It came from a yard sale and was the inspiration for a collection.
Imagine my surprise when Fletcher handed me the box.
It was heavy.
I scrabbled through the paper and out came this fellow!
Behind me X spoke.
"What the hell is that!"
My response was to laugh myself to tears.
The weekend before, Fletcher and I had spent a day at yard sales
and the flea market.
As we walked along, we joked about the crazy things
people sell and questioned why they would have gotten them in the first place.
The Cook Island carved man was the object that we had riddiculed the most.
We decided that the only reason that one would have such a carving,
was, if one had gotten it as a gift...
from a relative who would surely look to see it on display...
forcing one to keep it until that relative moved or passed away.
Therefore, it got our vote as the least likely thing we would ever own.
Now in defense of the above pictured fine example of
Cook Island folk art...
we were just joking around.
We had been inspired by a coworker who complained constantly
about everything being ugly or useless.
Her negativity had been driving us bats for weeks.
So we took on an exaggerated version of her persona for giggles
as we strolled through the flea market.
Fletcher and I both began to collect ugly things for each other...
This fellow is my very favorite ugly thing!
He's a "Billiken"...
"The God of things as they ought to be" .
To have one is reputed to be good luck.
He's also the mascot of St. Louis U.
His story is pretty interesting if you care to cruise the net:
Billiken - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Yes, there is indeed a Church of Good Luck!
Not to be confused with the Church of Elvis in Portland, Or.
Or the Church of Bob, both of which crack me up.
I know, I'm easily amused.
I have strayed from the path.
For years my "ugly" wooden man stood on my balcony.
I named him appropriately;
Then I moved up north and settled him on my front porch...
in a small alcove right next to the front door...
in the hopes that he would frighten off salesmen.
That was the joke anyway.
Then X's mom came to live with us for a few years.
The first time she looked at him she said
This was the sound she made when feeling uncomfortable...
such as when people swear or there is kissing on TV.
Clearly Woody's lack of pants disturbed her.
Soon after I came home and found that Woody had taken a hike!
I asked the kids if they knew where he went.
"Huh? He's gone?"
I began to feel suspicious.
Things had mysteriously vanished in the past when
X's mom was around.
"He's too disturbing to have by the front door.
My friends will see him.
I could see that it really bothered her.
She did not have my sense of humor and likely as not,
she was right and her friends would not get it.
Woody was banished to the back yard patio.
I could make that concession.
She was not going to live with us forever.
Items would be piled in front of him so that he could not be seen.
I put those things away.
A plant was placed next to him and obscured his personal area.
This I truly found funny but harmless enough.
Then one day he was gone like shoe skate keys.
( I have one of those in my collection of uglies too.)
No more Woody!
Eventually she confessed that she had thrown him out with the garbage...
to which I said a loud
but nothing else.
Fletcher gave me lots of ugly things in the four years
that we lived in the same town.
He was the guy that started my ugly collection...
which has given me much pleasure over the years...
and all my ugly treasures remind me of Fletcher.
Who I refer to as my "ugly friend"...
He says that always makes him smile.
Is there anything you collect?
Is it a serious collection?
I have trouble being serious sometimes.
I also collect wind up toys...
though my old basset chewed up a lot of my best ones.
Eventually I'll re-collect them.