Old people die.
And so hopefully, by the time they have shuffled off this mortal coil, they’ve left behind a long legacy of kindness and good spread upon this earth in various ways whether it be say, charity work or a flock of fine children who inherit all of their fine attributes left behind to beget upon a new generation to beget upon the next until there is nothing left to begotten.
Which is you know, nice and stuff. But you know, mostly, they leave behind a lot of crap. Loads of it. Lots and lots of crap all left behind to be spread out in one final Craptacular Fashion which we call The Estate Sale.
Of course, Estate Sale may evoke visions of grand manicured lawns and marble staircases you climb to get to priceless antiques left behind at rock bottom prices just begging to be taken on tour and appraised by the Antiques Road Show.
However, this is not the case. These are more like garage/yard sales where literally EVERYTHING must go so why bother dragging it out onto the lawn? Just slap a price tag on it all and invite people in to wander around Your Dead Mother’s Home and take a gander at her knickknacks. What better way to get rid of her Franklin Mint Commemorative Plate Collection?
Yeah. I know.
So there have been a lot of these lately, up the street from my apartment because they are systematically demolishing these cute little old-timey houses to make way for The McMansion invasion. That is, all of the overly priced, overly huge, overly esthetically mediocre newly constructed monstrosities of homes that are built to, you know, just look old-timey.
At any rate, there was one of these ubiquitous Estate Sales goin’ down last Friday so I decided to do a pop-in; see what treasures I might find.
Ok, fine. I don’t do it so much for the crap but more so for the chance to get a look inside other peoples’ houses; poke my nose into some closets; wander around dank little basements; see what kinda price tag they put on the freak show that was their former life.
First stop: the garage. With its doors yawning wide open, this shanty-eqsue structure beckons you to enter against your better judgment because if its caved-in ceiling doesn’t kill you, surely the serial killer that is certain to live deep within its cracked walls will.
And once your eyes adjust to the darkness its promise of unnerving does not disappoint, I mean what with the hundreds and hundreds of filthy plastic and ceramic lawn animals – gaggles and herds and skulks and packs and flocks of flamingos, bunnies, geese, squirrels, deer, fox and raccoons - all dusty, chipped, scarred and staring - it becomes apparent it’s not so much a garage you’ve stumbled into, but rather, the place Where Your Creepy-Ass Lawn Ornaments Go to Die.
The Anti-Christ’s version of Noah’s Arc or the abandoned back lot of Disney world chocked full of the not cute enough for teevee animal rejects? Who could tell?
Either way, I thought it was the epitome of “freak show central.”
That was until I later wandered into The Owl Room.
You know that dark and scary room in your grandmother’s house into which you rarely ventured? Although your young little self couldn’t quite place your finger on the why of it - it was always somehow more cold and sinister than any other in the house and so you knew instinctively to keep out lest you be sucked right into the Portal to Hell that was surely contained within the corners of that room?
Yeah that one. Now imagine that very room only covered - literally - from wall to wall in owl collectibles .
Owl magnets, owl figurines, owl pot holders, owl trinkets, owl statues, owl perfume bottles, needle point owl wall hangings, owl rugs, owl towels, owl purses, owl stuffed animals, general owl toys, little boxes with owl families on them.
I am thinking you are getting the point here, but then again, unless you have seen The Owl Room how could you really?
If there is anything that could possibly convince you to finally pony up and buy me a digital camera, it is the Owl Room.
People, owls, though lovely in their own special way, have got to be one of the creepiest creatures every to roam this earth. And if you’ll allow me to draw some very obvious and lame parallels here- aside from owls* I know of only one other creature that’s been able to throw its head into a full-on 360 and that creature was little Linda Blair as featured in the Exorcist.
Who was this lady, the collector of the owls? The Owl Master? Do you think she truly, really, honestly liked owls or do you suppose she was just difficult to shop for and was one day given an owl trinket and she seemed so delighted that friends and family members decided that from that day on every birthday, anniversary, religious holiday, flag day etc. etc, she was forever and ever to receive some sort of Owl bauble?
Because that? That would suck.
But it would also explain the evil vibe percolating throughout The Owl Room. I mean, after getting screwed over every year for every occasion, the owl lady has probably transfixed every ounce of condensed Owl-Gifting resentment into each an everyone single piece of Owl Crap that now sits in that home. Years and years of it.
That’s some powerful stuff.
So powerful, in fact, I also imagine it is this resentment that led her into using this particular Owl Room as Punishment for bad children; it is the room in which she would lock her children when they were misbehaving; the punishment of course, being two-fold. Punishment first for their bad behavior and secondly for continuing to buy her these goddamn ugly owls so please stop it, stop buying me these owls and you won’t have to sit in this room anymore and no you can’t have any pudding! How can you have any pudding when you won’t eat your meat?!
Those owls, they are a powerful draw. I must confess I might have maybe, just briefly, for like, a nanosecond considered buying them –buying them all! C’mon! I figure buying all that crap now, in one fell swoop’ll save me the hassle later on and you know, give me a jumpstart on that whole “freaky old lady” thing I am destined to have going on when I get old.
I think the original Owl Lady's spirit smelled wacky kindred spirit on me, and whispered the sugestion in my ear. Chalk it up as temporary possession. I am telling you, those owls were evil.
* yes, finicky fact checkers, I realize owls don’t do an actual 360 – but rather two 180’s that create the illusion of being able to fully twist its neck full circle – but you know, let us suspend our disbelief for a second, for the sake of the joke, okay?
*****Plants and birds and plugs and things******
Gimmenoise.com is good stuff. Have a listen. Make a request. It is fun.
Ewenorker.org - former diarylander makes good with cool new chance for Midwesterners to strut their stuff.
science is your friend!
Goodbye Belle & Sebastian, hello new obsession