It has been raining here in Vermont for about five weeks in a row now with no signs of letting up. Well okay, more like five days. I am about halfway through a week-long reprieve from ballet school before summer term starts next week with a bang; this distinguished guest instructor from American Ballet Theatre’s Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School will help us launch our busy eight-week program. Then I am off to serve as guest faculty myself at this school in beautiful upstate New York; Clarence will have an entire week with his favorite sitter, who is a shepherd girl through and through and spoils him rotten in my absence.
Meanwhile I am treating myself to a luxurious few days visiting Handsome Chef Boyfriend, who alas is not enjoying any kind of break at the moment. No worries, I assured him. I have plenty to keep me occupied while you are away at work baking delicious things. Oh, and by the way: do you have any objections to a blog post about your teeming collection of salt and pepper shakers? He was giggling a little when he agreed to this. (I did not mention that I also planned later to set them up militia-style on the edge of the laundry chute and pick them off one at a time with a bb gun.)
I admire anybody who is a serious collector of things; I have only dabbled in collections, and really lack the persistence and fortitude it takes to do it. Handsome Chef Boyfriend has a dizzying array of salt and pepper shakers and is always adding more. I have had occasion to be along with him during some of his acquisitions, and have learned a couple of things. For example, you can very nearly always find salt and pepper shakers whether you are in a high-brow antique place or a smelly flea market. And some of the most hideous shakers have the highest value. You can tell something about the age of a piece depending whether it has a cork or plastic stopper in its bottom, but beware of an opening that is too perfectly round and has a cork jammed into it: it is probably an impostor.
HCB has his own criteria when it comes to the decision to purchase. For example, his price limit is three bucks (although I have seen him equivocate over shakers that are a little pricier but really nifty). I was with him the day he found these, sold out of the back of an elderly woman’s truck at an impromptu flea market for 25 cents:
I like the clean lines and simple design of them. Not so much with these, but what self-respecting salt and pepper shaker collection is without at least one hen and rooster combo?
But seriously. I give you the Eggplant Specimen:
And from the sublime to the ridiculous:
But wait, there’s more:
And still more:
Here we have variations on a theme:
These will be the subject of the next Stephen King novel:
And this is a nice vintage pair. Get it? Vintage?
I amuse myself. HCB is still a little while off from returning home and so I have some time to find more trouble. Maybe I will go mismatch all his socks. Har har.
Eat your heart out, Kevin McAllister.