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 façade 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’.”

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