Baxter's Winter Estate Clean-Out Story:
Which Ball? Ain't Here.
This is Baxter’s story of an estate clean-out he “got into last winter” (March). It is recorded as spoken. Please see proceeding post for the prelude to this post. Dilly is Baxter’s small doggie who travels with him. Baxter credits Dilly with substantial verbal commentary and truck cab chatter when they “work together”. WHICH BALL? is Baxter’s name for a younger neophyte dealer who fancies himself the well educated and world savvy better of Baxter. Baxter knows this and… knows that WHICH BALL? does NOT know he knows this. He calls him “WHICH BALL?” because “he won’t make a move unless he’s TRIPLE sure he’s SAFE”. The name is a play on words fingering character (“having balls”) based on the antique called a “witch ball”. A witch ball is a desirable with early American glass collectors blown glass ball used as a cover on glass jars in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. Baxter sold WHICH BALL? a real witch ball when they first met after exhaustively explaining the whole history of witch balls to him. Right after the sale Baxter caught WHICH BALL? playing expert by repeating the exhaustive history to a potential customer using, in Baxter’s value structure “my information without permission”. Baxter’s nickname of WHICH BALL? appeared right away …and stuck. WHICH BALL? cannot stand the nickname. Here is Baxter’s Maine winter estate clean-out story as spoken:
“I am not going to be spending all that much time trying to elaborate to you why Dilly spent the day saying as to how “IT’S A DAMN GOOD THING WHICH BALL? AIN’T HERE!” That house clean out up in Auburn was just like the “I FIGURED” and with Dilly as my shotgun I took his insight and went with it. YOU are TOO MORAL “enough” so STAND CLEAR.
“Women. First off I’m sick of ‘em being antique busy and second is when they go INTO the antique business and start trying run over the rabbits like me that are already IN THE ROAD of it. Here we had Ms. Classic, her husband dragged in and HIS brother dragged in TOO. Ball caps, big red trucks, trailers and Ms. Classic’s SUV. All just through the car wash.
“I arrived early (on time), backed up to the badly (snow)plowed out barn door at the end of the driveway. I let Dilly out and then put him down on top of our pre-planned secret weapon; an unopened box of 40 lawn and leaf bags. And waited. I stared up and down the “LOOKS 1880’s” house and denoted my private assertion that the extending buildings in the back “dated 1850”. No need to tell them genius that.
“They arrived. I’d already been on a “walk through”. They “WE CALLED YOU IN” to look a some piece of crude painting up in the front of the house to find out if it “IS VALUABLE?” “NO I said to myself… but “OH, OH YES …IT…IS… GOOD” to them …who be then finally admitting that they will be “KEEPING IT”. So after my look around I volunteered to “HELP” “CLEAH OUT”… “maybe some stuff”… “you don’t want”. This was once I determined that the back buildings section “was old” and they; the clean out team, didn’t know antique anything. Especially about “clean out” an “old house”. So THERE on clean-out DAY I be.
“We divided out work. THEY, at my suggestion, would TEAM LOAD the GOOD STUFF from THE HOUSE into & onto their trucks and trailers while I “start in the barn” “cleaning it up” “I’LL PUT ANYTHING GOOD AT THE FRONT and… bag up the rest for the dump”. I did not mention that them bags would be stacked like tight packed hot dog buns in the back of my ALREADY POSITIONED truck. “Yep” I said when THEY SAID “GOOD PLAN” for they was some sure for that “GOOD STUFF” “in the house”. That left me working toward them all day with only the basement “inaccessible”. The attic was N-G (no good) for the last owners were “neat and tidy” in that room. “Yep” again and “some quick” were we (Dilly and I) in the dark behind an “open a crack” barn door with no one watching us.
“THAT WOMAN!” and I’d watched her REAL CLOSE out in that barn during the walk through. Her glasses didn’t work well out there and she never bent over “to look” AT ANYTHING even ONCE. Fact is she barely touched anything and had so much trouble on the barn stairs that UPSTAIRS she pretty much just turned around in a circle and LEFT. But she was crafty so we (Dilly and I) knew WE had to CRAFT. We did.
“About an hour in and seven trash bags “in the back” I said to Dilly “this has got to be the 20th good pantry box I’ve had to THROW OUT in my career just to get it. ALL HE’D SAY is “GOOD THING WHICH BALL? AIN’T HERE!”. Then I set an old wringer washer up at the front of the barn in “the good stuff” pile. Across from it was a “THE STUFF” pile of old wood, glass, tin and the et al the “could be good?”. “I DON’T KNOW”. No need to be too smart when your working for free with GENIUS. And they were sweaty and hot and only checked me when they smoked on the porch and SHE “came and looked” and actually did touch the wringer and say “This IS good!”. Then I got the thumbs up from her on the “GOOD IDEA!” for the lawn and leaf bags into the truck for the “take right to the dump” that came from MY LIPS. They never even thought to notice how tight them bags were packed in there let alone a “LOOK INSIDE” a “one”.
So my end went the real smooth but they FUSSED and had to get tools and scratched the wall and split the door off as all that GOOD furniture with the beds and mattresses “COME OUT” on their end with the smokes and drinks and Ms. CLASSIC getting “MIKE D” (MacDonald’s) for everyone but: “No thanks I got lunch in the truck” I said. They all looked a little ragged by one and were FULL OF IT by three so “LOCK IT UP FOR THE DAY” and LEAVE.
Now I had that barn, which weren’t that big, DONE. I “DONE” the woodshed. I’d “COME THROUGH” the shed to the kitchen. I left the house for them. When they were eating, I went in the basement and “SHINED AROUND” (shined a flashlight around). Aside from a wooden bowl in old red, I walked from it. The bowl I put on my head like a helmet, walked upstairs and walked back to the shed and… put it in a trash bag. No one noticed. Except for Dilly who KEPT SAYING “IT’S A GOOD THING WHICH BALL? AIN’T HERE!