Monday, September 29, 2014

Cowboy Down - A Conversation Between Two Professional Thrift Shoppers - Part Twelve (B) - "Risk"

Cowboy Down

A Conversation Between Two Professional Thrift Shopprs

Part Twelve (B)


            “While I was saying that; ‘SHE’S BUYING IT’, a whole mountainside of mentally stored FACTS collapsed from its... internal mountainside memory storage... distribution... poise...  avalanching THROUGH my frontal eye-to-mind amphitheatre  (forehead region) to... just above the eyes and... ‘was about to’...:
            “That’s another four-five-six seconds?  Whose counting?   What happened?  IN those seconds; WITHIN those seconds?”
            “I:  ‘That is a mid-eighteenth century French (Rouen) Delft (‘Faience’) charger (large serving platter).  I know that because it is in that Deerfield book.  Yeah that one is identical and is ALSO in the Deerfield Delft book too; that same charger, but THERE it is collaborated of it’s New England usage service (heritage) by a Middletown, CT – Wesleyan University archeological outhouse (‘privy’) (old fashion toilet) ‘dig’ fragment identification... by a broken but nearly ‘all there’ identical charger PICTURED (too) (in color) in that (Deerfield) Delft book I...”
            “Know this; what she is clutching:  THAT IS ONE:  IT IS IT.”

            “Right.  Soooo... She turns to further face down the isle away from me but then (two seconds total?) radically turns back to her right, bends over and down, shoves the charger back on to the bottom china isle shelf while raising her head and... is... yelling ‘ZEE-nah WAIT’ down the isle as she takes off (scampers) away down the isle LEAVING THE CHARGER on the bottom self.  I am there (upon it, grabbing it) in two more seconds (probably less) in the ‘it’s MINE’ in hand and I am, now three more seconds, examining the BACK of the charger to positively affirm (this taking but one second more) that ‘it is real’ and that this ‘really happened’ or is ‘still really happening’. Is it?”
            “How many seconds in total?” 
“UNDER twelve seconds this WHOLE... identified antiques acquisition... took leaving me ‘standing there’... HOLDING THE CHARGER up side down and the She... gone.  ‘OVER’... it is as I notice the two ‘old staple repairs’ on the ‘oven blackened back.  That back blacking is, correctly understand, colonial NEW ENGLAND fireplace kitchen beehive bake OVEN blackened meaning;  PIES were baked in this ...once ‘serving’ charger... that then had fallen away, as a design form (French Delft serving vessels), to become ‘out of fashion (no longer used)’ so had become ‘repurposed’ (in the sense of today’s trendy and foppy decorator’s lingo) in the colonial home as a ‘PIE PLATE’ for ‘baking pies’.  Here I serve notice that... that usage... and the newly introduced (ca. 1780s) DESIGN FORM of baking dishes especially designed IN THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA for ‘baking apple pies’ (that design form) titled ‘pie plates’:  Oh no and oh yes; ‘American as apple pie’:  There were no ‘pie plates’ by title until the United States introduced the design form ‘late’ (after redware pottery had been an American ceramic industry for over one hundred years); past the mid eighteenth century ALTHOUGH ‘baking fruit pies’ was rising in popularity ‘prior to’ (the introduction of the ‘pie plate’ ‘baking dish’) making the usage adoption (repurposing) of THIS CHARGER ‘a natural’ ‘repurposing’.  YIKES:”
            “And that’s all true and.... ‘How many seconds’ did this take?  And what does this have to do with ‘risk’... in thrift stores?”

