We've been in negotiation for the last few days with a woman selling an antique wood burning stove on Craiglist. It's been absurdly difficult; at one point Lori had to use me as a surrogate because the negotiations fell through. Geneva Accords? Feh! Nothing! Those pussies should try bargaining with an antique seller via e-mail.
However, last night, in my firmest mommy font, I put my foot down. It's now or never, Woodstove Lady. Put up or shut up.
She crumbled like the streusel on yesterday's apple pie.
So this morning we got up at the crack of 8 o'clock and headed for Barnhart, MO with out little truck to pick this up:
It's in decent shape...needs a few repairs, but overall sound. It's got pretty green and cream enamel and six burners, a wood box and a couple of warmers up top. It's exactly what we wanted. In fact, Lori saw it's twin in an antique shop a few years ago, and we've been visiting it ever since.
So we hit the road, me driving and Lori in charge of the radio and sorting the two weeks accumulation of junk mail that always collects on the seat next to me. I stop at the mailbox every day on my way to work, and I'm pretty good about taking the real mail in when I get home, but I tend to leave the sale fliers and credit card ads in the truck.
Lori was reading the Bed, Bath & Beyond flier, which was loaded with expensive, useless crap. I mean loaded. They had a battery powered soap dispenser, an automatic towel warmer, a cool and warm wind blower for your feet, and an automatic device to press your pants on the hanger...like a pants clamp, sort of.
We got into a conversation about what kinds of people would actually buy this stuff. Could you imagine walking into someone's house and seeing their heated foot blower, pants flattener, and electronic hands-free soap dispenser in use? No. That's the kind of crap people give to their Dads when they still haven't got a gift and it's Christmas Eve at 8 p.m. We don't own any of that kind of stuff. In fact, any of that stuff that we used to own broke long ago and has joined their crap-gift sistren and brethren in the rapidly overfilling county landfill. Now we pretty much own stuff we use.
So we drove up to Barnhart, looked at the stove and listened to the nice man lie about it for a little while. He was having trouble with the lying though, since he was being pestered from the moment we pulled into the driveway by Meghan, a small child who was the spiritual twin of our eponymous Hunter (Don't Take Your Guns To Town, Hunter). Rather than the pleading requests for "a few minutes to talk to the people, Honey," Meghan really needed to be dragged out to the yard by the elbow and threatened with a horrible death unless she shut the hell up right now and let Daddy finish selling the stove so they could eat next week.
We finished up our business over the background noise of Meghan's ceaseless demands, decided that we could fix the defects in the stove, and handed the nice man $300. He helped us take it apart and load it in the truck, made a perfunctory effort to sell us more crap, and we headed for home.
But you know us...home is not a linear process. We decided to take old Route 61 instead of I-55 and go through some of those old town with antique shops. We stopped in St. Mary's, MO at their big antique store, found some accessories for the stove, and discovered the secret truth about commerce: nothing is ever new.
The antique store carried a variety of cast iron pants flatteners (and some plug-in varieties) as well as several wood-powered foot warmers and a manual soap dispenser in an easy to use bar form. Handy!
We left there and continued down Rte. 61 through some of the brilliantly named small towns of South East Missouri: Lithium, Herculeneum, Festus, and Whispering Hills. We figured Lithium is where you go when the Hills start whispering about you specifically.
When we drive, we talk. A lot. About anything, no matter how stupid. So with that in mind, we drove into Jackson and admired it's large stately courthouse, marred only by it's green copper dome. Lori said, no...that was fine, it was just it's patina.
We decided that Patina would make a fine name, as would Levitra, Januvia, and Boniva. We actually knew a poor kid who's mother had named him Courvoisier. She should be shot.
By the time we got home, we'd driven 230 miles and peed in some of the finer gas stations in Southeast MO. This was our route:
We can drive 200 miles without leaving the county (we hit every little gravel road and roadside marker and highway fatality shrine in a 30
mile radius. Who knew there was such entertainment riches in our little county??), So the distance was nothing. But this time we actually left the state, and turned a 4 hour errand into a 9 hour social critique. That's a good day!