Monday, October 22, 2007

Flea Market: The Future of America

As much as it pains me to say so, Jeff Foxworthy is right on the money. About some things anyway. The other night while channel surfing I came across a comedy panel with JF on it and he was waxing poetic on his favorite topic, Rednecks. His brilliant remark "Show me a three year old in a diaper walking around a flea market with a baby bottle full of coca cola and I'll show you a future NASCAR fan" rings oh so true. I know because I saw that three year last week at a flea market just outside of Charlotte.

Someone told me the flea market south of Pineville had really great antiques on Saturdays so being a second-hand/thrift/consignment store junkie, I naturally decided to drag my poor family and visiting friend down to the Carolina border to check out all the great finds. My kids have been down this road before and are automatically suspect of any such invitation which means bribes are in order. A new toy, a junk food-like snack or cold hard cash to spend are what get Cyre and Keller into the car. My husband on the other hand, loves the social petrie dish that is flea market culture; he was game . My poor friend from out of town had no choice but to tag along.

To say I was disappointed with the offerings is a major understatement. No antiques, junky electronics and cheapo fleece blankets with pictures of wolves and football teams did nothing for me. Although there were some truly far out, glow-in-the-dark, neon palm tree and blessed Madonna lanterns for sale, most of the stuff there was forgettable. It takes an awful lot of awful for me to travel to a consumer gathering of any sort and not spend a dime. My daughter did pick up a couple of books and my son got a coffin-like incense burner but I left empty handed. Humpf.

What I did get out of the trip though is really hard to explain. It was worthy of a comedy special on its own, JF style of course. How to do justice to the phenomenon that is Dave's Ministry...let's see. We were walking down a main aisle, browsing at rows of imitation name brand sneakers and such when we heard the strum of a gee-tar, followed by a lonesome voice. "They have paid entertainment at this place?" was my first reaction, followed by "what the hell kinda busker is that?". Hell no, heaven, ummm...maybe. You see, Dave drove down to the market every weekend to spread the gospel of Jesus' love to all those poor families who were willing to park themselves on the nearby benches and listen up. He had a hand-written sign with his name, a bucket to collect money for I don't know what exactly, some pamphlets to hand out and a microphone to sing from.

I couldn't make out what his handouts said or which song he was singing for I dared not venture too close. I really wanted to get my hands on his words of wisdom but fear kept me a safe distance apart. As surreal as it was, I was mesmerized and couldn't tear myself away. I looked over at my husband and friend just to compare their reactions with mine and validate that what we were witness to was truly unbelievable. Yep, same stunned look. My husband then raised his eyebrows in "Oh ya, baby" glee and my friend turned away in "only in America" embarrassment.

Now to be fair, his voice wasn't awful and his gee-tar playing passable. But Dave was 100% sincere and that's what gets people in the end anyhow. I imagine Dave engages in one or two Christian discussions every weekend and I also imagine that's good enough for him. Shoot, if I get one or two comments per blog entry, I'm thrilled! Maybe like blogging is for me, Dave's singing is therapeutic for him and satisfying without any measured response. Or is it? We'll have to check with JF on that one. He'd know.


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Waheeda said...

Only in America!

Robin said...

Hey! I found you!
Dinner tonight was so much fun. We're so thrilled that you made time for us--we have missed you madly. It was great to get caught up on all your adventures.
I will check back regularly, to keep up with your southern escapades.