            Well:  Are you ‘ZEE-nah’?  Are you She (in the silver foil rocker boots throwing ‘it’ back)?  Or are you me?”  Risk is a variable.  One controls.  Ah...:  Let use documentation and work with that while drifting towards... ah... ‘risk’.
            The worse part of the army of design back ground I brought to the ceramic isle discernment is the first reference book I mentally mention... to myself (not you).  In total, this is the third blog ‘story’ that I have specifically referred to... not only this book... but the SAME specific pages in that book.  Ironically... it is ... in my favor?  That book gained an expressive three paragraph notice in the SECOND reference usage.  That came after the first relevant object denotation... found in another earlier story... that happened to have the odd luck of ‘being on the same page’ ‘too’.  Stepping past ‘isn’t that (being on the same page) CUTE’ I re-state the... emphatic... useful... relevance...  of THAT BOOK and those pages by (1) observing my absurd ‘luck’ of this French ‘Rouen’ charger ALSO being in the book and on the same... God damn pages... BUT TOO I here below reproduce the (three paragraphs) of TEXT... from the second story.  Some of the re-quote is relevant only to THAT story but I include it for it does hint at ‘using design to critique’.  This is cut and pasted from the long... tale (available in this blog’s archives) titled “SUMMER PLACE” (Part Thirty-Five B):

            Philip Zea, “PURSUING REFINEMENT IN RURAL NEW ENGLAND 1740-1850’, Historic Deerfield, Deerfield, MA, 1998.  This may be considered a flawless peek at ‘good taste in New England decorative arts’.  Hardcover or paperback; buy the hardcover.  The paperback wears... out.  The hardcover costs a lot more... if a copy can be found.
            On page 60 at Figure 84 our visiting eye... has already ‘I spy’... what they ‘Figure 84 – Platter”.  In color.  Nice.  There is no positive arts (design qualities) mentioned in the Deerfield history focused descriptive text.  In the text they also positively mention the New England preference for the ‘dark’ blue.  The reverse of that positive is the ...legacy... negative of the English mocking Americans for this  preference for ‘dark’ blue... that stands to this day... and DOES qualify one’s art eye when ‘looking’ at transferware... but that is too much for today’s lesson.  Rest assured:  Point upon point upon New England good taste point is found... in this book.
            As a spot-focus on ‘I am trying to tell a bigger tale’ from within these stories, vignettes and pontificates, this actual page in the book; page sixty... with the platter at the bottom... JUMPS at the top of the next page; sixty-one... to ‘Figure 87 – Tobacco Tongs’, with description ...that again focuses on Deerfield history.  These are ‘Pipe Tongs’ by consensual lay antiquarian title, ...and... ‘A SET’ of pipe tongs were the subject of a whole tale by I; “A DOOR KNOCK”, a nine part tale (also available in blog archives).  The tongs at Deerfield are ‘signed’ ‘American’.  The tongs in the tale were ‘unsigned’.  But:  The ‘lines’ (‘design’)  of the story’s tongs ...were ‘better’.  The Zea set is ‘a little clunky’.

            Now, in this tale of the thrift shop professionals talking, I return again to this same book and same pages for... ABOVE the (transferware) platter on page 60... is shown a French ‘Rouen’ charger... ‘identical’ to this thrift store china shelf throw back... BUT:  I know more for I... being design infatuated I (eye), humbly added a second Deerfield ‘reference book’ to my... I (eye):  Amanda E. Lange DELFTWARE AT HISTORIC DEERFIELD 1600-1800, Deerfield, 2001, here using page 84, figure 26 and number 44.  This reference shows the fragment charger from Middletown, CT and, again, the charger in the Deerfield collection, with text.
            Ok... so that is what rolls down the mental mountain first.  A few seconds later I am ‘holding hands’ upon the charger and look at its back to affirm MORE.  The more is the usage history of the once charger being converted to a ...baking dish... to ...bake pies... in a colonial New England fireplace kitchen.  I... design I (eye) again using the ‘know this’ that ‘pie plates’ were (are) an American design innovation and that THIS French ‘Faience’ charger ‘was used for that’.  For this ramshackle yet GLORY ‘American as apple pie’ design iota... I go back to about 1973-74 when I was studying American ceramic design ‘traditions’ (histories) ‘in college’ and ‘always remember reading’ Edwin Atlee Barber’s TULIP WARE OF THE PENNSYLVNIA-GERMAN POTTERS AN (sic) HISTORICAL SKETCH OF THE ART OF SLIP-DECORATION IN THE UNITED STATES, NY, Dover, 1970... who on pages 101-102 explains ‘this’ (America as apple pie PLATES) ...WITH... a further reference to “Mercer” ...the ‘Mercer tool book’.  Just to really rap the reader on the head about the use of reference books... by I (eye)... ‘Mercer’ appears WITH a discussion of Eric Sloan books in a rather long tale on this blog: (Coy – Part Nine – “Crazy Man” – [C]).  The point, for this tale, is that I am ‘in isle’ at a thrift store using ‘stuff’ I read FORTY years ago AND was studied in Barber’s reference to Mercer... then... TOO.  So... like... loose the silver foil booties?  If your gonna loose the risk...
            Doing this?

