Monday, January 26, 2009

My Ugly Mug story

For those who didn't know about it (which should be just about no one since she told everyone who blogs about it) Today is the ugly mug contest hosted by Linda at 2nd cup of coffee. Please go visit her so she will get off my back. :) Just kidding Linda.

A wise man once said; "It's not the destination so much as the trip that makes life insteresting."

As I said in an earlier post, I don’t own any ugly mugs. Well until now that is. I have been searching for weeks and weeks trying to find one for Linda’s ugly mug contest though and with no luck here in Charleston. I searched, second hand stores, Goodwill, yard sales and was about to start going through people’s trash cans in an effort to find just the right mug. But I did have an ace in the hole.

This past weekend, as some of you know, my wife and I went to Orlando Florida for a wedding. To get there, we had to travel past the World’s Largest Flea Market which is in Daytona Beach Florida. The highway literally takes you a block from the Market so on Saturday, we decided to drop by and find an ugly mug. Surely there would be one at the World’s Largest Flea Market. Well guess what? The World’s Largest Flea Market turned out to be the World’s largest disappointment. There were very few flea market type vendors. It is almost all stores that had relocated themselves to the Market in an effort to avoid paying higher store rents. Again we struck out.

On Sunday, we traveled back to Charleston. Our plans were to stop at the Pecan Park Flea Market to buy some fruit to take back home. There is an Indian River fruit stand there that has the best citrus so we usually stop. While there, I thought that I would give it one last try to find that ugly mug and I am so glad I did.

This market too had mostly stores but there were a few individuals selling stuff. After passing the World’s most disgusting restroom, I headed down the aisle in search of a mug. The smell wafting out of that place was intolerable and I hurried to escape the toxic vapor. It however followed me like a funk that just wouldn’t die. Just as I began to enter a safe breathing zone, I got hit right in the face with another not so pleasing aroma.

It was the snack bar up ahead. It was 10am and they were already cooking the first batch of funnel cakes in sour grease that had to be a month old. I could just imagine how wonderful those funnel cakes must have been after being fried in the same oil that had cooked thousands of onion rings, corn dogs and chicken tenders. I turned my head in search of an escape route and that’s when I saw it. A small booth only 6 ft by 8 ft, containing priceless artifacts from the past. I hurried into the booth.

This place was full of collectable antiques that seemed so out of place at a flea market. No these treasures belonged on the Antique Road Show and I wondered if I could afford to shop here. The shelves were made of old plywood slats that were propped up with upside down milk crates and there was a film of dust on everything. Obviously no true collectors had found this place otherwise it would have been cleaned out long ago. There on the second shelf, located between the Miami Dolphin’s plastic travel mugs and the jelly jar juice glasses, I found it. The cow mug.

I picked it up and admired it. It has been 30 years since I saw one and knew I had to have it. Just then, from out of nowhere, I heard a voice. “I git 3 dollars each er 2 fer 5 fer ma mugs………But you kin have it ferr 2.” The voice came from a man sitting there in the corner. He was wearing a Daytona 500 ball cap from 1998 and he was clipping his greasy fingernails. He didn’t even look up but I could see a big plug of Redman in his swollen cheek. He too was covered in dust and I had at first mistaken him for part of the exquisite decor. I quickly put the mug down so as not to let him know I was interested.

In an effort to fool this well seasoned salesman, I quickly looked at several other items before returning to the cup. I picked it up and again examined it only to find that it was not the true antique from the 70’s but was a cheap imitation made in 2002. I scrunched my nose and put the mug down and proceeded to leave it behind. Just then the man spoke again. “You kin have it fer a doller.” A smile came to my face and I quickly said; “I’ll take it.” I handed the mug to the man and he proceeded to wrap it for me in a piece of moldy yellow newspaper and then slid it in a torn grocery bag. As I handed him the dollar, he smiled and I thought for a brief moment that I saw a tooth without a cavity in it. I thanked him and said; “Have a nice day.”

Once home, I bleached the mug, washed it with Softscrub, poured boiling water in it and then washed it in the dishwasher. And now it’s ready to use. Well I won’t use it. That mug will never touch my lips and to tell the truth I really didn’t feel good about getting it that close to my face for the photo. I may just have to save it for a giveaway and make sure that Linda wins. J
So now that you know the rest of the story, here are the photos. So please vote for me. I deserve it.

This side is Cow by Pablo Picowisso.

This side is Starry night by Vincent Van Cow.

And this is me and my new found mug at 4 am this morning. I need to win.

Have a great day, And vote for me.


Dena said...

I loved your story...too funny. I also went on a search for mine, but would have preferred your trip since it was much warmer. LOL

Good luck today!

Marsha said...

I seriously thought about promising each entrant to vote for their mug if they would vote for mine but figured my guilt would be as obvious as a stain on a blue dress... so I'm simply here to grovel.

Greg, I am 'cow'ered by your story... your 'art'ful description and display of your Louvre-ly mug have me wondering if I might have underplayed my own entry. I am also making myself sick with these silly puns so I'll just get in my van (and) go!

Sorry, I know how pathetic this comment is but I'm just trying to find an edge here. LOL


2nd Cup of Coffee said...

