Sunday, October 14, 2018

Beauty Is in the Eye of the Re-Jugger

Time to showcase more of Hick's junk. I mean classic items found at auction or in abandoned storage units. Today, we have a 1940s or 1950s American Beauty picnic jug, made by the Faris Company, the best I can tell. Hick is sometimes sketchy with his details, and I'm not spending all day looking up information.

According to Hick, it's just "an old thermos jug I bought at the auction." Looks like they sell, used, for about $29. This one, while perhaps perfectly good on the inside, and still having its lid, appears to be quite rusty on the outside. You can still read part of its label, though, if you zoom in.

Hick paid $2 for it at the auction, so he's likely to recoup that much, and maybe a little profit. He's all about moving the merchandise, you know. At least with antique water jugs. No so much with Thomas Jefferson sitting on a boot taking a crap. A treasure like that, he keeps for himself.

Saturday, October 13, 2018

Growing ComplaCENT

These days, I just take it for granted that I'm going to find a penny during the week. I wasn't even worried when I hadn't captured a single cent by Tuesday. That's how it works, you know. The more you worry about finding one, the less likely your are to have one dropped in your path. That's why I always seem to find pennies on a Saturday, right before my already-completed Saturday CENTSus hits the blogwaves.

TUESDAY, October 9th, I pulled into Orb K, my go-to place for pennies lately, not even thinking about pennies. My favorite parking spot by the giant water grate was taken, and some group must have clandestinely parked around at the end for a day trip to the city. Because all six of those spaces were full. That never happens. At least I snagged the space right next to my favorite space.

How convenient.

I threw open T-Hoe's door, and looked down to make sure of my footing before disembarking. No more gum on the shoe soles for this ol' Val! When I looked out, I spied TWO pennies beside the car in my favorite parking spot. If I'd parked there, I never would have found them, because I'm not in a habit of walking a circle around T-Hoe. I have many idiosyncrasies, but that is not one.

Both were face down, but I'm not complaining! A 1999 on the left, and a 1974 (I think) on the right. The 1974 had been run over a few times (waiting for me to show up and claim it, I'm sure), and had part of the date skinned off. By a process of elimination, I determined the last number to be a 4.

When I returned to T-Hoe, I fiddled for a moment, writing "K" on the back of my scratchers. That's how I tell where they came from, lest I get a good winner, and prefer not to buy another off the same roll of tickets. As I was wallowing in THAT idiosyncrasy, the car in my spot backed out. I glanced that way, having strapped in and put T-Hoe in reverse, and saw...

A THIRD PENNY! Right on that horizontal crack in the blacktop. The area that had been under the car. I most definitely wouldn't have found this penny if I'd parked there.

Alas, it was also face-down. But I stopped T-Hoe, unbuckled my seatbelt, hopped out, and snatched up that 1981 penny anyway! That was the year of my college graduation, by cracky! It was a very good year.

FRIDAY, October 12th, stopping to get scratchers to tuck into Genius's weekly letter...

I found another penny, in Waterside Mart. This Old Abe was a little long-in-the-tooth! A 1966!

He was face-up, and well-preserved enough that you can read his date if you zoom in.

So it's been a pretty good week for the Future Pennyillionaire Fortune, even if I DON'T have to stop the presses on Saturday!


Once again, Val has spoken-typed too soon! Here it is, SATURDAY, October 13th, and I've been gifted with a penny while waiting in line at The Gas Station Chicken Store. There was a momentary delay as I drained the Diet Coke fountain down to clear liquid. So the Stern Old Clerk hooked up a new batch of my magical elixir.

While waiting, I saw a man at the counter drop a penny. He turned to leave, and the next guy stepped up, STANDING on that penny.

That's why I'm SURE it was meant for ME. He didn't want it, nor did that lady who sqeezed in behind him, waving a $5 bill for gas, saying she left her baby in the car! Much to the horror of Man Owner, Stern Old Clerk, me, and the waiting chicken people!

Of course it was face-down. A 2013 for Val on Saturday the 13th!

Don't get me wrong about that gas/baby lady. It WAS her rightful turn to pay, so I don't begrudge her jumping to the counter ahead of me. It just seemed like she thought she was getting away with something. Maybe there wasn't even a baby. Maybe she just does this to jump line. But the joke was on her, because it really was her turn.

Not even to cut line at The Gas Station Chicken Store.

For 2018: Penny  # 106, 107, 108, 109, 110.
For 2018: Dimes still at  # 14.
For 2018: Nickels still at # 4.
For 2018: Quarter still at #1.

Since 2017 (the beginning), this was Penny # 184, 185, 186, 187, 188.
Since 2017 (the beginning), this is still Dime # 20.
Since 2017 (the beginning), this is still Nickel # 4.
Since 2017 (the beginning), this was Quarter #1.

Friday, October 12, 2018

If You Commit A Crime In Front Of Val, You Can Probably Make A Safe Getaway

Let the record show that I do not wear my glasses when I drive. I can see well enough. No need to bother with the bifocals impeding my radio-station-reading. I know where I'm going. No need to read street signs.

