Book Club Thursday! “Found II!”
HEY, it’s been ages since we had a meeting of the Ted Parsnips Book Club! First there were the holidays, and then Johanna and Seth broke up, and, well, we had the house fumigated the first week of January for carpet bugs, and then the Turkelsons went on vacation, and then Tina and I broke up, and then Johanna and I got together, and then we were going to have a meeting the first Thursday of February, but we all agreed it would be “weird,” and then I realized what a controlling witch Johanna is and understood why Seth and her broke up, so then Seth and I got together for a couple of weeks, but then he needed “space,” and then Tina realized her name was on the mortgage and moved back in here (whatever), and then Seth and Johanna got back together for the sake of Yung Soo who was having trouble in school, and then last week the State Department finally flew back the Turkelsons’ remains from Costa Rica and we all got together at the memorial and one of us said, “Hey, why don’t we start up that book club thing again?” so here we are.
This week’s selection is “Found II“, compiled by Davy Rothbart. And it cost only 50¢ at the used bookstore just inside the lobby of the library across the street from Rite Aid. There was only one copy and this was it, so looks like the rest of you had to get your copies in other used book stores in other libraries. Hope that worked out for you, because if you don’t have a copy of “Found II,” you can’t participate in this week’s discussion, and you’ll take a zero for this assignment.
You know “Found” – it’s that wonderful magazine dedicated to discarded notes, letters, flyers, photos, lists, and drawings found and sent in by readers.
This book, a compilation of stuff from the magazine has a bunch of those finds, and it’s a delight to leaf through. An absolute delight!
However, I will not, nay, I cannot recommend it because I’ve sent in a few things to “Found” over the years and I’ve never heard back from them, and frankly, this irritates me.
You’re going to use my submissions, you’re not going to use them, whatever – just drop me an email one way or the other. I mean, how many submissions could they possibly be getting each day? Three? Four? Oh, sure, I get the self-serving “Buy Our Latest Issue” emails they send out every few months, but never “Hey, Ted, we got that cocktail napkin with the schmutz on it that you sent in – thanks! Look for it in Issue #8!”
Anyway, I find Found-quality stuff all the time. All-the-freaking-time. Hell, you know, me, I’m always picking up trash in the street – how do you think I met Tina? But the fact is, Davy Rothbart and his merry band of Foundsters aren’t getting any more of my treasures – no how, no way. And believe me, brother, ho-ho, believe you me, they’d kill for this stuff! This is high quality crap that I’ve found, you know, in the, eh, gutter.
And just so they might see what they’re missing, just so they know how mistreating me has its consequences, sure, I’ve compiled just one week’s worth of finds below!
Look at all that great stuff! Look at all that great stuff I found! “What is it all?” I’m glad you asked! I’ve arranged to have our art department draw up a key to the above.
Yeah, that’s entirely necessary and not confusing at all, in this vertical format.
1. Thin, galvanized steel sign that reads “NO PEDDLERS OR AGENTS” that looks to be from around the 1950s. Found! On the ground by my car near Wienerschnitzel in Simi Valley! Fascinating!
2. Business card belonging to Eugene Sinai, salesman for Knudsen Dairy Products! Features a phone number with an exchange (RIchmond 7-6471). Found! In a little book from the 1940s about milk production! That I bought in a thrift store! In Simi Valley!
3. Drink ticket! Good for 1 drink! I presume this is good anywhere! (Doesn’t say otherwise!) Found! In a parking lot outside Jack in the Box!
4. Condom with a googly eye somehow stuck to the end! Smells vaguely of cheap nacho cheese sauce! Found! In the bushes outside the post office!
5. Xeroxed page about “Cults, Ritualistic Abuse and Satanism,” and I quote, “The time has come to take this compulsive and total immersion in music seriously. It is time for adults to learn what the funny clothing, the blaring music, and the weird hairdos mean.” Found! On the sidewalk when I was running!
6. Coupon for 10¢ off Post Raisin Bran from 1979! Found! In a pile of papers on my desk!
7. Envelope postmarked 1959 from defunct Southern California supermarket upon the back of which someone has written a recipe that seems to be for some sort of pie! Found! In a cookbook in thrift store in Reseda that I didn’t buy, but I pocketed the envelope! Oh, spare me your lectures on morality! It’s a worthless goddamn envelope!
8. Sheet of “Fix Notes” from episode 316 of “Phineas & Ferb” presumably for the sound editor. (“2:56 – be more mysterious on Isabella talking about Ferb playing soccer with a pumpkin. Or could be silent.”) Found! Again, on sidewalk when I was running, about a quarter mile before the Satanism page!
9. Harmonica! Found! Along traintracks! Plays great! (–once I managed to tweeze out all the Red Man chewing tobacco that was impacted in the blow holes – thank God it was still moist and pliable!) Just call me Toots Thielemans!
10. Oh, this one I love: Scrap of paper with “Pink Lock 24-38-8” scrawled on it! Found! On the floor of the men’s locker room in my gym! It’s like when Eddie Pufahl couldn’t remember the combination to his lock in 7th grade and wrote it on the outside of his locker! Ha! What a loser! Remember that? Or did you not go to my school?
11. Canceled check for $30.95 payable to Readers Institute of America, from one John Cannon of Albany, Georgia dated August 7, 1964! Found! Inside an old issue of “Ford Times!”
12. Page of exceptionally crazy end-of-the-world religious ranting and Bible verse-quoting (including a delightful passage where the writer calls the current head of the Catholic church “Nazi Pope Ratzinger.”) Found! In the parking lot at IHOP in Carson, California!
13. Neat little perfectly oval rock! Found! At El Matador Beach in Malibu!
All of this could have been yours, Davy, to include in the next issue of your magazine. But instead, because of your insouciance to my previous submissions (and each one was phenomenal!), it’s all going to our first ever contest winner in our first ever contest. (Except for the drink ticket and the harmonica. And the rock, which I think is kind of neat.)
And the winner is… [and here I churn my hand around in a fishbowl full of slips of papers featuring the names of every single person who’s ever written in here to TedParsnips.com]…the winner is…”Chris C.” in Sacramento, California!
Congratulations, Chris C., whoever you are! It’s all yours, pal – as soon as I’ve found, in my mailbox, a check covering the cost of me mailing it all to you!