It’s A What?

Last month, Ken and I decided to rent a booth in an antique market owned by a friend of ours. You may be surprised by this, but years ago, Ken and I had an antique business called Washington House Antiques. It’s a fancy name—perhaps you were thinking we aspired to the Oval Office—but let me assure you the name came about because we lived in a house in Washington, Ontario and I’m the kind of person who named my stuffed animals Teddy or Rabbit or Koala. We had a store on our property, I had a booming eBay business, and we had booths in several markets. But then I started working full-time, and Kate got older and life just got too busy. Recently though—in fact, it was right after Big Junk Day—I looked around the house and realized I could be one step away from being featured on Hoarders. It would be an upscale episode where the psychologist would question my desire to hang on to 40 pieces of Beswick Art Pottery from the 1920s, and I couldn’t bear the thought of my family being brought in, ‘intervention-style’:

Mom: Honey, let them go. You haven’t even dusted them in months.
Dad: Och! They’re neither use nor ornament, lassie. Gi’ ‘em up!
Brother: Speaking as someone with a PhD, you could earn good money with those. Let me see the contract with the antique market. 10% commission? Not bad.
Ken (whispers): Don’t let them into my office!

At any rate, I had a lot of things in the house and sheds that I could use to stock a booth, but at a certain point, I ran out, and now I have to find other sources for things to sell. Which brings me to the internet and more specifically Facebook Marketplace, where the average person can list their absolutely weird stuff for free. Here’s a small sample of things that I’ve seen over the last little while that made me do a double-take:

There are many words that begin with the letters ‘sm’. Smell, smooth, smack, small, sment…SMENT? This is an ad that I actually saw a couple of months ago and I’ve thought about it every day since then. It’s a small statue of a boy holding a large misshapen bowl. The caption for the listing says “Sment boy”. Two things are noticeable about this ad. First, THE BOY IS NOT EVEN CEMENT. It looks like some kind of pottery or plaster that the person has painted with acrylic paint. Second, the paint brushes are standing in a jar labelled “Cayenne Pepper”. How the f*ck do you know how to spell “Cayenne” but not “Cement”?! Maybe the person was being really clever, like “I know it’s not really a cement statue, but if I call it Sment then no one can sue me for trademark infringement. Kind of like that Mickey Mouse/Mighty Mouse thing.” At any rate, it’s not very appealing, and I did NOT buy it.

This one looks very innocuous, but the real weirdness is in the description. This is a cat scratching post made of cardboard and fabric. The reason the person is selling it is because his cat is “too cool for it”. So I guess if you have a cat who’s nerdy or awkward, this is the perfect gift for them? Personally, I think the reason the cat doesn’t use it is because cats are notoriously lazy, and have no interest in walking all the way across a room to use a scratching post when they can just scratch the arm of the chair they’re lounging about in. I speak from experience.

Right now it’s July, 5 months into the middle of a global pandemic, and this charming display is being sold. It’s being advertised as a “Coffin shape diorama”. I can’t tell how big it is since the pictures of the measuring tape are all blurry. I’m just praying it’s not life-sized, because there are several disembodied arms and legs in there. To be honest, I can see a market for something like that around Hallowe’en. OR if you have neighbours who insist on having large parties with no social distancing or masks, I think this would be great to put on their porch as a warning.

This one boggles my mind. Why on earth would you want a pool thermometer with a large bowel movement attached to it like a handle? Seriously, if you’re willing to pay $17 for something like that, I will come to your house every day with one of Atlas’s poops and throw it in your pool for free. AND tell you if the water is warm.

I was scrolling through Marketplace when I saw this picture, and my first thought was, “Who’s selling that weird, sad-looking dog?” and then I read the description, which said “Antique Scarf”, and my second thought was “WTF? EWWW!” It’s a dead animal. I’m not wearing that around my neck no matter how ‘antique’ it is. Basically what you’re selling is a very old, very deceased—possum? Sorry, I’m not that familiar with the types of animals people drape across their shoulders these days.

Finally, I leave you with an enigma that will haunt me for the rest of my days. This is something my mother brought me last week. At first glance, it’s just a couple of bottles of essential oil. They’re both listed for medicinal use. One smells like peppermint and the other smells like cinnamon. The one that smells like peppermint is called “Peppermint”. The one that smells like cinnamon is called…“Thieves”.

(After having a couple of people explain what Thieves Oil is made of, I googled “Why is it called Thieves Oil” and the answer was “Its name was inspired by the legend of four French thieves in the 15th century who wore a special blend of rosemary, clove and other botanicals while they robbed the dead and dying.” ROBBED THE DEAD AND DYING? They probably wore those antique animal scarves too.)

56 thoughts on “It’s A What?

  1. barbaramullenix says:

    I looked up Thieves Oil and this is what I found: (I guess to make it yourself) Although, what do you do with it? Behind the ears? Body lotion? Although those are some small bottles…..

    40 drops clove bud essential oil.
    35 drops lemon essential.
    20 drops cinnamon bark essential oil.
    15 drops eucalyptus essential oil.
    10 drops rosemary essential oil.