Today I headed to Walmart for a few necessities. Almost there, only a couple blocks to go, a truck pulled out in front of me. Not so close that I felt a need to shake my fist and curse. It's a 30 mph speed limit, and I was in no danger of colliding. But he could have waited and not forced himself in until I passed.

Anyhoo...I noticed a sign in the back of that truck. To me, it looked like it said MOBAIT. Well. Around Backroads, many things are labeled as "MO-". Standing for the state abbreviation. We have MODoT, you know. Missouri Department of Transportation. And the lottery website is molotterydotcom. So of course I ASSUMED this sign was warning people that this is a state vehicle, used by law enforcement.

I know that the MO Department of Conservation has fake deer that they set up, and hide nearby to catch people shooting the dummy out-of-season. I think in the past, some police departments (not necessarily the MO Highway Patrol) have set up cars to be stolen, to catch the perpetrators. So I was pretty sure this truck had something to do with catching drivers in the act of committing crimes, thinking they were safe, because it was just a pickup truck, not a marked law enforcement vehicle. And that the MOBAIT was on there to prove that they were not secretly setting people up to commit crimes.

Well. Sometimes, Val's suspicions are unwarranted, and sometimes, her eyesight fails her.

When I pulled up behind that MOBAIT truck at a stoplight, just before my right turn into Walmart...

I saw that it was not a law enforcement vehicle at all. MO was not baiting me! It was merely a dude in a regular pickup with a KOBALT container in the back. Hick says that KOBALT is a tool company, and those metal tool boxes can be carried to and from a job site, unlike the kind that mount across the bed of a truck.

Seriously. If I hadn't blown up that picture, or if you squint your eyes...those letters look like MOBAIT!

Never mind.

Thursday, October 11, 2018

The Proprietor is IN

Here is what the well-dressed Storage Unit Store proprietor is wearing these days. You know, for the upcoming Halloween holiday.

Hick found it in his storage locker hoard, and what a coincidence...IT FIT! He was upset that he forgot it on the back of the couch last Saturday. I guess he had to wait for customers to come to him, rather than enticing them in like a carnival barker.

He also found another gold mirror for possible Mabel-taking, but decided the price was probably prohibitive. According to his text: "This frame was a antique store $150.00about 4 ft long"

Yes. It's a grand mirror, but I don't think my best old ex-teaching buddy Mabel wants to pay $150 for a mirror. If she did, she could shop in a regular mirror store for that. They have mirror stores, right? Like on SNL, when they had that Scotch Tape store, devoted entirely to...well...Scotch Tape!

Hick says the mirror has been there a while, and will probably stay there a while longer, just in case Mabel might show interest.

Yes, those are Hick's legs making their appearance in the reflection. As you can see, he got all dolled-up to go Goodwill shopping. Not.

I don't know what those other items are, since I don't have enough interest to zoom in and inspect them. Some of you, however, might be otherwise inclined.

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

A Possible Ticket Price Reduction for Hick's Shackytown Amusement Park and Roadside Attraction

If it's not one thing, it's another. Monday afternoon, Hick sent me a picture. Rarely any description in the emails from him. This one said, "Look what I found going into the out house."

First of all, we don't have an outhouse for the house! No siree, Bob! So I knew that Hick was down at his creekside cabin, where he had added an outhouse and a little barn, and I think perhaps a schoolhouse is in the works. Anyhoo...I remember when he built that outhouse, because he made me come try it out, and I said it was too small, no elbow room. He might have made it bigger before securing the wooden walls made of materials he salvaged from shipping crates when he was employed.

Anyhoo...I sent him back a text.

"Heh, heh! If it was a snake, it coulda bit ya! Oh, wait..."

"It WAS a snake."

"I know. That was a joke. I forgot you were born without a funny bone."

"I know good I only use out house for rakes and shovel s" [Hick's own wording and punctuation in that line, make of it what you will]

"You could have run up here, screaming like a little girl, with a snake hanging off your butt. I could have DRIVEN THE GATOR up here, screaming like a little girl, with a snake hanging off your butt."

"Ha Ha"

When he came in for lunch (which he said was SUPPER) at 2:45, I asked what he did with the snake.

"I let it go in the outhouse."

"You let it go IN the outhouse?"

"Yeah. It's a black snake. It's not poisonous."

"I know that. But it still has a mouth and teeth. Probably pretty big, from the size of the snake."

"It won't hurt nothin'."

"Well...if anybody ever wants to use that outhouse, I think it's only fair that you tell them about the snake. He might have a nest in there, and a whole family."


Let the record show that if any attendees of Hick's Shackytown Amusement Park and Roadside Attraction is ever bitten on the butt by a snake in an outhouse...they will receive a refund of $5 off their ticket price. With proof of paid admission, of course. We're not running a charity here.

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

A Camera is Worth Not Quite a Thousand Words (Part 3)

Hick may have been onto something, putting up a fake camera after his political candidate signs were tampered with. Let the record show that Hick installed his fake camera, and a sign borrowed from our neighbor, on Thursday.

Thursday night at 10:09, while Hick was loose upstairs, and I was sitting in my dark basement lair...I got a text. From Hick. (No, he doesn't type this much, and this grammatically correct. I stood at the bottom of the stairs and asked for more details.)

