Friday, November 11, 2005


Freak #1 - Peeler Hunt

OK, so I picked the blog name "Freak Magnet Dave" because there never seems to be a shortage of the freaks that I seem to encounter. So why haven't I written about any of them yet? That's a damn good question! So let's begin...

Last night was my late night working at my framing shop. While on the phone discussing something with my business partner who was out of the shop at the time, the front door opened and a guy in his mid 20's walked in. I got off the phone and asked him how I could help him. Since I didn't recognize him as a client who had brought something in to be framed and he didn't have anything in his hands I assumed he wasn't here to pick up or drop off anything. Immediately I thought "Either he's here for directions, or he's going to rob me." I'd hate to lose the ten bucks in the till. Nobody here pays with cash.

"Hey buddy, where's The Pussy Palace?" (a local strip club, not its real name, but we call it that)
I notice by the pink of his eyes that he had already drunk or toked a few before he came in.
I gave him the directions, but he didn't leave. He just sort of hung out for a few minutes, which made me wonder what his weapon of choice was going to be.

"Hey buddy, do you sell cameras?" he asked.
", we just frame the finished product...and I don't think they let you take cameras into The Pussy Palace" I reply.
"Do you take Interac?"
"We do." Why he wanted to know this is beyond me...remember, we don't sell cameras.

"Can you guys fix frames?"
I explained that we work with a restorer that may be able to repair it depending on the extent of the damage.
"I've had this really cool picture out in my garage that I'm not allowed to bring in the house, and my dog chewed up the frame."
I just had to ask him why he wasn't allowed to bring it in the house.
"My wife hates it. It used to belong to my grandfather, and he passed it on to my father and then he passed it on to me. It's really nice. It's a great big Indian head and it's painted on velvet."
"YIKES!" I thought.

"So how much would it cost to fix it?"
"Depends on the size, the extent of the damage and the work involved. I'd have to have the restorer look at it and he can give you a quote."
"Well, what would you guess roughly?"
"Honestly, I don't know, but you're probably looking around $300-$400 or so. Maybe more. It might be cheaper to just get a new frame put on it."

"Hey, I should get my kids' picture framed" he said while looking over the corner samples.
"Oh ya, how many kids do you have?"
"Two, just had the second one", he said with pride.

Once he mentioned his kids, his face just beamed. Immediately, the discomfort I had at first melted away. I think he was just a young man away from his family and friends, looking for someone to talk to. The uncomfortable situation just turned into what seemed like two guys shooting the breeze.

We chatted for a few minutes. He told me he was just in the area for a few more weeks working on some job. He lives a few hours away from here in a small town with nothing to do and as he said, "no jobs that don't involve hay". He doesn't know anyone here. Guess that's why he was looking for the peeler bar. Must have been looking to hang out and chat with some other guys. And I guess he was missing his wife. That poor woman with the velvet Indian living in her garage.

You would think that enough people have made fun of pictures painted on black velvet that nobody would state with pride that they owned one and liked it.
You have no idea how hard it was not to laugh when he said that! Remember, I thought he had a weapon. :o)
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