            I am not done.  What about those ‘staple repairs’?   “WOW!” and ...what does that mean.  WELL... romantic conjecture gives us, option one, that ‘a collector’ once owned this rejected pie plate and ‘had it’s (old usage) crack ‘fixed’ (stabilized)... for their ‘collection’ of ‘Delftware’ found in Colonial New England.  OR... option two... one ‘knows’ that ‘they did (were doing) staple repairs’ a LONG, long time ago so that it COULD mean that Mrs. Colonial Fireplace Kitchen Grandmother herself... who used this ‘pie plate’ to ‘bake apple pies’ for her... WHOLE LIFE... after getting ‘it’ (the pie plate baking dish) from HER mother... ‘had it stapled’ (to stabilize the usage crack) and KEPT ON USING IT UNTIL ...she died... and it.... started ITS journey (Part Seven) to the thrift store.

            “It’s still on its journey!”
            “Yeah but I, ah, moved its decimal place (increased it’s dollar value as an art object).
            “It’s really a wonderful thing.  And it has a wonderful story.”
            “Yeah but they (the reader) doesn’t care about that.  All they care about is the money.  The risk.”
            “How can you not love this thing?”
            “Because your greedy and insensitive.  That’s why your in the thrift shore?  Because your greedy and insensitive?  How does THAT affect risk?”
            “Weeding your garden; that’s what YOUR risk at thrift stores is”.
            “Yours too.  Well... it’s actually sort of the opposite.”

Friday, September 26, 2014

Cowboy Down - A Conversation Between Two Professional Thrift Shoppers - Part Twelve (A) - "Risk"

Cowboy Down

A Conversation Between Two Professional Thrift Shoppers

Part Twelve (A)


            “Let’s ride back through the deserted and overrun village of the thrift store.  Let us use the saber; slash a way through the bric-brac again, now that we’ve... neutralized... the resistance.”
            “Oh why bother; why bother them.  A harangue is a bell tone of truth from a bell tower they must look UP to see.  NESTING sparrows fluttering for crumbs?  Is that what one sees when looking DOWN from that bell tower.  I say your TOO fair minded.  Art is a horror for those who are fickle for the finger nails of their own hands.”
            “No... for I want to be spicy.  Spicy; not hot.  Spicy is not hot.  To call ‘hot’ a spicy is to miss the purpose of spicy.  Spicy is art.”
            “Spicy is a horror too?  Ha, ha.  It is isn’t it.  Art should be not spicy; not hot?”
            “But the village (of the thrift store) has been overrun and deserted.  It’s SAFE to go back.  The sparrows fly away leaving their crumbs.”
            “But why?  There is no topic left IN the village.  We must wander to a conclusion.  We must dumb our chatter down and elaborate in detail our tactical fa├žade that allows us to slip in and out of secret and coveted parking spaces.  Remember:  I must show my little magic cards and speak fairly of the affluence of the neighborhoods that harbor the BEST thrift shops; the deserted villages you just called them.”
            “I did, didn’t I.  Umm...  I want to...:  I want to touch the word ‘risk’.  I want to ride back through the thrift store and slash and turn THAT slashing to ‘risk’.  You know the word ‘risk’ is very popular these days:  It’s about MONEY you know; managing money and managing ‘RISK’.”

