Friday the 13th and the Grackle of Happiness


Today was Friday the 13th.  I’m sure none of you knew that before I told you just now.  Not being superstitious, it was just a normal Friday for me; no more unlucky or lucky than any other Friday.

Fridays are inherently lucky, because they are the gateway to the weekend.  Whenever I emerge from work after I’ve worked my final hour of the week, I feel like singing “Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah” while a bluebird alights on my shoulder to whistle in harmony.  Of course, bluebirds are in short supply in Texas, so it would be more likely a boat-tailed grackle (the unofficial state bird of Texas) that would alight on my shoulder and begin to sing in a basso profundo voice a song such as “Sweet Chariot” or “Sixteen Tons” or some other uplifting song.  Of course, by the time I got to my truck with a one pound grackle sitting on my shoulder, I’d probably need to sit and rest a minute (and perhaps take some ibuprofen and bandage up my shoulder).

Today as I emerged from work, it was overcast and raining and was quite chilly.  I made good time across the parking lot to my truck because I was not weighted down with any unnecessary bluebirds or grackles as I sprinted across the rain-soaked concrete to my truck.  After sitting in my truck for a few minutes, contemplating where I could go to enjoy a few hours of glorious freedom, I decided on an antique mall that was about 20 minutes away.

I have a love/hate relationship with antique malls.  I love looking through them because I always have such feelings of excitement and expectation.  I feel like at any moment I could stumble across something truly wonderful that would fulfill some lifelong dream or bring back some wonderful memory of my youth.  I also hate them because they are stuffed from floor to ceiling with the detritus of our civilization, most of which should have been recycled into something more useful.  The items they house are also dusty, in ill repair, and in various forms of decay, so they remind me that everything in life, even the quisquiliary dross we have been producing at a mind-boggling rate for the past 200 years, is transitory.

But since my love of antique stores has a slight edge over my dislike of them, I tend to go to them more often than I would like.  My two weaknesses are old books and old technology.  I have gotten more selective in my book buying because I am nearly buried alive with them at home, but I am a sucker for an old radio or clock or movie projector.  I can usually talk myself out of buying them because they are, more often than not, outrageously expensive.  That was certainly true today and it was only obscene price tags that kept me from buying a stereoscopic camera and an old frequency generator.  The camera was similar to the one shown here:


The frequency generator was similar to this one:


But since they were both well into the 3-figure range, it was easy to talk myself out of getting either of them.

So, I left the antique mall empty handed and simultaneously happy (that I didn’t spend any money) and sad (that I didn’t find a piece of junk that would make me temporarily happy).

I will have to await another day for a visit from the grackle of happiness.







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