Sunday, May 2, 2010

No Fleas On This Black Angus!

Earlier this morning, Black Angus and I were chatting online about media today and how blogging is an important and worthwhile thing to be doing. Neither of us write a blog. I set this one up a while ago. I come back here every once in a while and play with the layout, but until today, I haven't posted a single word. So what's so special about this Sunday? 

Nothing, really. I just found a little story I liked.

We went to the flea market today. Cookie and I met up with Black Angus and we went about looking at odd junk and buying fudge and such. We met up with a few people we knew and looked at some old vinyl album covers; the usual flea market routine. Cookie went off on her own and Angus and I went into the main concourse. It was more of the same when, at one table, a used tube of Ultra Black Permatex gasket  maker caught my attention.

Every item has a story if you think about it. But some things strike me as having a "real" story, not just a dry account of the process involved in its making ,or the like. This half used tube of silicone had a story. Somewhere, somebody blew a head gasket. It was a huge pain in the arse. He cursed, he swore. Where was he when it happened? Did he get stranded? Miss a wedding? What kind of car was it? Who the hell knows, but there's a story there. And the part that gets me, the thing that makes this a "real" story is that you can bet your boots the guy who needed this gasket goop told that story to someone. That's what attracted me to this cast away piece of junk. I thought about buying it to use as inspiration and because its provenance appealed to me, but I kept walking. 

Mind you, I made it a point to fortify Black Angus' education with a discourse on my fascination with, and my theories about, the origins of the tube. I began wavering on my decision not to buy it. Suddenly I felt as though I must have it. I teetered between following my muse and feeling stupid about going back to get a god-damned half-used tube of black silicone sealant. Finally I said, "Come with me?". Angus rolled his eyes and back we went. I asked the guy at the table how much he wanted for the goop and he answered, "How much do you want to pay?"

"A dollar!", says Angus.

 Jesus!, I thought. I was going to offer him a quarter!

So I pay the guy his buck and I happily walk away with my quirky purchase. The three of us regrouped and  were out near the main entrance when the PA system came to life announcing that the people in such and such an isle, at such and such a table are giving away everything they have left. Like everyone else, we had no idea which table was indicated by those instructions so we headed off and started looking for a feeding frenzy. Guess which table it was? I begrudged Angus the seventy five cents he cost me even more. As though he knew what I was thinking (or, more likely, as though he didn't), he said, "That story you were talking about keeps getting better!"

We got away from the giveaway with a pair of shoes for Cookie, a hand steamer from 1971 which actually works, two hats, and a half a dozen bottles of mosquito repellent lamp oil. Not bad.

After that we went for coffee. Black Angus and I talked about alien communication and art while Cookie sat between us and stared enviously at the single mothers in the sand box at the park, cleaning the cat shit off their kids fingers. But she made out all right too. Among other things, she got a basket you'd expect to contain a charmed snake. Very cool. It's probably got a story too, but it's hard to beat a blown head gasket. 

The House of Madness®

The House of Madness®