Things were Not getting Better
As the world leaned more into a virtual reality, there had been less actual toys created. The transition into electronic entertainment had meant that objects that you could hold in your hands were becoming rare. Old habits die hard, though, and so scavengers were always on the lookout for artifacts of the bygone eras. Durable old lunch boxes and toy cars made of metal were sought after and resold to help old people recall the happy days of their own childhood. The collector was on his usual mission of hunting down the remnants of the popular culture. He had found that cleaning up and recycling the old toys had made a way for him to survive now that the social retirement system had been bankrupted.
The new Marketplace was No Supermarket
In the industrial part of town, where manufacturing of durable goods had taken place, there were many abandoned warehouses and factories that would never again hum with the sound of productivity. The vast parking lots had now been taken over by flea markets and scrap yards. The skeletons of junk automobiles served as tent frames for the many homeless families who had wrecked their prosperity in the days of easy money. Now the farmers market with the sickly fruits and tomatoes that were easy to grow were a daily gathering place .The impromptu butcher shops with their smoked cats and rats did steady business.
Toys were still Valuable
The collector had found that the toys were an item that people would still barter for . Things were getting tight, however, and he was making plans to move away from the urban area because food was getting scarce. He had hidden away a good rifle and ammunition for his big move out to a wilderness area. There he planned to live a simple life of hunting and fishing away from the increasingly desperate population that remained.
Life can be lonely, but Love grows like a weed
Since the collector had long since outlived the relationships with his wives and children, he found that he was alone in the world. He had never expected to live as long as he had. There was no love in his life and he soldiered on out of stubborn resolve. It was a surprise when one day he met the girl with the Magic 8 ball.
She was seated at a folding table at the edge of the bazaar, telling fortunes for copper pennies. Although the paper dollars were worthless, of course, the metal coins still had some value. Silver was a premium token, but no one had seen any gold for a long time.
He watched the girl as stragglers visited her to shake the 8 ball and watch for the message to float up to the top. When he finally decided to go up to her table, he dropped a little plastic wrapped peppermint cane into her cup, which warranted a smile from the lanky female. She was a bit rough, but somehow the collector felt an attraction that had not surfaced for a very long time. She shook the 8 ball and handed it to him. He read the message through the little window and it said, ” Everything you believe is a lie“. Amused, he dallied to invite her to dinner and they went back to his school bus in the woods. They dined on ready to eat meals and enjoyed the last of his wine stash.
A Vagrant Hope for Happiness
The collector and his new girlfriend had hit it off just like that. Soon, he shared his plans to relocate to the wilderness area that an Indian friend had showed him years before. There was fresh water and small game to live on. All the remaining toys and nick knacks were traded for a few canned goods and bullets to prepare for the journey. With a shopping cart pulled along to hold everything necessary, the couple began the long journey to the Western mountains. They found the cave that his Native American drinking buddy had showed him, deep in the Indian territory that overlooked a casino. Together, the couple stayed away from everyone else and missed out on the cannibalism and chaos that marked the end of civilization. The Collector and the Fortune Teller were a comfort for each other and they lived happily ever after.
Here are some links to other articles I wrote :
John Wayne and Tarzan with the Hollywood Gang
The Cults of Jane Fonda and Pamela Anderson
A Forgotten Clint Eastwood Movie
Top 10 Books and the Famous Movies They Inspired
Legendary Liz Taylor and Richard Burton in Cleopatra
The Rise and Fall of a Hollywood Empire
Classic Movie Sex Goddesses
Growing Up in Show Business
Women of Fantasy and Science Fiction
Best Comedy TV Shows of the 1960’s
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