April is the pearlest month day eighteen: YOU GUYS. I guess there are pearls that talk.

Ok, so, I walk into Julee’s Jewelry which everybody knows is the hotbed of jewelry action in St. Peter, Minnesota. Looking for new material to distract myself from the fact that I’m halfway through this project and still don’t have a comfortable pearl mode. I mean, I’m wearing them, every damned day because I said I would, but it’s still not comfortable as in “effortless” as in “was she BORN wearing those because she certainly looks as if she was.” It’s not working out like that, so far. For about five minutes I thought I was onto something with the trashy-eye technique but that’s a lot of work and it doesn’t pair well with, say, promoting the Arts Center’s new summer “Music for Toddlers” class. (Which is going to be great, taught by Ms. Anja Scheidel, who is fabulous.)


ANJA. Pearls implied.


I go to Julee’s. Julee, who is the kindest and most passionate person you can imagine in or outside of any jewelry store, shows me her new antique clock. She shows me her new line of jewelry with tiny chains that move, like, while you’re wearing the piece. I should have taken photos. I’m sorry. It was so nice to talk to her and just to look at those tiny swinging chains, I forgot about photos. I urge you to seek out a few minutes of the same. She’s really fine with browsers, just fine.


Photo courtesy of The St. Peter Herald. Here’s the story.

Ok but the pearls.

Turns out Julee carries this new line called Momento Pearls by Galatea. And you guys, you guys, they talk.

They. TALK.

I guess if you start a pearl by sticking little chip inside the oyster, instead of sand or whatever it is that’s the normal way, if you make the pearl with a CHIP instead of a piece of SAND then you can RECORD YOUR VOICE ON THE CHIP. And then guess what. Guess. What???

Roll film.

[What, you don’t have time to click through? Don’t have time to see the freakbeauty miracle of 21st Century accessories-meet-surveilance-meet-Siri? I THINK YOU CAN CLICK. Here it is again.]

roll video

As shown, when she activates the pearls, what comes out is the voice of her deployed husband reminding her of his limitless love.

[And then — spoiler alert — just when you’re like “oh OH OH that must feel amazing for her because he’s so far away,” suddenly there he IS in the living room, home on leave or something, and it is WONDERFUL but also confusing in a way because, wait, if this is so futuristic that the pearl is talking to her, IS he actually there? Or is he simply some kind of hologram created from a grain of sand inserted in the Internet. Right? Whoa.]

One wonders, though. Besides deployed soldiers with wives who have pearl-ready necks, who exactly is in the market for talking pearls? Or should be?

I did a little field research. It was a rigorous half-day study of interviews with people I happened to see at work and at home. The majority response is best summed up by what I got from Lauren, a sharp, thoughtful, and open-minded studio art major: “Oh. Oh wow. I think that’s weird.” (touches ears to indicate the weirdness of something hanging off your ear as it talks into your ear) “I think that would be weird.”

HOWEVER. It was statistically significant that the interviewees who 1) were men and 2) had to take off their Bluetooth headphones to listen to me talk about this reacted like this:

“OH. MY. GOD. ARE YOU KIDDING ME.” (drops jaw) (drops brochure) (joyful gleam in eye, like laser)

Point being. Today is the birthday of my friend Jake, a writer and filmmaker whose work I admire very much.


Here’s his Nerdist essay Five Reasons Your Star Trek Tattoo Will (Predictably) Not Get You Laid.

I admire Jake’s writing and I value his editing great deal. I’ve killed many a darling, many a superclever turn of phrase, after Jake told me it was crap. You have to cherish writerfriends like that, you really do. When their birthday comes around you have to kind of return the favor by giving them stuff they didn’t even know they needed. Right? You do. One year I gave him a Tarot reading, not actually in his presence, I just pulled up his Facebook and thought about what I figured he should do with his life and read the cards and sent him the audio. It was like I did all the work for him, which, who doesn’t want that. One year I sent him an Avenging Unicorn Playset.

This year, my well-timed research indicated that Jake — while neither in the military, nor married nor about to become married or anything along those lines, to my knowledge — is the exact perfect market for pearls that talk. I would suggest that these pearls might even be the slightly older, more cash-flowing person’s equivalent of a Star Trek tattoo. Like, if she’s into nerd things the way he is into nerd things, MAGIC is going to happen. He could buy them in advance, like now. And record something authentic like maybe taking a sharp inhale and then choking out “………so.” And then, just have them. Pull them out at whatever airport bar or film set or organic produce aisle he happens to be hanging around when a prospect walks in.

And he’d be like, “check this.” And she’d be like, “OH… MY…”

You get it. He can take it from there. He is so welcome. Happy birthday, Jake.


Jacob Strunk’s words and motion pictures are stalkable here, at seven miles west of town productionsClick on shop and you’ll get to the blood-spattered tanks and tees promoting his film Life, Love and the Dear Departed. Mother’s Day! Just saying.

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