Tuesday, June 3, 2008

The Boomerang and the Bowl of Plague

Another of my life's treasures has bitten the big one.

BoyChild and GirlChild were attempting to make boomerangs using popsicle sticks. It was too sad watching them try to tape sticks together, so I dusted off my boomerang and let them have a go in the backyard. Even with firm instructions as to what direction they could throw it and some vague threats about what would happen if someone's head got hit, I didn't factor in BoyChild's leftiness . He managed to curve it around the house right into an 8 foot high juniper hedge. That boomerang ain't coming back without a reciprocating saw.

As I reflected on my lost boomerang - I thought back on the days when Babycakes and I were making money hand over fist, instead of like now where I just stick out an empty hand and hope people put some money into it. We spent our honeymoon in New Zealand and Australia where I purchased many items. This is my wooden bowl from NZ.

I didn't anticipate the headache that bowl would prove to be entering Australia because of the bark around the lip. Apparently, bark can harbor cooties and as an island, Australia likes to keep the cooties out. It was like the Bowl of Plague based upon the inspector's expression.

I just paid forty freaking dollars for this bowl and it's coming with me even if it's slathered in Ebola.

We enter Australia where we purchase many more items. So many in fact that we needed to purchase another bag to send some treasure home ahead of us. Babycakes and I enter a little thrift store and find a bag that looked like this, only it didn't have a big passport plastered on the front like this picture I found on the internet.

Thriftstore Woman: Will this bag work for you?
Us: It's perfect. How much?
Thriftstore Woman (thinking): How about 10 ..... cents?
Us (thinking we just hit the jackpot): Here's a quarter, keep the change.

We had been ready to fork over 10 bucks for this bag and when she tacked on the 'cents' part of that, we about fell over. So we packed up 60 pounds of our newest belongings and sent them home (minus my Bowl of Plague that I cradled everywhere we went). What I couldn't pack up and send in the bag was my newest piece of eye-candy: my didgeridoo - that I now proudly display on coat hooks.

Bringing that badboy home involved purchasing a mattress pad, garbage bags and lots of tape and creating something you might see on COPS at the end of a drug bust.

When we landed in Los Angeles, I was now carrying a contraband bowl and a large tampon-ish looking item through customs that totally looked like it was hiding a few kilos.

Customs Agent: Do you have anything to declare?

Us: Yes.

Customs Agent: Go on through.

Us: (WTF?!) Uh...OK...

The trick to getting through customs in LA quickly is to arrive at the same time as the plane from Colombia. Then they don't give a shit that you're bringing in bowls of plague from the South Pacific.


I bet I can fit Humor-Blogs in my red, white and blue bag.


Anonymous said...

Fabulous bowl, excellent story. Larry made me bring home from Africa. God only knows where the two of you picked that up. And talk about cooties... The nice man at American Airlines was not amused, and I had to launch into the whole, "Please, sir, I've been a Peace Corps volunteer out in the middle of nowhere for two long, dirty years...Look at the state of my feet if you don't believe me...Please let me take my stick home with me."

So I lug it over three continents and move it from house to apartment to house. We do not display it; in fact, I lost track of it until about a month ago when I saw son-of-Larry using it to poke a dead bird. Great.

Anonymous said...

Arrgh! Must edit! That was a WALKING STICK that he made me carry home for him.

gadragonfly said...

Well a forewarning don't go through Salt Lake City with any contraband. They have the strictest TSA I've ever experienced. They took my 4 oz. bottle of BBW lotion because it was over the 3.4 oz mark & wouldn't let me have a squirt for my dry hands. Atlanta TSA never batted an eye at it being in my purse. Nick got busted with a plier / knife combo & a box cutter. We're such hellraisers!

Meg said...

I have one of those Digeridos--made of plastic pipe from Home Depot (we bought it at a Brother concert--think two hot Australian brothers in leather kilts playing the dige and pipes).

I do so wish I had one of those shopping bag, though.

Alice said...

N - I have no knowledge of the walking stick, but I spit out coffee at the poking-a-dead-bird line. I have to write up the story of shipping stuff home from Kenya with Todd - that is a nutsy story.

