Now here's something I can get behind - Garden & Gun Magazine. What a great title. Over at SlickDeals dot net, they claim if you use code 6737 you can get it for $3.99 a year for up to two years. The luster dries a bit when you read the description - "Garden & Gun represents a celebration of Southern Lifestyle at its best. Offering lush photography and top quality editorial. It also delivers a unique look at outdoor sporting activiites, fine dining, personal style design, and travel destinations throughout the South." Yeah, that's a typo, but we know how to spell activities. Anyway, "fine dining" and weaponry to protect crops is not the mix I was expecting. I was hoping it was more like designs for passive protection like the old shotgun trigger squeezed by an opening door to protect the seldom-used cabin. Or cool deer stands with sniper guns to pick off the vagrant trying to steal tomatoes. Maybe fake potato plants or carrots that when lifted by a would-be thief would trip a land mine. That's the kind of "garden and gun" I was hoping to explore on the glossy pages. Disappointment comes in all forms.
I don't have a favorite color. I have a favorite shade. It's grey. That's my new favorite saying.
Back to magazines. Good titles someone should put up their life savings to write and publish so I can use a code to get for 10% of the usual subscription price and thereafter drive them into bankruptcy and homelessness, left wandering darkened wet streets muttering lines from old movies like "I coulda been somebody!" ... "Thief," a magazine dedicated to those who chose stealing from retailers as a vocation. "Working Girl," dedicated to maximizing your income and safety in the sex trade! (Actually, that's not bad!) "Las Vegas Pawn Stars," how to laugh your ass off all the way to the bank each and every day as you turn the assets of troubled gamblers into cash riches by paying them 50 cents or less on the dollar of low retail, then grab a royalty percentage of spin-off shows featuring guys you wouldn't let date your daughter.
That last one really irks me. You see all these shows with guys tearing down cars or rebuilding Good Humor Ice Cream carts? OK, I get it - I could not begin to achieve what they do in their worlds. But this whole "golly gee willikers" approach coupled with sensationally bad hair and wannabe tough-guy clothes is grating. I've spent my entire life avoiding people that could fold me like a pretzel and appear stupid enough to do it. I'll share a beer and talk about whatever they want to, but afterwards I go back to my garden and gun. I like my concentric world.
And in that same genre, I find it at-once interesting and difficult to watch that picking show ... American Pickers? I just don't watch TV; you all know that. But I'm not anti-social as a general rule, so I can get nailed by association. Frank and whoever the taller guy is say they're going blind picking or whatever - just driving through the neighborhood looking for a property at which to stop unannounced. The girl often calls and says "I got a lead for you," and they listen intently to the barest of details she can provide. "Hi! You talk to Danni? Here's our list." Well, well, well ... a few months ago an article ran in the local paper. "American Pickers" is coming to northeastern Pennsylvania! Yeah! Then the article continues ... something like - If you have a collection that you want evaluated, contact this number, and appraisers from the show will contact you, visit your property, blah, blah, blah. Hunh. So much for just a couple of guys ho-humming it through the back roads of America randomly looking for junk from which they can pluck the treasure. The editors made, I think, a mistake one time. Here we are watching these guys pick something for $15 that they think they can sell for $30 - oh, how relevant to us little people - yet those Vespa scooters came up one show. Work with me here. The junk owner knows about Vespas. The show's tall guy is avid about them, too. Then the tall guy says - Yeah, I had an entire crate of them shipped over from Italy once. So much for eking out a living a couple of bucks at a time. It's OK on balance. A network or production company isn't going to fund a show where the pitch is, "Yeah, so, Frank and me get this van, right? By the way, we need you to buy it - our pick-up truck just blew a tranny. Get it? That's a joke ... blew a tranny! Anyway. And we drive around the entire country. And then when we see junk and shit in a yard, we stop. Yeah, yeah, yeah, and then we, um, give the guy a list and look through his junk! We own this not-quite antique store, see? More like a vintage store. Yeah, that's it. A vintage store! And sometimes we don't get a good pick. That's what we call it - a pick. But sometimes we do! And you guys can devote like a dozen cameras and a couple of dozen people, and, like, you know, follow us around! It'll be fun! You can call the show - We Pick Shit. I made that up. You can use an asterisk to make it look cool - We P*ck Sh*t! Neat, hunh?" To which the executive responds, "How about no," and then calls security. So there's lots of money on the table and they need to meet a production schedule and whatever. I get it. It's just this new generation of reality shows is paper-thin fake. Anyway.
I know in large part it is me. I just get fidgety sitting in front of the TV. I feel like I'm wasting time. But years ago, and I forget the circumstance, I was in some group waiting for something to start. They all start talking. This woman - later 20s maybe - rattles off the shows her and her husband watch. "We're excited for the new shows to start next month because the only hole we have is Thursday night from 8 until 10!" Some guy and an another woman added their schedules. These folks had seven nights a week planned out in front of the television - and if they had any gaps were planning on filling them once their television-show options played out. OK, then.
Almost done Christmas shopping. Did a bunch last night. Got a call from a friend in the middle of it. I chatted a while, but had to get back to it. The last piece or pieces will get done before I go to bed on Friday, which as of late has been eight o'clock. Long day Saturday ... getting the piano I wrote about in the post below, then taking my daughter to dinner for her birthday. Sunday will be long, too ... going into NYC. Yeah, at this time of year, I should play The Masochism Tango to get prepped ... you know the song? This guy is truly funny. Search You Tube for his other songs, but here's this one (which, btw, was taped the year I born, 1959):
The guy cracks me up.
Alrighty .. I need more coffee. Been up since 3:00. It's 5:03 now. Have a good day. Bye for now.