Trunks & Leather
Old Trunks, New Leather.
All from Maine.
December 21, 2011
I don’t know how
these years get away from us so quickly’ here we are, less than two weeks
left in 2011, and I still feel like January 1st was only about two or three
weeks ago. Time flies’ apparently that old saying was penned by
someone right around my age, which is about 8 in dog years. I guess
I should start by re-introducing myself, as it’s been quite a while since
this organization last released a newsletter. Hello, my name is Churchill
Barton, I tape boxes shut for a company called BrettunsVillage.Com up here
in Maine, and I wear long underwear from November to March (not the same
set the whole time). Here at BV I have several duties, and one of
them is sort of loosely defined as’coming up with drivel to broadcast
on a semi-regular basis.’ I’ve been running at about a D minus this
year, but have my excuses all lined up, like out-of-state cars at the toll
plaza on the Maine Turnpike on 4th of July weekend. My biggest and
best excuse is the growth of our vast empire’ it’s been a great year,
thanks to you customers, and we greatly appreciate your continued support.
I mean it. Busy? I guess so. 2011 has been a year of
continuous growth for us, and we’ve broken every sales record we had in
the past and drove right through the goals we set for 2011 like green corn
through the new school teacher. Let me give that one a second to
Merry Christmas! Hope
you’ve had time to get your shopping done and that you’ve taken time to
read each and every word of all those e-mails you’ve been getting from
every company you ever purchased anything from online, including the ones
yesterday and today reminding you that’there’s still time for gift certificates!’
and I don’t know about you but I can’t read the word’Delete’ on my keyboard
anymore as I’ve worn it clean off. The holidays are upon us, time
is running out, and pretty soon we’ll all be taking a nap on Christmas
afternoon. You’ll have some Scotch tape stuck to your fingers, and
a ribbon stuck to the bottom of your dooryard slippers, and a pile of interesting
gifts like shirts that may or may not fit, depending on how the turkey
gravy turns out this year, ties that were engineered to not match any garment
ever made in the history of this or any other planet, and one of those
calendars that gives you 365 bits of wisdom, quotes, recipes, definitions,
or wit, even though your favorite thing about it is that when you tear
a day off the darned thing you can turn it over and it makes pretty decent
note paper. Congratulations.
Our eldest is home from college
as of last night’ Becca zipped home on a direct flight from DC to Portland,
and it’s just incredible to have her home. My Mom flew in yesterday
too, all the way from FL, and she mentioned something about it being a
bit cooler here then there I think. Throw in the two dogs (That Dog
and This Dog) and the house is buzzing now, though it reminds me that a
year from now we’ll have two of them jetting home for Christmas break,
as our youngest, Hayley, is in the midst of applying to schools now (accepted
at 3 of 3 so far’ you go, Hayster!). We’re planning an all-out attack
on the Freeport shopping scene for tomorrow night’ always a lot of fun.
Sure, it’s usually about ten degrees and this is sidewalk shopping’ not
a mall’ so it usually leaves the face feeling a bit taut, but the village
is always decorated nicely, and there’s a whopper of a Christmas tree in
the square, so it makes for a nice holiday evening. I can’t wait.
I’ve got some last minute shopping to do too, but LL Bean will be open
24 hours, no problem at all, in case my list includes a flannel backpack
warmer or snowshoe storage rack with matching lawn chairs. We’ll
have fun in Freeport’ wave if you see us; we’ll wave back.
Nobody’s asked me yet, and
I want you to know I’ve been waiting for it’ listening intently, but it
just flat hasn’t happened. Nobody’s asked me what I want for Christmas
this year. I’ve been working on the list, but, if you’ve been unfortunate
enough to have been a BV newsletter subscriber for a while you know about
my list. I can’t make a list of what I want for Christmas’ the only
thing that ever comes to mind is an Oreo cookie, and my in-laws always
take care of me there. Instead, I can think of things that I know
I sure as shootin don’t want. It’s my Annual’Things I Don’t Want
for Christmas’ list. Haven’t heard of it? You’re about to.
Things I Don’t Want for Christmas,
I have a cell phone.
Want the number? Sorry, I don’t give it out. I figured out
a long time ago that if you give out your cell phone number some people
will actually call. Drives me nuts, and interrupts the flow of order
processing here at HQ. A friend of mine gives out his cell phone
number to everyone he knows, and I think his phone even has a way of embedding
its number into your phone if you just get within range or something like
that. He’s always looking at that thing, moving his thumbs around,
twiddling with this or that. ‘What are you doing?’ I asked the other
day. ‘Updating my Facebook status,’ he says, plain and simple.
