny writers. “Fuzz on his toast! Fuzz on the toast of Death.”

    After reading that book, I tried to decide where my soul will end up when I die, and I narrowed it down to either my wall clock that runs counterclockwise, or my leather-bound, gilt-edged Complete Frank Miller Batman.

  123. My boyfriend says his soul would either be a potato (plain, regular old potato) or a 1983 issue of playboy.

    (Sorry ladies, he’s taken!)

  124. My soul is a music stand, the old fashioned kind with lots of narrow drawers. Probably no longer full of music, but the drawers are closed so who knows.

  125. my soul is someone wandering along an endless shoreline, gathering pretty and unusual rocks, shells, and pieces of sea-glass… and is also simultaneously the rocks, shells, and pieces of sea-glass being gathered up.

  126. Mine would be a lit candle in an otherwise gently dark but ever so slightly creepy room. The candle would be a deep warm red and scented, but the scent escapes me and it’s nothing I’ve ever smelled before—but I’ll know it when I do. It would be resting on a simple, rugged, rough-hewn walnut writing table with a small iron plate as a candle holder, and it would illuminate a leather-bound blank book and a pen.

  127. I also loved “A Dirty Job”, wonderful book.

    These are in turn hilarious and beautiful.

    My soul would be a vase of deep blue cornflowers sharing space with a pile of books on an old mahogany table. On top of that pile of books is my old silver and blue topaz ring.

  128. I couldn’t come up with a soul description. But my friend assures me with great confidence that I am a “fluffy saber-toothed bunny.”

    Um, thanks?

  129. My soul would be an old hand carved walking staff that was polished with lavender and rose oil. Probably has a dragon and phoenix and wolf carved on it as well.

    My mom’s would look like an English garden. and my Dad’s would look like an old southern Plantation by the Mississippi river.

  130. volcanista’s is a cuckoo from a cuckoo clock.

    Caitlin’s is a jaunty velvet hat. Maybe even a velvet fedora.

    I was originally going to say that Kate’s soul was a subway car but thought maybe that was too big; people are moving away from the “small discrete object” paradigm though so I’m going to go ahead and say that and she can pick which she likes better.

    Al’s is a rude statue made of clay.

    Mr. Machine’s is a college-ruled spiral notebook.

    A couple of ex-boyfriends: a stainless steel sink that needs to be rinsed out, barnacles from under a dock, a perfectly smooth piece of metal with a jagged edge.

  131. Famous/well-known people: Rachel Maddow’s is a telescope, Meme Roth’s is a piece of gum under a desk, Joy Nash’s is a well-loved plush elephant, John Hodgman’s is a Dungeons & Dragons manual, Rush Limbaugh’s is a sea cucumber. Walter Cronkite’s was a timpani.

    I can’t improve on bellacoker’s one for Obama even if I tried. Garry Trudeau, take note.

  132. John Cusack’s soul would be an old early rock record on vinyl. Garrison Keillor’s would be one of those wood plaque things that says “Welcome to the lake!” or something similar. Zooey Deschanel would be a small ivory pearl.

    One of my good friends, Arnie, his soul would be a bike pedal, and he told me my soul is my first tattoo, which is a bearded monster with spirally eyes.

  133. I love these. These need to be made into a book! I am seriously thinking about saving this page to read when I’m down.

    Whoever said their cat is a pewter mug engraved with the word “DOOM”… my cat’s soul looks just like her, with her head stuck in that pewter mug. She likes sticking her head in stuff. My other cat’s soul is a pair of spats, or black wingtip shoes, dancing like Fred Astaire.

    My father’s soul is a rowan tree, sitting on a granite boulder eating a banana

    My mother’s soul is a riot of stargazer lilies in a large copper clawfoot bathtub.

    My sister is a vintage mirrorball.

    Sometimes I’m a cracked (but pretty, and usable) teapot, sometimes a peacock-feather fan.

    My husband is a well-worn emerald-green velvet coat in 18th c. style, with silver trim and a sextant in every pocket.

  134. Yay! I’m happy to see other Christopher Moore fans here.

    When I first started reading his books (I was reading Bloodsucking Fiends), I hit a really funny part while I was on the bus, and was afterward approached by a couple of people who wanted to know what I was reading because they “had to know”. Apparently I’d been laughing at a book way more publicly than is socially acceptable.

