Says the Sign in the Shop Window,
By Gael Montana
- Junque Connoisseur
Why, Why, Says the Junk in the Yard.”
for fun try muting your TV during the commercials and, I promise,
many of them won't make a lick of sense. What they're selling often
remains a mystery but they can be amusing in spite of that. My dear
friend Mauve and I have been trying to figure out the attraction between
the two elderly people making moon-eyes at one another while going
all prunish in their respective bathtubs, for example. Are they KIDDING?
What the heck are they doing with bathtubs outside, anyway? Are they
on an apartment building construction site? Another ad features several
middle-aged women acting like children in need of a time out. They
run through yards spinning and tossing leaves over their heads or
frolicking in old-fashioned tree swings, hair hanging upside down,
feet reaching for the sky. Excuse me please, but can you picture the
reaction you and I might get from exhibiting this behavior? Maybe
we could have pulled it off in the 60's or 70's (and likely did) but
these days it would probably win you a ticket to the funny farm. Just
try skipping along the grocery aisle on, let's say, the day before
Super Bowl; Here we go, humming and singing and flipping our hair
as we joyously carom from shopper to shopper, knocking over various
stacks of bonus items. Since you probably had to park about 100 yards
from the door, how about a breezy ride on the cart. Sailing down hill
through the parking lot with one foot lifted gracefully behind you
like an energetic ballerina! Painful traction and fatal embarrassment
come to mind, but I digress.
What we're really trying to decipher, here, is the true purpose of
these endless ads. It's hard to tell if they're aiming to appeal to
the buyer or to outdo other marketers. Are they striving for some
kind of award? You find lot's of singing animals, 4X4's speeding off
road in areas you wouldn’t take a tank and always plenty of scantily
clad individuals kind of standing around in the wind looking off.
Don't get me wrong, I'm all about marketing. If we weren't buying
more than we need those countless moving companies, storage outfits
and garbage concerns would be out of luck. What would we do with those
handy, stackable rubber bins and whiz-bang see-through snap top boxes?
They're building entire developments on the landfills of our discontent
so we'd better get busy flinging things. We have 20 gallon bags to
fill and at a curbside maximum of 5 per household that's only, er...100
gallons a week of erroneous stuff to jettison!
My Mom and I make little horned toads and lizards and whatever else
out of tin cans then paint them all different colors just for fun.
Sometimes she makes clever earthquake indicators, candle holders or
dream-catchers for a change of pace. It's a kind of wigged-out recycle
project that makes us very happy. We could probably build a barn out
of all the tin cans we've saved or been given and may do that very
thing one day. She has always stood by the saving of things as a waste-not
want-not measure and I'm sure she's right. Folks raised during the
depression learned to do with what they had and what they had wasn't
much. The trick is to not save more than you can ever, in a lifetime,
use. Therein, as they say, lies the rub.
The goals I strive toward are these: 1.) Use up all the stuff in the
bunkhouse 2.) Give away anything that's useful 3.) Provide for my
critters 4.) leave nothing but a clean house, fat birds and reasonably
comfortable furniture behind. It probably won't happen, but I can
dream. Maybe Mom & I can come up with a working formula for scaling
down and sell it on QVC!
from ‘Junk’ by the Beatles
Copyright Gael Montana
'The View from Under the Bus'
8 , 2007 Column