Monday, November 29, 2010

A Day At The Flea Market

Once a month or so, I like to go to the local flea market to sift through the piles of stuff that people have spent so much time accumulating. Although most of the goodies really aren’t that good, I seem to have a pretty decent track record for uncovering little hidden “gems” amongst the bins and stacks. It’s always an adventure to see what little (or big) things might be up for grabs!

I also have a long list of items that friends and relatives have asked me to keep my eyes open for. It seems like everyone has some sort of collection on the go... Everything from key chains, to pinball machines, to all the interesting stuff in between. And then of course there is always the more traditional collections like stamps and coins.

On my last visit to the market my best friend Bradley tagged along and brought with him his typical outrageous appetite. On a good day he eats like a horse, but on this outing he definitely outdid himself. I lost count of all the mini donuts he inhaled in between snacking on popcorn, candy floss, and everything else that has ever been listed in the junk food hall of fame!

My first stop generally begins at the booth that I like to call “Comic Relief,” where a little bald man who lives just outside of town has set up a neat comic book and memorabilia shop. He also sells these really cool magic tricks, which he likes to demonstrate while people are passing through. It’s almost guaranteed that he will be pulling something shiny and round out of my ear when I show up for a visit!

And then right beside the comic book booth, there is the “Whammy Shammy” guy. He is constantly trying to convince people that you can actually row a boat through all the liquid that he can soak up with his miraculous towel. He also claims that there is nothing in the world more absorbent, but I have a feeling he never had a chance to see what my little brother was able to pull off when he was still in diapers!

Of course my favorite part is still sifting through all the assorted bins and boxes filled with every imaginable “doohickey” and “thingamabob” (collector terms for unsorted junk), retrieved from basements and attics everywhere. You never know what you will find... In one beat up box filled to the top with old toys and Christmas decorations, I pulled something out which was a complete surprise, and something the owner said he had been looking for since 1989... His grandma’s teeth! Guess who must have been eating only soft foods over the holidays that year?!

Although I couldn’t find anything that fit into my personal collectible wish list on that particular trip, I did manage to find a special edition Lulu Radcliff doll for Sally Snider’s collection, complete with the full set of combs, brushes, and color coordinated hair curlers!.

I always have a great time at the market, and I actually would have stayed a little longer if Bradley hadn’t rushed me off. Of course, that last monster corn dog must have did him in. Or maybe it was that super sized triple chocolate milk shake? Anyway, it was obvious that he needed to get home fast to find his mom’s stash of Pepto Bismol, and spend a little personal time in the bathroom!

Until next time,

Happy Collecting!


Monday, November 15, 2010

The Talent Show

This past Friday was an interesting day at Willowcrest Public School. Principal Fuller's morning announcements started off as usual, but towards the end, it was reported that our science teacher, Mr. Worthington, was missing a prized specimen from his rock collection. Specifically, his eclogite metamorphic rock had disappeared!... What exactly is an eclogite metamorphic rock you might ask?... Well I have no idea, but apparently it's really old... Even older than Principal Fuller!

Not surprising, Arnie Lambert was the first to blurt out his suggestion for solving the mystery, "why don't we just put a picture of the missing rock on milk cartons everywhere?!" Arnie got his first laugh of the day in record time! If anyone is heading for a career in comedy, it's Arnie!

Anyway, more about the rock mystery a little later, but first let's get back to the really exciting part of the morning announcements, the news about the school talent show which was taking place later in the day. The big show was finally here, and I was lucky enough to be helping out behind the scenes. I would have auditioned for the show, but the problem is, I have no talent! I'm good at collecting stuff, but that talent really doesn't translate well on stage. Kind of like watching grass grow in the meadow!

The three highlights of the show were Daisy May playing the piano, Brenda Duffy with her baton twirling act, and Bradley Moore showing off his dancing cockatoo.

Daisy gave everything she had on the good old school piano, but I think she was a bit nervous, and there were some major sour notes along the way. I hate to say it, but I can still  play a better twinkle twinkle little star on my parents touch tone phone!

Brenda had the high energy show of the day! She was all over the stage with that twirling, whirling baton, and you could see that she was having a great time. Unfortunately she almost took off Ms.Wallaby's head with what I can only describe as a wobble, bobble, side step, backwards, underarm, fast paced toss. I would have loved to see that in slow motion!

And finally there was Bradley's dancing cockatoo, Pedro. I helped set the stage for this performance, and was amazed during the rehearsal when I saw Pedro do this incredible animated dance across a piece of clothes line which was strung between the wall and a tall pole attached to a box. Unfortunately, nobody told Bradley that the bird had stage fright, and when his name was announced, and the curtain opened up, there was Pedro doing his best impression of what a deer in the headlights might look like. And then the music started, and Pedro might as well have been a statue. He didn't move, he didn't flinch, and I never saw Bradley turn such a deep shade of red when someone in the audience yelled out, "are you sure he's alive?!" There was definitely a lesson to be learned here regarding performing pets!

All in all the show was fun, and everyone had a great time. At the very end, when we were dismantling all the props on stage, there were two things that I had noticed. First, Pedro had left a huge mess on the floor, which I promptly put Bradley in charge of, and second, the box holding up the pole which held Pedro's clothes line, was crazy heavy. I asked Bradley what was in the box, and he said that he had just added some stuff to make it stable. Guess what I found when I opened up the box?!... You got it!... Mr. Worthington's eclogite metamorphic rock!... Case closed!... Another great day!

Until next time,

Happy collecting!


Thursday, November 11, 2010

A Little About Me

Well here I am making my first log on my first blog (hey, that rhymes)!

First of all let me introduce myself. My name is Hector, and I'm just an average kid who loves to collect stuff. Some people say that I have a keen sense for finding cool things everywhere, but the real key is just knowing where to look! That, combined with a knack for being in the right place at the right time, seems to make it all come together!

Of course sometimes I find things that I REALLY wish I hadn't... Like the time my dog Rex ate my little brother Benji's burrito, and then disappeared into the solarium... EWWWW... What a mess I found on my mom's favorite rug... Don't ask!

My first actual collection, which is now my largest and most prized collection, is my Captain Zingo comic books. Dad describes him as a super hero with shtick, but I just like his style, not to mention his shiny transformable action figures!

Aside from having my own collectible stuff, I love to help my friends find goodies to add to their collections as well. I recently helped Officer Pete score this really neat 1923 silver referee's whistle for his insane collection. All he needed to add was a little spit and polish (some of Officer Pete's whistle humor)!

So, I have lots of stories to tell, but the school bell is just about to go off, and Principal Fuller gets a little crazy when us kids are late.

Until next time... Happy collecting!