Wellington, New Zealand (AP) —By the third day after being trapped in an Australian hotel room for quarantine, David Marriott was bored. He was tired of reading after watching several seasons of The Sopranos.
Then his lunch arrived in a bowl of brown paper and he said, “Oh, it’s a hat waiting to happen.”
A paper cowboy was born.
Using good quality paper bags, where his food is delivered daily, Marriott, the art director of television commercials, began making costumes. He put a brim on his hat and then brought a waistcoat and chaps. Next? Of course a horse.
He found an ironing board in the cupboard and tied it to a desk lamp on his neck and head to make a skeleton. Coffee pods have become eye and nose holes. He named the horse Russell after his old dad’s joke. They were caught and hung with a rattling noise. “
The creative world that Marriott created in a hotel room in Brisbane became more complex day by day as we added plot lines to video clips posted online. Kling Film Kid became a villain to steal Russell while Russell was asleep.
Like Wilson in the movie “Cast Away,” Marriott says Russell can also be a soundboard.
“It’s an existential conversation and it’s very philosophical,” he says. “For example, why are we here? What are we doing?”
He laughed at the Ridges hotel staff by asking him to take Russell for a walk.
“I’ve cheered everyone up,” he said. “Hotel staff, they are hospitable, but they have all these guests who can’t see or interact.”
The story behind Marriott’s stay in quarantine is more subdued. His dad Harry fell at his home in London and was taken to the hospital. There he had surgery and started rehabilitation. But then he caught the coronavirus.
“I was really lucky that my mother and sister were there and I was allowed to see him,” Marriott said. “I zoomed in with him at 3 am. It was painful to see him getting worse. But I was able to say goodbye and make peace.”
Marriott flew from Australia for a funeral on what he calls a tough trip. Like other Australians returning home, he had to be quarantined at the hotel for two weeks.
Marriott said he was making props for the rest of his life. Ever since I was a kid, I was in trouble breaking my dad’s tools.
Quarantine guests are considered potentially infected, so their food is placed in disposable containers and dishes and discarded rather than recycled. However, he said he hadn’t thrown away almost anything since his stay began and he only had to order some extras like adhesive tape and wrap film.
And when he leaves on Saturday, he wants to take Russell and his other creations with him. He said there was interest from a movie center hoping for Russell at an art show.
“He’s a little superstar right now,” said Marriott.
After all, he can fold Russell and put it in a bag.