            “Risk in a thrift store?  How bold.  Count one’s money at the end of the bric-brac isle?”
            “I have to see if I LOST some money down that isle, Sweetheart....:  One CAN loose money in a thrift store.  In fact... most do.”
            “They do; loose money IN a thrift store.  AT a thrift store.  WHEN they get their purchase home....”
            “HOME?  Just to the CAR.  They should take it back (whatever the purchase) RIGHT THEN.  CUT the losses.”
            “Ha,ha... they’ll NEVER do that.  IT’S TOO VALUABLE; the TREASURE they found.  OH GOD it’s funny.
            “It’s SPICY:  It’s what makes it SPICY.  Risk.”
            “Risk... what are they risking?  LUNCH money?
            “On the play ground.  It’s taken away from them by the thrift store bullies.  You know them; ‘PINK TAG’, ‘YELLOW barb’ and the always mean ‘BAG SALE’.”
            “OH not THAT: ‘You lost all your money to mean Mr. BAG SALE’.”
            “But what if they turn pro (become professional thrift store shoppers).  Do they understand the capitalization of THAT venture.  Into the dark.  They go.  And the devil they treat with is cash.  Their cash.  It’s actually quite dark in a thrift store when one spends... twenty or thirty THOUSAND dollars in them... in mere months.  DARK, darling.  And you know this.”

            “Yes I do.  But they will not agree.”
            “Well then... let us welcome them to the casino.  Bring your quarters GUYS.  I mean... if you know something about ART then... you know something about money?  And therefore... understand risk?”
            “They READ about it; risk.  Sugar sweetened risk.  At the slot barn of THRIFT.  Oh no... We’re back.”
            “Slots...sluts.  Thrift store sluts (Part Eleven).  I thought we’d cleared that.”
            “Your clear of thrift store sluts.  You have to beat them in the isles; that’s it.”
            “But... ah... you know...:  You know how they don’t like being used by our word choice of SLUTS... and, well... do not even know where that word comes from.  And that it comes from  Old design.  OLD NEW ENGLAND DESIGN.  And if they did THAT; studied the design that gives us SLUTS...;  Well... that will never happen.  I’m sure I’ll remain unmolested for the rest of my life when it comes to denoting and purloining a ‘good one’; a good slut maker, at a thrift store.  You know I’m finding old spinning wheels (‘the big wheel’) all the time at thrift stores these days.  Washing up on the crud beach they are.  Rejected.  They’re always priced all the same; CHEAP.  And no one ever considers that they are art; with design, design differences, age differences, condition differences.  That they are American sculpture... of positive and negatives... in three dimensional space.  No... they walk right by them.”
            “OH those SLUTS!  Ha, ha.”

“Now... in the old New England home a... girl... would at... spinning... on a BIG WHEEL.  Set up.  Set up WHERE.  Well... they preferred a shed doorway, an open space ‘out’ of home; a dog-trot or barn doorway.  WHY?  Because of SLUTS.  Sluts are the little fiber waste balls generated in the spinning process; wool to yarn, right?”
            “Yes dear.”
            “And sluts ‘got all over the place’ hence the desire to work ‘outdoors’ ‘in the open’; the sluts blow away.  OH BUT HORROR the poor girl (‘homemaker’) who did not avail the open air and spun inside.  SHE did not have her SLUTS blow away.  OH HOUSE FULL... of her SLUTS.  And the other girls whispered about how full of SLUTS her HOME is.  The historical slang usage and meaning progressions should be obvious from there.  But... the ability to JUDGE (the design merit of) a ‘great’ ‘spinning wheel’.  Oh go ahead and STARE at one for a while.  Want a really good study hall?  I remember... probably ten years ago... wandering up the floors of a barn in the Shaker Village of Enfield, NH to find a room full of, on display, their ‘old spinning wheels’.  A whole barn floor room full.  Of old slut makers.  Ha, ha.  They were all untouched; not restored.  Just wonderful condition.  A barn floor of gems.  I bet they’re still right there too.  ANYWAY...:”
            “Who’s the slut NOW.  Ha, ha.”
            “Now, now.”

