Here’s a little guessing game. This is a salt or pepper shaker:
So what do you think its companion shaker might be? I suspect that most people would guess the other part of this pair would be another similarly doughy creature–possibly, in the light of the associations between salt and pepper and black and white, a black doughy creature.
In point of fact, however, the other shaker turns out to be an item of clothing. In my last post, I described a set of shakers depicting somebody taking his pants off. This time, it turns out, we’re dealing with a creature who has his or her pants off already. And I know that because the other shaker is its pants:
The pants are much too big for the little guy, and indeed, with the set stacked as intended, as in the photo above, it actually seems that what the creature is doing is standing in an oddly-shaped barrel. But the set was sold in a box identifying it as Salt & Pants. That black barrel-like thing is, really, supposed to be a pair of pants, as can be confirmed by various web pages currently selling this set:
As the copy in this offering from http://www.perpetualkid.com/ suggests “This spicy little guy dispenses salt from the top of his head and he’s got something special in his trousers… pepper!”
Salt & Pants is the kind of shaker set known to collectors as stackers or, more specifically, nesters: The salty guy fits onto, or actually, into the pants. You can, then, actually put the creature into the pants–dress the creature up just like a little doll. Or, if your pleasure tends more in the opposite direction, you can start with the pants on and then remove the creature from them. Actually, come to think of it, and as the Perpetual Kids ad copy suggests, you have to separate the creature from its pants in order to help yourself to pepper–maybe even salt. So this set then consists of what Robin Bernstein calls scriptive things” that imply a strangely salacious script of actions for those who might choose to use them to season their food: an act of depantsing. You don’t get to experience the pepper without first removing the clothing. Such is life.
My thanks to Asa Nodelman for the recent addition of this set to my collection.