A little cymbal-clanging toy monkey that’s dressed in a canary-yellow tank top with red and white pinstriped trousers. The one with unnecessary beady, red eyes, protruding and unwelcoming. The one that’s far more befitting a haunted house, and most definitely an unsuitable toy for a child.
A Gibson Les Paul Standard with an ink scribble on the pickguard. It might read “Jimmy Page.” Everyone knows the guitar is authentic, but no one can truly prove if the signature is real. Nonetheless, it’s valued at $22,000.
A couple handfuls of old coins that have been deliberately spaced a half-inch apart from each other and laid neatly on a faded blue handkerchief. Franklin, Mercury, Lady Liberty; distressed profiles of people that wouldn’t be distinguishable if it were not for their notoriety.
Some dusty furniture, vinyl records, and creepy taxidermy.
An off-white ceramic Toastrite, accented with a cobalt blue that paints the landscape of an ancient Japanese village: Bloodgood maples, cherry blossoms, a fully-grown bonsai tree, a small bridge with an exaggerated arch, a river running beneath it, and a few wooden structures with curved thatched roofs, all typical to early Japanese architecture, otherwise referred to as Nihon kenchiku.
A pair of rugged but still durable Marine Corps issued combat boots, also known as “boondockers.” They once sprinted across the cratered and blood-stained beach of Iwo Jima. They’ve felt the tremor of artillery shells and have heard the faint screams of 18-year-old boys through the hellish bedlam and incessant enemy gunfire.
A vintage popcorn machine, and it isn’t one of the ersatz miniature-sized ones that could fit on a bar counter. It’s a full-sized, carnivalesque popcorn machine that sits atop four skinny bicycle tires. The manufacturers had inclement weather in mind when they designed it with a thin but sturdy canvas roof, striped red and white, reminiscent of the pinstripe trousers of an old cymbal-clanging toy monkey. The sight of it incites feelings of nostalgia, even though you’ve never seen one before. It’s now being used as a container for various comic books.
Various comic books: “New Mutants: #98,” “Danger Girl #2,” “Batman Adventures #12” and others. They’re all from the early 90s and were once the primary form of entertainment for adolescent boys who would gawk with excitement after turning each page, more interested in the graphic art than the plot.
An assortment of power tools. A few drills, a band saw, and an air compressor that was perhaps used once or twice before its previous owner got a new position as a copy editor in Portland and sold their car for a flax-colored commuter bike.
About a dozen wedding rings. The previous property of people who are now divorced, remarried or widowed. It’s possible that some of the rings were merely engagement rings; their owners never committed far enough in their relationship to elevate them to the status of ‘wedding rings.’ Some of them may have even been procured during a late night, masked, but not armed, robbery.
A Walkman that used to be enjoyed while walking back and forth in grass-stained sneakers on a front lawn.
The license plate from the movie Back to the Future. It’s a 6-inch by 12-inch, thin aluminum plate that’s been stamped with blue letters that read “OUTATIME.” The first Back to the Future was the top-grossing film in 1985. So, naturally, it’s priceless.
A Westminster grandfather clock that was once a tasteful addition to the furnishings of a dimly lit foyer, whose mauve-painted walls were accented by multiple, gilt-framed Victorian-era paintings. Its owner, however, discovered the incessant ticking and hourly chiming to be a “downright ass of a nuisance,” after being gifted an Apple watch. So, now it sits in a pawn shop gathering dust, along with a cymbal-clanging toy monkey, an autographed guitar, a vintage popcorn machine, World War II memorabilia, and assortments of old coins and comic books.
Drew Campbell is a Marine Corps veteran and a junior in the Secondary English Education Program. He enjoys the outdoors, traveling, and all things adventure. He and his girlfriend are currently in pursuit of visiting all fifty states. Drew Campbell is also an advocate of wearing socks with sandals and holds a firm belief that comfort always trumps style.