I don’t know how to say this. I’m hooked on watching American Pickers. Don’t you think that’s irrational? I could blame it on my current state of invalidism—well, that might be a pun, but I’ll have to think about it—but the truth is I know the show’s airtimes by heart.
I might need a Picker intervention.
Why do I get such a kick out of this show? It’s voyeuristic flea marketing from the comfort of my living room, that’s why. It probably satisfies some kind of virtual garage sale-ing need in me so I don’t have to get up at o-dark-thirty on a Saturday morning.
I love the stars of this show, Mike and Frank. They’re kind of like Abbott and Costello of the back roads of Iowa, their home base. They “free style” all across the country, searching out forgotten antiques and bantering like brothers. They “make a living telling the history of America, one piece at a time.”
Their enthusiasm would be contagious except I’m allergic to climbing into underground tunnels with crazy hermits to find a rusty toy for sale. And you’ll never catch me bungling around cobweb-frosted barn attics, fending off brown recluses and deadly snakes just to pull out the rusty guts of some ancient third world motorcycle.
My granddad was a garage sale junkie. Every Saturday he went to the local flea market and bought anything there that was broken. Then he brought it back home and stashed it in a metal storage shed in his backyard where he thought my grandmother would never notice. She did. And she hated it.
One weekend while he was gone, she and I conspired to rid her life of his broken garbage. We spent the morning raiding his shed and donating a bunch of it to a nearby landfill. He wasn’t happy but he recovered quickly. By the next week you’d have never known we trespassed at all. It was like a tide of debris had his name on speed dial—we took it out in the evening and he brought it back by morning.
To this day I hate piles of junk. That’s how I know I’d have never survived The Great Depression. I’d have given away all the rusty bailing wire and worn out bicycle tires right before we needed them to patch the hole in our roof.
I don’t know if I have no imagination or if it’s just a lack of foresight, but I can tell you throwing things out is so therapeutic! It’s like tossing bad choices in the trash. Hate those shoes? Donate them to the church bazaar. Fed up with all that orange Tupperware? Off to Goodwill. You know your kids will never make a collage from that stack of expensive magazines you read one time, so go ahead—feed the recycler!
Ooh, I feel better just thinking about it. And you know what? With all these endorphins flowing, I think I’m cured of those Pickers.
Of course, I’m still stuck in a chair for a while longer. And now I have to find a new favorite show to pass the time. Maybe there’s nothing wrong with re-runs of two likeable guys from Iowa after all. You’ve gotta admit—it’s better than getting hooked on Toddlers & Tiaras.
Rationalization. The opiate of invalids.
Photo courtesy of v i p e z's photostream at http://www.flickr.com/photos/69367147@N00/6590131433