Yesterday as I was buzzing through the maze of cubicles at work during my morning busywalk, thoroughly engrossed in perfecting my one-handed pen twiddle (excellent conduit for escapism in staff meetings), I was literally stopped in my tracks by the largest, most colorful display of PEZ dispensers I had ever seen.
It was a vision to behold, I tell you what. There they were, looking like the cutest little army of PEZ soldiers, placed carefully into rows reminiscent of the open-field fighting formations of yore. As I stood gawking, awestruck, I had this sudden vision of them marching in time to candy-themed cadence-calls: Over lips, over tongue, watch out tummy here we come! And those cavities go rolling along... Then it's Hi! Hi! Hey! The PEZ's on its way! Count off the cadence loud and strong (TWO! THREE!) For where e'er we go, dentists always know that the cavities go rolling along!
Um, because I'm weird?
Anyhoos, just as Off we go... into the large in-tes-tine! Falling down... into the colon!... was starting up, the owner-- General?-- of the Army of PEZ noticed me standing there in dumbstruck amazement and invited me to come in and see his collection.
I was all, "OKAY!!" and rushed over to take a better look. Oh mah gawsh, y'all. He had everything!: assorted animals, a few dinosaurs, Santa Claus and Rudolph, a gaggle of Muppets, Princess Leah and Hans Solo (standing side by side! aaaaw!), a Storm Trooper, the Peanuts Gang, the Flintstone family, classic Looney Tunes and Hannah-Barbara cartoon characters (even Droopy!) I was admittedly a little bummed when I realized there was not a Johnny Quest dispenser (childhood cartoon crush), but you can't have everything, now can you? Oh! He even had Mr. SpongeBob SquarePants himself! Imagine! It was a FINE collection, indeed.
He proudly told me one of the PEZ dispensers was worth $100, but he refused to tell me which one, which I suppose was a good idea seeing as I may get hard up for Christmas cash and decide to pilfer from his PEZ Army. Heh. I just used "pilfer" in a sentence. Pilfer! (For alliterative purposes I suppose I could have also used either "purloin" or "pinch," but whatev. It's all good.) He did allow me to guess, but I was totally wrong. Hey! I personally would pay $100 for a Wonder Woman PEZ dispenser, that's all I'm saying!
Turns out is was a little carousel horse in the back row (I finally finessed it out of him, mwah ha ha... that $100 iPod Shuffle will be mine yet!). I admired his PEZ Army a bit longer, then turned to go. I wistfully told my new buddy, "I'm a little jealous. I don't collect anything, and I suddenly feel like I'm missing out." And I moped my way back to my sparsely decorated, collection-free little cubicle and felt gloomy. The Army of PEZ killed the glee, y'all. Killed it DEAD.
Then, at home last night, as I helped my daughters clean their room, I noticed a book of mine thrown right smack in the middle of the floor, half-covered by dress-up clothes and a tennis shoe. Not just any book, but a vintage Bobbsey Twins hardcover book, circa 1940. A book that my daughter had to swear on her life and the lives of her unborn future children that she would treat with the utmost care. A book that is part of a larger set of about 40 books, which were my mother's books from her childhood which she passed down to me, books ranging in publication dates from 1910 to the 1960's. Books with history.
"OH. MY. FREAKING. HELL. Who threw my book on the floor like that?! Huh?!" and my daughters were all, "It was Dad! It was Dad! Don't blame us! IT WAS DAAAAAAD!" because they KNOW how I am about my books. And because they are big-time turncoats when it comes to facing my Book Wrath. (Seriously. Don't tell those girls ANYTHING. They will turn on you at the drop of a hat.) "And OH MY LORD, there is The Middle Moffat on the floor, too! Just thrown all willy-nilly! That book was published in 1941 and LOOK WHAT YOU DID TO IT! Hello?! That book is older than Grandma SUE!" (Sorry, Mom.)
I scooped up my books and I hugged them to my chest and ran to the bookcase and gingerly set them in their places next to the other hundreds of books I have dragged with me and TGIM everywhere we have ever lived. Hundreds and hundreds of books that I have had since childhood and would not part with for anything! (Except maybe a million dollars. You know, because that is a hella lot o' money?) I may have lingered for a moment, sniffing the lovely, musty, booky smell, which sounds weird when I say it out loud, so maybe I didn't after all. Then I turned to the girls, furrows in my brow, and said sternly, "HANDS. OFF."