"PartyMom just called me, and said she wanted to apologize for her daughter's friend taking down my signs. She sent me a text at 9:45, asking if I was still up, and could she call me. I had to go out on the porch to get reception. She said her daughter and her friend took the signs down, and said the girl was in tears." [Her alias of PartyMom is because she hosted the kid's party, no reflection on her own activities]

"Well, it was just a prank, and a simple apology would fix the whole thing."

"That's what PartyMom did. Apologize for her daughter's friend."

"No big deal. She's a kid. Probably just showing off for each other, and neither would have done it otherwise. The kid shouldn't dwell on it, as long as she owned up to it. I feel bad that she's crying."

"PartyMom said that when she saw it on Facebook Sunday, she asked the boys what they'd done. She knew they'd all gone for a walk. They said they hadn't done anything. She didn't suspect the girls. But then tonight she asked her and the girl said, 'Well, you didn't ask ME, so I didn't tell.'"

"Wow. That's cold-blooded, standing right there while the boys are being accused, and then not saying anything. Maybe she SHOULD dwell on it! So she doesn't turn into a psychopath before it's too late!"

"PartyMom said she took her phone away for a week. She'll remember THAT!"

"That sounds fair. For the deception, not the act. She didn't even do it herself, supposedly. An apology would have been enough for the act."

"That's what PartyMom told her. She should have owned up to it, so she could have told the other girl it was wrong."

"I wonder if being a lawyer's daughter might have something to do with not volunteering info if you're not asked..."

Anyhoo...we know who it was. No big deal. (It's not like she asked for a metal fork at a barbecue and threw it in the trash!) I feel sorry for the kid having her phone taken away for a week. These kids are tweens. Having worked with that age group, I can understand. They are trying to break away from their dependency on parents, to grow up. They don't want to be treated like babies, but they don't understand that they're NOT little kids any more. That they will be held accountable for their actions. They get in trouble without meaning to, just pushing the envelope to see where the boundaries are.

Hick and I are wondering about the timing of the confession. Did it have something to do with the sign? In Val's world, that kid saw the camera, thought, "OH, CRAP!" and didn't want to be reminded of her clandestine activities every morning and afternoon on the way to and from the bus stop.

At least PartyMom has a handle on the situation. It takes an enclave to raise a tween.

Monday, October 8, 2018

Smile, You're on Thevictorian's Camera (Part 2)

Since the campaign signs were flattened on Sunday, Hick had heard no more about the possible perpetrators. He had support from many of his fellow denizens here in our enclave, according to comments on his Facebook page.

Thursday, there were new developments. When I came home from town, my eye was drawn to the telephone pole in the neighbors' horse field. It's right across from our driveway, where DUMPY II goes on new-trash-day Wednesdays. The property belonging to Jack and Juno's nemesis(es), the Crazy Rottweiler and Killer Poodle.

A bright yellow sign was nailed to that pole, saying "Smile, you're on camera!" Oh, and directly above it was a smoky-glass, bubble-looking camera like you might notice in Walmart's ceiling.

I was none too happy to see that. I don't want to be spied on. That really makes me not want to take the trash up, or walk in the driveway. I wondered if the Crazy Rottweiler's Human Mom had ordered a camera, right after she heard about the sign-tampering. Or maybe somebody had been messing with her horses. Way back when they first moved in, the boys and I had gone over to ask if we could give our old apples to the horses. She looked at us like we had just sprouted two heads. Sheesh! It's not like we were knocking on nursing home doors, asking to feed our wrinkled old apples to their wrinkled old people! We just wanted to roll them under the fence, to give the horses a treat. would think that if Crazy Rottweiler Human Mom had bought herself a camera, she would have put it closer to her own driveway, and faced it up the road toward Tommy's property next door to her. To see everybody coming down the road by her horse fence, not to see across the road onto our property.

Once inside the house, sitting in the La-Z-Boy, I noticed that I could still see the pole camera. Which meant the pole camera could see me! The whole situation seemed pretty weird. Why would the Crazy Rottweiler Neighbors want to keep an eye on OUR house? I got to thinking about how you can order those fake cameras from the What On Earth catalog, and those other mail-order companies with gifts like butt-crack banks and stuff. So maybe it wasn't even real. But WHY would they want to discourage people from messing with OUR property? I sent Hick a text.

"What's this camera thing on the Rottweiler's fence?"

"It's a dummy I put up. Rottweiler Mom had the sign, so I put up a dummy camera. I found it in one of my sheds."

"Great. Now we're even MORE hated!"

Not that anybody is messing with our stuff (besides the signs). But a couple of them complain about Hick's roadwork from time to time. Not to his face. I guess they think he's getting rich off their gravel money, even though he's still out about $500 of his own junking money, since some who said they were paying $200 didn't. Hick's buddy, Buddy, who was an accomplice in the bad-blacktopping venture, is also out some personal money, for hauling gravel without charge.

Anyhoo...I'm relieved that Hick is the one behind the camera, but I think it might cause ill will if people think they are being watched. However, Hick said, "It's not on OUR property! So they shouldn't think it's us!"