Friday, March 1, 2013

The Uncola

Feelin' old-school 7-up?

Here is a typical story from childhood: My father's secretary—yes, that's what they called them and she also took dictation and chainsmoked while doing so—had a hoarder mother (though that's not what they called them then), who passed away or was moved to a nursing home or both, but in different order, leaving her daughter to deal with the old house chock full of crazy. Naturally, our family would be invited to help out by picking through its wonders (who you gonna call?). I don't remember much about that day, mostly just the exhortations to be careful in certain rooms because "you might fall through the floor," which probably explains why my brother and I spent most of our time outside, in the shady overgrown rock garden, where we found several large rocks for our own garden (including one that looked just like an alligator), and picking through heaps of rubbish amid a few broken-down outbuildings.

In one of these piles my brother unearthed this old 7-up bottle, which we both considered a tremendous score. For a time there, 7-up was cooler than Coke. They had great commercials, and it just seemed more grown-up, like a cocktail. This bottle stood proudly on a bookcase in his bedroom for many years, and I have no idea how it ended up accompanying me to Texas. I wonder if he wants it back? Am guessing not, especially now as he's in the middle of a classic NYC-style move, physically carrying his stuff from the old loft to the new one a few blocks away because it's too hard to find parking for his car in Brooklyn and the Man With the Van is too expensive/unreliable. The sort of lifestyle that would turn even the most unrepentant hoarder into a minimalist.

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