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Paper Cowboy Ends Quarantine
News Bytes 04/12/2021 53 Comments

By day three of being confined to his hotel room for quarantine, David Marriott was getting bored. Then the television commercial art director’s lunch arrived in a brown paper bowl. He thought: “Aha. That’s a hat waiting to happen.” The paper cowboy was born.

The reason behind Marriott’s quarantine stay in Brisbane, Australia, is somber. His dad, Harry, passed away in London. Marriott flew over from Australia for the funeral. Like other Australians returning home, the law required him to quarantine at a hotel for two weeks.

Hotels consider quarantine guests possibly infectious, so staff delivers food in disposable containers and plates. Packaging from quarantine guests is usually discarded rather than recycled. Marriott found the waste a bit annoying. But with his newfound adventure, he says he’s barely thrown anything out since his stay began. Plus, he’s only needed to order in a few extras like sticky tape and clingfilm.

Marriott has been making props his whole life. As a kid, he used to get in trouble for breaking his dad’s tools.

Using the bowls, boxes, and bags his lockdown food arrived in each day, Marriott began fashioning an entire Wild Western Outback outfit. He added a brim to his hat. He soon fashioned a waistcoat and chaps. Next? A horse, of course.

Marriott found an ironing board in his cupboard and tied on a desk lamp for the neck and head. He covered this “skeleton” with bags too. Coffee pods became the eyes and nostrils.

He named his trusty steed “Russell” after an old joke: “Have you heard about the paper cowboys? They were caught and hung for rustling.”

Marriott says Russell can also be a sparkling conversationalist. “It’s . . . quite philosophical,” he says. “Like, why are we here? What are we doing?”

The creative world Marriott made inside his hotel room became more elaborate each day. He added storylines in video clips and posted them online. The Clingfilm Kid became the villain, out to steal Russell while the cowboy was sleeping.

Marriott has given the Rydges hotel staff a laugh by asking that Russell be taken for walks. Proverbs 17:22—“A joyful heart is good medicine”—has certainly proved true in the paper cowboy’s case.

“It’s been cheering everyone up,” he says. “The hotel staff, they’re in hospitality but they have all these guests that they can’t see or interact with.”

When he left on Saturday, Marriott took Russell and his other creations with him. He says there’s been interest from a film center. Officials there want Russell in an art show.

“He’s a bit of superstar now,” Marriott says. After all, the paper cowboy can just fold Russell up, pop him in his bag, and ride off into the sunset.

(David Marriott poses with his paper horse “Russell” in his hotel room in Brisbane, Australia, April 1, 2021. David Marriott via AP)

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Most recent comments

1st comment!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I love this idea and all his creativity I also do stuff like this but with Lego #LegosforLife

1sr comment

Creative! It’ funny how he asked the hotel staff to take Russel out for walks!

Whoops. I swear no one had

Whoops. I swear no one had commented when I came on to read! I was like “Gonna get first comment”. I even took my time cause it’s like 4am in the US... and I totally did not expect anyone to comment just before me.


Wow! I love that! (taking this idea from Titus) #HorseGirlforLife


That is epic! I want a paper cowboy suit!


That sounds so fun!


Genius!!! Plus hilarious!!
@Mirela: If I remember right Titus does not live in the US...
@Justin: Lol yeah, but I have a real cowboy suit!! Or should I say cowgirl...


Oh yeah and his mask is a little........strange. I kinda think masks like that are a little weird.

Feel free to join!!!!!

That is

That is a cool way to get through quarantine.

This is London

Haha that so creative and awesome !,

this is mylee

Im glad that he is cheering ppl up ! Thats so cool how he made this ! And now he gets to be in an art show ! Amazing i wish i had that taleent XDXD !

13th comment! XP

How in the world did he make that! If I tried 2 make that, there'd just be a crumpled pile of brown paper laying on the floor instead of that horse.

@Riley D

Yeah...thanks but no thanks. I was so surprised this morning when I came on and it said "307 comments". I don't really want to read all that. :-D

@ Riley D

Oh My word that debate is such a mess!! I wasn't on here for a while and then I came back to read that article and I saw the comments its like a madhouse


That is a seriously funny idea, I love how people are trying to cheer others up. BTW @Caroline n there are two Carolines now XD.


@Belwyn: Yeah me too!
@KN: Well most of those are from a super fiery debate, so don't read them. I just meant at the end, and we want to make a a 2000 comment page, so we are just chatting about random things, if you want to join. But don't worry about reading the previous comments.
@Nora: Yeah it was but like I told KN we are making it a fun article now so if you want to join we are just talking about random things.


@Caroline F, you can call me Caro though! That's my nickname.

