Wednesday, July 30, 2003

Unbought moosehead blog.

Ann is six months old today: small, alert, healthy, marveling at the world in that baby way, or so it seems. I can't ask her if she's really marveling, at least as I understand the feeling.

My brother Jay writes: "It's been a long time since I read The Sun Also Rises. I'm not sure how long; a decade at least. I may have to read it again. It's not just unbought stuffed dogs, however, that pave the road to Hell (or wherever you might be going.) There was a furniture store in an old building in San Antonio that was on the route to the courthouse from my office when I worked at Alamo Title. Through the showroom windows I noticed that stuffed animal head decorated the walls of the store. They were mostly deer, with here and there a goat or mountain sheep, but, in a place of apparent honour along the back wall, there was an enormous moosehead.

"Every time I passed the place I thought that I should go in and ask whether it was for sale, and for how much. I never did, deterred by a lack of ready cash and the intuitive knowledge that the purchase of a moosehead would lead to domestic difficulties. Now, of course, it's too late. The store closed long ago and its collection of head was dispersed. So, it's not just unbought stuffed dogs but unbought stuffed mooseheads as well.

"In this vein, as we were driving back from Denton [Texas] earlier today I spotted an enormous metalwork pig, painted like a U.S. flag, sitting by the side of some otherwise nondescript eatery. If I had that, I thought, and put it in front of my house, I wouldn't need to post a street number. But I passed by.”

Unbought mooseheads might have been a cause for woe once, but in our time we have eBay. Then again, domestic difficulties might still be a factor. I know they would for me.

Not far from where I worked in Nashville in the mid-80s, on a street perpendicular to Music Row, there was a house that had two concrete polar bears mounted in the front yard. They were big, life-sized bears painted white and standing erect on their hind legs, with one front paw up, as if waving to passersby. Investigation by the reportorial team at Nashville magazine (now defunct) revealed that the bears had once belonged to an ice company, and in fact there had been a third. But for some reason -- space, probably -- the householder had only acquired two when the ice company went out of business. The whereabouts of the third remained a mystery.


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