            “Ok... But back to the SLOT BARN of thrift stores.  That’s really a pretty accurate description of a thrift store if you are going there to make money.  That’s what you do, my dear, isn’t it; you go there (thrift stores) to make money?”
            “So you must be a greedy bitch.  Your worse than a SLUT.”
            “Well at least I’m gracious about my plundering.  And I understand the risk.”
            “What risk?  I believe we’ve spent most of this conversation demonstrating how, for us, there's rarely any risk at all.  That’s why I want to ride through the thrift store again.  With slashing saber.  Why not?  SCATTER the crumb hunting sparrows I say.”
            “Please.  You’ll bleed them to death.”
            “But it is not ME.  It is the ART.  Just sitting there.”
            “No more stories!”
            “But what about ‘ZEE-nah WAIT’?”
            “OH GOD.”

            “Ok... so... first... let’s go back to SALT (Part Eleven).  That’s spicy; it’s a spice.”
            “It actually is a spice.”
            “I found an old (salt) spice dispenser in a thrift store.  How DESIGN of me!”
            “What should I say?  Dee VINE of me?”
            “Just because you study salt and no one else does...”
            “Puts them at risk.  Puts THEIR money at risk in a thrift store IF they ‘buy salt’ and ‘don’t know’ what they’re doing.  So I come down the isle with a seventeenth century Dutch table salt I find for sale for fifty cents.  WITH THE OLD (usage) CHIPS.”
            “And so?”
            “It’s three inches tall, four inches in diameter and all white.  China.  (Actually ‘tin glazed’ earthenware).  It looks like a broken plumbing part to, like, a SINK.  So I nail that.”
            “Nail it?  I don’t thinks it’s fair that you can know something like that is out there, in creation, TO BE NAILED”.

            “Thank you for the compliment... you old isle slut.  You’d ah walked right by it.”
            “I’d handle it.  I wouldn’t have known exactly what it was.  I’d know it was tin glaze.  But...
            “WHAT IS IT”  Or...:  Design.”
            “Yes.  The unpleasant truth.  You got me.”
            “Get you.  Pretty often too.  Once we leave the USA (‘Americana’).
            “The art WORLD... as you say.”
            “This (the salt) is just ‘came to America’ art.  To me.  I mean... I know it CAN be here so CAN be found here so... I need to know ALL that stuff (‘come to America art’).  I mean... that’s what ‘ZEE-nah WAIT’ is all about.  In spades.
            “In spades”.  The classic ‘It’s ‘gonna hurt.  It’s gonna sting’.”

            “So I come BACK up the wooden ware isle (in a box store thrift store) and get to the head and cannot configure if ‘DID I?’ do the china isle.  Can’t remember.  I’m moving too fast?  But the rule is that if one cannot remember doing a ‘that isle’ well do it AGAIN and do it right.  And I hate the china isle.  WHY LOOK and such crummy STACKS of plates of AWFUL ‘china’ spotting NOTHING.  No.  Ok... trade trick.  Or is it trade procedure.  TRY THIS AT HOME (in your own kitchen cupboards) ha, ha:  The... ah... EYE only is used to spot the antique china.  No touching and it is ....ONLY... the exposed-in-stacks-EDGES of the ‘plates, bowls and WHATEVER ‘stacked up’ ‘CHINA’ that is scanned.  For the old (antique) china.  To the trained eye (informed china design history eye) that is all that is needed to ‘know a good one’(a specimen of antique china).  A similar sorting setting?  I do the same with leaned-up-picture-frame-stacks.  Clumsy, awkward to sort through without creating an in-isle mess, or a ‘tipping the stack over’ or a ‘spilling’ them into the isle, the whole MESS maybe quickly eyeball scanned on the frame’s side edges to ...notice... ‘an old one’.  (Yes there is a very serious design history of ‘picture frames’).  SHOULD there be a that, THEN touch THAT FRAME directly to ‘peek’ and ‘see’ if one needs to do more.  ANYWAY; the china isle is always all ‘edge scan’... and I couldn’t remember if I’d done that.  So I went there (to the china isle).

