Friday, April 10, 2009

BEDA, Day 9 (But written on the 10th)

Damn, drat, curses and various other exclamations that signify frustration on behalf of the speaker! I missed another day of the B(log) E(very) D(ay in) A(pril) blogathon. Blast! To make up for it, I'll blog about some stuff that happened yesterday that I planned on blogging about last night. That's almost as good, right? ... No? ... Well, it will just have to do, by gum.

Work was pretty normal. The usual "put Tab A into Slot B" stuff. When I got off at 2 o'clock, I randomly decided to take the long way home, since it was sunny and nice. Along the way, I decided to stop by a shop that I noticed the day before. Actually, I saw a Blues Brother out on the sidewalk the previous day, which takes a little explaining.

There are quite a few thrift and secondhand shops on my side of town, and there used to be a particularly neat one called Crystal Dragon. The wall outstide boasted "Cool Stuff / Weird Things", and that was the truth. You could find all sorts of weird, kitschy stuff in there, which means it was right down my alley. On the sidewalk in front of the store, there would usually be two or three especially odd bits of statuary to lure folks in.

A couple of years ago, the owners decided to pull up stakes and make a new home at the Bellevue Center Mall. If you live in Nashville and have any knowledge of that particular shopping mecca-cum-ghost town, you understand why my reaction to the move was "What the hell are they thinking?" Predictably, abdicating their well-known digs and setting up shop on a sinking ship proved to be a horrible decision, and the store soon closed its doors.

So I passed the Blues Brother "dancing" on the sidewalk and resolved to go inside, thinking that, yay, the old shop has returned! Boy, was I wrong. There was junk strewn about and in no particular order. Only about .05% of the items had price tags on them, and the rest ... well, you wouldn't want 'em anyway, so what would be the point? I was very disappointed. To add insult to injury, I was the only patron in the "store", which meant I had the focused attention of the man running the shop. Sitting in low-profile lawn chair behind a glass display case, he could see me before I could see him, so when he spoke, he startled me. We exchanged a few pleasantries as I walked around thinking, "Great. Now I have to slowly make for the exit without being too obvious about what I'm doing." He asked, "What part of town you from, pardner?" Yes, he actually said "pardner" with a hard "d" sound, no lie. I checked his feet for cowboy boots (ding!) and, in the most vague possible fashion, I told him I lived in the area. Some more forced conversation followed as I got closer and closer to the door. As I finally got to the point where I felt I could get out cleanly, I looked over my shoulder and said, "Thanks." (As in "Thanks for not guilting me into buying these used baby bottles.") From behind me I heard him call, "Tell your friends!"

... so I am.

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