When something outlives its usefulness it becomes antiquated.  Eight-track tape players and scraggly-looking housetop television antennas are like that.  So too, are rotary phones.  One has resided in a room of our antique shop for thirty plus years.  I am sure it was there 20+ years before that.  Being sentimental about old things, we still continue to occasionally use it. Even though the phone has no price tag and a line visibly running from its back to wall-jack, at least once a week someone will pick it up and remark about the phone's heavy weight.  "Look at this old fossil," the young man will say.  Then he'll begin dialing numbers to see how such an object really functioned.  "Sir," I'll say, "that is not part of our inventory.  It's our phone."  This statement usually triggers kind of a funny glare, like I am not a real person, but a ghost, or merely deranged. Then, carefully as he was handling a live handgernade, the gentleman will put the old black phone back down on the table where he found it and turn his attention to other items.

Something else that has now officially outlived its useful purpose are Mother Goose's nursery rhymes.  I read a few over the other day and realized why I never hear my brother or his wife reciting them to their baby.  Mother Goose is too violent and politically incorrect to for modern day children like Evan.  Here are a few once famous poems not likely to be uttered or even whispered by Barney or a Telatubby.

Three blind mice! See, how they run!
They all ran after the farmer's wife,
Who cut off their tails with the carving knife!
Did you ever see such a thing in your life?
Three blind mice!

Ding, dong, bell,
Pussy's in the well!
Who put her in?
Little Tommy Green.
Who pulled her out?
Big Johnny Stout. What a naughty boy was that,
To drown poor pussycat,
Who never did him any harm,
But killed the mice in his father's barn!

A farmer went riding
Upon his gray mare;
Bumpety, bumpety, bump!
With his daughter behind him,
So rosy and fair;
Lumpety, lumpety, lump! A raven cried, "Croak!"
And they all tumbled down;
Bumpety, bumpety, bump!
The mare broke her knees,
And the farmer his crown;
Lumpety, lumpety, lump!

Humpty-Dumpty sat on a wall,
Humpty-Dumpty had a great fall;
Threescore men and threescore more
Cannot place Humpty-Dumpty as he was before

I had a little pony,
His name was Dapple-gray,
I lent him to a lady,
To ride a mile away;
She whipped him, she slashed him,
She rode him through the mire;
I would not lend my pony now
For all the lady's hire.

Old Mother Hubbard
Went to the cupboard
To get her poor dog a bone;
But when she came there
The cupboard was bare,
And so the poor dog had none. She went to the baker's
To buy him some bread;
But when she came back
The poor dog was dead.

Sing a song of sixpence,
A pocket full of rye;
Four and twenty blackbirds
Baked in a pie; When the pie was opened,
The birds began to sing;
Was not that a dainty dish
To set before the king? The king was in his counting-house
Counting out his money;
The queen was in the parlor
Eating bread and honey; The maid was in the garden
Hanging out the clothes,
When along came blackbird
And pecked off her nose.

There was a man in our town,
And he was wondrous wise;
He jumped into a brier bush,
And scratched out both his eyes

There was an old woman who lived in a shoe,
She had so many children, she didn't know what to do;
She gave them some broth without any bread,
She whipped them all soundly, and put them to bed.

Jack and Jill went up the hill,
To fetch a pail of water;
Jack fell down, and broke his crown,
And Jill came tumbling after.

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Wayne Mattox Antiques | 82 Main Street North | Woodbury, CT 06798 | 203-263-2899 | wayne@antiquetalk.com
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