            “And THERE she was:  Two thirds of the way DOWN the isle with her, nearly, full back towards me with a light twist further of her right toward the isle shelf stacks of china plates:  THERE SHE BE with tawdry tight blue jeans flashing rainbow sequin pockets, silver foil rocker booties and black roots showing off at the base of her dyed blond hair.  She must be but, well, like... how about twenty-six at the last cake candles she blew out and I ...couldn’t care less... because as already THREE seconds has past I see ONLY THAT in her right arm; she clutches WHAT I have already (same three seconds) discerned as a GOOD ANTIQUE peeking back at ME as if this thrift princess is carrying a young baby in her arm that has my misfortune of establishing EYE CONTACT with ME.  Now two more seconds have past.”
            “Oh say it was FOUR seconds you liar.”
            “No:  Two seconds.”
            “So in five seconds you know she’s carrying your baby.”
            “That’s cute... and I know I got trouble:  An antique is staring at me from the security of her clutch”
            “And you know what it is.”
            “And I know what it is.  In spades.”
            “What’s that mean?”
            “It means that any financial risk, for me, is in oblivion for in the next three seconds my ‘what I know’ transforms all risk of that object into a scream from my dark internal antiquarian Hell.  I... ‘SHE’S BUYING IT’.”

Monday, September 22, 2014

Cowboy Down - A Conversation Between Two Professional Thrift Shoppers - Part Eleven - "Swashbuckling Who"

Cowboy Down

A Conversation Between Two Professional Thrift Shoppers

Part Eleven

"Swashbuckling Who"

            At this apex...  or would we PREFER it an INTERSECTION... in this conversation between two professional thrift shoppers...:  It is not an intersection we are at.  BUT... we are just PAST an... this... THE... apex.  And... that apex has been divulged:  The secret of the thrift store profiteering has been told... to... you.  So we are PAST a ‘the apex’?  Swashbuckling is what remains of the tale; iota, tactics, poise, position, proper procedure and ...parking.  With the aura of swashbuckling?  That (swashbuckling) is the action that titled this perplexity; Cowboy Down.  That is a thrift store behavior... or two?  That we told of (Part One).  That; this cowboy that downs... is but NOW a swashbuckling.  Or is it... a... swashbuckling WHO?  Who be that swashbuckling? 
Do ponder that I know that there are ...salt... AND... pepper... shakers... as I curse (haunt) an isle of a ‘my little thrift store’.  I... eye... that ponder... do I EYE?  A vulgar spittle is what I see?  As I swashbuckle down isle cowboy I eye and:
Do not gather a reciprocation?
Salt and pepper shakers are so humorous ...when I ... in an isle thrift store... throw all.... ALL... my design WHATEVER at... a ... salt (and pepper).  Do I?
YOU are ‘IS not this NICE FUNNY HA, HA IT IS’ and I am ‘17th century are a wood... vessel or Dutch PEWTER or CHINA or English maybe but could be FRENCH from Canada (Quebec) “my mother’s; she ALWAYS SAVED THAT”.  Until she died and that ‘you’ cleaned out ...her ‘ALWAYS SAVED THAT’.
            No... I do not encounter others using a classic design background to judge and jury the CRUD in the isle of the bric-brac at thrift stores.
            No... it is spittle that is most expressed of the ‘need’ to ‘do that’.  I know that SALT was, in the 17th century coastal New England, dispensed at the table in little wooden bowls, primitively (lathe) ‘turned’ from local native hardwoods (a ‘sugar maple tree’) and served using a little carved wood or horn spoon (these are rare to be ‘found with it’; the ‘salt’).  New England salt dispensing design was in DIRECT imitation of the current English or Western European fashion but... but... but, but... “AMERICAN” (Colonial New England).  Spittle back WHO be that WHO swashbuckling WHO by using WHAT density of WIT to be so half-witted that a SWASHBUCKLER is not I (eye) but that THY; their own highway to hell themselves be upon it.

