Tuesday, 13 September 2011

That ain't Road Kill, that's my boyfriend . . .

I found the most amazing shop last weekend.
It was amazing to me because it had a stuffed badger, a huge pheasant feathered fascinator (try saying that with a mouth full of marbles), a pair of Victorian artificial legs and a dentists spittoon in the window.
 It was a window with a message and it was screaming "Dorothy, I don't think we're in Argo's anymore".
The lady who owned it looked like a gorgeous cross between a 1930's pin up and a vampire rock chick, all tattoos, attitude and bright, devilish eyes.
 She had taken artefact's and curiosities, the discarded and the unwanted, the abandoned and the useless and she had made these things look beautiful again.
This was a woman who went looking for road kill, cared for it, brought it back to life and displayed it in a store full of our most beautiful nightmares. She's the most glamorous Dr Frankenstein you are ever going to see, and with nail polish.

I really wanted to buy the shearling hat with the real antler horns attached, not because I thought it looked good on me, just because I thought it would be nice for the antlers to be out in the fresh air again. If I'd have bought it I would have worn it one misty morning and gone roaming around Dartmoor or somewhere that things with antlers live. I would have had a sniff about, maybe ate some grass and chased a few tourists. Just for the fun of it.

There was a beautiful white fur coat that I instinctively touched and said how soft it felt "oh, that's rat fur" was the reply. Who the hell wants to wear a coat made of rats? I automatically started to question my thinking about how filthy, ugly and dirty rats are . . .and what beautiful coats they could be.

There was the most stunningly carved lamp that used to be a horses head, but I didn't see a dead horse. I just saw the most delicate craftsmanship and attention to detail and I thought how lovely it would look hanging on my wall, next to my elephant tusks & moose head (that is a joke, please don't call the RSPCA).

The store and it's macabre wares got me to thinking. How many things have I left behind? How many things have I discarded or thought of as road kill? How many things I thought were of no consequence before but would be of great beauty and treasure to someone else?

I then started to think of how many times I have been treated as road kill myself. Many times I've been dragged along at high speed, hit a few bumps in the road and flipped over the car bonnet but I've always managed to skip straight over the roof and land right back on my feet again, even if it was in oncoming traffic.
Not all of us manage that in life, some people just keep getting knocked down and never get made into anything beautiful, they just stay broken.
I'm not saying we should all go and get our ex boyfriends, forgotten friends and tainted lovers and make them into an ashtray. I'm just saying, sometimes the things that we think are useless, or ugly, or are of no use to us can still be beautiful and valid, if not to us then to someone else.

So next time you pass a dead fox in the road, go back and get it and in these austere times make sure you really do  "make do and mend" and next time someone really upsets you, breaks your heart or treads on your toe, don't be mean, just smile and say "I know a lady who could make you into a really beautiful lamp shade."

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