phrogging at the mall

One of the themes that we kept coming back to this year during the Monkey Power Trio session was phrogging — the practice of coexisting in someone’s house without their knowledge. We all liked the idea that people could be sharing our houses with us without our knowing, and we kept trying unsuccessfully to work the idea into a song somehow. I don’t think it will ever make a record, but we had one song on the subject that showed some potential. It was about a group of students that would sneak into their teacher’s house late at night, nibble at her expensive cheese and record muffled songs about how much they hated her. As with much of our stuff, it was a great idea, but poorly executed… For what it’s worth, most people seem think that phrogging is, for the most part, an urban myth.

In somewhat related news, MM.com reader Mitja just wrote in to suggest that we all read a “San Francisco Gate” article about a group of artists who set out to create a luxury apartment inside of a mall without anyone’s knowledge. The article can be found here. The context can be found here. And, the documentation can be found here. Unfortunately, they were found out just a few years into the project. I think it’s fucking brilliant though.

Where would you phrog?

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11 Comments

  1. Posted October 3, 2007 at 9:32 pm | Permalink

    Are you familiar with the play Cox and Box?

  2. Dirtgrain
    Posted October 3, 2007 at 9:52 pm | Permalink

    I recently watched a German movie, The Educators, about several people who were phroggish sort of political activists. They would invade homes when the homeowners were away and rearrange objects and furniture in their house into big sculptures and art. It was supposed to be a message to the rich and privileged that their sense of security is false–and their reign fleeting. I would like to do that, but I’m too scared, and it would just seem too mean.

    Maybe it could work at Walmart. If a crew could invade the store and somehow arrange everything in the store into a big statue without security gaurds busting them, that would be nifty.

    What if hundreds of people coordinated to flood the store during open hours and construct art and giant statues with the goods in the store? Have you already blogged about this? I swear all my ideas now come from regurgitated Maynard blog entries. I’m doomed.

  3. egpenet
    Posted October 4, 2007 at 12:01 am | Permalink

    Several ideas about where NOT to phrog …

    1 – Paradise Manor … inhabitable

    2 – Any Kircher-owned Building … inhabitable

    3 – City Hall … too empty, too lonely

    4 – Water Street … polluted

    5 – Smith Furniture on S. Washington …
    too freaking expensive

  4. Posted October 4, 2007 at 7:51 am | Permalink

    If meta-phrogging is an option, somebody might be able to find some unused space in the apartment I maintain under Mark’s bed. As long as you stay away from the mirrors I use to watch him in his sleep, I’ll never know you’re there.

  5. Fred
    Posted October 4, 2007 at 9:32 am | Permalink

    I believe there’s a movie about a woman that lives in a WalMart. My understanding is that the company approved the project and cooperated. They liked showing that everything a person needed to live could be found in their store.

    There was also a case a few years ago of a guy being found living in a university crawlspace. He was a foreign student who had dropped out and had no where to live. He’d lived this way for years.

  6. Ol' E Cross
    Posted October 4, 2007 at 12:31 pm | Permalink

    I really like my home so I think I’m going to start phrogging there.

    I wonder how long it’ll take my wife and daughter to notice I’m gone?

  7. Posted October 4, 2007 at 1:05 pm | Permalink

    A friend of mine used to sleep inside a huge bean bag display at Meijer. He’d just make a little fort of bean bags in there and sack out for hours.

  8. Robert
    Posted October 4, 2007 at 3:36 pm | Permalink

    It’s sort of spooky that you posted this. I didn’t know there was a word for it, but I guess I was sort of phrogging in Redondo Beach last month, at the home of a medical resident. By the way, I highly recommend medical residents as targets for phrogging. They do these crazy 28 hour “on-call” shifts. They are rarely home, and when they are, they sleep like rocks. I was able to cook and watch TV without her ever realizing I was there. It felt more like she was phrogging my place than that I was phrogging hers.

  9. Posted October 4, 2007 at 8:38 pm | Permalink

    McDonalds. For the #2 breakfast meals.

  10. Unfiltered
    Posted October 5, 2007 at 1:34 pm | Permalink

    I would have called it moranging or “to morange” for the obvious reason.

  11. Posted October 8, 2007 at 6:22 pm | Permalink

    ‘Bad Ronald’ was a 70s pioneer of phrogging (see the youtube clip). Phrogging, like phishing, is for phools. It just doesn’t seem like all that much phun to me.

    Seriously, though, doesn’t phrogging just seem like very predatory or pre-predatory behavior? For a person to want to invade someone else’s personal space like that is really pretty creepy.

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