Post 238: Living Language

When a language encounters people who speak it, who may not have absorbed any of the teachings they were exposed to, and who may not be able to diagram a sentence, the language changes. It hasn’t got much choice. Either it lets people treat it like elastic or it goes the way of Latin and Welsh.

If Sparky wants to call a desk a chest of drawers, who is going to stop him? Certainly not Craigslist.

Antique wood chest drawers – $80

40 in. W x 18 in D x 30 in. H

$80 obo

This is a solid wood, antique piece– not veneer over particle wood. It’s not fancy, but it’s well-made. It would be perfect for a kid’s bedroom. There are a lot of little imperfections in the surface of the wood–which would easily sand out if you choose to refinish, but would be fine for a child. And the drawers are the exact width of DVDs/Blurays, so it would be an excellent TV stand. I’ve lined the drawers with contact paper, but the paper isn’t stuck permanently to the wood.

Must pick up. One flight of stairs.
Allergen warning: coming from a home with a cat

I can’t even pick up a ladder, let alone a flight of stairs. I just feel sorry for the cat who now must write all his letters on the floor. His people must be barbarians. Thanks for the post, OMV. As always, nice find.


5 thoughts on “Post 238: Living Language

  1. Rather sad that even the stairs flew away.
    Hmmm, 18″ is credenza depth, but 40″ is not a desk-with-credenza width.

