Hot Goods

One fine Friday afternoon, walking to my daughter’s soccer game, my friends pulled me into their woodworking shop and asked me to take… a sign from an old telephone booth.

Really?  I mean, really?

Your girls will love it, they insisted. I asked, since they were giving away things, could I take a quart of motor oil instead. They said I could have their parrot, and if I really didn’t want the parrot, how did I feel about kittens?

So I took the sign, carrying what was doubtlessly stolen goods from intercity Boston decades ago, and went back to the high school.

My daughter said, You’re kidding me? Her friend remarked it wasn’t particularly attractive. These comments made me point out that, years ago, this stuff was well-made, and the sign was darn heavy. As an additional plus, it doesn’t talk back to me, unlike a parrot.

….a huge percentage of the stuff that I tend to be automatically certain of is, it turns out, totally wrong and deluded. I have learned this the hard way….

– David Foster Wallace

(I don’t make up all this stuff.)


By Brett Ann Stanciu

Brett Ann Stanciu lives with her two daughters in Hardwick, Vermont. Her creative nonfiction book, Unstitched: My Journey to Understand Opioid Addiction and How People and Communities Can Heal, will be published by Steerforth Press in September 2021. Her novel about rural life in Vermont, Hidden View, was published in 2015.

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