On a trip to the lowest-priced thrift store, I rummaged through bins of broken toys, faded dreams, and discarded clothes in search of something I liked. I’m a treasure hunter and junkman at heart, always hoping for a pot of gold at the end of the rusty rainbow.
Among the oversized children’s clothes, denim sweaters with stitched flowers and Duck Dynasty brand clothes, I saw a jacket that I liked. I planted it in the buggy with a birdhouse and motocross trophy which I thought would look good paired, rounded to the nearest dollar and headed home.
Once there, I placed the birdhouse and motocross trophy in a prominent place to display my finds and tried on the jacket, which fit me well. I stuck my hands in my pockets and the left one hit something.
I pulled out the key from a white 1993 Ford E-250 van. Not being an expert on automotive keys, I only knew because the key was attached to a tag that said it was a car key. a white 1993 Ford E-250 minivan.
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By law, or by my thinking, I now owned a van.
My late stepfather was a lawyer and I remember the last thing he said to me was, “Steve (he’d had a few cocktails at the time and had the wrong name but I knew who he was talking to ), if you ever go to a low-end thrift store, pay by the pound, buy a jacket and in said jacket is the key to a white 1993 Ford E-250 van, you, by decree of law , are the rightful owner of this van, so God help you.
It might not have been the last thing he said to me, but he was probably going to tell me at some point.
Finding the key opened up a world of possibilities.
“Well,” I said to my significant other. “This is the sign I was waiting for. I got a key here and a van somewhere so obviously I gotta put together a little rock combo out of Guitar Town and hit the road playing country music in all the honky-tonks and bars in this great nation, everything like I knew I would one day.
“You haven’t changed your guitar strings in 10 years and you still don’t know more than four chords,” she said. “I don’t think a music career is in your future.”
Maybe she was right. Maybe the future was darker than expected.
Federal agents pull a white 1993 Ford E-250 minivan from the bottom of a lake. Inside is the body of a Russian spy.
“It’s Borstov,” Agent No. 1 said with a grimace. “The whole Gorky mission has been compromised.”
“Maybe not,” Agent #2 said. “We put a tracking device in the van key. That should lead us to whoever took out Borstov. If we can get him to talk, we can save the mission. And we have ways to make it talk.
” Hi guys. Nice black suits you’re wearing. Do you sell encyclopedias or solicit for the church? Hey, what’s with the gun, mate? »
“How many times do I have to tell you? I found the key in a jacket from the thrift store! »
“Oh yeah. Right. Just like you found that birdhouse. That cute birdhouse.
“And that motocross trophy. Too bad if anything happened to that motocross trophy.
Yes, I have the key to my future. Now all I need is the van. On second thought, I probably don’t need the van.
Hollifield is the editor of The McDowell News in Marion, North Carolina, and a humor columnist. Contact him at [email protected]