19 Comment

Great idea, but I would definitely not be able to do that!
Riley: Okay, I might join, but I don't know if I can handle a third page of commenting, commenting, commenting! But thanks! Also, sorry to say this, but you can't comment any more after you reach 1919 comments. That's how it ended on "Gaming: When is too much too much".


Ok it is up to you whatever you can do! And yeah I know Franz had that idea so we will just get however high we can! Thanks anyway!

@ Riley D.


Aw! So cute...

I love copslaying! Kamui cosplay is the BEst!!!!!!
I love to make costumes! I've made a Rey from Star Wars, a scientist, G Washington, and even a Fire Emblem Velouria! This is one of my passions, besides writing.

@ Everyone

I think that costume isn't too hard to make. Looks like he had a large paper bag meant for leaves that he converted into the shirt. At least, that's my guess...


Oh sorry I meant that for Brownies! Sorry!

Very interesting...

That is pretty cool! I don't think I could ever make anything like that! Wow!

@ Riley

I agree with KN and Nora. The comments are kind of messy and I don't exactly want to get mixed up in there. But to tell the truth, I don't like all this racism and BLM. Sure, it's nice for the darker skinned but I don't like all this favoritism. Why can't people see the real truth?

@ everyone

If you guys like N. D. Wilson's 100 cupboards series, then you totally should read the Ashtown Burials series! Great books!!

@ Abigail

How much are the two book series the same?

@ Bethy

Honestly, Ive never read the 100 cupboards series. :) Here's what it is about:
For two years, Cyrus and Antigone Smith have run a sagging roadside motel with their older brother, Daniel. Nothing ever seems to happen. Then a strange old man with bone tattoos arrives, demanding a specific room.

Less than 24 hours later, the old man is dead. The motel has burned, and Daniel is missing. And Cyrus and Antigone are kneeling in a crowded hall, swearing an oath to an order of explorers who have long served as caretakers of the world's secrets, keepers of powerful relics from lost civilizations, and jailers to unkillable criminals who have terrorized the world for millennia.
Do care to be called Beth?


KN and Nora and Isabel. Do what you would rather prefer. We are over and past the debate and are keeping up just a friendly conversation now, so just do what you would like to you won't hurt my feelings so don't worry! :)

Riley D

sure thanks!!


Ok nevermind they just shut us down from commenting on there so just ignore all of that! :)

@ Bethy

The Ashtown Burials series also are movies. I haven't watched the movies yet, but I'm going to pretty soon. I need to get them out of my library lol. When I watch the movies, I'll let you know if you should watch them ;)

@ Abigail F

Thanks! That beginning does sound like The 100 Cupboards...I should read them!

@ Bethy

You really should! Let me know how you like it when you read the books and how you like them :)


meant, "You really should! Let me know how you like the books and if you watch the movies how you like those :)"

Its fine.

Its okay I don't mind MIRELA J

I live in Tanzania and am 8

I live in Tanzania and am 8 hours ahead of America and read it In the afternoon


has anyone here read the Wingfeather saga would recommend.


@Titus, I've read the first one and I have a hold on the second one! They are so good!!!!!! Totatos and Sugarberries! There are some funny names for things! Like the Nameless Evil named Gnag!! XD

@Titus Y

We have heard of them from a lot of people but we haven't tried them yet.

@Lissa Y

What is Fire Emblem? I've heard of it...

@ Titus

Yes, I've read the books! I LOVE the unique names for stuff! I started calling my potatoes totatos lol

@ Titus Y

I LOVE THAT SERIES! It's my favorite series of all time! (Which is nice, bc now I have an official favorite one!) Have you read all four of them? My favorite of the four is the fourth. Also, have you read Wingfeather Tales or Pembrick's Creaturepedia?

@ Titus

We both have advantages to getting first comment! I also don’t live in the US, (everyone is sighing right now as this is probably the 50th time I’ve said it, but never mind!) I live in the UK. What is it like living in Africa? I have heard many people recommend those books, so I’ll look into them!


Fire Emblem is a Fantasy nintendo video game that is kinda like chess, but better! It has combat animations and weapon usage and durability. If you know smash bros, Marth, Roy, Corrin, and Chrom come from different Fire Emblem games. Also the most hated smash chracter so far, Byleth

@Lissa Y

Ok, cool. Yeah, I've only played smash a little bit, so I haven't heard of them. Lol. Most hated. Why, cuz that person is so bad or so good?

@ Lissa Y

Sounds like fun! I'll have to check it out!

I just realized that most of

I just realized that most of the photo is focused, but from the hand holding the tape to the end of the photo, is sort of blurry.

@ Bethy

That's pretty interesting... I totally missed that! Good eye ;)


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