Sunday School For Deists – Out And About Today


And those of you who know me can now spend the next few minutes getting your eyebrows out of your hairline. Yes, that is correct.

So, today started with high expectations and failed to live up to them. Then it shifted lower and still managed to draw a blank. Finally it thumbed its nose at me entirely and bid me depart. And then.. and then…

First act was the new garden furniture – the Bunnings special. The take-the-works-van-home-so that-you-could-collect-it furniture. Missing pieces out of the box. Reverse journey and start over again. Oh, woe, wailey, wailey, wailey…

Second act was a visit to the diecast collectors fair at our local exhibition centre. I was hoping for a feast of wonderful models to look at and buy but the whole thing was best expressed by another visitor who turned to his mate and said ” I’m ready to go home and I just arrived.” No food, no music, no coffee. No displays, just tables of DInky Toys and Matchbox cars and grumpy old guys sitting behind the tables. Prices were as high as any retail shop, were you at all interested.

Third act was the trip out to Oakover Winery to see a car show and vintage market. It was easy to find Oakover. You just followed the line of stationary cars that started at Midland and were parked along the Great Northern Highway. As I motored on past and turned for home I reflected that I did not know when would have been a good time to go, but suspect it might have been around the turn of the century… and not necessarily this one…

So where does the deism come into all this? It comes with reflection – the use of the rational part of the mind – remembering what I have seen and heard and thinking about it:

First act. Thank goodness I thought to check the box this morning rather than leaving it for the middle of the week – that would have been another vast confusion to borrow the van and get to Bunnings. As it was, we beetled off today, The Bunnings girl couldn’t have been nicer, and she found us a complete item at another nearby store. Very professional.

Resolved: to check what I get is what I want.

Second act. I overheard a conversation between two sellers as they tried to do each other over. They both insisted that their goods had never been opened and were in the original boxes and therefore were valuable. It raised the spectre of that value being in the cardboard, rather than the toy car. Toy cars have little enough intrinsic metal value, and a high enough price as it is, that they make one question exactly what it is that makes them desirable.

For a little kid, the value is the play that can be done with them. They can be raced around the lounge-room floor, they can be sent down dirt slides, they can be parked in cardboard garages. They are reality small enough to handle and cheap enough to own.

The adult collector…well, if he never takes the toy car out of the original packaging to handle it or open the doors or dream about it…can he be said to even own it? He might be care-taking it for the next owner, and he might be making a vast profit ( And generally he is not…) but he could be doing that with battered old tins of gefilte fish. He could buy and sell anything and not need to play toy cars at all.

Resolved: to take all my toy cars out of their packaging and weather them until they look real and take pictures of them and play with them. And throw away the packaging before it gets an chance to own me.

Third act. Well, Duh. If they are going to have a low-brow event at a venue that has alcohol and stage it on a spring Sunday, what do you expect, Stein? The low-brows of Perth are not going to be down at the art gallery or sipping lattés in Subiaco – they are going to be out at the winery. Either be there when the gates open and be prepared to be parked in until the last chunder is hurled or plan a different day.

But it is not all rational thought – sometimes there can be little treat…

Coming toward home I was in a pretty black mood – until some black people lightened it up. Maylands over the last few years has had an influx of black people from Africa. Ethiopia, perhaps, but they are possibly from a number of other places as well. Today as I passed the Catholic church in Guildford Road there was a courtyard full of them in the spring sunshine. I do not know if it was a special religious day or a wedding…but they were dressed in the brightest garments I have ever seen – children in white, ladies in colours, and the men…well the men looked like Biblical princes. They looked for all the world like illustrations of the Magi. The most spectacular and attractive outfits you can imagine. And every single one of them looked to be laughing and dancing and having a good time. It was only a fleeting chance to see them as the traffic crawled along, but it was the most therapeutic sight I could have found. Real happiness vs my artificial grumpiness, and the latter has entirely vanished.




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