Musin’s and Thinkin’s – September 2010

Musin’s and Thinkin’s – September 2010

Jack Pendarvis
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Just because it is raining outside, that is no reason not to enjoy yourself. And no, I am not talking about your fancy video appliances and doodads. What if lightning strikes and disables them? All the surge protectors in the world cannot always protect you from the fearsome power of “Father Electricity.” I suppose you will tell me your highfalutin gizmos run on “battery power.” To that I say, “What if the battery goes dead?” It cannot hurt to be prepared. Sometimes everything does not go your way. That doesn’t mean you have to sulk around and feel blue. In fact, many leading hobbyists contend it can be a delicious excuse for discovering new kinds of fun.

Personally, I don’t need the impetus of a raging storm to get out my rocks and admire them. Did you think I was talking about my testicles? Maybe your hobby is having dirty thoughts. If you think I am going to put you down for it, you may be surprised to learn that you are wrong. At least you are using your imagination, a wonderful stimulant a million times more powerful than any radio melodrama. Now that I have shown tolerance for your way of having fun, I trust you will extend the same courtesy to my rocks.

Sometimes I am asked, “You have been collecting rocks for over twenty years. How many do you have?” And my answer is always the same: “Four.”

Another common question from the novice rock collector is, “What is a rock?”

A rock is defined as a hard piece of dirt that has come loose from a mountain. Rocks come in all sizes and colors. If something is too round, though, it is probably not a rock.

Did you know that gold is a kind of rock? I guess rocks aren’t so boring all of a sudden.

Yes, rocks have left an indelible mark on human history and folklore. I believe there was a saint who used to walk around with a rock in his shoe. We all feel like that from time to time. He credited the rock in his shoe with turning him into a better saint than ever.

Rocks are equally important in the world of industry and technology. How would you enjoy your stonewashed jeans if someone had not thought to put rocks in the washing machine? Trivia fact: stone is just another way to say rock.

Art, too, would suffer without the help of its stalwart friend the rock. Do you enjoy statues? It may startle you to learn that statues are made out of rocks.

Now that you know what a rock is, it is time to have fun with your collection. I like to line mine up according to size. Sometimes I go biggest to smallest—other times, smallest to biggest. And those are the only things you can do with a rock collection.

Other items may be collected. Some people swear by butterflies. Others love stamps. Those people can go to hell. Butterflies and stamps are needed in the real world. Stamps help our letters get from place to place. Butterflies do something important with nectar. But if everyone collected rocks for enjoying rather than throwing, think of what a happy planet this could be. Speaking of planets, some have said that Earth itself is the biggest rock of all.

As you can no doubt tell, my rock collection can put me in many moods, such as wonder. “Just think! This came off of a mountain!” is a thought I often entertain as I hold a rock in my hand. “I wonder who lived on that mountain! Maybe Billy Zane!”

Other times my mood will be somber, filled with gloomy considerations: “This rock has done more with its life than I have. This rock has caught all the breaks.”

Whatever mood you are in, it can be enhanced or made more fruitful with a rock.

Sometimes when a friend is demonstrating one of his modern contrivances, such as a go-kart or a walkietalkie, I like to say, “Yes, but can your new toy do this?” And then I humbly point to my rock collection. This time I am referring to my testicles.

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