With Festivus a mere few days away, I decided to take a peak at some of the entries we had received so far. As you should know by now, everyone who takes the time to fill-out a form gets a free chance to win a gift certificate. No names are required! Our customers took the opportunity to rant and rail about everything, and hopefully it had a cathartic effect for them. We had rants about the government, illegal immigrants, other drivers, too many Christmas songs on the radio (signed “Scrooge”), cell phone users, the “F-tard” U of D students who walk onto Main Street without looking, even cheating spouses! Since these are nameless, we might post them in the shop for all to see. Don’t forget the party on Friday and be sure to check your tickets to see if you are the winner of the HUGE Festivus Gift certficate, and it looks like we may hit that $200 goal! There is still time to be entered and you can increase your odds when making certain purchases. See store for details.
My beefs? Just those religions that try to push their beliefs on others. Oh wait, isn’t that true of just about all of them? Haven’t we had a few wars over the course of humanity due to it?
A few years ago, I was lucky enough to catch the late, great, human observer, George Carlin, perform in Wilmington. He did his “10 Commandments” routine where he basically boiled them down to just one – the Golden Rule – probably a basis for all religions. But though they would not want another to tell them that their beliefs are wrong or try to force them to adhere by trying to pass laws that take away their choice, people have been practicing this throughout history. Our forefathers saw the danger of mixing religion and politics and I think they tried to make sure it did not happen to our nation by putting it in one of the those early amendments – wasn’t it number one? (as an aside, I saw a tee-shirt recently that said -” AMERICA – designed by geniuses, run by idiots”) Mr Carlin suggested an 11th commandment – Keep your religion to yourself – and the audience applauded!
Only recently, did I learn that I had been donating to an organization for years, probably 50 or so, that actively fights against a ban on a form of discrimination and wants to reverse a law that grants choice. I never knew that I was donating to a church. Look it up! I felt duped. The organization, which to their credit, does do much good work, does not make it apparent that it is a church with a certain agenda. Probably, many of their volunteers aren’t aware of this either. Regardless, I do not want part of my donation going to these causes, so I will no longer be throwing anything into those kettles on the sidewalks. There are other worthy charities out there.
Still, you can feel free to wish me a Happy Hanukkah, Happy Kwanzaa, Merry Christmas, Happy Saturnalia (a fave – one that Christians “borrowed” to create Christmas – look that up, too), or Festivus For the Rest of Us! I won’t be insulted or feel threatened that you are trying to convert me, as I take it as a wish to share in the good tidings of the season and I thank you!
Now, on to something not so serious – my “picking” adventures. My latest acquistion was a large group of Pez dispensers I picked up at an auction. No candy in them and some have velcro on the bottom as they must have been used for display purposes. Besides a neat little item for one’s desk or study area, they make cool decorations on the tree. There is a nice selection at the moment, whether your tastes are super-heroes, Looney Tunes characters, Star Wars, The Flintstones, etc., there is probably something of interest. I researched and none of these are the ones that fetch 100′s of dollars. To be older, they shouldn’t have “feet.” You’ll find them on the far counter.
Otherwise, not much to report on the auction scene, lately. But as I kind of suspected, the collection that I picked up recently (see my last blog) – mostly westerns and Classics Illustrated – has not had much interest shown in the shop so far. However, I have more than made my money back already on the internet! Oh Yeah! There are people out there still looking for these. If looking for some westerns or C.I.’s, they’re in the showcases and in a box we have hidden away behind the counter. While looking in the front counter, check out the CGC-graded comic I just picked up in a collection. According to the label, it’s a 3.0 G/VG with cream to white pages. There are pieces off and it is brown and brittle looking. I first thought that perhaps someone had switched comics, since the outer case is cracked open, but the inner seal is still intact!? Hmmm, I didn’t realize I was such a tough grader. There were more Superman-related and other silver age comics in this group and I put them in the bins across from the counter.
Due to a bad back and knee, I rarely go to the movie theatres, but I may make an exception to see “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo.” As I wrote here earlier, the trilogy by Steig Larsson is great. I saw the Swedish version of the film and really enjoyed it, even though the books are better. The young actress portraying the lead in this version looks more like how I envisioned Lisabeth when I read the books. Update 12/24: Just saw it – loved it, though it’s not for the squeamish! Pretty true to the book, so if you read it, you will not be disappointed!
Another “must see”, and I’ve said it before, also, is Hard Core Pawn on TV. It is set in what appears to be a depressed area of Detroit where Les Gold and his son and daughter operate a large pawn shop. The customers are outrageous and can become physically combative. As embarrassing as they behave, I assume they have to grant the right to the producers for them to be shown on the air. There are now all kinds of shows dealing with auctions, pawn shops, picking, and the like; but H.C.P. is a riot! A brand new show in this genre is called Real Deal. The basic premise is that someone with a collectible meets an interested “dealer” and they haggle on a price. The setting for this meeting is a little strange. They sit at a poker table, the kind you would have in your home, and the dealer brings a huge wad of cash and places it before him, peeling off the bills as he makes an offer. Kinda crass. Should they not be able come to an agreement, the seller has evidently agreed to have the item put up at an auction. The point of the show is that sometimes it’s best to take the offer, sometimes the auction is the way to go. Both scenarios come up. An auction has its risks as you need to have at least two bidders present who appreciate your item and run it up to a reasonable bid. Auctions are normally “absolute”, meaning that it will be sold, regardless of how low the high bid is -ie, no reserves. For some reason, the show does not mention that besides that risk, the seller must also pay a commission to the auction house – usually in the 20% range. A recent show had a seller bring in a group of comics, which included an X-Men #1 (1963), a Hulk 181, Amazing Spider-Man 129, Captain America 100, Avengers #2, Iron Man #1, and New Mutants #98. The quick glances offered by the TV made them look pretty decent and the seller agreed to take $1800 and tickets to the San Diego Comic Con. A tough call without a better look. It would have been interesting to see them go to auction.
That’s about it for now. I’ll be spending the week after Christmas in Key West – checking out a spot for Captain Blue Hen – South! Until then, have a Happy, Merry, Festive, Healthy whatever you celebrate!