    Thieves Oil: Research, Benefits, How to Use
    http://www.healthline.com/health/thieves-oil

    Liked by 3 people

  2. The last two made me cry with laughter. Am sure my neighbors think I am crazy. I even clicked to enlarge the picture of the antique scarf and seriously what type of animal is that???? And Thieves? That is a new one. Maybe they could not spell cinnamon? And oooooo ick on the grave robbing thing. 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Such excellent pieces of crap! You need to break your piggy bank and buy them all so that you can assemble the most confusing time capsule ever. Imagine an expedition led by the top scientists of the 23rd Century digging up a 21st Century lock box with the words “A Warning for Future Generations!” They will be left to piece together the story of what happened in our unfortunate era with a S’ment boy, cat scratch pyramid, coffin diorama, poop thermometer, roadkill scarf and essence of Thieves. Archeology departments across the world will set off on the dumbest exploratory expedition of all time.

    Liked by 4 people

  4. Lmao re the antique scarf omg that was horrendous. Anyway, now you have procrastinated regarding getting rid of some of your upmarket hordes. What are you going to do about them eh!

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Can I suggest a (good, I think…) plan? Why don’t you sort all your extra stuff (if you find anything really weird while sorting, keep it, you’ll understand why soon) Then sell all the ”not so weird”, ”just not using anymore” and antique stuff. With the money, buy as many really weird items as you can afford (If you need help to hunt the best deals, let me know, Chéri has a natural talent to find weird shit on The Internets… But I think you’re doing well already!!) Remember that most of these have probably been sitting on a shelf for years, so be a badass bargainer! Once you’ve re-hoardered your house with odd knick knacks, apply to open the 35th Ripley’s Believe It Or Not museum!! Hey, you might even get to make up the stories explaining the different pieces of your exhibition, which sounds like fun to me!! Not sure it’s a good idea to associate with Ripley’s?? They have one in Copenhagen… Need I say more?? LOL

    Liked by 2 people

  6. The two things on my agenda this morning: post a blog entry and buy some crap online. The one thing I actually, uncharacteristically did: slept in until 9 am. So the first two things on my list get moved to, like, Thursday on my calendar (yeah, I keep a calendar of to-dos), The only thing I have time for before “(3) mow the lawn” is “read Suzanne’s Sunday blog while drinking coffee as Marvel lays behind my chair randomly sighing.”

    That’s a long entry I reduced in my calendar to “drink coffee” but we both know what it really means.

    I have never before typed “marketplace” into my FB but, since you led the way, I just did and found nothing worth mentioning. Antique hutch. Farmhouse table, two chairs, leaf. 1999 Dodge Dakota pickup. Acreage, mobile home, Kawasaki. Bridesmaid Barbie. Banda o Tamborazo solo marcanos para presupuesto.

    I’m reminded that I’m the man who has everything. Well, I could always use more lighting. And storage containers. Damn, I love storage containers.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. I cannot commiserate. After nearly 60 years of existence I personally own maybe two bins of memorabilia, that, were they to be lost or burned I’d prolly never miss. If it’s not functional or hasn’t been used in the last 24 months, out it goes.

    Maybe a collection of weapons, shields, gasmasks, and survival tools would be useful, someday, when your army of zombies come’s a callin’.

    It’s as if the guilds of yesteryear metastasized into kitsch kilns constructing crap because, what else are they to do? What else does one need besides a spoon, a bowl and a smartphone?

    Liked by 2 people

  8. There’s something delightfully Joseph Cornell-ish about the coffin-shaped diorama that makes it tempting to me, and yet if I were going to put something like that in my house I’d want to make it myself rather than buying someone else’s. Not that that’s any better. I had to quit taking pottery classes in part because I was bringing so much stuff I’d made home that I was running out of places to put it and friends who wanted my weird pottery. Actually there’s a place near me called Cool Stuff, Weird Things, that sells things on consignment and I thought about taking some of my pottery there but I didn’t want the humiliation of seeing it never sell.
    Anyway that Sment Boy is also weirdly disturbing. Not in the way the antique scarf is, but still creepy.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. You’re just lucky I had a firm grip on my coffee when I read this.🤗  I don’t do FB but I have family that do and found a couple of nice things on the marketplace.

    Sent from Yahoo Mail on Android

    Liked by 2 people

  10. Suzanne,
    There’s a coffee shop that we used to frequent that had odd things for sale in it. Dead animals were a given. But then they had a collection of vintage?, antique? leg prosthetics for sale as well. Who knows what they stored in the back, but at least they made a delicious chai tea latte — and that’s what’s most important. So my question to you is, what did you finally end up buying if anything? Mona

    Liked by 2 people

  11. The best thing my wife and I ever did was go “minimal.” One of the challenges of pandemic living is that I’ve actually had to indefinitely store a bunch of items we’ve earmarked to donate (to Goodwill and the library) and sell (on eBay), and I want that $h!t out of my house! Also, with the likelihood that our stay-at-home mode of existence will continue through at least next summer (based on what we’re hearing from our employers), we’ve had to “invest” in a few items to make life more livable, like a Roomba and a workout bench. Once you get used to having less stuff in your house, it’s actually painful to have to order new things…

    Liked by 2 people

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