  135. @ juliah “Apparently I’d been laughing at a book way more publicly than is socially acceptable.”

    I do the same thing, on the bus, in the aisles of card stores, wherever. First I’m embarrassed then not. Everyone should hear good natured laughter during their day. And join in…if possible.

  136. My soul is definitely some kind of dog that has great big paws which are all tangled in its leash. It is very pleased to meet you and would like you to untangle it, please, and also is that food in that bag you’re carrying?

  137. I am okay with being a cuckoo clock cuckoo, as long as I have broken free of my little spring and am not controlled by the clock chimes anymore.

    FJ, I found your ex-boyfriend’s soul in my kitchen! best not come visit.

  138. I wasn’t thinking of it as “controlled” so much as “serious and dependable” (to temper the exuberance of regular cuckoo-ing).

    I found my ex-boyfriend’s soul in my kitchen too! That’s how I knew what it was. I was like “somehow this sink reminds me of [ex who, if an ex had to live in my kitchen, it should probably be this one].” Then once I got thinking, the other two were obvious.

  139. The more I think about it, the more I think I need to remove the brownie part above. I think my soul is just sparkly purple. It likes brownies, I just don’t think it is one.

    One ex’s soul is a piece of iron rebar.

    Another’s is a slide rule made of marshmallows.

    My mother’s is a a small pebble caught in her shoe.

    My father’s is a hemostat.

    My husband’s is an electronic doohickey made of vacuum tubes.

    My sister’s is a throw pillow with tassels.

    Her husband’s is a set of Mickey Mouse ears.

  140. My soul is the little chrome padlock that I put onto a chain for a necklace; it’s fully functional, but I don’t have the key, and its surface is covered with a web of tiny scratches that you can’t see unless you’re looking very closely.
    (It probably reveals entirely too much about me that that’s what I immediately thought of!)

    My mom’s soul is a lemon meringue pie.

    My dad’s soul is an old-fashioned ledger book. But not in a bad way.

    A friend’s soul is a sea anemone.

    My ex’s soul is car with a broken clutch.

    Another friend’s soul is a red t-shirt with a band logo on it.

  141. My soul is a fancy old glass perfume atomizer, with etched designs, a multitude of colors, and golden tassles; when you squeeze the bulb, sometimes the scent is heavenly, sometimes it is horrible, and sometimes no scent comes out at all.

    I feel like I’m cheating a little since it seems like most people chose the first thing that popped into their heads and mine were crazy things like toilet paper and gumballs. But I dreamt the final submission. Thanks for a fun thread!

  142. my husband’s soul is an oversized extra warm blanket made of quicksilver velvet and lined with slightly frayed black satin on the inside.

    my mom’s soul is a white leather book on etiquette sitting on a formal writing desk with a cup of organic chamomile tea.

    my mom’s husband’s soul is a well used wood-handled hammer that dispenses whatever wisdom you need to hear at the moment every time you use to hit a nail.

    my small dog’s soul is an animated plush godzilla toy that is trying ineffectively to protect you but is cute nonetheless.

    my big dog’s soul is a fluffy pashmina pillow with random spots of yellow velcro so it sticks to your pant leg but you don’t mind so much b/c it’s very soft.

  143. My boyfriend claims his is a CPU, but that doesn’t seem accurate to me. Too cold. But I haven’t figured out what is right for him yet. The closest I’ve come is a warm brownie with caramel sauce, but that’s potentially too icky-sweet. He’s warm and sweet, but not to the point of being icky.

    My ex’s soul is one of those plastic name-tag holders with a pin on the back. It’s empty though.

  144. Sharon Astyk‘s soul is a six-foot-tall dandelion. Plus pie.

    I also have to revise my assessment of by boyfriend’s soul — he is a lost robot puppy. Like one of those Japanese puppy toys that’s gone WALL-Efied. The mental image made him giggle for a good 15 seconds, so I suspect it’s more accurate than the pancake-maker.

    My dad’s soul is an intricately hand-carved wooden slide rule.

    My friend J’s is a dark blue lightweight velvet scarf with rows of tiny bells on the ends.

  145. My soul is a tangled mass of clear plastic rope(like the kind you made lanyards from as a kid) with sparkles in it.

    My boyfriend’s soul is a guy running up a brick wall.

