Monday, November 16, 2009


Yesterday I inadvertently figured out how to embarrass my dad. For those who know him, this feat is a marvel and all the more amusing because it was accomplished on his turf. While exploring our local massive outdoor flea market searching for unique finds among the garbage/hispanic novelty items/imported knock-offs/old stuff, I found a few intriguing items. Most sellers had piles of stuff all over their tables, in boxes, and scattered on the ground that buyers could dig through (kind of like a dirty treasure hunt). In the bottom of one of the boxes I spotted what looked like an upside down white enameled metal bowl of some sort - I pulled out one of these:

I struck gold again at the same booth just a few minutes later with what looked like a pretty white flower pot. This time however I had a tiny little voice in the back of my mind saying "Girl, you know what that thing really is," while another voice responded "Yes, but wouldn't it look nice filled with flowers or potpourri!" The aforementioned paternal mortification resulted from my rather loud query of "Can anyone tell me what exactly this is?" It was at this point that all of the old men around me stopped and stared. Let me give you a clearer picture of this scenario: I (a 20-something respectably dressed young lady) am standing behind an old diesel truck that has disgorged it diverse contents (likely accumulated from several estate sales) onto tables and the ground around me. The display is manned by four
slightly smelly dirty old men, all of whom are wearing at least one item of camouflage clothing. I am asking this innocent-sounding question while pointing at one of these:

The loud silence combined with a nervous chuckle and "Aww man, y'all gonna make me answer that?" from the gentleman standing next to me, confirmed my worst suspician. "Oooh, so that is a chamber pot then! I though so, but just wanted to be sure......I need to go wash my hands now" said I. The best part comes however when we had walked away and my dad says something like "I can't believe you actually asked that!!!" I would like to say that he was not entirely thrilled by how amusing I found his feelings to be.

However, the story does not end there. In an impressive attempt, I managed to go 3-for-3. At another booth I spotted what looked like a melted old milk bottle, and again asked what it was. This time the seller didn't even bother to answer - the ancient old man just gave me a look while my dad covers his face and walks away, exclaiming "UGH, Jamie, not again!!" Unfortunately this time it took me a little while to catch on, although I'm still not sure why a urinal really needs to have ounce measurements marked on the side:

think the entire situation was hilarious, HE thinks I should have been embarrassed right along with him. Nope, not going to happen, I refuse to be embarrassed for asking silly questions - I like being able to laugh at myself, it keeps things not-so-serious in Jamie-land. And besides, they were cool looking, maybe I should go back and buy them. Wouldn't it be a great conversation starter at my next dinner party to have a urinal, chamber pot, and bed pan displayed on a shelf together? Just imagine:

Guest: "Oh my, Jamie you have quite the collection."
Me: "Yes, I know, you wouldn't believe how difficult it was to track down these family heirlooms. The fact that my great-great grandparents spent so much time with these personal items makes them infinitely more special for us. Would you like to hold one?"

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