Tuesday, March 22, 2011

High Adventure With Some Antique Roadwarriors

It had seemed like a harmless enough kinda thing. Antiques. Sure. Why not? I like old stuff and frankly I didn't have anything better to do, so off I went. I decided that a stop at the bar was certainly called for on this occasion and my wife was in complete agreement, so we stopped at a little drinking establishment along the way and started the ball rolling. After having downed a couple of vodkas and grapefruit juice ( a fantastic pre- adventure cocktail), I felt sufficiently braced to face the streaming hordes of bargain hunters and along we went to the stadium.

Upon walking into the place I was immediately consumed with the feeling that maybe I had made a mistake in coming here. There were waves of people pouring over all of the dealers booths and kiosks, the sound of a couple thousand negotiations over price rising to the level of cacophonous thunder. Wow. It wasn't that the crowd was all that big, I've been in a lot bigger, but all of a sudden I just wasn't in the mood. I mean, I don't like standing in line to get on the fastest roller coaster on the planet, I sure ain't gonna want to do it for a set of Popeye and Olive Oil salt and pepper shakers. Oh well, I was already in so I might as well try and make the best of it. At first my wife and I kinda hung together checking out this and that, slowly moving with the lines of people, but as things moved along we sorta spread out a little more. My wife was much more in tune to the general vibe of the whole thing while I was just hoping I'd find something weird.

Milling around awhile, I start to see a few things of interest here and there. I spy a sheet of Ed "Big Daddy " Roth decals and move over to take a closer look. But in doing so, I'm starting to anger the guy who wants to get a closer look at the Bibikabad Persian rug on the other side of me. I decide that instead of receiving an ugly thrashing from the guys brass owl head topped cane, I will just move on. Next I see a table with a crate of records. Well I think you never know, I better check this out. Maybe I'll find Moby Grape's first record, or maybe the third album by the Deviants. Who knows, I might even come across Sonny Bono's Inner Views Platter, but it was not to be. The crate was full of 80's crap. As I walked away I noticed a lady move by me, making it a point to let me hear her sigh in a big huff. Apparently while hunting through the vinyl I was obstructing her way to get a closer gander at a pair of circa 1860 french marble and bronze cassolettes. Whew. If looks could kill.

Now I'm starting to feel a little dejected and out of place. Not only that, but I'm starting to fear that the alcohol in my system is going to start to evaporate and then things will really start to get rocky. I see more and more cool stuff as I walk along, but there are too many people in those booths and I figure it's best just to look at what I can from afar. Soon I notice a stack of old comic books sitting on a table. I decide to go over and start perusing the pile. Hey cool, Sgt. Rock. I'm finally starting to feel a little better about things. Yeah, this is good. All of a sudden a hear something. I turn around and notice an old, sweet looking lady advancing upon me in one of those hoveround things. I squint my eyes. Those things can't move that fast, can they? Apparently this gal has the thing souped up because she is covering a lot of ground real fast like. My stomach starts to cramp up. I break out in a cold sweat. I look around and notice to my left a table which is covered with arrowheads, and in the corner of it is an authentic looking tomahawk. If only I can reach it in time. I quickly jettison the idea as possibly being a bit too rash, but then I look back at the lady . She is scowling with a grimace that makes her look like the spectre of death. Are those flames coming out of the back of that contraption she's riding? What did I do to make her so mad at me? Suddenly I realize my faux pas. While I was thumbing through the old comics, I had unwittingly placed myself between this lady and a walnut brown, American shaker shawl bar armed rocker made in Mt. Lebanon, New York in the latter part of the 19th century. What a philistine I am. With just enough time, I drop the comics back on the table and lunge forward just missing being mowed down. I get up from my knees, holding on to the table for support. I look to the dealer for some kind of recognition of the danger I had just been through, but he's already over to the lady trying to make the sale. My very existence was meaningless to these folks, but hey, the most the guy would have made offa me is about four bucks and he had much bigger fish to fry.

So anyway, I meet back up with my wife, look around some more, meet a lot a nice people, score a few cheap comics in pretty good condition on the way out the door, and head for a steak dinner. The next time I go antique shopping, it will probably be online.

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