About 17 years ago to store some of my performing kit I began using a heavy old suitcase that had belonged to my grandfather. The last time I remember seeing it was about 11 years ago. I thought I had long since lost the case and all of its odd contents until this morning when it turned up at my in-laws home.
Excellent! A wonderful suitcase (pleased: both me and Nadine) and an assortment of...things...accumulated over time (pleased: me. Eye-rolling: Nadine).
What treasures awaited? Here's a partial list.
pair of vintage plaid trousers badly squished but good quality red bowler hat three purple juggling stage balls three Cuban cigar boxes plate of plastic food from Japan: rice, chicken croquets and gravy four slices of plastic beef
a bag containing: set of red sponge balls balloon pump plastic champagne glass broken Japanese mobile phone two clown noses 6" long rubber tongue one set of rubber frog's legs that you stick in your mouth so the legs are hanging out - you then wiggle a lever with your tongue to make the legs move (another proud purchase from a 100Y shop in Japan) one whoopie cushion two TTs (magicians will know) one 'nail through the finger' trick one rubber snot-dripping nose prosthetic (again, 100Y shop) one set of critter eyes for hand puppets one cassette of 1930s boogie woogie music: Albert Ammons and Pete Johnson
clown horn floppy Salvador Dali-esque clock 45 ballpoint pens fake Dali moustache one rubber bald-head six rubber eggs half a dozen small magic tricks three more clown noses another balloon pump two rubber juggling balls an enlarging-$2-bill trick (useless since the advent of the toonie in 1996) two rolls of coloured duct tape hiking blister kit rubber ventriloquist's mouth-and-tongue puppet fire-starting flint and steel set broken fork (deliberately) cap-gun (with four still-working shots left. There were five until ten minutes ago) pair of silly glasses tin of exploding-cigarette loads
Oh - here's another cigar box. This one has...
six boxes of matches two nose-flutes another flint and steel set referee's whistle ten band-aids
I would forgive you for thinking that in my younger days my show revolved primarily around silly things made of latex. In fact the vast majority of the things lurking in the suitcase were bought on a whim because they made me laugh (and, yes, think 'Wow - I could do something great with that!').
I was deluded. Almost all of it has gathered dust.
Though I'm looking at the plastic food and thinking, 'You know, that still makes me giggle.'