Tuesday, January 08, 2008


THE JOYS OF THE RED SHOVEL


Now that the angelic trio has departed, things are sliding back to normal around here and I can set out to do a task without it turning into a carefully conducted -- and fun, but slooow -- lesson for brand new and vulnerable fingers etc., I was out in the garden yesterday tossing sectioned logs about, splitting cherry kindling and cleaning up the store the heavenly visitors had assembled under the deck with the wheelbarrow parked out front and now half-filled with rain, when I got at last to the Store inventory-- what they'd had on display in carefully arranged baskets.

During my audit I found (among many other things-- the catalog was large) that they had been offering to lucky buyers a selection of top quality leaves, superbly tinted with all-natural colors; a series of conveniently sized designer cedar twigs with cones attached, all fashioned in exquisite detail; a fragment of plastic detritus interestingly shaped by the forces of nature; a small but finely constructed whisk broom formerly owned by a grandfather who had been wondering where the hell it had gone; a small red metal shovel for cleaning gutters, ditto the grandfather-wonderment.

And there at the bottom of each basket was the key of the assembled collection: a variety of rocks, each uniquely crafted by the Big Crafter, in sizes and shapes ideal not only for purchase, but for ease of portability, enabling discerning buyers to take their new possessions wherever they wish (such convenience!), arrange them as they wish (decorative potential!) and subsequently move them about as life now and then requires, a need already anticipated by these brand-new mini-entrepreneurs regarding items not all that different from the things we grownups call televisions, refrigerators, kitchen sinks and what not, the rocks of modern life.

These were ancient commercial principles at work, as manifested in the act of setting forth and laying out the available goods at this early age, knowing as yet only vaguely (but truly) the basics of marketing (Think this rock is worth anything? Why?), making considered selections from out of the great mass of happenstance presented by the world at large, arranging the selected items appealingly in baskets among artistically positioned leaves and twigs, and offering all for sale to any grandfatherly passersby who might perhaps be eager to possess and enjoy the use of, say, a red shovel.

When by late afternoon all had been restored to its original utilitarian state, there wasn't a speck of fun in sight. I don't know what I was thinking of; I'll put some fun back tomorrow.


6 comments:

Anonymous said...

A brilliant post - and a lesson to us all that there's more than how much is costs in "value"

Wembley

Mary Lou said...

You tore apart their STORE? GASP!!! THink of all the time and effort they put into it. ANd they will come back next time and head right back out there to see if it was just as they left it! tsk tsk!

Bob Brady said...

Yeah, but their store was right where I put my stuff!

Joy Des Jardins said...

What a hoot that lobster is...and Kaya looks like a little morsel peeping out. That kitchen looks like a cool place to be. Those three are too adorable.

Joy Des Jardins said...

Oops, sorry Bob. I don't know how my comment got under the wrong post.

Bob Brady said...

Thanks, joy...and please feel free to put your comments wherever you like; they all link up, and are all appreciated.