Conventional wisdom about writing is conventionally wrong.
You put water and wheat-powder stuff inside, push a button to use the Force, then POOF, out comes bread.
Sort of like this:
This breadmaker is in a nice, white box with all kinds of buttons.
Not included: Destroyed AT-AT shelter.
Asking price: Five bucks or one-quarter portion.
It’s cedar, medium-sized and fancy, while our Hound of the Baskervilles is black, large and not fancy at all.
If you don’t have a destroyed AT-AT handy as a shelter, this will do nicely, as long as you’re under 5’3″.
Once I finished building it, our dog sniffed at the treats inside, drank from the water bowl and ran off to chew on sticks and chase rabbits. He never entered it again.
Later, he explained to me that the whole point of being outside is to be outside, rain or sun, and that being rained on is good for you sometimes. It makes you appreciate the sunshine. He also said that kibbles are for cats and that when we’re gone, he sits on every chair in the house, not because he doesn’t know it’s wrong, but because rebellion is good for the soul.
Not included: Dog.
Asking price: An old Jiffy Peanut Butter jar of full of pennies, nickels and a couple of quarters.
FOUR REPORTER NOTEBOOKS STOLEN FROM THE NEWSROOM
I worked at a dying newspaper before working at dying newspapers was cool.
When the death spiral got fast and tight, they started rationing rolls of film, pens and reporter notebooks.
Yeah, they rationed notebooks. If you run out of paper while covering a story, hey, write on your forearm. It’s blank.
The second the supply cabinet got restocked, starving reporters rioted to grab all the film, pens and notebooks.
I still have enough reporter notebooks to roof a ranch-style house. They’re just the right size to put in your jacket pocket. Love ’em.
Not included: Stories for dying newspapers or rolls of film. Sorry. Threw the film out. Nobody even develops film anymore.
Asking price: A moleskin notebook that’s too nice for you to actually use, so you keep on writing on the back of envelopes to save the moleskin for the deepest of deep thoughts.
TWO SANSA MP3 PLAYERS
These are miniature technological wonders, tiny black boxes perfect for playing your favorite songs stolen from the interwebs, now that the only albums people buy are ones made of vintage vinyl and hoarded by bearded hipsters.
If you are not a bearded hipster, load these things up with your favorite songs for when you put on shorts and run around the neighborhood despite having two Hondas and a bicycle you never ride.
If you lose a player, who cares, because you have a spare with the SAME SONGS.
Actually included: Random music. Charge these up and yeah, there’s music on them. I have no idea whether this was during my Lenny Kravitz phase or not. Could be a bunch of Toad the Wet Sprocket.
Asking price: Two random CD’s you’ll never use again. I’m making a shiny roof for a bat house.
ONE RANDOM BOX FROM MY GARAGE
I’ve lived in NY, WA, Germany, the Netherlands, the Hinterlands, NY again, Spokaloo, Bellingham, Tacoma and now Monte—and every time I packed up to move, most things went into boxes that got transferred from one garage to another without anybody opening them. I paid attention during Greek Lit about that whole Pandora thing. You do NOT open boxes.
Whenever the garage door closes, these boxes put on Barry White songs and start multiplying.
Not included: A single clue as to what’s in the box.
Asking price: A random box from your garage, or enough C4 to atomize at least 45 boxes of stuff I’ll never look at again.
Five years ago, this was hot stuff. Small. Digital. Stick it in your pocket while you travel the world.
This is still the perfect camera for somebody learning to shoot or a starving college kid who realizes that even the smartest smart phone can’t zoom worth a damn.
Not included: Photos. You have to shoot them. Turn the dial to a setting you pretend to understand, frame the shot and push the button.
Asking price: Drive by with your windows down and I’ll happily Russel Wilson this thing into the soft cushions of your back seat.
Reformed journalist. Scribbler of speeches and whatnot. Represented by Jill Marr of the Sandra Dijkstra Literary Agency.