    Which suggests to me that this has always been a tv stand, and any semblance to Narniac furniture is imaginary.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. “Draw your bust, ma’am?”
    Marge-Rita was startled out of her fanciful reverie by sudden question. She’d been walking along the boardwalk wondering if she’d hear back from Euro RSCG about her idea for a new ad campaign for Dos Equis and imagining herself in her self-appointed role as The Most Interesting Woman in the World when she was brought back to Earth by the street artist’s request. Or perhaps he was more appropriately referred to as a boardwalk artist.
    “I’m sorry?” she said. She wasn’t sure why, she heard him, but it seemed like the thing to say when you were caught being inattentive. Also, it was a bit of a passive-aggressive way of letting the other person know they interrupted you.
    “Your bust, ma’am,” he responded. “On wood. Antique wood. Lovely pine! Would you like me to draw you?”
    Ordinarily, Marge-Rita ignored these sorts of people; street artists were a dime a dozen, and their work was almost always decidedly quotidian when it wasn’t so bad that their portraits tumbled arse over tea kettle down the uncanny valley, but this one did pyrographic art, as evidenced by the soldering iron he held in hand as one might hold a pencil or paintbrush. That was a new angle. She was intrigued.
    “How much?” she asked. Not that she couldn’t afford it, but so many of these artists were grifters.
    “Eighty dollars!” the artist beamed.
    “EIGHTY DOLLARS?!” Marge-Rita shouted. Most artists charged ten, maybe fifteen if they thought highly of their skills or used special paints or canvas. Eighty dollars was just beyond the pale.
    “Ah,” the artist said with a raised finger. “But you see, to start with, this is antique pine, only the best bits salvaged from fine antique furniture that had an unfortunate accident that rendered the furniture beyond repair. Each piece of wood has a story, a history, one you will be permanently be made part of. And then of course this will be a unique piece. You see, I am the only one here that does wood burning of this sort, you won’t find another! And my skill is superlative, believe me when I tell you how happy you will be with the final product. I will even mount this in a protective frame with the necessary bits to hang it anywhere you like!”
    He certainly seemed quite confident in himself. She wasn’t sure if she particularly cared about a piece of wood’s back-story unless it had some significant historical cachet, but it _was_ unique, and she was quite fond of wood. It wasn’t that she couldn’t afford it either, she just didn’t like giving money to grifters. But he seemed harmless enough, if a bit bombastic. And anyway, if he did a terrible job she could just tell him where to shove it.
    “Very well. But it better be good,” Marge-Rita admonished.
    The artist’s face lit up. “Absolutely, ma’am, I guarantee the finest bust burned into wood! Now, please, have a seat.” The artist proffered an extended hand, indicating a cheap deck chair sat just a few feet from him. Marge-Rita parked herself in it. “Now, if you’ll look just off to the side a bit, just over my shoulder – yes, that’s perfect, now look wistful, with just a hint of a smile, as if recalling a fond memory. Yes, yes, that’s it, perfect. Now hold that pose. Lovely!”
    The artist held a fist towards her, thumb straight up in the air, squinted one eye closed, and cocked his tongue halfway out of the side of his mouth. It was all Marge-Rita could do not to bust out laughing at the ridiculous artist’s stereotype come to life. Satisfied with his composition, the artist began to work.
    “I’m sure you’ve heard of King Henry VIII?” the artist began chattering as he worked. Whisps of wood smoke drifted past Marge-Rita’s nose. She did so love the smell of burning wood.
    “I’m Henry the Eighth, I am, I am, Henry the Eighth I am,” the artist suddenly belted out. Poorly. “Anyway, this particular bit of ancient pine belonged to a writing desk owned by none other than Anne Boleyn. She was one of Henry’s wives who was executed for not producing a male offspring, I’m sure you know. Grisly business, that. Henry was a bit of a prick. It was a fine desk, though, with two cubbies concealed by two doors. Ha! Get it? Two doors? Tudors?”
    He actually slapped his knee in his unwarranted mirth.
    The artist pressed on, scribbling with his soldering iron all the while. “Anyway, that child for which Anne was executed was conceived right on the very desk this piece of wood came from!”
    That wasn’t exactly the denouement she was expecting, and now she wished his story hadn’t ended up there. This was the story she was being made part of? Henry and Anne’s sexy romp on the furniture? It was probably complete bunk anyway, but still. He could have come up with a less salacious ending, surely. Marge-Rita only said, “Huh.”
    With several exaggerated flourishes of his arm and an utterly cliché “Voila!,” the artist announced that he was done and motioned Marge-Rita over. “Come see! Come see!”
    Against her better judgement, Marge-Rita’s hopes rose. Maybe it was that wonderful smell of burning wood soothing her spirit, but she was actually looking forward to seeing the end result. With a mixture of trepidation and muted excitement, she got up and walked over to the artist to regard her work.
    Her jaw slowly dropped as her eyes widened to the size of quarters.
    He had drawn boobs.
    Her boobs.
    On wood.
    Fully clothed, to be sure, and the top of her arms, shoulder, and décolletage were there to give perspective, but just the same, there they were. Her boobs. He had literally drawn her actual bust, and not her head, as she had wrongfully assumed.
    “My boobs!” was all she could blurt out through the shock.
    The artist beamed again. “Indeed, lovely they are, too!”
    It was then that she did what she should have done beforehand and looked at the examples of his work he had strewn about his workspace — all facing him, mind you. Boobs. Big ones, little ones, lopsided ones, all on display, as it were. And men’s chests, too, from the glistening smooth to chests so hirsute they would have looked like nothing more than a charred Brillo pad if it weren’t for the nipples. Upper torsos a-popping.
    “But,” Marge-Rita stammered. “But … that’s ALL you drew!”
    The artist furrowed his brow and cocked his head like a dog trying to make out what you were saying. “But of course!” he said. “I am a chest drawer, it’s what I do! Surely you read the sign,” He pointed to a paper sign he had taped to the top of the thing he kept his supplies in, which just happened to be a chest-of-drawers. Marge-Rita had noticed the sign and had just assumed he was forgetful and needed to remind himself of what things were called but got the name wrong anyway.
    “But …” Marge-Rita was truly at a loss for words. “But!” was all she could manage.
    “Are you not happy?” he asked in an injured tone. “I can draw them larger!”
    Nope. No, sir. This was not happening. She grabbed the charred wood, prised the artist’s mouth open, and shoved the corner in before storming off on a righteous huff.

    Marcel fumed. Well, that was just fine. Just fine! All that work for nothing. The perils of being a street artist, especially one who works in unique mediums. But on the weird side, he was really developing a taste for pine for as often as this seemed to happen.

    Liked by 2 people

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