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Move over Barbie. There’s a New Doll in Town and she’s gotta Knife.

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Move over Barbie. There’s a new doll in town. And she’s gotta knife.

We are all just Meat Dust

I created my Lil’ Schatzie Doll many years ago when I worked with my parents at their precious Delicatessen, The Junket  (RIP 1979-2021).

I called the ‘particles’ that collected on the on the rubber floor mats, behind the Deli counter, and on the soles of my shoes, “Meat Dust”. I collected a lot of “Meat Dust” on my shoes during those days walking back and forth on those mats in front of the meat slicers.

I wondered why after leaving work, dogs (and some men) would follow me. I realized it was because they smelled the “Meat Dust” stuck to the bottoms of my shoes. This, (along with hearing Paul Simon’s song, “Diamonds on the Soles of her Shoes”) became the inspiration for one of my Renegade Deli Art postcards, “Instead of Diamonds on the Soles of my Shoes, I’ve got *Headcheese”…’cause I did actually have Headcheese on the soles of my shoes. I didn’t like Headcheese.

*Headcheese /ˈhed.tʃiːz/: a cold cut that originated in Europe. Headcheese is not a dairy cheese. There is no cheese involved.

I took a self portrait with my iphone late one night alone in the Deli, wearing an evening gown I pieced together, and I pierced some Headcheese on the heel of my newly purchased stilettos. (I did return those stilettos to the shoe store – I only needed them for 1 hour after all. I felt a bit guilty when the nice gentleman took them out of the shoe box, examined them carefully and then gave me a refund. He had no idea where that heel had been.

Months later I decided to turn the photo on that postcard into a real life doll. I actually used two different Barbies. One from the torso up, and one from the torso down. (I needed the right foot shape, and the right hair.) It’s hard sawing a Barbie in half. Those Barbies are tough mothers. I recreated my photo…the pink sparkly gown, the crown, the jewels, the stilettos, and I made my own Headcheese from clay. I found a tiny knife, and also gave Lil’ Schatzie a cow tattoo. (I am currently a Vegetarian. Not sure about ‘Lil Schatzie.)

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As for that big hunk ‘o Headcheese Lil’ Schatzie is holding? I found that scrap of H E A D C H E E S E text in tact amongst the Meat Dust on the deli floor. It was exactly the perfect size for wrapping my mini slab ‘o Headcheese. (It had come from the actual Headcheese label in the Deli case.)

A Headcheese in the Hand, is worth two in the case.

Lil’ Schatzie lived on top of the Deli counter for many years, smiling and greeting customers daily. Her bloody apron covered her pink sparkly evening gown, and with her white silky meat-stained evening gloves, she held that knife of hers up proud and high, even though she had a chunk ‘o Headcheese dangling from her stiletto heel below. No one noticed the tiny tear trickling down her cheek.

True story. I hurt my lower back one day. I came to work at the Deli but was in great pain. I could only shuffle along, but I had to work. My parents counted on me. But what’s this? “Ach du leiber!” Lil’ Schatzie was slumped over in her glass case. She had even dropped her knife. One of her legs had fallen off! (I had duct taped her leg to her torso when I first created her.) I took her in the back room and did a quick duct tape operation on her leg and back. She was as good as new, and I noticed… I was as good as new too. My back pain had miraculously disappeared.

One thing I did know was that after the Deli closed each day, and the employees and customers were long gone …Lil’ Schatzie ripped off that meat-stained apron, chucked that hunk o’ Headcheese aside, kicked off her high heel Headcheese-ed stilettos, poured herself a Köstrizter, cranked up the polka tunes, and danced around that Deli. She always managed to make it back into her glass case by the time the Deli opened in the morning. She’d tie her meat-stained apron back over her pink sparkly gown, put her silver crown atop her head, slip on her white meat-stained evening gloves, put back on her Headcheese-ed stilettos, grab her knife, and hunk o’ Headcheese… and she’d be ready to greet those customers in the a.m. with a big smile.

“Do not judge me unless you have walked a mile in my apron”

Sadly the Deli is gone. My parents were pressured to shelter-at-home, as they were both in their late eighties when Covid struck. They left the place they had opened in 1979. The Junket had been my Mom’s “Fountain of Youth”. She has left this world as well. I miss her. Thankfully my Dad, Bruno is still around. (I am his “Little Treasure”. That is what “Schatzi” means in German.)

As for Lil’ Schatzie. She lives with me now. She has made herself at home in my Tropical Snoball Lounge.

A corner dedicated to Headcheese in Schatzie’s Tropical Snoball Lounge

Every so often I hear a very faint “clink, clink, clink” coming from my Lounge… I know it’s ‘Lil Schatzie tapping on her glass case with the tip of her knife. I run into the room… but she stops her tapping right before I get there, and just smiles at me.

“There’s no cheese like Headcheese” written over and over and over horizontally and vertically. (Crosswriting)

Schatzie works into the wee hours of the morn creating Headcheese Venn diagrams in an effort to solve the ‘Headcheese Conundrum’

Thar be Heads in them thar Cheese!

Schatzie is the creator of the only Headcheese Gallery in the world. 53 slices. Digest slowly.

’Tis a fine line between Comedy, Tragedy and Headcheese.

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Schatzie Frisch

Schatzie Frisch

‘Schatzie the Renegade Deli Heiress’ is a Bay Area native and a lover of San Francisco. Much of her humorous art and writing are a direct result of having been in close (a bit too close) proximity with the cold cut, *Headcheese, at her beloved parent’s Delicatessen (RIP). Schatzie is a Vegetarian, and the creator of the only “Headcheese" Art Gallery in the world.

When Schatzie is not making fun of Headcheese, she has fun swing dancin', pumpkin carvin', pirate chasin', donut eatin' and uke playin' in ‘Schatzie’s Tropical Snoball Lounge’.

*Headcheese /ˈhed.tʃiːz : A cold cut that originated in Europe. Headcheese is not a dairy cheese. There is no cheese involved.