WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) – By the third day of being confined to his Australian hotel room for quarantine, David Marriott was getting bored. He had seen a few seasons of “The Sopranos” and his eyes were getting tired of reading.
Then her lunch arrived in a brown paper bowl and she thought “Aha. That’s a hat waiting for it to happen. ”
The paper cowboy was born.
Using the good quality paper bags his food was delivered into every day, Marriott, an art director in television commercials, began designing an outfit. He added a brim to his hat, and then came the vest and chaps. Next? A horse, of course.
He found an ironing board in his closet and tied a desk lamp to his neck and head, creating a skeleton. The coffee pods became eyes and nostrils. He named the horse Russell after an old dad joke: “Ever heard of paper jeans? They were caught and hanged for creaking. “
The creative world that Marriott created inside his Brisbane hotel room grew more intricate by the day as he added story lines to video clips he posted online. Clingfilm Kid became the villain, aiming to rob Russell in his sleep.
Like Wilson from the movie “Castaway,” Marriott says Russell can be a sounding board too.
“It’s an existential conversation, quite philosophical,” he says. “Like, why are we here? What are we doing?”
And he’s made the staff at the Rydges Hotel laugh by asking them to take Russell out for a walk.
“He’s been cheering for everyone,” he said. “The hotel staff is into hospitality, but they have all these guests that they can’t see or interact with.”
The story behind Marriott’s quarantine is more troubling. His father, Harry, fell at his London home and was taken to a hospital, where he was operated on and was beginning rehabilitation. But then he contracted the coronavirus.
“I was very lucky that my mom and sisters were there and they were allowed in to see it,” Marriott said. “Zoom in with him at 3 am. Watching it deteriorate was heartbreaking. But I was able to say goodbye and make up. ”
Marriott flew in from Australia for the funeral on what he says was a grim trip. Like other Australians returning home, he was asked to quarantine him in a hotel for two weeks.
Marriott said he has been making accessories his whole life. Even as a child he used to get in trouble for breaking his father’s tools.
Because guests in quarantine are considered potentially infectious, their food is delivered in disposable containers and plates that are thrown away rather than recycled, which Marriott found a bit irritating. But he said that he has barely thrown anything away since his stay began and that he only needed to ask for a few extras like duct tape and cling film.
And when he leaves on Saturday, he hopes to take Russell and his other creations with him. He said there had been interest from a movie center wanting Russell in an art exhibition.
“Now he’s a superstar,” Marriott said.
After all, you can just fold Russell up and put him in your bag.