For years, I’ve had a crazy uncle, Owen Tedford. Now crazy Uncle Owen always like to collect baseball cards. I’ve always liked baseball cards so I always like to visit with Owen for short periods of time.
We always considered him eccentric and not crazy until he started buying other collections. While that wasn’t crazy in and of itself, it was what he did, or didn’t do, with the cards. He wouldn’t look at the collection for overlap before buying it. He would see one or two cards that he didn’t have and just buy.
Once uncle Owen got the collection, he would put the new collection in his shed and slowly cull it for individual cards to add to his main collection. The leftover parts of the collections slowly deteriorating outside in the shed.
We were worried about crazy Uncle Owen being crushed by his rotting collection of cards on a trip to the shed. We figured it was only a few more years until the sheer dead weight of it all collapsed. Then he met Artie, the town loon.
Artie hadn’t always been a loon. He once had a very nice little bookstore. He just couldn’t keep up with the market shift to big store vendors and the online move. This drove Artie over the edge. He sold his store and starting acting strangely.
Artie started to buy card collections, but Artie would put them into some crazy storage scheme that only Artie truly understood. I got to meet Artie a few times and I tried to understand why the organization scheme was so great but never could. He called it his Intelligent Dartless Oscillating Lookup system. (Told you he was a loon)
Artie wasn’t so much of a friend of crazy Uncle Owen as a friendly competitor. Artie was good for Uncle Owen as Artie would buy collections before Owen could. While this didn’t make Uncle Owen less crazy, it did reduce opportunities for craziness. That was until Uncle Owen realized he had a few football cards in his collection and decided to start buying those, but that is another story.
Right now, I’m worried about Uncle Owen’s craziness surfacing in a big way now. Recently, Artie met a nice woman, Heather Pritchard, who happens to have a fondness for baseball. I’m pretty sure she isn’t going to put up with Artie’s random buying sprees. That means Uncle Owen is likely to start buying more things.
On the one-hand, watching my crazy uncle is a little fun. You never know what he is going to do on any given day. On the other hand, he is a key part of the family and you sometimes wonder for everyone’s safety.
Oh, as for Artie? I imagine strange times for he and Heather. It will be interesting to see the output of that union.