Sunday 21 July 2013

Bottle Cap Man

"The Carter Family" by Carly Simon has been stuck between my ears for the past couple of days and I was thinking about it this morning while I was laying in bed trying to decide if today was a good day to get up early or one of those sleep in days. Turns out that it is an "early...ish" day.

The theme of the song (for me) is how people and things that meant so much to you in the past lose their significance over time. In the song, she comes to realize that in the end it was her that changed, not the people and things. Well, thats what I got from it anyways. For all I know, Carly might be trying to tell us that life is better when you screw over your friends and loved ones. I prefer the happier version.

Im not entirely sure that we ever really regret our past actions. Sure we say we do, but it is pretty rare that someone does anything about it unless they are on step eight and nine of a twelve step program. One of Louises favourite  sayings is that humans are rationalizing beings, not rational beings.

This made pretty good sense to me the first thing this morning, and it led beautifully into the next part of the blog. I cant imagine what morning Ken was thinking of, but oft times he is a more than a little "morning foggy".

When I was  kid, I loved bottle caps. Who knows why, they were smelly, sticky, dented and had little or no value. I would go up to gas stations and any where else and ask the guys there if I could have the bottle caps from the machine. Sometimes the guys would give me a hard time and ask if I would pay for them or what I planned to do with them. The odd time a guy would refuse because he wanted them for himself. Prick!
Normally, the guy would say Sure kid, come back every day we get thousands of them and just toss them in the garbage. He would open the container and more often than not, dump them in my shirt. I would hurry home with them and in the back yard I would sort them according to brand, Coke, 7UP, Fanta orange and grape and of course root beer. You would think that I would have been knee deep in bottle caps within a month or so, but I suspect that mom or dad tossed them out almost as soon as I collected them.

There wasnt much that you could do with bottle caps without an imagination. You could take the cork liner out and then press it back in with your t-shirt in between making a badge. Sometimes it would be a sherrifs badge from the old west and you were going after Billy the Kid or Black Bart. Perhaps you were a war hero and the bottle caps were all of the medals you won fighting the enemy. Sometimes, you would just flip them into a hat. Well, sometimes I would flip them close to a hat.
I remember once seeing a man made out of bottle caps stacked on top of each other, and I planned to make one of those someday. My bucket list isnt really too difficult I guess. I did make a mud scrapper for the cottage once. It involved and afternoon sitting on the driveway with a bottle of nails, hundreds of bottle caps and a large piece of wood. Each cap had to be nailed in such a way that there was no space between them. My skill with hammer and nails hadnt fully developed at that time and I would imagine that the caps which werent totally flattened werent held on very well. Be that as it may, I was pretty proud of that mud scrapper and to their credit, mom, dad and Gram put it right beside the door of the cottage. I remember searching for mud so that I could test the scrapper, and I suppose it worked pretty well.
Maybe Ill see if the kids will save me their caps from the beers they drink, and when I get enough it just might be time to make that bottle cap man.

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