A paper cowboy rides out his quarantine in Australian hotel

WELLINGTON, NEW ZEALAND (AP) — By Day three of being confined to his Australian hotel room for quarantine, David Marriott was getting bored. He’d watched a few seasons of The Sopranos and his eyes were getting tired from reading.

Then his lunch arrived in a brown paper bowl and he thought “Aha. That’s a hat waiting to happen.”

The paper cowboy was born.

Using the good quality paper bags his food was delivered in each day, Marriott, an art director on TV commercials, began fashioning an outfit. He added a brim to his hat, and then came the waistcoat and chaps. Next? A horse, of course.

He found an ironing board in his cupboard and tied on a desk lamp for the neck and head, creating a skeleton. Coffee pods became the eyes and nostrils. He named the horse Russell after an old dad joke: “Have you heard about the paper cowboys? They were caught and hung for rustling.”

David Marriott poses with his paper horse ‘Russell’. PHOTO: AP

The creative world Marriott made inside his Brisbane hotel room became more intricate by the day as he added plot lines in video clips he posted online. The Clingfilm Kid became the villain, out to steal Russell while he was sleeping.

Like Wilson from the movie Castaway, Marriott said Russell can also be a sounding board.

“It’s an existential conversation, quite philosophical,” he said. “Like, why are we here? What are we doing?”

And he’s given the Rydges hotel staff a laugh by asking that Russell be taken for walks.

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