            “Ha, ha and that is funny to me too that.”
            “Well we have told them and now we follow it by affirming from our daily experience that no one is using a design base critique in ‘the thrift stores’.  And that this same dynamic freely... ignores our sage input upon this subject.  In fact it is not ignored but is actually... dismissed.”
            “And then they show you something they bought in a thrift store and think it’s an ‘isn’t this GREAT’.  They say it that way too.  You know:  Like you just said.  Spittle.  From the mouth.”
            “And brain.  But:  We are used to this vulgar treatment?”
            “Of course.  I love it.”
            “Show and tell never stops”.
            “Oh and they think I want to BUY it and are so CLEAR that it’s NOT for sale so much of a TREASURE they have found.”
            “Salt and pepper shakers.  I ask them:  Do you know the design history of them?  ‘NO WHAT’S THAT’.”
            “Ha, ha and there isn’t a book ‘about it’.  NO.  You probably have FIFTEEN books that covers it.”

            “Fifteen little snippets of study AND A MUSEUM VISIT TOO.  To ‘see one’.  And handling one... or two... at one of those ‘expensive’ antiques shows OH NO NOT THAT (Paying admission to attend, inspect, handle and study ‘antiques’ at a ‘show’.  They ARE called ‘antiques shows’?  Yes they are.)  Colonial period wooden ware; tureen ware; American, European... is constantly ‘bric-braced’ at thrift stores.  Colonial Dutch around New York; up the ‘North River’ (Hudson).  Absolutely have to watch out there.  New England; they’d walk right by a maple salt.  Walk right by it.  ‘NO’ they’d say... ‘No design today thank you .  My head’s too full of my own SPITTLE to want (need?) to ‘study art’.
            “I tell ‘em; those who flaunt their education:  Remember all those slides you watched in that intro art history course you took in college?  ...They were about something.  They look at me like I’m an idiot.”
            “And they DO soooo KNOW what they’re doing when it comes to art.”
            “Shouldn’t we say something nice to them?”
            “No.  Why?  They never say anything nice to us.  We’re, like, ‘in the way’.
            “In their way?”

            “No. ‘In THE way’ of THEIR art.  They show you a salt and pepper set of, like, ‘made in Japan’ and you go ‘ah...’ and they go ‘I JUST LOVE IT’ and you, like, just bought a French 18th century delft table salt up the china isle WITH THE OLD usage rim chips assuring ‘it’s old’ for fifty cents with ‘AS IS’ emphatically written on the tag too.”
            “At least they (the thrift store) put it out (offered it for sale with a price sticker on it).”
            “Yeah...:  Are they swashbuckling?  Ha, ha.  That’s SOOOO cowboy down of them to do THAT.”
            “You know... we could say that the thrift stores actually know something about design, although a bit innocent... I guess... but... they actually DO put the stuff out, priced.  I mean; fair and square.  They put a seventeenth century New England salt out for fifty cents and do not try to say a THING about doing that.  They just do it.  I mean; no attitude.  It’s only after they do that that the swashbuckling begins.”
            “Walking by great art cheap is swashbuckling?”
            “To hear them tell it is.  I mean... it’s pointed out (that they DID walk by IT).”
            “That what?  AND they found THEIR art?  I just take the salt, buy it real quietly and leave.  So I’m out.  That’s cowboy down.  Right?  Get in, get it, pay, get it out, get away clean.  Right?”

