Thursday, May 15, 2008

Thimble of the Ancient Pharoahs

There's a rundown Flea Market just outside of the city limits of a town called Burnt Corn, Alabama. From the outside, it looks like any other dilapidated shopper's fair. Old Valvoline signs with rusted edges swing in the breeze, a board touting the "World's Best Damn Frozen Custard in Alabama" still resides and shouts it's tired message. Most folks call it "Uncle Tuck's Country Flea Market & Car Wash", and for good reason. The car wash is still used by passers by, usually by young folks hiding in the ports to fog up the windows on a Saturday night.

"Uncle Tuck's", however, has been closed for 7 years. But, if you chance by it Friday nights, walk into the blue painted building with a cigar store indian out front. It looks like any other rustic General Stores from times gone by. Once you enter the red-painted doorway, it's as if you've been transported. A blind-mute named Amenhotep works the counter at the most unbelievable store ever imagined.

I had the opportunity to "chance by" while taking photos for the local paper. Once inside, my eyes readjusted and my mind wrapped around what I had discovered. Inside, there were various wonders from throughout the world, at discount prices! There were 4 Arks of the Covenant for $150 each. The meaning of life in a wooden intricately-carved box was a steal at $11,000 (but they wouldn't take American Express). There were magic mirrors, a replica of the Golden Fleece, American Indian runes, and a whole stack of Ben Franklin's personal correspondence.

After taking a moment to read a note to Ben's mistress Mildred, I came across an item I could not pass up. It was a thimble, created from gold of Ancient Egypt. Encrusted with turquoise utilized by Nefertiti herself. I held it in my agile hands. This was something truly special. I asked Amenhotep how much he wanted for this veritable treasure not realizing he was a blind mute. After asking him repeatedly fifteen times and still no response, I threw a $20 bill down in disgust and left the amazing flea market.

Now, my next task, what do I sew using this amazing thimble? A toga made of the fur of a white buffalo? Only time, and imagination will tell...