Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Dog Treats, Gun Stuff and Forgotten Treasures I Found Around The House Tonight

If you have a decent sized collection of guns, then chances are you also have a good sized collection of ammo and firearms accessories too. I know that I do. Now, I keep my guns secure and while I don't misplace guns, I try my best not too anyhow, it seems I often do put other gun related things aside. Then, may I loose track of some of them. It's not like I leave these things laying all around the house; I put them in boxes to protect them, or in drawers and closets for safekeeping, or stash them away in dark corners or up on shelves for storage. It seems though that once they have been out of sight for awhile it is also very easy for them to go out of their minds fall out of mind and I pretty much don't think about them or simply forget all about them. So it is that now and then, with some astonishment, I come across something I had no idea was lurking in the shadows.

Imagine, if you will: a frumpy middle aged overweight but dieting slob firearms enthusiast, with ever so slightly failing eyesight, rummaging through a basement drawer looking for a snack to ease his diet ravaged and gurgling gut a bag of dog treats for his pooches. He opens the drawer, moves this and that and finds a sealed in the box, brand spanking new, can of silicone desiccant. "Hmm..." he thinks, "...that could come in useful for the gun locker" but not needing it now, he just shoves it aside and rummages a bit more. After moving a bunch of books and magazines, there is the bag of dog treats - buried under some other junk. When he lifts the bag, he spies something under it and immediately and happily thinks: "What have we here - buried treasure!". Under those books and other not often thought about drawer junk was another type of foodstuff - not for pets but the kind he feeds to rifles and pistols - ammo. This was ammo with a twist though, it came in a sealed factory collector's tin. The tin was adorned with a picture of a man guiding a boy in how to shoot a rifle. According to what it says on the box, what he found was not only a tin but a 'Collector's Tin' containing 400 rounds of ammunition and a collector's deck of playing cards. The brand name on the tin is Remington.

Imagine, this could happen to you, really it could you know. I mean, after all, it just happened to me about an hour ago. No, I was not about to go bust on my diet and yes, I really was looking for a bag of dogs treats I had stashed away in that dresser draw in my basement.

Now finding that collector's tin got me to thinking: "Didn't I have another collectible ammo set around here somewhere?". I looked high, I looked low, I looked left, I looked right, then realized there, among one of two piles of books atop the dresser, was a somewhat odd looking thing staring right at me from among the book bindings. It sort of blended in with them enough to look like just another binding of just another dusty old tome but, now that I was looking and paying attention, I spotted it as something else right away. I must have seen it every day for Lord knows how long it had been sitting there much like Poe's The Purloined Letter. I took it from the pile, blew off the bit of dust that had settled on it, and I sneezed a couple of times because the dust on all the other books came up in a small but malevolent whirlwind that seemed eager to get at me. After I stopped sneezing, I pulled it out of the improvised cardboard sleeve/dust jacket in which had laid there protected and hidden, in plain sight, for probably a year or two. So, what was it? Much to my surprise there it was the other 'collectible', a Remington knife & ammo set.

This was starting to get me all sorts of excited, thinking that maybe there was cached treasure all about the place just waiting to be discovered or should I say rediscovered. I started to look, ever more so in earnest, in the hope would find something truly valuable that I had put away and forgotten all about. Those things just mentioned were found atop the dresser and in the top drawer of it so, I decided to look lower down. I opened the 3 other drawers of the dresser and and I found, there among some sheets and towels, a bottle of Knappogue Castle Irish Whiskey labelled 1995. Before you get to thinking: "Hey, how lucky" well, that was no surprise to me. I knew or at least should have remembered that was in there. Had I been looking for it, it would have come right to mind, or should have, since only put it in there about a month ago or less. What I did not expect to find was a Gerber machete in its scabbard - virtually right next to the bottle. Perhaps not a bad place to have it, that is if someone tries to burgle my golden nectar and I need to protect it.

Okay, enough for the dresser. I took a look at the hide-way bed next to it. There was some stuff piled on it, as usual, but not much because I had recently cleaned the basement pretty good. I moved my laptop case and some papers and a throw pillow and heck if there wasn't something I had not expected. It was a small but dirty manila envelope. I picked it up thinking it was garbage then realized there was something in it. I took a peek and found something I had forgotten all about. Maybe 6 months to a year ago, I ordered several '
Unorganized Militia Gear' in the form of stickers/decals and patches. When I had received that stuff, I gave some to my son, I meant to have the some of the patches sewn onto a jacket or three, put the stickers on my cars, give some to friends but then (you guessed it) I forgot all about them. I am pretty sure they were in my living room, on the desk, kind of a catch all place for what my wife thinks is my junk mail. My guess is that when my wife gave the LR a good clean-up for a party she was holding a couple of weeks ago, the envelope was rerouted and delivered, so to speak, to the basement. Lucky for me it was not rerouted to the trash can.

You know, after finding that, I took another look at those piles of books. Was there more missing treasure to be found there? I had been reading Stephen King's Full Dark - No Stars and it sort of went missing awhile back. I don't know how it got to where it got but there it was in one of the piles of books near the bottom of that pile. You would think, or at least I (in my limited capacity having a muddled middle aged mind) would think, since I had been reading it nightly about a month or two ago, that if it was anywhere in the pile it would be near the top. That, especially since I had not been reading any of the others. Either there had to be gnomes, grinches, elves or a wife involved. Excuse, me for a minute she must have sensed me writing about her: "Yes dear, I'll do the dishes before I hit the hay tonight". Okay, where was I, yes that was it - back in that pile of books.

Another look and I spied yet another volume of lore that I had forgotten all about while in mid-read - ' Roughing It ' by Mark Twain. I definitely have to get back to that one right after the King book. I used to be a big SK fan and while I still like his writing - am no longer a fan. Very recently, with his yammering about taxes and how high they should go, he has in essence taken his leftist creed and tried to shove it down one too many throats. I do not like the taste of it. I think this will be the last of his books that have I spend a dime upon. Still though a good collection of short stories, that is if my having read the first one and half of the second one make me a qualified judge of it.

As you can see from the pic, I have quite a good little collection of books just in those two piles and I would say I have not read about the 1/2 of them if not more. I really need to watch less TV, surf the web less and start reading more. Those books are treasures that can only be enjoyed by becoming closely bonded with them, as if in fellowship, with the authors and characters, and that does not happen by way of mere proximity nor by the process of osmosis. Where I had pretty much seen them every day and ignored them, for how long I do not know, it is different now. I suddenly feel a compelling call to develop a strong camaraderie with the authors and their characters and to nurture and understanding of their themes. About the only way for me to accomplish that kind of intimate bond with them requires my reading a book from cover to cover - maybe more than once.

I guess I found something other than I had been looking for when I went in search of those dog treats and then was spurred on to search for more goodies after I rediscovered those collectible ammo packs. Much like C. Auguste Dupin, I uncovered a treasure that had been hidden in plain sight, so well, as to have become totally overlooked in the every day course of my affairs. Unlike that first detective, I had not been searching for something thought to have been purloined but was merely looking for something to help me bond with some characters other than those in books, our family's 4 dogs. By the way, now that I found the treats, maybe it is best I reward man's best friends with some of them. You see, had it not been because of those 4 legged characters, I never would have started the search that led me to rediscover the treasures I found tonight. Later for you - and may I be so bold as to suggest that while you are waiting to hear from me again, you click on the pics to get a better view of my treasure to see if you can spot the best of them all. Then, why not head off to search out any overlooked treasures of your own. You may be surprised at what you find hidden in plain sight.

All the best,
Glenn B