Saturday, September 22, 2007

Second-Hand Hopes

A boys night in can, it turns out, be quite amusing. Freed of considerations for the fairer sex, Harold an I were free to indulge ourselves in popcorn fights, bad taste humour and a horror film.

Actually, there’s very little that scares a demon and an immortal with the possible exception of Julie Andrews. We watched the complete series of the Exorcist from beginning to end and didn’t stop laughing. I mean, the way that some people interpret the revelations of St. John is ludicrous. I’m glad that Baphomet baked him that pie when he was alone in the wilderness; it’s certainly not his fault that he couldn’t tell one mushroom from another.

I told Harold about my quest to find his Aunt Lydia, in case she could shed some light on the poppets we’d found.

“I haven’t heard from her for years,” he said. “Not since she sent me that box of Lego when I was young. I’ve still got her letters, though.”

“What letters?” I said.

“You know, birthday cards and the like.” He shrugged. They’re in a cardboard box under my bed at mum’s.”

“Would you fetch them for me tomorrow?” I said. “It’s important.”

“Sure.” Harold chuckled as a vicar was impaled by a falling weather vane. “You can talk to mum while I find them.”

My good mood evaporated like a single malt over a burning candle. Great.

What’s the deal with second hand shops?

Is it a shift in the country’s economics? I’ve seen a rise in re-cycling recently, both on e-bay (which doesn’t have nearly as much useless junk on it as there used to be) and on groups like Freecycle, where you just advertise your rubbish, free to collector.

Even the bins have multiplied. Now we have green ones for garden waster, red ones for electrical items and blue ones for waste paper and cardboard. What is the world coming to?

Even the age old tradition of jumble sales are disappearing fast. People no longer hang on to all their junk until the scouts come round for it to make funds for their jamboree. Roadside dumps, once the highlight, from my point of view, of any drive along the country’s highways, are pretty much a thing of the past.

I saw a second hand shop yesterday. I don’t know how it stayed in business unless it was a from for a drug dealer. Absolute tat in the windows combined with shoddy, worn-out furniture on the pavement. I’ve seen better stuff at the local refuse site.

Harold had to close his second-hand shop a couple of years ago. It was becoming harder to get hold of goods with so many people trying to make an extra buck from online auctions. He tried selling some of the more unusual items, like half a woman’s torso cast in silver, but everyone thought he was asking too much for it. He wanted an arm and a leg.

Until the morrow.

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