Of course I later relented and let my Mack finish the Bobbsey Twins book because she was concerned about whether or not Flossie and Nan were going to be able to find Snap the cat after he sailed away in that basket connected to a helium balloon, and really, who can blame her? I did hover a bit while she read, but she didn't seem to mind. Too much. When she was done she solemnly handed me the book and I realized I had been holding my breath because I suddenly felt as if a heavy weight had been lifted from my diaphragm and my lungs were refilling with blessed oxygen.
Huh. Looky there. Seems I collect something after all.
- datecan commented:
well every good mom works and saves money for her daughter
- » 12/02/2005 1:00 PM
- hemlock commented:
I lent one of my Harry Potter's to someone a few years ago, and it came back with spagetti stains and dogeared pages.
I know it's not the same as a book circa 1940, but it still PISSED ME OFF!!
I completely understand.
- » 12/02/2005 2:25 PM
- WILLIAM commented:
I was the same way with comic books and I am now the same way with books. But nothing like what you have.
- » 12/02/2005 2:42 PM
- LadyBug commented:
You not only used pilfer (with cameo appearances by purloin and pinch), but you also used willy-nilly! I think I love you. (But what am I so afraid of?)
P.S. Did I ever tell you I hear Hank Hill's voice every time you say (or, um, type), "I tell you what"? Hee. I love me some King of the Hill.
P.P.S. I think I deserve the award for Most Uses Of Italics In A Single Comment EVER.
- » 12/02/2005 2:52 PM
- Cat commented:
leafgirl77: I feel you. I would have opened a can of whoop-ass on that "someone," that is fo' sho'!
William: I LOVE comic books! Hey, have you ever seen www.superdickery.com? Go look at the galleries! I think you just might find it as hysterical as I do.
Oh, ladybug, did you just spring up in your bed and scream out the words I dread?...
I miss Constantine.
- » 12/02/2005 3:17 PM
- WILLIAM commented:
Okay when you say "love" comic books do you mean you actively read (past tense) them because I have never knew a girl that was into comics.
Superdickery is one of my fav. sites.
- » 12/02/2005 6:15 PM
- Ern commented:
Books are a WAY better thing to collect than silly plastic toys. I mean, books have a history and stories and WORDS and wonderful, beautiful sentences that are so lovely that you want to read them again and again, and characters that you grow to love and you MISS them when the book is done, and they have that delicious bookish smell that smells like libraries and schools and learning and fantasy and childhood. I'm going to go smell a book now.
- » 12/02/2005 6:44 PM
- Ern commented:
I loved this post, BTW, in case you couldn't tell!
- » 12/02/2005 6:45 PM
- Cat commented:
Okay, William, here's the thing. I am sure this will completely lower my DC and/or Marvel street cred, but I am partial to the late 60's editions of Beetle Bailey, Popeye, Jetsons, Little Lulu, Archie, Casper, and Wendy (the good little witch), but ESPECIALLY Richie Rich. Ooooh! And I LOVED Little Dot!! Shut up. It's a nostalgia thing.
You're mocking me, aren't you?
Aw shucks, Ern... I LOVE that you get me. You nailed it with "that delicious bookish smell that smells like libraries and schools and learning and fantasy and childhood." Pretty! And so true. Well done, my friend.
- » 12/02/2005 7:47 PM
- Momentarily_Distracted commented:
Love the songs!
- » 12/02/2005 10:35 PM
- WILLIAM commented:
Since you actually said "DC and/or Marvel street cred" you are okay in my book.
- » 12/05/2005 8:33 AM
- kalki commented:
Yeah, like you need an iPod Shuffle when you have a REAL, non-shuffle iPod!!! Puh-lease.
(And I also love the booky smell! And also the smell of gasoline...What?)
- » 12/05/2005 10:36 AM
- Amy commented:
I love old books. I LOVE when there is a name scrawled inside the front cover. I love the Bobbsey Twins and Trixie Belden and the Famous Five and Encyclopedia Brown and all those crazy guys!
- » 12/05/2005 11:00 AM
- Weetzie commented:
Omigod Cat! I have all those old Bobbsey Twin books TOO!! And the MOFFATS!! Love it love it! Lets compare B.T. titles some day shall we? Baby May was my favorite when I was little.
I was a big fan of Millie the Model comics...ever seen those?
- » 12/05/2005 12:04 PM