Because the basement of this place is somewhat akin to unremediated heaps of wet and dry mud, it is ripe for shovel work. So shovel we did. And let us be frank. There is nothing better than moving wet and dry mud around with a shovel. The only possible silver lining in this beast of burden activity is to turn up one of the many Rembrandt canvasses rolled up and stashed away to survive the war in Europe, or a rare Dresden figurine, or a blue plastic Monkees ring.
A blue plastic Monkees ring it is.
A quick wash revealed the face of Mickey Something. I only remember The Monkees from a book my sister had called Button, Button Who’s Got The Button. If I am correct, and I am certain that I’m not, the book was part of a series in the vein of let’s read about The Monkees being detectives, which itself was a spin-off from a television show, which might have been a spin-off from their music, which was a spin-off/rip-off of The Beatles or even The Partridge Family. Anyways, the book was about The Monkees looking for a button. Sounds lame. But I digress. A blue plastic Monkees ring featuring, quite possibly, the lead singer.
This is the kind of thing that gets me all shivery. A buried shitty blue plastic Monkees ring becomes the firmament of any number of narratives (foul or otherwise) starring a teenage girl from the 60s. Why did she hide it? Were her parents strictly opposed to mop-headed boys? Perhaps there was no teenaged girl. Perhaps the old lady whose books were left behind loved The Monkees. Perhaps one of them was a piano student of her Aunt in Delaware. I mean, seriously, how are we to know anything? Perhaps, I said to the man, if we dug over there we’d find something else.
Which we did.
This time it was an Iron Cross. A Real Iron Cross. Not one of those fakey ones you can buy in cheesy headships in towns where there are people who love Nazis and/or war memorabilia and/or Nazi war memorabilia. I was creeped out for all the regular reasons and thought how much better it would have been if we had found a Victoria Cross – then it would have been a memento of a heroic moment instead of a scary Nazi version of a heroic moment. And then I gave my head a shake.
Medals for valour in any field of battle are innately scary to me because it most likely means that somebody died before their time. Clearly, I’m not loving war or war medals and I now worry about the juju in this crumbling wreck of a house – i.e… in the end you will be jealous of our highly polished sanded fir floors, but how do we grind out the years of post traumatic stress that might have manifested as a result of whatever events were attached to this Iron Cross. What grit do you use for that?
Clearly it is time we did a bit of research on this house. The next time we are here working on it, a visit to the local archives is in order. Perhaps we have inadvertently purchased the lair of a Nazi War Criminal. That, along with the crumbling foundation, would explain the under-market price for the place.
And the big question remains – what exactly is the link between the blue plastic Monkees ring and the real Iron Cross? Beyond the fact that they lay entombed in mud not ten feet from each other for at least forty years I am certain that we can dig up more meaning. Stay tuned for the solving of The Mystery of the Monkees Ring Iron Cross.