Once Urine, Twice You’re Out

For more than a dozen years my office has been in the “Historic” (homeless) district filled with quaint shoppes, brick -paved streets and the dude on the bike with urine.  The first time I met him was 10 years ago.  I had just got out of the car and  was burdened with a purse, briefcase and a box of files and teetering on cute but unsmart shoes in the metered parking lot downtown.  Briskly and much like a ninja this grown-ass man on a kids bike scrambled up to me like a crackhead tornado and he said, “Hey ladyladylady, give me all your money or I am gonna throw all this pee on you!”  In his free hand  was a cup of yellow liquid with a rubberbanded  tin foil for a lid. I dropped everything and gave him all my cash…and I mean every red cent..and it was all the money I had to my name for a week (and I had small children to feed…does that make it worse?  Good!  Because that’s how it was!)  He left and I picked up all of my thrown belongings and walked to my office with my heart racing and aching that he had taken all the money I had, even though it was not a large amount.

Pitiful, huh?

Fast forward to April of this year after I had been called into the office to hear that our doors were closing that day.  I left in the sunlight wondering what I was going to do.  Up rolls this guy on the bike (probably a different guy by now but the same scam).  “Hey ladyheyladyladylady!” he screamed, ushering me to attention. “Give me what you got for money right now or I am gonna throw this pee all over you!”  I threw everything down except my purse and I rared my head back and just belted out, “HHHHEEEEEEEEEELLLLPPPPPP!”  It was so loud that I think I burped in the process and it sounded like a lion’s roar!  His face was priceless.  He was afraid.  I said, “Bring it, BITCH!  Let’s go!  What cha got!?!?”  I was a crazy woman! I even think I was trying to pull off one of those Fred Sanford fancy footwork boxing deals..I dunno, I was in a zone. (Mind you, this was 100 feet from the police station).   My would-be assailant scooted off faster than Moody’s goose.  I gathered my things from the pavement and walked bravely to my car, feeling fearless and amused.  I knew I would be okay.

P.S.  The photo is not my actual would-be assailant, I think it’s of of them Walberg boys.

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WILD PIG OBITUARY

PIG

One of the biggest treats I allow myself is a day trip to the beach. I get up early and start the road trip at 7:00 a.m. which puts me at my favorite beach spot at 8:30. I take the back roads, through the phosphate mines and small farming towns of central Florida. I can drive 20 miles at a clip and never see another car. The roads are two-laned and are insulated by tall pine trees. Deer and wild hogs are rumored to be abundant in this desolate alleyway to my nirvana, but I choose to travel this path in order to eliminate the interstates with their texters and screamers and Hummer-limosines full of people getting-it-on all the way to a BUCS game. (One Sunday I carried an SUV full of teenaged boys to the beach who had the delight of watching 4 40-year-old couples having a massive BANG in the back of a Hummer limo with poor tinting.)

At any rate, I often go alone to the beach, to think, to float, to enjoy the solace of silence. But fear creeps in on my trip and I envision a wild hog skipping accross the two lanes while I hum along in my tiny car at 80 MPH, clip him (or see him and swerve) and flip my car and die because of a pig. I would be mortified of my OBIT:

“Dana Mercaldi of Lakeland passed away yesterday during a selfish ride to the beach …alone…with a car packed full of sweet tea and cheese popcorn. Mrs. Mercaldi unskillfully flipped her VW on SR 674 as a pig crossed the road. The deceased will be laid to rest in her “Miraclesuit” bathing suit since it was so tight the mortician couldn’t even get it off of her.”

Underwear Waist Bands

I am ashamed about how ‘home grown” I am. Today a lady came to look at a car I have for sale while I was sweating away in the garage over an old bookcase. We got to chatting and I told her that my Daddy spent his life having his retired underwear used as dust rags in our home all stained with Old English. We chatted a bit about our dogs as well and I shared that I had owned a dog once that ate the waist bands to ALL of the family’s underwear while we were out on a Saturday excursion once and how I had to go to the Walmart with underwear pinned into my jeans with safety pins to stock up on new drawers for the entire family.

I am glad, however, that I get to select my own underwear at this stage of the game.  I remember some of the underwear I got as a kid.  My mom would go to the flea market and buy (in bulk) underwear from the textile mills of North Carolina that I now understand were seconds.  Seconds, meaning there was SOMETHING wrong with them!  I grew into my teen years thinking that one of my ass cheeks was freakishly bigger than the other and that painful (front) wedgies were normal.  (I assume now that I was kissed by serendepity by getting undies with not enough crotch fabric.)  Imagine my delight when I wore my first undies that were proportionate and didnt have cartoon characters on them with grotesquely smeared images.

