Saturday, March 29, 2014

My Son and Husband Went Goodwilling, and All I Got Was This...

Genius has been home for Spring Break all week while we worked ourselves to the bone to send him away to college. There's an O. Henry vibe there.

Hick took Friday off so he could go Goodwill hopping with Genius. They headed for the city, because everybody knows city people have better junk than country people. Hick is always on the lookout for old-timey gadgets, beer and Coca Cola memorabilia, and chickens. Genius is in the market for an office chair to replace the one he got for $20 and took to his dorm room, and for cameras, lenses, and accoutrements that he can resell for a profit to fund his expensive photography hobby. He also has Hick trained to bid on these items at auctions.

The Pony and I had Friday off because it was parent conference week at school, and we stayed late two nights. We went about our day paying bills and visiting with my mom. I left The Pony with her to spend the night, and went back home to await the return of the Goodwillers. Genius had dropped Hick off for a doctor's appointment on the way home, and went to buy a new pair of shoes because his stink. While whiling away time in the waiting room waiting to be picked up, Hick sent me a cryptic text.

"We hot u a prize."

"Oh, really. You hot me a prize?"

"Yeah. Got y prise." He's not the best typer or texter.

"I hope it isn't Auction Meat." In case you have forgotten, Hick bid on a box at the auction one night that was simply marked "meat," but the price went too high. THANK YOU, Even Steven!

"Goodwill Meat."

That was enough for me. I refused any further communication. When the guys got home, I heard a crinkly sack. I thought perhaps Genius had picked up some fast food, since both had said not to prepare supper for them. Then Hick came into the living room with the sack. It was my surprise:


Never mind that I can't eat a whole bag of Gus's pretzels. It's the thought that counts. Oh, and Hick ate one on the way home. But that's not the big news. Hick had to tell me of the bargains he and Genius picked up.

"We got a cabbage juicer..."

"What? Who juices cabbage? Are you sure that's what it is?"

"Well, that's what your grandma told me it was when I used to go visit and saw hers. And we got a kitchen knife..."

"Who buys a kitchen knife at Goodwill? We have knives. Your company MAKES knives!"

"It has a bone handle. And we got a round-ended shovel..."

"For what? To whack those roosters that jump at you and dig their spurs into your belly, like when you sent that little banty checkerboard rooster flying with the blue plastic snow shovel?"

"To use for digging, like when something gets one of the chickens. And we got a painting not on canvas but on a board, that Genius wanted..."

"Maybe there'll be a great master under the painting."

"Maybe. And we got a pair of needlnose pliers..."

"Those always come in handy, even if you already have about 100 pair."

"Yeah. And we got a kid's lock box..."

"Can you get it open? Does it have a combination?"

"It has a combination, but you don't need to know it, because it works with any numbers, you just turn the dial and it opens. And we got two Oreo Coke tins..."

"Oreo COKE tins? What's that?"

"I mean Oreo tins. And Genius found a chair! An office chair for his room. It's a really good chair, too, even if it IS missing an arm..."

"WHAT? Genius bought a chair with one arm?" Just then I heard Genius wheeling his prize through the kitchen. He pushed it across the living room carpet and plopped down, resting his right arm on the chair's lone limb. He sighed and leaned back.

"It's really comfortable, Mom."

I couldn't stand it any more. I was hee-hawing like a madwoman. "I can't believe you guys! Why do we need this stuff? I'm not juicing any cabbage, or shoveling chicken graves, or locking my valuables in an unlocked box, or stabbing people with that shiv of a kitchen knife, or framing a painting, or collecting Oreo memorabilia. And that pressure cooker is just going to put us on the watch list! But I will agree that except for missing an arm, that office chair looks like it's in good shape."

"Wait! The best part is...WE GOT IT ALL FOR SEVEN DOLLARS!"

I was afraid to ask where he got my Gus's pretzels.

