My granddaughter, Brynley Baetz, third grader at Van Elementary School, recently won several awards from her school the other day and one of these awards was a Magic Eight Ball.
Brynley, we love you and are sure proud of you and all of your accomplishments and here’s a story about my Magic Eight Ball.
Now I don’t know about you, but I love to go into antique shops. Of course the stuff I like to look at is not really antiques, but just old junk. You know, like old coffee pots that cowboys used on their campfires, old knives that have a deer foot for a handle, or maybe an old bear trap.
You know, junk like that.
Of course, I wouldn’t know if what I was lookin’ at was worth anything or not. Heck, I know a lady who bought a bottle at a garage sale for a dollar, and sold it for $2,500. Can you imagine that?
Now, if that had been me, I wouldn’t have spent the dollar on an old bottle in the first place. I would have been thinkin’ that I was getting ripped off.
Anywho, like I said I like to go into those old antique shops, just to look around.
A couple of weeks ago my wife Janet and I went for a drive. You know, I don’t think people do that much anymore. Go out for a drive, I mean. Now-a-days, everybody has to have a purpose before they get in their vehicle.
I mean, they have to go to the store, or go take their kids somewhere, and stuff like that. Nobody goes just for the sake of goin’.
Man, one of my favorite memories is back when my dad would say, “Come on everybody, let’s go for a drive” followed by, “Y’all go to the bathroom first.” We didn’t have any place to go in particular. Heck, we just went.
Now-a-days if you say, “Let’s go for a drive,” you’re answered with questions like, “Where are we goin’?” or “What for?” Now, where was I? Oh yeah, the antique shops.
Like I said, Janet and I were drivin’ along. I had been out of town for a while so she was catching me up on what all had taken place in my absence, and I was tellin’ her about all the good junk I had eaten while I had been away. We drove through a little ol’ town, and there was a sign that read “Antique Mall.” Now, usually if I see a sign that says “Mall” I run the other way, but the word “Antique” sort of negated the mall part.
“Hey, let’s whip in here and have a look around,” I said as I pulled into a parkin’ space.
“These places depress me,” said Janet.
“Yeah,” she replied. “Look at the sign on the window. ‘Antiques, Collectibles, and Junk’.”
“What’s so depressing about that?”
“Well, what they are considering collectibles and junk is what we are still using.”
“You’re so funny,” I said sarcastically. “Come on, let’s go.”
We walked into the shop, and I stopped and looked around. Then I took a deep breath. “Ahhhhh,” I ahhed. “I love that smell.”
“Yeah,” said Janet. “The smell of mold and mildew really turns me on, too.” She’s also sarcastic. I didn’t even reply. I just marched on ahead.
“Hey, looky here!” I said as I picked up an old toy from my past. “I used to have one of these. It’s a Magic Eight Ball.”
“A what?” asked Janet.
“A Magic Eight Ball,” I replied. “See here. It tells the future. You shake it and ask it a yes or no question and the answer appears in this little window here. I used to use it to help me answer homework questions.”
“That explains a lot,” said Janet sarcastically.
“These things really work,” I said. “Back when I was a kid, I was with Daddy in Gibson’s, and there was one in the toy department. I picked it up, shook it, closed my eyes, and said, ‘Will I shoot a 12-point buck?’ When I opened my eyes, the thing said, ‘Yes’. Well, the next week was the first week of deer season and guess what?”
“You shot a 12-point buck.”
“That’s right. Of course he had eight points on one side and four on the other, but it was 12 points. And you know what else? Daddy went out and bought me that Magic Eight Ball.”
“Wow,” said Janet, again sarcastically. “An amazing story.”
“Here,” I said. “Try it.”
“I don’t want to try it.”
“Come on,” I pleaded.
“Oh alright.” She took the ball from me and shook it. She closed her eyes and asked, “Is my husband a big idiot?” She opened her eyes and looked into the little window. “It says ‘Yes Definitely’. Hey, maybe this thing really does work.”
“Give me that,” I said as I jerked it from her hands. I shook it and closed my eyes. “Will I ever get rich?” I asked.
“No,” the Magic Eight Ball said.
“Ask it if your hair will ever grow back,” said Janet.
“Shut-up,” I replied.
“Is my wife as smart as she thinks she is?” I asked.
“Yes,” the ball replied. Janet smiled at me.
“Obviously this ball is broken,” I said.
“Let me try again,” said Janet as she plucked the ball from my hands.
“Should I have Rusty committed?”
“You can count on it,” replied the ball.
“Put that thing down,” I said. “It’s just a stupid toy.”
“I thought you said these things really work.”
“When are you goin’ to grow up?” I asked.
“ME? You’re the one who said these things work just because it said that you would shoot a deformed deer.”
“He wasn’t deformed, just different.”
“Right,” said Janet. I grabbed the Magic Eight Ball.
“Am I stuck with this woman for the rest of my life?” I asked the ball.
“AHHHHHGGGG!” I cried. Janet just smiled.