Saturday, April 16, 2022

A 'potato digger' and comedy: A day at military collectors show

"Potato Digger" machine gun, just like grandpa used in the garden.
Jefferson Davis inkwell ($3,000)

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So I’m at the Tennessee Military Collectors Association show in Franklin, Tenn., looking for Civil War artillery shells, firearms, bullets, and other stuff Mrs. B is really interested in. Then I spot a beauty, a World War I Browning machine gun. The dealer says it’s called a “Potato Digger” and can shoot 30 aught-six rounds that will put a hole about the size of your fist through a target. The weapon is still fireable, but it's probably not a good thing to try at your home.

Ancient scuba helmet: $450
Now Mrs. B surely could use a “Potato Digger” for our kitchen. So I figure maybe that’s my “in” for purchasing the thing. I mean, she loves cooking and gardening. So I text her: “Can I buy a machine gun?” Obviously, that’s a strategic error. I should have texted: “Can I buy a potato digger?” It takes awhile for her to reply, which is deflating. The only negative is the price of the beast: $25,000.

Mrs. B's tardy response is remarkable for its brevity: "No."

So I lower my sights, so to speak, and inquire (gracefully) about purchasing a real inkwell stolen by a Yankee soldier from the residence of Confederate president Jefferson Davis in Richmond. It’s only $3K. Mrs. B’s texted response after I text a photo and explain the historical significance of the inkwell is… well… kinda graceless:


Despondent, I walk the floor in a zombie-like state, looking for something she might OK. Then the morning becomes a blur of pineapple hand grenades; an Englishman showing me cufflinks with a specks of gold inside and a "Gentleman's Magazine" from 1775; a 100 percent original Japanese WWII winter pilot helmet with rabbit fur lining ($625); Nazi flags and faux “potato masher” stick grenades turned into beer keg taps (only 125 bucks apiece); an ancient scuba diving helmet ($450); a woman feeding her kid in a surprising way; a teen saying, “We need to bust a move”; a 20-something telling some geezer, “I get most of my news from Newsmax”; and overhearing some high-testosterone guy in weird glasses saying, “I don’t ever want to get married, I have a condo in Barcelona.” 

This place is comedy gold.

Sure, this will stop me.
Then I see a note on a binder cover that reads, “WARNING! If you are offended by female nudity, DO NOT open this binder.”

I'm stopped in my tracks.

And then I see “it.” No, not nudies. It’s my real quarry, a cancelled check from Charles Bronson, the macho actor from the 1970s. It’s among a stack of cancelled checks from such notables as Telly Savalas, Sandra Dee and Tony Danza. Dude wants 35 bucks for the Bronson check. It's a popular seller, he says. But I don’t have the courage to run this past Mrs. B.

I probably need to go.

By the way, those hand grenades are probably gonna look great on somebody's fireplace mantle, especially if they're deactivated.

Let’s keep history alive. 👊

An early "Gentlemen's Magazine," long before Playboy.
Checks of the stars.
Someone's going to put these on their fireplace mantle and bad things will happen.
German World War I medals.
Faux Nazi stick grenades turned into beer keg taps. Yours for only $125 apiece.
Toy tankers. Keep them away from the pineapple grenade above.
WWII Japansese pilot helmet. Doesn't look safe.

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1 comment:

  1. G'Day John,

    That Japanese WW2 "pilot's helmet" suspiciously looks like a recycled Yank pig skin football with a bit of sheep skin added for warmth. Hummmmmmm... :)