We spent our time on two quests. The first was to stuff ourselves by discovering some diners, drive-ins and dives, featuring comfort (fatty) foods. The best of these were Beaugard’s Southern BBQ in Wilmington, Ohio and Joe’s U.S. Route 40 Grille in Springfield, Ohio, where we asked what kind of food they had and the waitress said, "Everything". (It is true - the website is woefully deficient in showing what they offer). The worst was the Oasis Café in Xenia, Ohio, where the waitress hid her mouth with her pad as she listed the salads and soups. This should have been a clue.
The second mission was to acquire more stuff. This was done initially by going to Columbus and buying some Ohio State paraphernalia to brand us as Ohio State parents, as much as this goes against my SoCal DNA. Second, we did what I have to describe as “antiquing”, because that is a short, descriptive term, so it’s convenient, even if not accurately descriptive of what we did. We went to a giant antique mall to shop, though we are not buyers of antiques in the common use of the term: old furniture or valuable works of art. We were in the market for collectibles; old knick-knacks and worthless, nostalgic possessions.
The term “collectibles” was coined by the antique mall industry because it conjures the image of “valuables” while drawing in buyers with lesser means. But collectibles are merely things that can be collected, like dust or grass clippings. “Collectibles” is a half-step up from “recyclables”, which is just trash with a reprieve.
My wife and I already have several collections that we were seeking to add to. For reasons too mushy to elaborate on, we have a collection of bunnies, or, more accurately, representations of bunnies. We have fabric bunnies and wooden bunnies and plastic bunnies and pictures of bunnies on plates and cups and bowls. If the bunnies are named Peter or Wiggly, the representations are more
We have bottles that once contained milk from dairies we’ve never heard of. But they have amusing slogans or, perhaps, pictures of bunnies. We have collections too numerous to list, which all started at some antique store or another. We have a collection of little notebooks in which we could catalog the collectibles and where we collected them. But we haevn’t.
We also have collections that weren’t spawned in antique malls. I have my old Sports Illustrated magazines in the basement, between the comics and the Playboys. I collected each of those at different phases in my life, with some overlapping.
A collection is anything you have more than two of, just as it takes at least three cats to make a crazy lady. And once you have a collection of item X, according to my wife, you have to buy more. You can easily do that on eBay and save gas, but then you would miss a world of opportunity. In 1968, I saw Don Drysdale break the record for consecutive shutout games. Walking down a random aisle in the antique mall, I spotted a Sports Illustrated that had Drysdale’s picture on it, with a row of 9 zeroes above his head. I had gone 40 years without realizing that I wanted and needed that magazine. I never would have stumbled on it while cruising eBay. Furthermore, I may have that issue in my basement - Don Drysdale, somewhere between Donald Duck and a pair of double D’s - but I would never have thought to look for it. It was much easier to pay $4 for it in a store than try to dig it out of a box.
We also bought an old bottle, that had once contained chocolate milk, because it had a cute picture of a cow on it. How would we have known to look for that on eBay? We collected some nice memories, but not much stuff. In regards to stuff, it was not a very successful trip, considering the cost of gas to get around. However, we did eat all our vegetables at every meal, which, someone's mother would have assured me, benefited the starving children of Africa.
antiquing trip = piquant, tiring
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