D - You guys are giving me great material ideas for another post! Glad your home and can't wait to hear about your trip west.

Meg - Are you sure your pipe isn't the smoking kind?! ; ) And that bag is AWESOME. We still have it and use it for everything since it's indestructible. Perfect for hauling wet towels and floaties from the beach.

ThriftShopRomantic said...

I LOVE that you are using the didgeridoo for something... You are totally my hero. Plus, great story. And no plague ensued.

I AM glad you clarified exactly why it was you had a boomerang to "dust off".

You're pretty darned cool, Alice!!

LceeL said...

Second shot at leaving a comment. I envy you your travels to NZ and Australia. And that bowl is GREAT. Would that me and my camera could follow in your footsteps.

Bee said...

What were you and Babycakes doing that involved hands over fist? ;o)

Awesome items! I have many treasures I’d sacrifice my dogs for but they’re mostly from ebay. :o(

The hubs and I always refer to our before we bought our house as the *Feasty years*. Back when we paid $750 and rent and $100 inutilities so we had money to throw around on things like knick knacks and golf clubs ahhhh those were the days!

Kelly said...

Love that bowl, that rocks..!!
<----am so jealous you got to travel..
One day when kids are grown we will be seasoned travelers!


Congratulations! You have now accumulated enough aboriginal stuff to open up your very own Outback Steakhouse.

Quick, put on your safari shirt and ask people if they would like another shrimp on the Barbie is your most cornpone Aussie accent!

Alice said...

Jenn - Trust me. I'm not cool. I've never been cool in my life. For reelz. Realz? See, I don't even know the lingo.

LouCL - Thanks, and I wish I could follow in my own footsteps again. Staying at home has hit the pocketbook pretty hard and I get all drooly now when I see pics of places I need to get to.

Bee - I'm adopting 'feasty years'. It's better than the good-ol'-dayz-with-lots-of-cash-and-not-a-lots-of-kids.

Kelly - I'm right there with you chica!

Elastic - I USED to have enough for an Outback, but with the loss of my boomerang, I can only settle for my own diner called Honey Pie's Tuna Melts-n-Stuff.

Manager Mom said...

I would guess that having a male customs agent and carrying something that looked like the world's biggest tampon doesn't hurt either.

MadMad said...

Hahaha! That is a great story - love the ending. Those Aussies are very, very strict. I once made the mistake of sending candy to one of my blog pals there - it was quarantined for 30 days! CANDY!

Memarie Lane said...

Ah yes, the days we made money hand over fist.

Oh wait, that hasn't happened yet. :P

Hey It's Di said...

It is so fun to get cool new things on vacation and yet getting them home on a plane sometimes makes it NOT worth it! I am glad you are creative and got your awesome finds home. OH how I would love to go to Australia! I'm jealous:)

P.S. Loving the sox! You rock!

what's a donzer said...

Call me for the Alice / Meg digerido 2008 jamfest. I'm so there.

jennie said...

love your custom didgeridoo display center, MacGyver.

I'm going to load up on coat hooks tomorrow, I have ALL KINDS of stuff I need to display.

Sue said...

LOL! "Go on through". I'm so jealous - you have the REAL stuff - I get mine from Pier 1.

Anonymous said...

And that shopping bag looks enormous, like it's one of the many fiberglass roadside attractions you've visited.

Sean C said...

Ewww, bowls with bark have cooties? gross. I want that boomerang. I think you have given up to easily. Get a long rope, 10ft or so and then put a 4-prong batman-esque hook on it. I bet it comes down. :) Yeah I remember days of money too. And that's when I bought that Mercedes. Those days are gone like the wind.

Anonymous said...

You are absolutely hysterical. I went from California to Arizona and they stopped me at the border to check for fruit. Fruit? What - no drugs - illegal aliens - just fruit???

Big Momma Pimpalishisness said...

Those didgeridoos are the coolest things ever.

Mrs. Who said...

I have a good friend who did her student teaching in New Zealand when she was 21. Just decided to go there and student teach. I've always envied her spunk. They love New Zealand and have been back often. They went this Christmas and laid on the beach, while we shoveled the snow here in Kentucky. Gah!

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