I wonder about my sanity. I now have to face that my country-ass oversharing must be a cry for help.

Margarita and Boogers

I promise you that this post will read nothing like the title eludes to.

I confess that I stray from shabby chic yumminess when the job calls for it.  I do beach cottage, many faux finishes and other looks as well.  This was the case Sunday, when my HGIC (head girlfriend in charge) texted me to tell me there was a dresser loose on a street close to her.  I ordered her to “Get it!” as I was busy at the warehouse and decided to make her my immediate employee that I would repay by way of dog sitting or taking her to her car dealer to drop off her Jeep for an oil change that would otherwise hold her hostage in the “Customer Lounge” all day.  BTW, why do they call it a lounge?  I have never seen a lizard or a cocktail come out of there…. Liars….

At any rate, my friend dropped off the dresser while I was away.  It wasn’t what I expected.  I had expected a very french ornate deal.  I got a faux bamboo number.  It was jacked up with thick shiny/gloppy paint and hand prints from the owners younguns on top as well as lots of grime.  Inside, (and I know you like to know what was left behind) there was a little Minnie Mouse sweatshirt.  I assume it was outgrown… I removed it with my drawer tongs and disposed of it.  The inside was as clean as could be.  The drawers were all turned around. The good news was that was all that was wrong.  They were not on their tracks  Once put in the right places and on correct tracks, all drawers opened like buttah!

The top had to be stripped to the original finish, which was in perfect shape.  The rest got painted in white with gray dry brushing and the lyrics to the beginning of a Jimmy Buffett song…or so I thought.  I had gone through life thinking that these were the words:

Livin off Sponge cake,  Watchin the Sun bake……..  Wasting away again in Margaritaville.

I awoke the next day with the instant thought to go to www.lyrics.com to look up the real lyrics.  “Nibblin on Sponge cake….. Wasted away again in Margaritaville.”  Now that was different!  I had to repaint and reword the dresser.  Jimmy would be ashamed of me, for sure.  Besides, how can someone live off sponge cake and waste away at the same time?  It cannot be done.  I know, I’ve tried.  Here is before and after of “Margarita”

Now…BOOGERS.  This has nothing to do with Margarita..but it was and has been on my mind today.  Raised in the south, we have many uses for the word booger, none of them what you think.  Here’s how I was taught the word that I detest but probably often say:

Booger- defined

1.  Man, that storm was a BOOGER!  (meaning it tore down a single-wide and Bubba’s front porch coke machine)

2.  “Boy, you better get outta that old truck bed, a BOOGER will jump on ya!” (a southern parenting technique to get children off of or away from dangerous places or situations, inferring a spider, roach or snake attack.)

3.  “Honey, I saw Gerdine down to the Piggly Wiggly and her hair looked like a WOOLY-BOOGER!”  (Even this is a variation on the term, it means a heinous hairdo and assumes the woman resembled a drunken Teamster.)

4.  “I love you, BOOGER.”  (A term of endearment usually meant for children.  This probably confuses them.  Refer to #2.)

I hope this clears up BOOGER CONFUSION.  It is common here in the central part of Florida.  You’re welcome  🙂

Here is a picture of a little corner of the Vintage Warehouse!

-Dana

Pause

The above video is the theme song to my drive-bys, pick ups and midnight junk runs.

This is a song we Zumba to. (Zumba:  a dance class for crazy people who think they look like Usher and Janet Jackson dancing when they really look like Cee Lo on meth.)

At any rate… This is the song I hear in my head when I am on a curbside furniture rescue. I prefer to call it rescue and NOT theft.

It’s sometimes a surprise as to what is lurking in the forgotten corners of abandoned or thrift purchased furniture. Just this week I came across these tidbits:

1.)  In a set of 1950’s french provincial night stands:  1 pair of tweezers and a pair of cuticle snips, a lace hanky and a picture of someones ass. Literally, a picture of someone’s ass~ circa 1960.

2.)  In a dresser:  A fake fingernail and  2 hits of acid on stamped paper.

3.)  In a roadside rescue dresser:  A crayon,  a nickel, a twenty-dollar bill, all wadded up and stuck between drawers… and  a tooth.

