Brettuns Village Trunks & Leather

Old Trunks, New Leather.  All from Maine.

December 22, 2006

Ho Ho Ho from all of us at Brettuns Village, where we’re still waiting
for the ground to freeze up and for decent snow cover.  Looking like
a brown Christmas

this year; something nobody writes songs about.  Hard to get caught
up in the spirit of the season, sort of, and things seem to have changed
a bit around here

in a way that more or less snuck up on me this year.  I noticed
it a week or so ago when I went into town to do some Christmas shopping
for my girls (Amanda,

our two daughters, and That Dog)(don’t forget the cat – another girl
– Sam[antha]) (and probably the fish in Hayster’s fish tank are girls too
come to

think of it), but this is the first year in a long time that I didn’t
make a single trip down the Barbie aisle at the toy store.  Didn’t
even make it to the

toy section – these gals are into more grown-up stuff, like clothes,
stinkum (my Dad’s name for perfume), and music CDs from singing groups
or individuals I’ve

never heard of before.  Life marches on.  Their Christmas
lists changed a lot this year, and mine did too.  My list this year
was different from any other

I’ve ever thought up – I made a list of all the things I don’t want. 
Just watch TV or look through all those fliers that get crammed into the
newspaper –

they’re full of stuff you don’t want, and neither do I.

For example – when I get in my pick-up truck to go someplace, I usually
know where I’m going.  Post office to see Tom and Brian, wave to Harold,
my barber,

when I swing past his place, over to O’Brien to pick up more tools
for the customers, say hi to Sandy, Ray and Sue over there, gas station
maybe, some

groceries.  Weekends I might drive to camp on Brettuns Pond, but
that’s about it.  So, item number 1 on my list of Things I Don’t Want
is any sort of

electronic gadget that sticks to my dashboard and tells me where I
am.  I know where I am.  I know where I’m going.  Why would
I need that thing sitting there,

running low on battery power (everything that runs on batteries is
always low on battery power  – am I right or not?), sitting in the
exact spot where I could

wedge a good cup of Joe in there between the dash and window. 
Don’t need it.  Don’t buy it for me.  GPS, device with a double
name, color mapping functions,

ability to tell you out loud where to turn, or anything else. 
Pay attention, drive safely, and that’s that.

Next – for better or worse I’ve got a cell phone, and some of you call
me on it from time to time.  That’s when I get the chance to tell
you that I’m not sure

why I have a cell phone, because where we run the business we’re too
far away from Maine’s only cell phone tower anyway (I think it’s on top
of the state

house dome over to Augusta).  On rare occasion a lost signal will
charge out of Massachusetts and zip up here, bouncing around with no real
purpose, which is

exactly like Massachusetts tourists when you get right down to it,
but the signal comes and goes.  Grandma Churchill would have called
that cell phone a

‘Might Dog’:  Might bite, might not.  Cell phone might work,
might not.  When it works I like it.  When it doesn’t work, well,
I don’t use it.  Some day I’ll be

glad I have it, when the truck breaks down and I have to call Rob Pratt
to come tow me back to the house, and right then and there I’ll be so glad
I have that

phone, but I can tell you with a clear mind that at no time during
that vehicular inconvenience will I stop and think, “Hmmm, I sure wish
I had 300

songs stored in this phone,” nor, while I’m at it, “If only I could
take pictures with it…”  What on earth would I do with pictures
in my phone?  Send

them to someone?  Here’s me sitting on the side of the road. 
Here’s me kicking the rear bumper out of spite.  Here’s a close-up
of the dent in the front fender

where that wild turkey flew into the truck last Spring.  A shot
of a Maine Nickel (empty beer can) I found behind a stump.  I don’t
think so.  Don’t get me

one of those phones, Santa.

I also don’t need any of those weird plastic shoes that all the stores
seem to be selling, even tough I don’t see anyone buying them.  What
are they called?

Named after some aquatic reptile, as I recall, and about as attractive
as, hmm, well they just flat are not attractive at all.  Not in any
of the primary colors

they’re available in.  Under my tree?  No thank YOU.