‘To what?’ I asked. ‘Going to Starbucks,’ he said. Great’
I’m sure the entire free world is glad to know that you’re ditching work
to go to get a cup of Joe. Through your cell phone? I’m so
old I can remember when cell phones were for making and/or receiving phone
calls. That’s still all I ask of my phone. I don’t need it
to be able to sit in a cradle and pretend it’s a GPS unit (see last year’s
list and the year before if you’d like my opinion on GPS units), nor do
I need it to have common constellations on it, nor maritime law summaries
nor fashion tips for those who prefer loafers over lace up shoes, and I
sure don’t need it to update my Facebook status to something so life-threateningly
crucial as’I’m going for coffee.’ That’s just me. Don’t get
me one of these for Christmas.
When’s the next presidential
election? Come on, quick. Next November? The year after
that? You don’t know, do you? Not 100% sure, am I right?
That’s because the political ads started about ten minutes after the last
election. Not that you were going to give me a political ad for Christmas
anyway, but I’ve had it with these things’ grant me a little literary
leeway here. I don’t watch much TV’ no time for it really, so I
try to be very selective about what I watch. When I finally decide
that there’s an important program on the tube, and it’s worth my time to
sit down and watch it, I’ll be darned if I want to see political ads on
there while the Red Sox are making a pitching change. Knock it off.
I think political ads should only be allowed for two weeks before the election.
Unless the World Series falls during that time frame, in which case political
ads should be cut out altogether.
On account of this rather
rural lifestyle we enjoy here in Maine (which is how we put a positive
spin on the fact that not many people live up here anymore) your basic
television reception can be a bit spotty. If you don’t mind shoveling
snow off the roof so you can clamber up there and turn the antenna toward
Bangor for CBS, Portland for ABC, Lewiston for NBC, and I guess straight
up for Fox because you’ll need help from Up Above to get that one to come
in, then rural television viewing is a snap. It’s taken a few decades
but now they’ve run cable along many of our rural roadways, giving many
of us the chance to finally sign up for cable. So we did. Three
days later they announced an improvement, more channels, just a little
more money each month. Then the phone service – add that one.
More channels, and pay-per-view, and 22 versions of Showtime, and HBO Gone
Wild, Spring Break Addition, and there I was the other evening, looking
at the channel guide, and there was a channel number that was higher than
1000. I kid you not. I found over 20 channels of nothing but
hockey games. Three hunting channels (‘We’re here today in rural
Ohio hunting with Bob Trousergas and’ whoa’ there’s a 28 point buck right
there’ bang’ well folks thanks for tuning in’) and enough already. Please
don’t give me any more cable upgrades for Christmas. I may refuse
to accept them, right after I go through them, one channel at a time, from
start to finish. Just to see what’s on.
I don’t need an iPad or an
iPhone. You lost me at iTunes and the weird way that even after I
bought the three songs I liked on the entire planet I couldn’t play them
on anything other than something from the company store. Steve Jobs,
rest in peace, and I respect your sheer genius, but like Roy Rogers said
better than anybody’Don’t fence (my music) in’ which is available for
only $1.00 plus tax and did anyone notice that last year it was 99 cents?
No thanks. Free my music. Dude.
High Definition TV’ what’s
the point? I don’t need to see the eyelashes on the pitcher or the
catcher. My eyes are bad anyway, so let’s just let this one go.
Sorry, Santa. Return to sender. Three years in a row’ this
one may never get off this list.
By the way, and this will
be a brief intermission right here, a few words from our sponsor.
We’re selling some very nice bison hides that were intended for use as
upholstery. One of our favorite tanneries has started this as a new
product line and the hides are awesome. We’ve got three colors at
the moment, and the hides are very soft, and even when they just sit there
on the shelf they scream’Go West, Young Citizen’ and it’s really getting
annoying. They’re selling very well for us as our customers have
been grabbing them for garments, couches/chairs, and even wall coverings.
These are hides from USA bison, and many of them are branded CNN.
You’ll figure it out.
The Deal of the Week has
been nuts lately, and thanks to those of you who zero your sights on that
sale every Wednesday morning. It’s really helping us to make some
room in the warehouse, which we just fill right back up again with bison
or cow or goat or sheep or elk leather. Like us on Facebook and you’ll
get a friendly reminder each Wednesday morning to check out the DOTW.
This is just the sort of excitement you need in the middle of the week.
A rare, oak slat trunk is
listed on our’Trunks For Sale’ page. Ten years ago these trunks
sold for $3000 a piece. With the global economic U-turn ours isn’t
even half that amount. It’s a nice looking trunk, and if you don’t
mind shelling out most of your 401K to UPS we can still ship it overnight
and have it under your tree for Christmas.
We now return you to your
regularly scheduled painful reading experience.
McRib. It’s not ribs,
it never was ribs, and it’ll never be ribs. Thanks just the same.
