Lispian Random meanderings on whatever catches my fancy

Things I Don’t Get

There are a lot of things I just don’t get, such as renaissance fairs, reenactments of past battles and many other things. I also don’t get collecting old stuff and by old stuff I mean what most of us would call junk. So I find it pretty funny that I actually enjoy two shows about looking for old junk, namely American Pickers and Canadian Pickers.

Between the two shows I particularly like Canadian Pickers because I find Scott and Sheldon to be warm, friendly, funny guys that’d you’d hoist a pint with. Mike and Frank over on American Pickers are OK, but sometimes they come across as just too prototypical American — i.e., loud. And now that I’m older I think I can do without loud friends :-). There’s just something appealing about quiet. Never thought I’d end up this way, but I guess it happens to us all. Next up I’ll be complaining about the racket of rock and roll, to paraphrase The Pursuit of Happiness.

What attracts me to the shows is that these four guys are crazy into old junk. They look at it not as junk but as something that they can buy and flip for a profit. To me — and probably most of their fans — it looks like a bunch of old, rusty crap they’re buying from various and sundry folks across North America. And yet they have customers who obviously buy this stuff. And I just don’t get it.

Just the other day I watched as Mike from American Pickers bought what is easily one of the ugliest metal legs for a table I’ve ever seen. They were done up as seahorses. It was badly rusted. Yet he was positive he’d be able to sell it no problem. And I don’t doubt him. But I can’t fathom why anyone would want that in their home.

And then there’s this love of old oil cans, old tin cans, old any can it seems. At least Scott and Sheldon said what some people use them for: garbage cans to add a bit of a talking point to a home office, say. I can sort of see that, but I’m not sure I’d want a rusty old can sitting on my nice hardwood floors. And getting the females in my house to touch said rusty old garbage can? Highly unlikely. It’d probably end up on the curb as junk on garbage day, never to be seen by me again.

Or the signs. It seems people are utterly insane for signs. And not just the type of signs you can sort of understand, say a Pepsi sign or Coca Cola sign that’s, say, 2’x3′ and would look cool in a man cave or rec room. No, I’m talking about signs that are easily a dozen feet across and some weigh hundreds of points and look like the Taliban used them for target practice.

I’m probably just one of those people who just isn’t into “old stuff”. I’ve never liked antiques. I just don’t know why anyone wants some old shit in their homes.

But, I enjoy watching those four guys “pick” through what to me is garbage and find various things. You even learn a bit of history and the people they meet are quite fascinating. And after watching 2 seasons of Pickers I’m now wondering if I should go find an old Pepsi sign to put in my basement man cave. That’d be cool. Damn, maybe those guys have a point…

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February 2012
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