Don’t need music CDs by anyone who’s been shot recently, don’t need
a small plastic thing that holds 500 songs and slings around my neck, don’t
need a

pocket PC that can get e-mails while I’m out of the office or traveling
to major sales meetings in Orlando, don’t need a tablet PC that I can write
on with a pen

and then it knows what I wanted to write (sure – with my penmanship
my grocery list could be mistaken for a terrorist threat).  Don’t
need any of them.

I don’t need any shirts that only act as advertisements for the company
that sold it to you, ala Witherboomber & Retch, don’t need a purse
that is the same

as all the other purses in the world except for the initials in the
fabric on the outside ala Carriage or Hooch or Larry Violin or whatever
it is; don’t need

a camera that takes pictures of my daughters, divides their images
into 6.5 Pixel-Pooters and puts these onto a 2 Gigabyte memory card (something
else I do

not need and I mean it) so I can go stand in line at the Big Box Store
to print them out on a little machine that needs a credit card to bother
waking up (what

was so bad about dropping off film and then picking it up a few hours
or a few days later?  Wasn’t it a thrill to wait and see which ones
came out OK?), and

this means, in turn, that I don’t need a special printer to use at
home so I can print out my own ‘photo quality’ photos, which in turn means
that I don’t need

those expensive ink/toner/dye/pigment/stain cartridges that cost 1.278
arm/leg equivalents after every 23 pictures.  Then, thanks to the
fact that I don’t want

any of that stuff, I also don’t want a device that plugs into the flat
screen TV, which I don’t want anyway, so that I can see my photos on the
television.  I

like photo albums.  They work fine.  Besides, when you plug
the camera into the TV and get everyone settled in front of it to see your
pictures you know what

happens.  Low battery.

I don’t want a hunting suit that’s filled with activated charcoal so
that my human scent remains non-detectable (I’ll bet at least half of you
didn’t even

know this sort of thing existed but it does and now you know that you
don’t want it anyway); I don’t want any clothing that wicks anything away
from my skin, and

I don’t want boots that have a ‘thin membrane of high-tech polymer’
in them anywhere, including the heels, because I just flat wasn’t raised
to be that

demanding of my boots I guess.

I don’t want headphones that wrap around the back of my head or fold
up to store in my pocket, nor a flashlight that has a crank handle on it
so that I can

generate power to run it.  I also don’t want a chain saw, a reciprocal
saw, a circular saw, or a worm-drive saw that’s powered by batteries, nor
a hammer

drill or any other battery-powered tool.  You know why. 
‘Low Battery Alert.’

This list is getting pretty long so I’ll knock it off right here. 
I know this is late in the shopping season, but I hope this helps you create
your own list

to discuss with your loved ones.  I’m telling you that you’ll
knock them right off their chair when you sit back and say, slowly, “Well,
let me tell you some

stuff that I surely do not want this year…”

If you get around to finding time to think about something you really
do want, if any of it falls under the broad headings of stuff we sell here
from the barn,

I hope you know that we’ll be right here to help when you’re ready. 
We’ve got gift certificates available on the site now, by the way, and
you can also go

back and read some older editions of this PNL (Pathetic Newsletter). 
Find the Site Map and you’ll see the link from there.  That’s my holiday
shopping blitz

sales pitch.

So, what do I really want for Christmas?  To watch my kids and
wife together in one room, smiles, laughter, Jenny (That Dog) in the middle
of it all (of course

she has presents under the tree), some Oreos, which manage to show
up every year, thanks to Amanda’s folks down in Tampa.  Socks. 
The perfect Christmas


We wish each of you a very Merry Christmas, and I truly mean it. 
Santa usually hits Maine pretty early in his rounds, so holler on the evening
of the 24th if

you want to get a feel for what he’s giving out this year.  Battery
chargers, probably.

And To All a Good Night;

Churchill Barton, Elf Waxer

Brettuns Village