Sometimes you see something and you know that it’s going to coming to your house like something from a bad horror story. The bobblehead will likely be coming to mine.
My wife works for a non-profit hospice which holds a fund-raising auction each Labor Day weekend. This event started more than 25 years ago as a one-day event which raised a few thousand dollars and has grown into a two day affair which last year grossed more than $335,000. There are multiple buildings and tents for the different venues – sports collectibles, hand-made furniture, plants, new items/quilts, and the used stuff – and dozens of volunteers and staff will work for a week to get the fairground site ready for the day. Our kids have been literally raised with the event and all of us, except for Youngest, now volunteer in some way to help pull this off.
The kids’ favorite destination is the used tent, full of thousands of donated items from attics, basements and bedrooms of long-departed teens and it was from the latter that came the Bobblehead. I spent two shifts in the used building, sorting the incoming items into various lots under the direction of an auctioneer and seasoned volunteer when I came across the Bobblehead. It was from the band, Iron Maiden, and was a deformed oversized zombie’s head on a skeletal mummified body that leaned forward to attack the owner. The bobblehead apparently so scared the owner that it had never been removed from it’s dusty, grimy clear plastic prison and it sat on the table bearing the original price tag, awaiting it’s next owner before finally being consigned to the local landfill. Woody, Buzz Lightyear and the Toy Story crew were never meant for the landfill but this guy was born for it.
I looked at this thing and kiddingly asked – well, almost kiddingly – if I could trash the thing because it was so grotesque and odd. Carol, the lead volunteer, laughed and reminded me that only if it was irreparably broken would we toss it and that somebody somewhere would probably be willing to buy it. Unfortunately, I thought, that somebody will be my middle kid. Middle is 13 and has discovered the joys of rock music and has managed to explore the realms of Rock ranging from mainstream Pop to the fringes of Punk Ska and the crevices of Swedish Death Metal. Like his peers, he thinks that heavy metal bands who sing of rebellion and sticking it to the man are on the fringe of mind-altering revolution but it hasn’t sunk in that they’re now guys older than me who are hocking their guitars on Pawn Star and worried about their IRAs and fiber content. I nodded in resigned agreement and placed it in a box with a few other items for the lot, one of which was a remote-controlled car without the remote because hey, they’re innocuous enough that somebody somewhere probably has a remote. My only hedge was to assure that the height of the containing box was taller than the bobblehead so that it didn’t stand out like the pimple on the Prom Queen’s forehead.
Yesterday, Middle went with me to drop off a friend’s kitchen table for the auction and after we’d unloaded and placed it, Middle took a quick cruise through the used building. I suddenly heard his voice from the distance yelling that This is cool! I love Iron Maiden! Dad, can I get this? This thing is awesome, dude! I strolled over and found the Bobblehead in his hands, reaching for Middle as a baby reaches for Daddy to be picked up. I looked at the thing and then my son and responded that he could bid on it but that it would be his coin on this one. He nodded and asked that if he was working when it went on the block if I’d bid for it for him. Damn.
It’s ugly and serves no purpose. But then again, neither did the poster on the wall of childhood room or the Aurora model of the Frankenstein on my shelf.
Yep, Bobblehead’s comin’ home.