4.)  In a cabinet: A shoe lace,  cassette tape of David Bowie, a chicken foot and a  cowboy boot.

So, with these little details I have assumed that many people who I cosmically or financially transact my furniture from are an eclectic group of  highly groomed, drug addic,t voo doo enthusiasts with a flair for country western?  Also, I figure I am up $20.05 , two hits of acid and an ass picture.  Surely the street value of the latter two would be worth at least a ten spot.  (KIDDING…..I WOULD NEVER SELL THEM ON THE STREET!  That’s what Craigslist is for…)

It does take some doing to figure outl what all is left behind in a piece of furniture.  You see, it shifts in transit and things become visible again when once they were hidden.  The tooth and the fingernail, both gag-worthy items, came rolling out at me like marbles when I pulled out the drawers.  I handled them with tongs that I have rigged up with spongy grip so I don’t have to touch them.  The single tooth did help me understand the mystery of so many toothless people in my county.  (Evidently the tooth fairy is heinous and just yanks and stashes teeth in furniture so that her quota doesn’t go over… something like that.)  I imagine the press-on nail became a resident of the night stand on a drunken evening when lady and her man were having a squabble about which youngun pulled up all the onions she was growing in the yard and chucked them into the above ground pool.  I imagine that the argument grew hotter and in the midst of her finger-waving monologue about how there. “Won’t gonna be no damned onion rings at Skeeter Mae’s birfday party!” that the one nail flew off and hid in the drawer next to her Lucky Strikes and Vaseline.

So, I am replacing the song, “Pause” by Pitbull (Video attached) with a shout out to my boy David Bowie as I blare the cassette (turned MP3) song “Let’s Dance”  and deem it my new FAS (Furniture Acquisition Song).

Anybody want to buy a cowboy boot?  Size 10. Mens.

My pulls were once knotted telephone cords

Come On Down To “Carnie-Mart”!

My oldest son turned 15 and I was forced to take him to the DMV in Armpit,  Florida because I procrastinated and didn’t make an appointment at the “good” DMV where some of the people actually have teeth.  As we took the 20 mile drive through the cow pastures and the bait shops of central Florida, we chatted.  Well, I chatted, he sat with his “beats” (AKA= fancified headphones) on.  On the way there I spotted a semi trailer parked in an empty lot with a bunch of old furniture lined up on wood pallets.  A blue dresser stuck out to me like a turd in a punchbowl and I made a mental note to distract the teen on the way home and pull in.  We were just getting to a good clip on the way back from YEE-HAWville when I spotted the junk again.  Faster than a fat girl eats a ho-ho I whipped in to the lot.  Trying not to act overly eager, I meandered around,  purposely avoiding the blue dresser.  Finally, I made my way over to this filthy, chippy, old robin’s egg blue dresser that had no knobs left on it.  The holes where the knobs once belonged were rigged with old telephone cable that you could use to open the drawers…classy.  I was in love.  All of a sudden this tiny boy jumped out and said, “I am your salesman!”  I Suwanee, it scared me so bad that I clutched my chest and damned near fell over the pallet to my death!  There he stood, this little boy, all enthusiastic and certainly had to be older than his stature led on.  Someone (I hope not him) had pinned at least 8 old brooches onto his too-tight little granimals shirt.  I played along and asked the price on the blue dresser (now named Midway).  He said he didn’t know but he would take me to his PawDaddy.  WTH????  I was hoping that PawDaddy didn’t mean that it was his Grandpa AND his Daddy!  Little boy  showed me to an umbrellaed table where a huge toothless man, a skinny, hairless woman with the BIGGEST bugged eyes I have ever seen and a real nice looking strapping young man sat smoking cigarettes.  This nice looking guy stood up and, looking like a Hollister model, wiped his hand on his shirtless abs and flashed his cobalt blue eyes at me and grinned.  He had 3 teeth. TOTAL!  I know this for a fact because he told me.  He also told me that he, “Ain’t had a decent bath in a week.”  I’m like, “Hey smooth talker, you keep on like that and I just might have to hook you up with the girl at work that I hate”.  I asked if he would load the dresser in my car so he went to the semi trailer and pulled out a dude to help him that was wearing a Stone Cold Steve Austin shirt and the shortest cutoffs I have seen on a guy.  They loaded up Midway and I went on my way…back to town…to civilization.  On the way home my teen complained about the stop we had made…but I didn’t have to remind him to brush his teeth that night!