While we’re at it, I don’t believe I have any use for all those’food-like
products’ that seem to fill the grocery store shelves. You can fill
your cart in there without ever getting any real food. Read the label
‘ if it’s got more than four ingredients then put it back and move along.
None of us need that garbage and certainly none of us should eat it.
Except BBQ Fritos, which are approved by NASA for space missions and have
been shown in lab tests to be part of a balanced diet. I love those
things. The rest of it though’ don’t need it. Stick to the
produce section and the meat counter.
Next time you’re trying
to wake up and find yourself staring into a bowl of Cap’n Crunch just take
a good look at it and ask yourself how we got from crops, hoof, and claw
to this. Ribs my eye.
I like Christmas music.
Like you, I’ve got my favorites, most of which are a few years old.
I like Andy Williams and Der Bingle and Dean-o. I’m having a little
trouble convincing myself that Lady Gaga’s’Hey Santa Gimme a New Tattoo’
or Snoop’s’I’ll Bust a Cap in Your $*! Elf Boy’ have what it takes to
become a timeless classic. Can’t we just leave well enough alone
here? Last Friday evening I heard just the very beginning of some
guy calling himself Bruno Pluto or something like that singing’Chicks
Want Sensitive Gang Members for Christmas’ and I’m telling you plain flat
out that I almost drove what’s left of the Corporate Dodge Limo/Truck into
Taylor Brook. While I was gathering my wits in that inky darkness
of a cold Maine night I changed stations to the other one we have up here
and was treated to’Give me Gold, Claus Man, or Die Trying’ by some guy
who decided to name himself after pocket change. I think. Go
watch’Holiday Inn’ and listen to the music. It’s pretty good.
I don’t need any new Christmas CDs from anyone wearing big gold chains
or with metallic objects sprouting out of their kisser. No sirree
Flashing Christmas lights.
To each thine own, but you can keep your flashing Christmas lights in thine,
not where I can see them. I think the frequency of the flashing does
something to my brain’ I know it takes over my thoughts completely and
makes me want to… well, the neighborhood will never be the same and the
screams would be heard all the way to Calais (rhymes with palace, Mr. Outta-Stater).
Pick a nice color’ we can all see them just fine. They don’t need
Just now I heard on the radio
(station #1) that the roads are icy and a lot of cars are off the road.
A good night to be a tow truck driver I guess. We have a lot of folks
in Maine who spend their free time walking in our state’s roadside ditches.
They find fiddleheads in the Spring, and Maine Roadway Nickels throughout
the year. Here’s how it works: When you buy a six pack of your
favorite Friday night paycheck celebration brew you pay 30 cents extra
for it than you would if you were, say, right next door in New Hamster.
Maine charges an extra 5 cents per can, but when you go to the redemption
center you get your cans/bottles/jugs/flasks counted and they give you
all those nickels back. Apparently a lot of my fellow Mainers speed
along our roadways on their way to very important meetings with very influential
people, and the last thing they need is for Mr. or Ms. Bigshot to ratchet
into the vehicle only to find beer cans rolling around the floor boards,
so, being a very business minded populace, Mainers heave their cans out
the window. If you’re running short of cash you just go wander the
roadside and pick up Maine Roadway Nickels. It’s easy work, and you
might find some old tire weights that can be used as fishing sinkers if
you ever get invited back on your cousin’s boat again after the incident
with the flare gun. Maybe. Anyway, from the sounds of the weather
our roadside money pickers may get lucky tomorrow morning and find themselves
a fancy European sports car in the ditch, right next to the Allen’s Coffee
Brandy bottle (known as LPR in Maine and don’t think for a minute I’m going
to tell you what it stands for if you don’t already know). I guess
this topic doesn’t have anything to do with what I do or don’t want for
Christmas; I guess I just hope we all make it home safe this evening.
I just went out to check the parking lot with This Dog (Indie, almost a
year old now) and we both did some pretty fancy gyrations trying to stay
up on our own two/four feet.
Pitch black at 4:10 pm today,
with this ice on the ground and rain falling, but there’s good news here.
Check the date’ its December 21st. Tomorrow is the first day of
summer. Sort of. The days start getting longer again’ we’ll
be gaining a minute or three of daylight each day from here until June
21st. Sure, we’ve got three months of winter to get through,
and then the muddy, black fly-infested phase that we call Spring.
Take heart, loyal newsletter victims’ things are looking up.
I wish each of you a very
Merry Christmas, and as always, I wish you a few moments of peace and quiet
so that you have time to do something that you want to do’ something that
you just flat haven’t had time for all year long, whatever it may be.
For me it’ll be flying my radio control helicopter. Don’t ask.
My annual sip of some distilled beverage, and some time with my gals’
All six of them (Amanda, our two daughters, my Mom, and Those Dogs).
I’m looking forward to these simple things. Don’t get me a sweater