I do not even know where to begin.

First of all, I am imagining you running around Charleston and FL like I'm looking on a map with a tiny illustrated Greg walking rather quickly between points, leaving little black footprints to show where he's been, like on the cartoons.

Secondly, does your wife think you're NUTS for doing this?

I feel like you need a bronze star or some similar award for valor in the face of flea market stenches and scary fingernail-clipping vendors. Just so you know, aren't you lucky to have found a vendor who speaks, "Hoosier."

Greg, you take the cake. You have absolutely made my day. If you ever have a similar contest, I will try to do it justice!

Sharon said...

Yep that was funny!!!! and I have seen and been to places like this. and yes that yuck smell!!
But u had me laughing, it was a cool cup, I am not into the cows but it's still cool.
Gotta go read more before I vote good luckkkkkkk

Scarlet said...

Great story and photos to go with it! I love the Van Gogh cow! You look great at 4 am, btw. At that time I was cleaning puppy poop while you were posing with a funny cow mug! Life's not fair. :)

My ADHD Me said...

I too searched a few thrift stores and tiny stores but to no avail.
That truly is One Ugly mug!

Anonymous said...

Pablo Picowsso??? Laughing my head off!

I will totally vote for you!

Mommy, the Human Napkin said...

Now that's dedication! I have a friend who would LOVE that mug in her cow-themed kitchen!

Patrice said...

Oh are something else...I would totally vote for you, but it would take a vote away from me! Another day, another contest!

skoots1mom said...

gr8 job...i didn't know cows had two heads! amazing...

Esthermay said...

Oh. My. Goodness.
I have a "ShortList." You are #3!

Your narrative leading up to the revealing of "UglyMug" is Magnificent!!!!

You initially lost favor with this voter as you did not already have "UglyMug" in your possession, but the extra effort to impress us as (likely) the only Y-Chromosome entry - is applaudable!!!!


Mocha with Linda said...

Cow-abunga! You are hilarious!

Kim said...

"Cow"dos for finding the ultimate ugly mug! I, sad as it is, do NOT have an entry in the ugly mug contest because I haven't stepped foot out of my house into the frigid arctic air that is East Central Indiana in 20 years! (well, it seems like it anyway!)....while you traipse around in warmer, sunnier climates in search of a mug... :P~~~~~

teehee! J/K! :)

You get my vote! (and to think...I used to have a kitchen FULL of ugly cow artifacts!)


Beverlydru said...

I totally laughed out loud at your comment regarding my Ugly Mug post. And you definitely get the award for diligence in the hunt. I can't beleive we can't vote for ourselves! I didn't read that in the rules until afater I tried it. LOL. This was really fun.

Edie said...

LOL!! What a person will do to win a contest! I kinda feel sorry for that old guy.

Everyone must be holding on to their ugly mugs so they can enter the contest. It's a conspiricy, it's always a conspiricy.

Chatty Kelly said...

I too was looking for an ugly mug, just to please Linda. Aren't we a group of loving bloggers?

Well, since several of my bloggy friends are competing I refuse to say who I'm voting for. But you definintely worked the hardest for your mug, and your story was awesome.

Always fun at Greg's General Store!

Marla said...

I really don't think the mug is that ugly. Not that I have a passion for cows. But your story can't be beat!!

Debbie said...

Well, I'm not sure if it is the ugliest mug but you certainly had the ugliest time getting it!

Monogram Queen said...

Haa who in the world would have thought it would be so hard to find an ugly mug!!!?

Lois said...

I'm happy that This is Monday and I have time to read all these blogs. So many mugs, So many stories. I think you are all winners. Thanks for entering.

Becky said...

You are a hoot! I laughed at your description of the stenchy flea market. I'm afraid to admit that I kind of like your mug... except for the cow part. LOL.

Great story and super job.

Susanne said...

Wow you should win just for being up that early!

Edwina at The Picket Fence said...

You must be exhausted from all that mug hunting. I love the cow mug and it would look great in my country kitchen, oh blogging buddy.

Jamie Dawn said...

What an ordeal to find an ugly mug, which I don't think is very ugly, by the way.
Loved the journey!

Wanda said...

You are one of the funniest men I know.... Love the story... Love the naration of the artwork involved in the mug.

But the last picture is the BEST..

TWO UGLY MUGS... ((Just kidding, I think you are cute Greg!))

But my vote is for YOU!!!

I worked for a wonderful boss named George... his nickname was ugly, and the car license was

Phyllis@Aimless Conversation said...

That's quite a search. You could have checked out FleaWorld while you were in Orlando (it's in Sanford~I used to live around the corner). Tons of stuff there...maybe some even uglier than the cow mug. If that's possible.

Chel's Leaving a Legacy said...

Wow, Greg, what a find! I thought your mug was kinda funny...but your story surpasses them all! lol

I loved your descriptions of the smells at the flea market...and of the old dusty man.

Katherine Aucoin said...

What a funny story. You are really into this ugly mug contest. I hope that all of the searching you went through counts for something!

Sandy said...

funny post and I love that pic of you with the mug at 4 in the morning...hey i like those mugs.

Anonymous said...