Wednesday, January 05, 2005

Phone Call From the Packrat

Last evening, while I was watching a certain college football team get the ever lovin' snot kicked out of them, I received a phone call from my friend Packrat.

Packrat and I dated for about a year, the longevity is attributed to the fact he's a long distance truck driver. He took me along on a couple trips. One to Maine and once to Niagara Falls. Both were really cool, and he's about as much fun to travel with as he is to hang around with. He's from Orangeburg, SC, but lives in Georgia. With his wife and kids. (The reason we don't date anymore) But I do like him as a person, so we've remained friends. He's my junking buddy. He used to schedule his trips so he'd be in Carlisle on the weekends so we could spend Saturdays going to yard sales and to the flea market on Sunday. I think when we broke up he was more bummed about missing the flea than missing me. He named me the Cranky Yankee, and dammit, it stuck.

Anyway, he called and we chatted awhile. He was in Florida, and was bragging up the fact he's running the A/C in his truck. Which I named The Filthliner because it's so hogged up inside. It's just a repository for all the stuff he accumlates on his trips.

For example. When we go to the flea in the summer, he buys fishing rods, softballs, baseballs, baseball bats and any other small sporting goods he can find. Cheap. He's got this fantasy that eventually he's going to open a second hand sporting goods store, and he's buying the inventory as he goes along. He also like yardsticks. Yes. Yardsticks. I have quite the collection at my house, that he left as a swell parting gift. "Naw, Aamaay, y'all keep them yardsticks, I'll git some more." (that damn Southern accent gets me every time) He also buys Life magazines. I've told him a zillion times that Life mags are common, and you don't get much money for them. He smiles and says you don't find them as much in the South as you do up here in Yankee Country. Okay, darlin, whatever you say. So now in addition to 50 yardsticks, I've got a banana box full of Life magazines. We were going to go into business together selling stuff on eBay, but it never really went anywhere. That idea was pitched toward the end of our relationship, so it kind of got lost along the wayside with the hand wringing and drama.

I tease him that somewhere he's got a whole storage unit full of margarine tubs, cool whip containers and sour cream cups. He claims thats his daughters dowry and that I shouldn't be making fun of a packrat, since I've amassed quite the selection of the mentioned items.

I digress. He calls and we talk about what else? Junk. He wants to know what I've bought lately, what I've sold, what kind of money did I get for it, what'd I pay (always too much, he is the haggler extrodinaire...he'd embarass me with the jewing down he did at the flea) And to tell me where he's been, and that he'll be through Carlisle again someday soon, hopefully on a weekend so we can go to the flea.

When he visits we always go to the Chinese buffet. I don't know what it is about that place, but we always go there. Same one everytime. The guy knows us and everything. It's kind of funny.

He's a decent guy, and was the second non-family person I called when my Dad died. He cried right along with me too. He really liked my father. (Even thought Dad was pretty freaked out by the possibility I'd get committed to him. Ha.) That man is a piece of work. I hope he's up this way soon. There is haggling to be done, and junk to be bought!

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