Going To The Antique Mall Raises Many Questions

Taxidermic Squirrel

Ok. I probably would have bought this one.

This weekend I went to one of my favorite antique stores here in Austin- it’s pretty massive and you can always find something really odd and interesting there. And yet….I find walking around that store raises many questions.

1. Why would anyone need half a map of Texas? I saw not only one, but two of these while I was walking around. But why? Why would someone buy half a map of Texas? Or anywhere for that matter? It would seem that maps are best when they are whole. But maybe this is just indicative of my personal philosophy, in my eyes, the map is always half-missing. Curious, because I’ve always thought of myself as an optimist. You can really learn a lot about yourself in an antique store.

2. Why are toys from my childhood in an antique store? There was one booth that was positively filled with toys I owned as a child and they were all labeled “antique”. I find this very upsetting as it made me contemplate my own mortality and I really felt like I had another ten years or so before I had to do that.

3. Who needs taxidermied squirrels in chains? I mean, it’s not ┬ábad enough that someone killed two squirrels for fun, you have to put them in chains? I bet whoever buys that will have a massive case of squirrel hauntings on their hands. And trust me, squirrel hauntings are some of the worst kinds of hauntings.

Seriously y’all, you should go antiquing because it’s a pretty philosophical experience. Also, there are globes that turn into bars there and so that’s pretty great. Any place that sells things that have secret liquor hidden in them is a-ok with me.

55 thoughts on “Going To The Antique Mall Raises Many Questions

  1. Wait, didn’t you say you were going to buy your Grandma a globe? I think you should get her the hidden-bar-globe! and I want one too :)

    Congratulations on your engagement, by the way! I am really enjoying your descriptions of all the wedding-related marketing ploys… so funny!

  2. I used to dream about owning an antique store. I fancied it to be very chic and bohemian in a french style. After being in a few and seeing all the weird unusefull things that lay in there my dream went puff. I’m still afraid of stumbling across huge antlers on the walls reminding me how much we suck as humans.

  3. I swear someone once tried to sell my own collection of POGS back to me at one of those antique deals. I swear, that I did not politely turn them down and then try to unsuccessfully steal what was rightfully mine back. I swear.

  4. I remember being really surprised the first time I saw “my” Fisher Price barn (you know, the door makes a “moo” sound) at an antique place. I wonder if arming squirrels for the coming squirrel revolt is as bad as selling guns to terrorists? Could be. I remember my great-grandfather’s “man cave” (of course, they didn’t call it that) with the hunting scene wall paper, magazine rack of Field and Stream, and the “life-like” stuffed squirrel posing on a log with an acorn in it’s mouth. Wish I had that now — to decorate squirrel circus headquarters. Obviously, I am AGAINST killing squirrels for sport, but the one I’m thinking of has been dead for about fifty years at this point! :)

  5. They cut the maps in two because Texas is so big. A friend of mine said, “The depressing thing about Texas is you can drive and drive all day and you’re still not out of Texas.”

  6. I’ve not been to Texas and don’t know much about it, but is it possible the state is split into factions that want to secede from each other? I’d be worried if I lived too close to the line dividing the two map halves. Hope that doesn’t apply to you.

    Scary about the “antique” toys. You seem too young to have had toys that are considered antiques (unless you were playing with toys that were at least ten years old at the time). Maybe that’s why the store is so massive. It has a really lax “antique” threshold.

    • I don’t think so. I’ve heard plenty about Texas seceding from the union but nothing I can remember about certain cities wanting to secede from Texas. Although, the map was a 1851 edition so I can’t say for sure.

      And yes, the toy situation was a bit scary. I really hope they just have lax policies. Otherwise, I might have to whine about my faded youth. ;)

  7. Did the two half maps compliment each other? It could be a sneaky money-making scheme.

    Regarding the stuffed squirrels, I’d be worried about the day the squirrels take over (who’s going to say no to a squirrel wearing a beret and carrying a machine gun?) and coming seeking revenge.

  8. “It’s very bad manners among squirrels to watch anyone going to his store or look as if you wanted to know where it was.” -Trumpkin, Prince Caspian.

  9. 3 things to do with half a map of Texas.

    1. Use it as a map. Tell everyone that this is the only part of Texas that exists and that the rest of Texas is fictional. Refuse to go off the borders of the map because it’s not safe to step into unreality like that.

    2. Turn it into origami. Google image search “maps origami” and you’ll see some cool stuff! This would be my favored option.

    3, [with a disclaimer, please read before objecting]. Feed it to a goat. Goats are often quite interested in eating paper and then you will be able to say: “Crikey! That goat just ate half of Texas!” without lying.

    Disclaimer: Eating paper is not good for goats as, although it is cellulose based and goats are OK with that, it contains lots of nasty chemicals and no nutritional value. Sparrowgrass does not support feeding animals things that are bad for them. This is a concept offered for comic effect, not a serious suggestion. GotC is not responsible for this reply and I daresay she does not endorse cruelty to goats either. So please do not act on this and do not feed half of Texas to your goat or anyone else’s.

  10. Flea markets and antique stores are some of the most frequented destinations for Mrs. Paladin and I when we hit the road on the weekends. Ebay has put a pretty big dent in the actual physical places to go and find “junk”, but there are still some great ones around if you know where to look. We try to hit someplace where there’s old stuff at least 2 or 3 times a month.

    1. That’s genius :)

    2. I’ve noticed the same thing. What really knocks the wind out of you is when you find a toy that you remember buying for your own child labeled as vintage or antique…. I’m so old even my KID’S toys are antiques :)

    3. Jacob Marley squirrels are way scary, but that M60 armed tactical squirrel in the picture you posted is freakin’ awesome :)

    • I know! If they had a stuffed squirrel packing an M60 at the shop I was at, I would have bought that sucker in a heartbeat. As it was, the stuffed squirrels they had just looked so sad and defeated.

  11. So sad! Squirrels are intelligent creatures (and a pretty good shot themselves as my previous blog rant proves). Having said that, I really need to visit this place when I’m next in Austin – early next year I’m hoping, but I haven’t broached this with my Austin buddies.

    I really, really like Lucy in disguise with diamonds, what an awesome shop. But we always go on first Thursday (is that right) and I’m never allowed in as we are always rushing. I shall address this issue on my next visit.

    I have a draught blog about Barton Springs which never got finished. Must do that! I love Austin.

  12. I’m always fascinated by some of the items I see in antique stores and flea markets. Like, why would someone have made that and why would someone else buy it? I have to admit, though, that I am morbidly fascinated with the squirrel and I will have to delete this post right now before it gets completely into my head and refuses to leave.

  13. Right on! Yes, and you can find the best gag gifts at those places too. I seriously never know if someone is trying to have me on or not when I look for something at an antique mall. Just not in the “know” enough to understand if it’s truly a treasure or not.

    • I know! Sometimes I think something looks ridiculous and then it sells for thousands of dollars. So, I could be totally wrong about the stuffed squirrels in chains- they might be worth millions!

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