Eclectic Curiosity

The Raccoon Riff


Posted on April 6th, 2008, by Steve Hardy in Archives, Miscellany. No Comments

The office at which I work, Airborne Mobile, is populated by an eclectic crew of seriously talented and not-so-seriously funny people. We have an opt-in internal email list called “Fun” and it’s where the serial web link forwarders and jokesters post their “non-work” nonsense. I’m on it along with dozens of others – including one Tom Inoue, a senior graphic designer with whom I’ve had the pleasure to work with on a couple high-concept projects. He’s a supremely skilled visual artist with a sharp eye and some major Photoshop chops. As it turns out, he’s also got some impressive Google-fu when it comes to finding just the right completely random image for the moment.

Many months ago, someone started on the “Fun” list a series called “Friday’s random picture.” It was exactly that; a bizarre or compelling image with no context whatsoever. Sometimes it would garner a chuckle. One Friday, an image found at icanhascheezburger.com of a raccoon with outstretched arms was posted. Here it is:


Soon after, Tom quickly photoshopped the charming raccoon into a few baseball scenes.




This was amusing to some of us, so the gag continued. Tom followed up the umpire shots with a few other different ones – say, a Mission:Impossible scene and championship figure skating…


Then, taking up surfing…


Getting wet and parlaying that into iconic album art…


Working the curling, fringe festival, and summer birthday party circuits…



Delving into the arts…


Dominating at poker, foosball, and Olympic basketball…



And on it went with “the Safe Raccoon” somehow finding himself in a range of odd and hilarious scenarios. Our own traveling garden gnome. Oh yeah, here he is flying with Superman…

Anyways, I post this not just because it’s good for a laugh but also because I think it’s a fine example of being creative by recontextualizing something. It’s a sort of unexpected improv; a riff, a remix, or maybe it’s just an incredibly versatile raccoon!

[Tom’s working on his personal website.]
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