Does anyone know if meteor strikes are more prevalent in the Midwest? I know this is how Superman arrived (because I have read the comic) but that was Smallville, Kansas. I ask because the garage sale season is upon us - and I have discovered (on my slow reconnaissance zigzag tour of small town America) that every other yard appears to have one: an enormously large meteor proportioned rock positioned randomly in the front yard (giving the biggest possible inconvenience to the cutting of grass). It appears to be a miracle to me that not a single building or house seems to have been hit by one of these monoliths. They sit there without any aesthetic merit like a pimple of the unblemished skin of a prom queen - wondering existentially about their isolation and loneliness (nothing looks better on a perfectly manicured Pleasant Valley lawn than an asymmetrically placed two ton river-rock – right?)
Are they just left behind from when the house was initially designed and built - when the land was first broken; perhaps too big to move so made into a garden feature? Or does a home owner, in a moment of unwarranted sobriety laden creative thinking, believe them to be more attractive and less work than a tree – with their constant high maintenance demands of leaf raking two weeks of the year. In actuality the whole yard could be turned over to the presentation of rocks and boulders. You don’t have to cut and feed rocks, they suppress weeds, they retain the heat, and you can’t be allergic to them (although Saint Stephen may argue with that statement).
The garage sales in the Midwest are advertised by using makeshift cardboard signs that normally have balloons attached to them. They are adorned with the words garage sale and convention dictates an address and an arrow. What I have discovered in my time here is that the words, our crap could be your crap, would perhaps be a better description (and would lead to less chance of litigation). When I look beyond the 1970s crock-pots, dirty aquariums and cornucopia of children’s clothing, I discover a collection of what people box up and discard the day after Christmas: unwanted sweaters, candles lacking in any useful merit, a Friends VHS box set, anything written, performed, or recorded by Brittney Spears, cheap colognes and dated unused exercise machinery that was at one time being employed as a clothes-horse in a spare bedroom. Ironically the day after Christmas is Saint Stephen’s Day – I am sure there must be a joke in their somewhere – if I think of one I shall write a postscript.