Saturday, July 9, 2011

What's in the Bag? Part 3

(Figure One: STILL The Bag)

"Alright let's wrap this turkey up before I puke."
Bob Ezrin, on producing Lou Reed's Berlin album

Well, this is the final series in a post where we exhumed the musty old bag full of not-so- much that I dug out of the garage (further context and pictures can be found HERE and HERE) for whomever is still following this little digression (bless you!)

(Figure Ten: The Coins)

Pounds, Pences, Francs and Centimes whose source has been lost to the ravaages of time.

(Figure Eleven: The Medal)

Help Spanish-speaking readers: Despite being able to grasp that its for humanitarian volunteers, I have little idea of the significance of this item (never mind how I got it!)

(Figure Twelve: The Pointies)

The pen is a gift from my father circa the eight grade, the letter opener is, I believe, from a Nepal-based missionary and the pseudo-switchblade knife is part of a reward I got for helping to clean out the basement of an Army Surplus store in in 1983. (Sad to say I lost the WWI looking helmet!)

(Figure Thirteen: The Berlin Wall)

My brother visited Germany in the late eighties and, as many did, he chipped off some bits of this notorious landmark for his historically-minded sibling. (Of course, I've never considered the authenticity of these bits, so I'm braced for any skepticism from my German readers).

(Figure Fourteen: The Insert)

Yeah, I was a Billy Bragg fanatic and so I kept this insert from Don't Try This At Home (which I bought together with the VHS of Mr. Bragg Goes to Washington.)

(Figure Fifteen: The Book)

Admit it, back in the day you had a little red (or black) book with all those numbers, half of which you duly copied down knowing you'd never use them. Of course you may have had better taste than to decorate yours with a "Nice Price" from your CD of The Clash's Cut The Crap, A Didjits sticker, A Mag Wheels Records sticker (I think...) and the explanatory sticker from Billy Bragg's The Internationale mini-LP.

As for a soundtrack to this excavaction, I can offer you examples of the two genres that dominated my listening in the mid-to-late nineties; pop-punk and country & western:

Thanks for all your COMMENTS, and for indulging me, If you have any strange excavations of your own - let me know!


  1. I think that badge is *Portuguese* and has something to do with volunteer firefighters.

    Hey, wait a minute... with "The Pointies" there is a single cufflink, what is the story there? Why no mention of it being 'found' or it's other, being 'lost'?

    What is being kept from us?

    MRML readers deserve to be able to sleep soundly, not being up all night, wondering about these things...

  2. It's a badge from the Portuguese volunteer fire-fighters of Paredes de Coura. Paredes de Coura is a region in the north of Portugal known for a music festival during summertime with the same name. Funny how you ended up getting that.

  3. Has anyone ever actually used one of those Cross gift pens? What a racket those guys have going! It looks too nice to risk losing it somewhere. I find it to be too skinny to feel comfortable and I replacement ink cartridges for some pens are impossible to find a few years later so I didn't want to run that one down.

    I have numerous containers full of similar trash but moved a few years ago so the really odd items were disposed of at that time. Describing a 40 liter container full of assorted computer parts doesn't have the same appeal.

  4. more on the badge - fanfarra would refer to a parade band that salutes the efforts of the volunteer firefighters. this looks like a tag from the uniform of a band member.

    the berlin wall fragments look authentic to me - i have a similar few stuffed in a box somewhere, and i got them from the wall itself shortly before it was chipped to bits.

    the knife is a balisong or butterfly knife, technically illegal in cnada, but i doubt you have much to fear. there are a ton of variations on the construction and method of operation of them, most inexpensive toys and not really weapons or tools.

  5. ive been going through a box of stuff and found a DRI tour tshirt from the 4 of a kind tour '88.i cant believe i still have that!!

  6. Biopunk
    Future post "The Night the Forgotten Rebels Stole My Great-Grandfather's Civil-War era Cufflink".

    Wow that is such a perfect answer to my question, it's almost...alarming. ("Funny how you ended up getting that" - I really do not recall how I came into possession of it.)

    That damn pen is so well-preserved because you can't use it - as you hold it the thing unscrews - drove me crazy.

    Thanks for the info and, yeah, that knife was pretty cheap (though 1980's cheap is a whole different affair than 21st century cheap) and was really more like a toy than anything.

    If you take a photo let me know, I'm thinking of doing a sequel with reader-submitted stuff.


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