Here's a picture of part of the spoils:


  1. Where's a picture of the painting? You had to know I'd ask.

  2. I'm glad I'm not on Hick's Christmas list...Who knows what I would get...

  3. The "cabbage juicer" is a potato ricer. Just boil potatoes and push through the holes in the ricer and you have mashed potatoes! Those are quite the treasurer's they found. Lucky you!

  4. Hmmm, nothing I'd be interested in, either, Val. Don't you know that you should never let men go to any kind of "junk" sale, because they're sure to come home with.....yep, JUNK! (In all honesty, though....some really good things CAN be found at Goodwill! )

  5. Ingasmile got me frothing at the mouth.

    A potato ricer is a marvelous thing. Microwave the potatoes (so they don't get waterlogged) and then put them--whole, with the skin on--in the potato ricer, one at a time. It will mash the potatoes, and leave the skin in the ricer. Pick the bits of skin out of the ricer and do it again.

    You'll never peel and boil potatoes again for mashed potatoes. I promise.

  6. Ingasmile and Sioux are correct, my om never made mashed potatoes she made riced potatoes. No lumps, easy peasy.

  7. Looks to me like Hick is radically torn in the fate of those expired chickens. But if they do get buried, looks like they're going in some very jolly coffins.

  8. Stephen,
    I was hoping for such a photo, but Genius absconded with it before I could sent my minion in to snap one. Never fear. I texted him this morning at 10:30 to request a likeness. And again at 1:15. He must have been awake by then because he sent a picture right away. Check my next post. Let me know if your x-ray vision can see a master hiding under there.

    I have you pegged for Auction Meat, Madam! The thing about Auction Meat is that you never know what new taste sensation you may experience. And it never expires, because there's no date on the box. Bon appetit!

    If only there was a prize for the first person to set me straight on what that thing really is! Alas...we are running low on Gus's pretzels, so you will have to bask in the knowledge that intrinsic rewards are much more fulfilling than material rewards.

    Genius's first office chair, the one with TWO arms, that he took away to college...was a steal at $20. He has also gotten some good camera accessories for incredible prices. Hick is always picking up jeans. He's like a potato with toothpick legs, hard to fit. He can find jeans short enough at Goodwill easier than at Walmart. Cheaper, too!

    WAIT! People boil and peel potatoes for mashed potatoes? You mean they don't come out of a box? Just kidding. When my kids were in daycare, Genius used to whine, "Why can't we have those good mashed potatoes out of the box, like the daycare lady gives us?"

    You are leaving the nutrition in the cabbage-juicer, Madam! The skin is full of vitamins and minerals and just enough dirt so your young 'uns don't turn into Bubble Boys. And anyway, you and your proposed cookbook seem to think that Hick would actually give that contraption to me to USE, rather than set it on a pedestal in his BARn.

    Who knew...all the world has been living high on the spud hog, pounding down creamy riced potatoes, while my children cut their teeth on lumps of tough tubers served up by their culinarily-challenged mother. If you can't warm it in the oven, or heat it in the's not on Val's menu. According to Hick. Who has not missed any meals.

    Shh...sometimes, if the ground is frozen or baked too hard to pierce with a round-ended shovel...Hick builds a funeral pyre for his fallen fowl. If the dirt is soft, the Oreo coffins would come in handy. Funny how dogs and vermin like to dig up fresh dead chicken graves. He's running out of big rocks to pile on top.

  9. Oh that is hilarious, Val. It reminds me of some of my yard sale trips in the past.

  10. Catalyst,
    I hope you enjoyed as much success. I think, in Hick's case, it's not so much about the treasures as the hunting.

  11. I read his to He Who. He thinks he could really have a good time hanging out with Hick ...... "sounds like somebody I'd like to get to know" . He Who has toothpick legs, too!

  12. Kathy,
    They would be like two peas in a pod. Rigging machines by splicing wire, duct-taping broken parts, one eating soup with a fork, the other eating peanut butter with a ladle. Maybe they could find a pea-pod juicer at Goodwill.