At some point I found myself having a twisted obsession for castaway figurines, statuary, paintings, needlework, plaques, etc. All of these things can be found on thrift store shelves.
Like people, these items all have a complex tapestry of stories; the person who thought up the creation & made it reality, the store/merchant/catalog that decided that this product was an essential addition to their inventory, and of course… the all important person who fell in love with said trinket and purchased it (either for themselves or as a gift).
Lets also consider the rebirths that these items have through countless gag and white elephant gift exchanges across the country. This is beginning to sound a lot like the inspiration to great movie scripts for films like Toy Story.
I decided to share my obsession today. I’ll add my own thoughts and made-up stories for these items and will be making posts that highlight these great finds regularly.
The first one has to be my most favorite and one that I still kick myself for not buying.
I saw this painting of an owl when I first walked into the thrift store and walked straight to it.
As I got closer I realized that this was no ordinary owl but it was a SMOKING OWL.
So the story I came up with in my head occurs between two people. We’ll call them Alex and Drew. Alex is an aspiring wildlife painter who lives in Sonora, California. He paints this amazing owl as part of a project at the local community college (where he goes to school). Alex thinks he will someday hit the big time and will be able to paint for a living.
Drew is Alex’s friend and room mate. Drew isn’t an aspiring artist but instead, fancies himself as a rapper whose rhymes are born in the mellow landscape that surrounds Sonora; rolling hills dotted with oak trees, mountainous terrain covered in manzanita and cedar trees. Let’s just say that Drew’s greatest accomplishments are found in his delusional self-importance and consumption of cannabis. He thinks of himself as a ‘Player’ but has an uncanny ability to scare women with his persona.
Now that we’ve established this, the story is really simple. This is an act of vandalism. Drew has a party that gets out of hand and in a moment of pot induced mayhem, Drew makes his first contribution to art. He changes this majestic spotted owl into a poker playing, whiskey slingin’ bad ass.
Alex and Drew were not friends after this happened. Alex was so distraught that his creation was defaced that he donated it to a charity.
The last installment for today is found in this band of angels. When this gem caught my eye I took a closer look.
They all seem innocent enough until you see Ariel – she’s the one member of the band who seems to be the dark angel (you’ll see what I mean in the close-up to follow).
The story that came to mind: Edna, who lived in Tacoma, WA. was excited about the upcoming winter rummage sale at her church. Her husband Arnie just finished making their new mantle over the fireplace. Edna was eager to decorate that mantle for the holidays.
As she strolled through the rummage sale she found these angels. She called Arnie to her side and with much excitement asked him to agree that these little angelic darlings were the perfect thing to adorn the mantle. Arnie grunted once (which meant ‘Yes’).
Edna & Arnie returned home. She wasted no time setting these angels up by the light of the silver tinsel Christmas tree, the sweet sounds of the holiday record by the Seattle Lutheran Church Choir, and the smell of a meatloaf cooking in the stove.
Sadly, Arnie left a can of varnish next to the oven. The heat caused the can to ignite and they both perished in the resulting inferno.
Amazingly, the angels survived and were then donated to the local Salvation Army.
Edna’s eyesight was poor so she couldn’t ever see the eyeballs on our dark angel.
Sometimes I come up with fictional stories that are horrifying. Some of the stories are boring. Some of them totally vulgar and inappropriate. Please know this before you decide to read more of my posts in the future.
Before I go, I did want to show off one more piece of art. I really want to surprise my wife with this one. This die cast metal work of art is rather large. It is approximately 3 feet wide and about 21″ tall. Nothing says “Honey, I am a virile macho man” like a huge Matador wall hanging. I kid though. My wife would kick my macho ass if I hung this bad boy on the wall.