Saturday, September 28, 2013

The Old Necklace Factory


The only vendors that came to my town’s farmers market this morning were folks like the artisan who makes clever items out of cedar and the lady who makes bread. But conversation among the visitors was great and even better than buying something, I think. Here is a sample of an earnest conversation between two women I overheard:

“Do people ever sell jewelry here? Some people wear necklaces that smell good.”

“Olfactory therapy.”

“Old factory?”

“Maybe I should say smell therapy. If you smell something pleasant, it makes you feel better. Like, for example, if you smell honeysuckle it makes you feel like springtime.”

“Do they make them necklaces in an old factory somewhere? I know that old chair factory is abandoned. I bet they make them necklaces there.”

“Keep that honeysuckle off my fence row, is all I can say. That stuff will take over. Did you ever pull the little stem thingy in a honeysuckle flower and drink the drop of nectar when it comes out?”

“What am I, a bee? Thai restaurants serve edible flowers with their meals sometimes. Or maybe it is just decoration, but I think people eat them. I have heard that people fry squash blooms and eat them. Cauliflower is really not a flower, is it? Where do they make them necklaces?”

“Back in the day of Gorgeous George, the wrestler, people used to refer to cauliflower ears because when you keep abusing your ears they get this wadded up look like cauliflower. Do you remember Gorgeous George?”

“Yes, I believe he was the precursor of pretty boys like Liberace and Elvis and maybe even Tiny Tim. Tiny Tim’s original stage name was Texarkana Tex. I don’t think he really had any connection to Texarkana, though. I bet they make them old factory necklaces in Fulton.”

“No they don’t. Back to eating flowers, I read that book ‘Alive’ back in the 70s about the Andes plane crash survivors and when they finally got below the snow line and saw wild flowers, they ate them. They were some hungry dudes after such long isolation up in there.”

“I love sunflower seeds. I bet you could make a necklace out of them. Ever see one?”

And so the conversation went at the farmers market. Don’t you love leisurely days when people start out talking about necklaces and end up talking about sunflower seeds? It is an exercise in associative thought. The funny part of it is that, at the moment of the conversation there is nothing strange about it.

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