Photos By John Hoff
Then there was a third thing I had to do, but you'll have to wait until the end of this post.
The store is called "Martinpatrick3" and has a website at martinpartrick3.com. The website, oddly enough, needs more accessories but, hey, at least the business has a website and, to be fair, it does say "under construction" on the bottom. But when I'm on a website for a "mansessories" store and it says "Wine And Liquor Accouterments," I want to be able to click and find out if that means a crystal decanter specially designed for expensive tequila or, you know, a shot glass with a hula girl. (For the record, I prefer to drink straight from the bottle because it's MY BOTTLE, get your own bottle)
But, I must confess, the store had a certain...allure. Gee, I thought, what if I suddenly started living a lifestyle which included expensive "mansessories" instead of finding my stuff at the Salvation Army or dumpsters?
Such a "mansessorized" life seemed very...comfortable. Sweet. Self-pampered.
Umbrellas with hand-carved handles...no more having to hunt down and kill wild umbrellas in lost and found boxes. Oh, who am I kidding? I won't use an umbrella. God wants it to rain, and who are we to defy Him? It's like I tell my son: You were born in Seattle. You were BORN in the RAIN. Deal with it. Embrace it. LOVE THE RAIN.
But one item in the store had me captivated. It was a glass coffee table that came with a drawer, so objects could be put inside. Currently, it was filled with pennies. I thought, wow, wouldn't it be cool to fill the viewable drawer with coins and paper currency from various countries? Have world-traveling friends bring coins, toss the coins in the table, then sit around drinking (for example) Honduran guifiti and talking about our adventures?
Yeah, the only tough part would be PAYING MONEY for the table, instead of (for example) scoring it from buying a foreclosed house. Yeah, that's part I can't wrap my head around: the paying money for a higher-end lifestyle part.
One of the store owners (I think he was one of the store owners) showed me a badger hair shaving brush for a mere $145. That was actually the moment when my momentary fantasy of a life filled with "mansessories" popped like an inflated real estate bubble. I realized I am far more likely to kill and eat a badger than I am to shell out $145 for a shaving brush.
But, for the record, I am a sensitive New Age guy when it comes to shaving. If somebody is throwing out some half-used cans of lavender-scented shaving cream that's made for women, I'll use it, rather than (shudder) spend money. (Though "dry shaving" is a fine art, and I learned it at Fort Jackson, South Carolina from Drill Sergeant Dozier, along with the proper way to throw hand grenades)
Another fun object in the store was an item that was not for sale. It was an old door, painted khaki green (MAN COLOR!!!) and artistically decorated with "guy stuff" like golf clubs and little army soldiers. Right away, I started looking for my favorite army soldier, the one peering through binoculars. You see, in a standard bag of army soldiers, there is ONE soldier like that. I always figured, well, that's the officer. That's the guy in charge. That's the little army man that I identify with.
I looked and looked, but I couldn't find Binocular Dude. One of the store owners (I think he was one of the owners) said maybe they'd spot that one, later.
"He can be our Where's Waldo," he said.
Another cool item--once again, not for sale--was the old-fashioned cash register. Oh, my word. I haven't seen one of those in use FOREVER. When I was a kid, some store owner in Alexandria had one of the old-style cash registers next to the regular cash register, just for show, and would let kids push the keys and watch the bone-white tabs pop up. But, after a while, hardly any of the keys worked. This cash register, however, looked like it was new. If it's an original, it's a miracle, and if it's a reproduction, it's still a pretty good reproduction.
The cash register would look more NATURAL if it were grimed up, sitting next to a hand-written ledger, but oh well...
Another item in the store that caught my eye is pictured above. Yes, I was tempted to see what was in the "penis pokey" book but I thought, well, some things can remain a deep and eternal mystery. As me and Megan walked out to her car, I said, "Oh, God, after being in that store I feel like I need to do something to reassert my masculinity."
After saying that, right away I felt worse. Consider my father, for example, who fired approximately 100 rounds of ammunition at Japanese warplanes, during the attack on Pearl Harbor. Would Willard R. Hoff say something like, "reassert my masculinity?"
No. He would growl. He would light an unfiltered Camel. Then he would get a drink. Then he would PUNCH somebody.
Megan told me I could spit, if I liked. THAT was manly.
So--and this is the third thing I alluded to, at the beginning of the post--I tried spitting in the gutter, but I wasn't congested and it was a half-hearted effort.
No matter how hard I tried to curl up inside my rough-and-tumble persona, I had to admit to liking the "mansessory" store in North Loop.