Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Rat Fink Envy

Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored," the biggest, baddest, boldest blog on the block!

Sorry. Teaching alliteration today. Sticks in the brain.

When it comes to keeping stuff, there are hoarders who keep everything (like my spouse), and pitchers who toss everything (like me).

My sister is a selective hoarder. She has kept everything from her childhood that made her happy. Since her childhood was extraordinarily unhappy, she really clings to the stuff that gave her solace.

Thus has she clung to several vintage Rat Finks.

I'm still on my netbook today, so I don't have the pictures of Sis's Rat Finks that I published in previous posts. (Ah! "published in previous posts!" Alliteration!) But such is the power of the Internet that someone trolling for Rat Finks emailed me about one of the best ones in Sis's collection. Big bucks for a little plastic leering rat, small enough to stand on a quarter.

Back in the day, you could get a Rat Fink from a gumball machine for the lavish investment of a nickel. Some Finks had whiskers. Some didn't. Most were blue, but there were other colors too. I had a magenta one and an orange one (with whiskers) that I was fond of. They fell off my key chain in 8th grade, never to be seen again.

I'm 100 percent sure Sis will not part with her Rat Fink for the $75 offer she received from the interested Fink fan. I can almost see her chuckling at the thought of putting her childhood treasure into a postal mailer for that paltry sum. (postal ... paltry .;. getting the alliteration drift?)

We all take solace in something from our childhoods. And while the Rat Fink collector may envy my sister for having an orange, whiskered Fink, I envy her for having portable plastic happiness.

Because the thing that gave me solace as a child was the 75 acres of Appalachia from which my great-great-great grandfather marched to the Civil War. You'd need a massive vat of whiskered Rat Finks to buy my childhood treasure. Better to love the ugly little gumball machine toy than the mountain property that you want to keep hold of but probably won't be able to, given the rapacity of relatives, realtors, and now the new demon, Columbia Gas.

Sometimes I wish I could bring back my joyous memories by holding a tiny Rat Fink in my palm, At other times -- most times -- I think it's better to embrace a whole mountainside, the country of my blood, my soul in landscape form. Maybe I'll have to watch my farm get sold out from under me, but at least that doggoned mountain isn't going to fall off a key chain and be lost forever.

6 comments:

THE Michael said...

No, Anne, but if they find COAL under that mountain, you can kiss the whole thing goodbye, as well as any streams in the valleys around it.......

Sarita Rucker said...

Ouch, Michael, that makes me want to cry... :(

mr64 said...

Rat Finks have increased 67,500 percent since the 1960's and I would'nt consider a 75.00 dollar offer (PALTRY). Its not like I tried to rip anybody off (the way you make it sound like most of the dealers do at the Flea Market or something). I can appreciate people wanting to keep things, but being insulting about it is an other issue. Lucky for me I don't need the orange rat fink to live or anything, because I would'nt accept 1000.00 dollars to take it free now.

Anonymous said...

mr64, I think Anne's point was that childhood treasures are priceless -- $75 is likely a very fair offer for a collectible rat fink, but there is no sum sufficient to part with our fondest childhood memories.

Rhonda T.

Anne Johnson said...

My point exactly was not to insult you, Mr 64, but to note that when it comes to selling rat finks, my sister would have a truly unreasonable price. In fact, I talked to her today, and she said not a penny less than $300. I'm sure you would agree that this is ridiculous for the item offered.

mr64 said...

There isn't any rat finks worth 300.00. You do find them on vending cards like in the machines for 100-200.00. The individual packaged ones can be 100-150.00.