'What would people from 100 years ago think of our modern love of all things old, tarnished, rusty, crazed and chippy?'
I could just imagine the spirited conversations I'd have with two of my favorite Victorian / Edwardian characters if I could travel back in time and try to explain...
Me: "Detective William Murdoch! What a pleasure to finally make your acquaintance."
Det. Murdock (graciously tipping his hat): "I'm sorry, have we met?"
Me: "Well, no, not really - but I have been a huge fan of your work for many years."
Det. Murdoch: "Well, that's very kind. Can I be of assistance?"
Me: "Why yes, you may. I've traveled from the future, you see..."
Det. Murdoch's big, beautiful, er *ahem* brown eyes light up: "The FUTURE! How exciting! Then time travel really does become possible! Do you have flying automobiles, computing machines, spartan homes, cinematographs and silver suits that resemble steam automatons?"
Me: "Erm, no ... other than the computing machines, that is. We use them to help us hunt down old junk to decorate our homes with -- like rusty farm tools and chipped wooden furniture."
Me, realizing his skeptisim: "No honestly! We covet anything vintage and antique! We use the computing machines to communicate with other 'junk lovers' and to outbid people from all over the world for the very best junk!"
Me: "I guess this all sounds rather odd..."
Det. Murdoch, smiling sweetly: "Not at all... but there is a friend I'd like to introduce you to. Her name is Julia and I think you'd benefit from staying with her for awhile."
Me, knowing full well the good Dr. Julia Ogden heads the Toronto Women's Lunatic Asylum: "Some other time perhaps, I must be off!"
And with that, I depart 1900 Toronto to next drop in on some of my British ancestors across the pond. However, my coordinates seem to be off and I have landed just outside the small town of Ripon, North Yorkshire.
Me: "Oh my! It's Downton Abbey! I see that Violet Crawley, Dowager Countess of Grantham is paying a visit today as well. What luck!"
The Countess turned with a start and shot me one of her trademark stares. "Excuse me, but all servants must use the entrance at the rear."
Me: "Oh, but I am not a servant. I just dropped in from the future for a visit."
The Countess, sitting upon a bench and motioning me to do the same, shook her head sadly: "Sounds like someone has read one too many an H.G. Wells novels."
Me: "I've come to ask you about antiques."
The Countess: "Antiques? Like that dreadful vase dear Matthew thankfully smashed to bits?"
Me: "Well, yes, I guess so. For you see, in the future, it's all the rage to collect old things, and..."
The Countess: "Why? Do they not manufacture new things anymore?"
Me, beginning to squirm from her sharp gaze and even sharper tongue: "Well, of course, but we treasure items like old tarnished silver and ..."
The Countess: "Do you not have housemaids to polish it for you?"
Me, now sweating: "Ummmm... no... but I wanted to know if..."
The Countess, with a pound of her cane: "My dear, you must get to the point or I shall have to insist you take your leave immediately."
Me: "Yes, well, er, I... well, I, um I collect things from your era like my prized 1906 candlestick telephone."
The Countess: "You are referring to that instrument of torture I was forced to use once? Oh my, I had hoped that monstrosity wouldn't have caught on."
Me, finally getting my thoughts together: "Oh yes, it caught on alright... almost TOO well. Anyway, I was wondering if your generation collected antiques too. You know, treasures from the past."
The Countess: "My dear. We do not 'collect'. We INHERIT."
And with a tone of finality that left no question the discussion was ended, she stood and made her way to the grandiose Abbey.
Sigh. THAT didn't go very well.
Oh well, if I can barely explain this hobby to friends and family, how the heck did I expect to do so with these two?
It's inexplicable, I guess.