July 29, 2022

KITTEN COLLECTIBLES #4: Taxi Service Treasures

A Treasure Hunt by D.M. ANDERSONđź’€

In addition to watching and writing about films, I’ve become something of a memorabilia collector in recent years. Cursed with a teacher’s salary, I ain’t out there bidding on Dorothy’s ruby slippers or anything, but certainly enjoy haunting local antique stores for a variety of movie-related stuff. Or when feeling particularly bold, I’ll occasionally overpay for some retro relic on eBay.

More often than not, I leave antique stores empty-handed. But every now and then, I’ll find a small treasure that doesn’t completely empty my wallet and give it a new home in the Dave Cave.

There are some nearby stores that I visit pretty often, mostly the ones on my side of town, so a lot of it is same old, same old. However, circumstances recently allowed me to check out a few new places and I came away with some pretty cool stuff…

TGSW Antiques & Collectibles
One weekend, I was appointed taxi driver for my wife’s annual lunch get-together with a couple of her old high school friends. They were meeting in Lake Oswego, one of the more hoity-toity Portland suburbs and a logistical nightmare to drive through…I’m pretty certain the city planners were high as fuck when they mapped out this labyrinth of one-way streets and bike paths, none of which appear to intersect at right angles. Anyway, among the galleries and boutiques was the French cafe where they planned to meet. 

Fortunately, my wife did not expect me to join them. Whether that’s because she was worried I’d embarrass her by creating uncomfortable silences (of which I’m a Jedi) or knows I’ve never liked most of her old friends doesn’t matter. What does matter is there was a nearby antique mall that I’d never visited, TGSW Antiques & Collectibles…if I could find the fucking thing (even Google Maps refused to give me a straight answer).

Cheaper by the half-dozen.
TGSW turned out to be a pretty cool place with a surprising amount of booths related to pop culture, including a few dedicated to movie collectibles. One in particular had a bunch of character figures, most of which were priced with a hopeless sense of optimism (as much as I love Reservoir Dogs, I can’t really see paying a C-note for an unboxed Mr. Orange action figure). However, I did grab a carton of Alien facehuggers & eggs. Since the wife was currently shelling-out $27 for a plate of eggs benedict, surely I could justify 32 bucks for these babies (even without hollandaise sauce). Both of my maladjusted daughters thought they were cute.

Another booth was dedicated to all things Star Trek. I normally don’t collect much Trek stuff because…I dunno, there’s something about it that seems almost too nerdy. A ridiculous statement coming from a guy who’s turned his entire family room into a movie museum, but perhaps the stigma dates back to the days of Trekkie conventions, which were attended exclusively by nerds & geeks long before being one became cool. I even remember making fun of Tony, an acquaintance who came back from a convention boasting the plastic phaser replica that set him back twenty bucks, as well as another $15 for a fucking Tribble (which looked like it was made of material from some old lady's fake fur coat). 

My neighbors better watch out.
“But look!” he said, pulling the phaser’s trigger, which made the same sound effect from the show and movie. That whole day at school, he kept shooting anyone who paid attention to him, including our Social Studies teacher, who finally got sick of being vaporized and confiscated it for the rest of the day. I thought Tony was gonna start crying. What a dork.

But here I was, decades later, paying for what looked like the same gun. Hell, maybe it was even Tony’s old toy, finally parting with it once he figured he’d never lose his virginity if he kept vaporizing potential dates. It only set me back $12, and lo & behold, it still worked! So guess who commenced vaporizing other drivers on the way back to pick up his wife? I also vaporized my kids several times when I got home. My oldest called me a nerd, but she was obviously jealous. Being sort of a nerd herself, my wife and I took turns vaporizing each other. 

And before finding a place for it in my display case, I vaporized my cat, Stinky, who did not appreciate being startled off the sofa. Oh well…she’ll get over it.

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