            “So... swashbuckling WHO... is... swashbuckling WHO.  The thrift shoppers are the swashbucklers?”
            “They’re swashbuckling alright.”
            “So they must be swashbucklers.”
            “Well not ALL of them.  I mean.  The butt blockers (Part Eight)?  I can’t say that.”
            “They want to be.  They would if they could.  And:  It would be what THEY say.  I mean.  If physically they could get into the fray... they wouldn’t use a design critique either.  They’d be ‘WHAT’S THAT SHUT-UP’ too.”
            “Well... ah...
            “Sorry to say it but.. I can’t cut ‘em slack.  You know it’s true.  The whole rig of the other shoppers is headed to swashbuckle all the time.  I mean:  NO ONE is using design and they actually get pissed when they find out the ‘you do’ (‘you what?’).

            “It’s our little magic wand that’s casting little magic spells that turn rubbish into MONEY.”
            “First the spell turns the rubbish into art.  So many items I ‘find’ are told to my face to ‘cannot believe’ it is ‘that’ (art).  We must, as we speak here, keep art FIRST.”
            Well... they are grubbing along before me; grubbing....  Their dirty sausages of fingers poking, prying, sorting, shifting... rubbish.  A mound of rubbish.  Isn’t that what a GOOD thrift store is?  Ha, ha.  Meanwhile I but touch my wand here or there.  I spell it; art.  They’re looking for money.”
            “And there is the swashbuckler!”
            “Money.  Of course.”

            “Now you would be... never so low as THAT would you?  NO!”
            “Well... I COULD be and then be THEM.  But art comes before money.  Trumps all money.  If I was the money then I, I believe, would be but a slut.  An isle whore.  Ha, ha.  Now THAT is ART.  I art not MONEY.  Art is first.  Money tumbles along after.  Do I say I like MONEY and art.  NO.  I like art.  The collections are of ART, not money.  No one counts money in art... unless they are vividly crass.
            “Vividly crass is swashbuckling?  Hunting for money in a thrift shop is... vividly crass?  From our vantage it certainly is.  It also has the foundation flaw of assuring that if money comes for one BEFORE art... one will have trouble finding EITHER in a thrift store.”
            “That’s sweet of you to say”.
            “Well I’m not an art slut like you!”

            “And I’ve BEEN ONE for so many years now!  I’m not even slightly tired of being one.  No one bothers me.  NO ONE.
            “Yes.  That is the funniest.  In and out (of the thrift stores) we go; art sluts.  No one ever notices.  And I always pay in correct change (Part Three).  Yes... remember the real rules.  Right?”
            “That is the procedure; the silent travel.  Nothing is there.  There is no ripple on the surface.  No light breeze at a window.  The art (and antiques) is gone.”
            “What’s left?  The dirty sausage fingers?”
            “ON THE CLOTHES.  I mean REALLY.  Ugh; yuck.  Do you have to touch it!  ‘I have to SEE’ they say.  Then LOOK... don’t TOUCH.”
            “You like that; them touching.”
            “I do not.  That’s the worse part.  It’s not TOUCH anyway.  It’s maul.”
            “But you’re not buying that stuff.  You’re not interested.  Actually... YOU ARE INTERESTED.  I forget your infatuations ... with your fellows.”
            “Fellow sluts.  They can’t even do that; be thrift store SLUT.  I mean...  If I said they were sluts they be offended.  I think it’s a compliment these days; to be a thrift store slut.  Even if you’re a crummy one.  Ha, ha.”
            “We have told them.  Now.  Haven’t we.”
            “They won’t like it.”
            “Who cares.  It’s the truth.  Also... it explains the crowds in the (thrift) stores.”
            “It DOES do that!”