Antiques Are Essential?

Antiques Are Essential?
These are crazy days. Nonetheless, all is not lost and this too shall pass. While there's nothing funny about the situation we find ourselves in, we need not lose our sense of humor. It's when the news is darkest that humor can break the spell. In that vein, I've taken to interviewing myself below as to why antiques should be classified as an essential business. If you believe this, then we need to discuss Moses' staff used to part the Red Sea ($49) that is available for sale at our gallery.

Q: So your position is that the antiques business should be classified as essential, similar to food and healthcare, so that antique stores like yours can stay open during this crisis?

A: Um, yes.

Q: How do you figure?

A: Well, it's like this. First of all, we have all kinds of valuable - if somewhat dated - medical technology ready to go. Things like early EKG machines that haven't been used for 75 years, antique blood pressure monitors that probably couldn't detect if oil was flowing through the Alaskan Pipeline but nonetheless look very cool, and glass bottles full of strange but potentially useful chemicals.

Q: I see. So apart from that, how would you justify such a classification?

A: There are also critical communication devices, like tube radios. OK, sometimes the tubes fizzle out and the radios are about as portable as concrete blocks but many of them include a wonderful crackle that will obscure all the bad news you don't want to hear anyway.

Q: Uh huh. Anything else?

A: Oh yes. We have a lot of vintage clothing that can be cut up and used as toilet tissue and paper towels, various puzzles with missing pieces so as to keep a bunch of children occupied for months, and ugly furniture that requires a lot of careful and time-consuming consideration to make nice-looking again.

Q: So ...

A: I'm not done! In fact, I'm just getting started. In terms of edibles, we have all kinds of beautiful glass vessels that can collect rainwater - not that it ever rains around here - and several tins of emergency crackers made during the 1960s that were designed to be stored in bomb shelters during the Cold War. Oops - news flash! The crackers have been sold to some foresighted customer with no taste buds. See, some people have vision!

Q: But ...

A: In terms of transportation, there are several old-style gasoline cans that may be a bit smelly and leak slightly but might still hold gas for a little while and assorted paper maps that will tell you how to get around as if it were 1940. That's useful, right?

Q: You've certainly made a compelling case.

A: Haven't I, though? There must be at least 10,000 useful things in our gallery. And not just our gallery, but every other small business in the Coachella Valley. But on second thought, if we all stay home and heed the warnings of our medical professionals to wash our hands and avoid large groups, maybe we can make this mess go away. Thus, I hereby withdraw my compelling but nonetheless untimely request for an "essential" designation and will just have to wait this out like everyone else. We'll see you again soon!

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