  146. my soul is a fat, ripe, juicy tomato, drizzled with extra virgin olive oil

    my ex-lovers soul is the heel of a male flameco dancers shoe

    and can I just say that I choose Paul Giamatti for my pretend boyfriend

  147. I’m kind of shocked that something came to me so immediately, and that it made a kind of sense even so: my soul is a tin of Hershey’s Cocoa.

    Kind of blocky, but with rounded edges. Brown, but with interesting silvery details. Commonplace, but at home in the kitchen. Filled with chocolate-smelling goodness that is bitter at first blush but can be endlessly combined to delicious effect.

    Damn, who knew?

  148. My soul is a purple spiral-bound notebook full of poems and stories and D&D character notes, with a picture of a unicorn scotch-taped to the cover.

    My husband’s soul might be a blue bowl of coffee ice cream with chocolate syrup, or it might be a computer, McGyvered together with miscellaneous parts, including an egg-beater and blue duct tape, but that runs World of Warcraft flawlessly.

    I have one friend whose soul is a red dragon that reads a lot of comics. Another is a small black kitten.

  149. I think my soul would be a patchwork quilt. Or this one necklace I have that’s a piece of pink quartz cut in the shape of a trapezoid and suspended on an oblong-linked chain from one of its corners. The quilt because I’m so…quirky and just everywhere and each bit of me comes from somewhere else and tells a story. The necklace because it’s odd, and somewhat original, but delightfully charming.

    My mother’s soul would have to be a crystal vase with dried flowers. She can be so strong and so cold, but inside she’s quite fragile.

    My stepfather would be an accordion. As soon as I thought of him, I thought of his accordion Excalibur.

    My cat–and yes, I do believe cat’s have souls, they are far too intelligent not to possess one–is a newspaper. An everyday item that is just always there when you need it for something else entirely.

    All of my friends I can think of as fruit. My friend Sam would be a tart strawberry, and Amanda would be a really juicy Pink Lady apple. PJ would be a bruised banana that’s still really sweet with its brown spots, and Becca and her boyfriend Brian would be two cherries.

  150. My soul is a slightly dusty room crammed to the gills with books, none of them in any kind of order – just piled onto tables, and stacked in the corners, and spilling off of shelves and out of boxes. And of course, they’re all books that you want to read, and there’s a nice, fat armchair to curl up in. And a bottomless coffee pot.

  151. My soul is a little farm-goat that likes to think it’s a mountain goat, with those dragon-slit eyes, big bat wings, and a tangle of very soft fluffy hair over its breastbone. It likes to fly to the top of tall buildings and sit there.

  152. My soul is a giant, slightly manky grey cat asleep on a pile of second-hand paperbacks.

    My mother’s soul is a metronome with a panic disorder.

    My father’s soul is a decommissioned military jet.

    My brother’s soul is a pizza with a mousetrap inside.

  153. My soul is a Chocolait Hub 70% dark hot chocolate with cinnamon

    My husband’s soul is blues riff on a 1965 Fender Stratocaster

    My daughter’s soul is something heard only by her inside a headphone

    My son’s soul is fighting space marine hugging a chocolate labrador

  154. My mother’s soul is a novelty blue eyeball-in-a-ball, that wobbles around but always settles to looking up.

    My partner’s is the computer mouse that fits your hand so perfectly you’d never get rid of it, even if the wires are starting to fray.

    Dubya’s is an old well-worn baseball cap from some band you vaguely remember from the 80s that you’re pretty sure no one liked even when they were really popular.

    I think mine may be my grandparent’s cuckoo clock that never keeps the right time, and sometimes cuckoos too much and sometimes too little, but somehow is still worth keeping around.

  155. My soul is the light cast by an abstract stained-glass window. My mother is a beat-up old plastic lawn flamingo in a circle of grass that has been hand-trimmed with scissors to exactly half an inch long. My dad is a set of high-quality metal calipers with all of the numbers printed backwards. My friend Caitlin is a fountain of golden sparkles and shirley temples (the drink, not the child actress). My cats are…. themselves. My fiance is a high-tech robotic cat, that’s standoffish and sometimes fierce to most people, but sweet and clingy and affectionate to who it’s adopted as its owner. My cousin Kaylene is a well-loved favourite childrens’ book. Her husband is a wind-up toy dinosaur and her son is a brightly painted top.

    This is interesting!

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