Then, along came an enterprising house flipper (and his sidekick, The Retarded Plumber Who Doesn't Believe In Gaskets) who, after demolishing the backyard during renovation, dug a gigantic hole, raked every errant object in range of the Bobcat's scoop into it and promptly covered the hole with sod, gravel or bark mulch.
And then he sold the house to a naive couple who saw the backyard as, "A blank slate! Yay! We won't have to tear down a bunch of junk before putting in proper landscaping!"
I'll let you guess who that naive couple might be...
So, when the naive couple known as US went about creating this backyard of our dreams we quickly found that we lived atop a Toys R Us graveyard and every time we sunk a shovel into the ground we were likely to come back with either a dinosaur, GI Joe, pirate or a random appendage from a dinosaur, GI Joe or pirate.
At first, this was annoying. We felt like we were maybe living on a former junkyard or landfill and how come we paid so much money for a house on land made from lead-filled plastic. But then we became amused and eventually we became collectors.
Bubba would be working on one corner of the yard and yell out, "Hey! I've got a good one!" and then he'd throw a muddy army sniper at me as I was busy pulling down tomato plants or something. Sure, I'd be momentarily annoyed that there was a tiny plastic rifle in my eyeball, but then I'd admire his find and add it to the basket of found bullshit and then we'd muse at the whimsical renovation techniques of the builder.
Then we arrive at present day where we've turned over every single inch of dirt on our property beyond the house (even that which used to reside beneath a cracked concrete patio and the front porch) and have fleshed out our collection of found bullshit to well over 100 pieces.
Some highlights from our collection:
- A complete and intact Igloo cooler and lid (no lunch inside, sadly)
- A functioning water gun
- Giant plastic crab
- Most of a Hungry Hungry Hippo game
- Half of the Bat Mobile
- A plastic alligator jaw which we thought was an alligator jaw when it was on the roof of the garage but we couldn't really tell until we hauled our butts up there and LO it was an alligator jaw
- A chicken McNugget toy from a 1980-something Happy Meal
- A white ninja
Until a few months ago, this collection lived, in its found state of caked-on mud, in a giant Nutella jar in the garage until such time as I accidentally shoved the shelf too hard and the jar fell to the ground and broke, sending our collection every which way.
It's possible some key pieces were lost during this disaster.
After that, what was left from the disaster was relocated to an old basket for future reminiscing. And every time we'd come across the basket in the garage one of us would say something like, "You know, we ought to do something with all that crap."
And then the other one would say, "Yeah, throw it out."
And then we'd laugh and go make cocktails and forget about it because the only ideas we could come up with aside from tossing it all was to build some sort of outdoor curio cabinet and that seemed stupid and ugly so we'd move on.
Until I had a flash of brilliance during an extended cocktail hour that synced up so well with a coinciding flash of brilliance on Bubba's part that we TEE DAH did something with all that crap that we actually really like.
I mean, it's not super classy or beautiful, but it is amusing, makes use of a lot of bound for the trash/recycler materials and adds another They Must Be Bonkers element to our backyard decor that we enjoy.
Enter, the Magnet Board of Found Bullshit.
You see, friends, we enjoy eclectic decor with a story and HELLO if this creation doesn't have a story (see above). Plus, it cost nothing to make and somehow sort of matches another piece of our outdoor decor which was getting close to the chopping block but now seems like part of an ugly but amusing set that we'll keep so that we can be entertained while we host outdoor dinner guests.
Also, this other piece of outdoor decor, which was originally purchased as a potted plant stand, has turned out to be a handy BBQ side table, so that's a good reason to keep it, too. It's useful.
The board though? Well, its usefulness has yet to be realized beyond pure entertainment, but I'm sure it will show its purpose soon enough.
I mean, maybe it'll help us keep score for hillbilly golf somehow or let us illustrate the dramatic story of how the US Army triumphed over the almighty chicken McNugget OR MAYBE we'll unearth a plastic Jesus and be able to reenact what our anti-evolution friends like to tell us really happened back when dinosaurs roamed the earth.
The possibilities are endless.
For now, though, we're pretty proud of ourselves for making another piece of "art" for our backyard and for making use of some more crap that was bound for the trash.
Score one for us. And the dinosaurs. And found bullshit.