This isn’t a “Once upon a time” story, but it may interest you nonetheless. Here’s the background: this week we were back in the Portland area to visit El Guapo’s sister and brother-in-law, enjoying great hospitality (complete with picturesque farm animals*) and picking and eating as many blackberries as we could stand (if it were just the eating, I could have stood a great deal more, but the local blackberry canes produce vicious thorns like it’s their job).
We didn’t see much of Scott at home, as he was working long days repairing vintage leaks in their old church roof (about half a century of repair attempts were being dismantled so that the cause could be addressed once and for all). We did, however, go by the church and see him, and as was his habit, he got us up into the air.† First we walked around on the church roof, and then he took us up in the boom lift–a little disconcerting.
Once we had our feet firmly planted back on the ground, we did a little hesitant browsing at the entrance of the giant rummage sale taking place in the church basement. I say hesitant because there were some enthusiastic hawkers on duty, and those sorts of situations are generally awkward–No, thanks, we’re traveling, so buying papier-mâché deer sculptures isn’t very practical. Now isn’t that…unique?! Oh, I’d better pass on [whatever it is]. Uh, yes, it’s a lovely knickknack shelf–I’m sure it will make somebody’s day.
At one point our daughter Liebling was told by a woman minding a table that her husband had said he’d take her to Hawaii if she could sell two small plastic doll’s legs, for any price. Liebling, always eager to be helpful, came back to the car to see if we had any cash (we did not), but we discovered 15 cents in a little change drawer in the car. In a minute she returned with two purchases: a tiny puzzle (she still had some room in her suitcase for their upcoming return trip to Germany) and the doll’s legs.
So here’s my question: do we suppose that implicit in the challenge of selling the doll’s legs was the stipulation that the legs needed to sell on their own merits? If the legs’ vendor mentioned the potential Hawaii trip, would all bets be off? What was the conversation like between the woman and her husband, later that day? And if someone is inclined to offer trips to Hawaii for the selling of plastic doll’s legs, what other kinds offers does he make?
We’re unlikely to learn the answers to any of these questions, but as the couple in question attends the same church as our Oregonian relatives, we might hear if they do in fact go off on a trip to Hawaii.
Liebling took her little puzzle with her, but she left us the doll’s legs. Being inert plastic, they don’t seem aware of the high stakes riding on their most recent transfer of ownership (or at least their penultimate transfer–nothing much happened when Liebling gave them to us). And what of their future? Does anyone have creative suggestions about what their next adventure should be?
*Picturesqueness is currently being provided by a pair of pigs, some chickens and now sheep. The goats of past years were banished (and sold) due to several goaty infractions, including lily mutilation, artichoke eating, hydrangea violence, and maple sapling destruction.
†A couple of years ago he took us up in his small plane. We may be coming to the limit of ways he can get us off the ground, though I guess that remains to be seen. (This isn’t a challenge, Scott–we love visiting you even when we’re all on the ground.)
[Images: yours truly, El Guapo]