Anyone for Shuffleboard on the Lido Deck?

barry currin, stories of a world gone mad, beaverdamusa.comI love my laptop bag.

It’s leather. It smells the way leather should smell. It feels the way leather should feel. It was a souvenir from our trip to Italy in March. I also got a wallet, and Kim got a purse.

We bought them late one afternoon on a cold, rainy day. We had already been to the small leather shop once and left the owner kicking and screaming. His sales had been as dismal as the weather that day.

When we returned, the deal he gave us was incredible.

Okay, it probably wasn’t too incredible, but I am choosing to believe it was.

I do know it is the best souvenir ever.

That’s not much of an accomplishment. My history with souvenirs is pretty pitiful.

Once on a family trip when I was in high school, we stopped at that big fireworks store on Interstate 24 at South Pittsburg, Tenn.

If you’ve ever been by there you know the one I’m talking about. The facade stretches for a couple of blocks and lights up the entire valley.

I bought a cowboy hat — a big, gaudy straw cowboy hat with a band made of feathers. I looked like I was trying to smuggle a peacock.

I am not a cowboy. I didn’t need a cowboy hat, even though I recall thinking I simply had to buy something on the trip, and time was running out. We were 2 hours from home.

More than two decades later — having learned nothing — I bought yet a second cowboy hat in Houston at somebody’s humongous world-famous western wear store.

I also bought the boots to go along with it.

And a belt.

Kim did the same thing.

It was another heat-of-the-moment purchase.

Kim’s not a cowboy, either. Neither is she Jamaican, but that didn’t keep her from bringing home — not one but two — purses made out of coconuts when we went there.

One was a gift for someone, thankfully.

The crown jewel of bad souvenir purchases, however, has to be something I bought when we went on a cruise back when I was in high school.

I bought a shirt similar to the ones the ship’s crew wore.

It was powder blue satin, and it buttoned up. It had a design on the collar and was embellished with two ruffled fabric bands that went down each side in the front.

The buttons were shiny. Of course they were.

Captain Stubing didn’t have anything on me.

I couldn’t really help myself at the time. We were down there somewhere in the Caribbean where everyone was merry. The gourmet meals were never ending. The steel drum bands played calypso music well into the night, and the bright lights were mesmerizing to someone my age.

I was never going to lose that feeling. That’s why I bought the shirt.

And then I got home.

There was no calypso music, no bright lights — just me and my shirt that was better suited for a 75-year-old snowbird from Ontario to go with his white loafers and black socks.

I would like to think I am wiser than that now, but it’s probably more like the deal I got on the leather. I probably just think I am.

About Barry Currin

Barry tries to be funny and poignant, and he's usually satisfied when he succeeds with one or the other. (Being both is awesome. And sometimes that happens.) Email him:

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