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Who’s been writing on my damn furniture?

my grandaddy

This great walnut rhinoceros is from my grandparents’ bedroom. My grandfather died when I was a baby, so it’s kind of nice to have something personal of his: it’s striped with cigarette burns on his side.

“Morning, Grampa…you slob.”

I don’t know where it came from before that. I don’t know any stories about it or which side of the family it came from or anything. Grampy Weasel’s family was from Virginia; Granny Weasel’s were from Maryland. I think it’s Regency. I’m not good with furniture, but I think those thumping huge feet mean Regency.

The floor guys — a pair of wiry little scrawny dudes — took one look at it and shoved it in the bathroom door rather than carry it downstairs, completely blocking same. I didn’t get a real shower for a week (ha! ha! sun-ripened weasel!).

Anyhow, that’s the first time I got a look at the back of it. It’s been signed! In large letters with black paint and a soft brush. Writing with a brush like that means most characters take at least two strokes, all down-strokes. I can’t quite make out what it says.

The Col on the left is distinct, then possibly a second l, though there’s a raggedy glue stain down the middle there obscuring it. The next few strokes are hard: m or w most likely, but could be…something else. Then i or ii (which makes no sense) and rr, with the second r all long and weird like they used to do with double-f (just a guess, maybe it IS a double-f). Then…ord? Or maybe or and some symbol that’s not a letter?

Collmirrord. Collwiirord. Collmirford. Collwifford. Coll mirror’d. Coll wirrar D. The only hit I got was Colliford, which is a town in Cornwall on the edge of Bodmin Moor (as in the Beast of Bodmin), but that is so not Colliford.

Any ideas?



Comment from See-Dubya
Time: April 15, 2008, 1:48 pm

Maybe it’s like “Col. Hairford” or something military.

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: April 15, 2008, 2:01 pm

Oh! It never occurred to me it might be the owner (assuming a furniture maker wouldn’t go by a military title).

Comment from pajama momma
Time: April 15, 2008, 2:09 pm

You have the coolest furniture ever.

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: April 15, 2008, 2:13 pm

Not much of it. I’ve got, like, four or five nice pieces and the rest came out of Salivation Army. Funny that: if you put beat up crap next to real antiques, they all look like real antiques.

My cousin called to say she got the boob chair, by the way. And then she tore the upholstery off of it! That’s something I might have gotten an expert to do, but wouldn’t have dared to do myself. She said under the green velvet was green velvet, and under that leather, and under that wool and under that horsehair.

She’s supposed to send pictures.

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: April 15, 2008, 2:16 pm

Holy shit! You don’t suppose that’s Colonel Mustard, do you?

In the library?

With the candlestick?

Comment from Gibby Haynes
Time: April 15, 2008, 2:27 pm

Col. Mustard. Behind the Regency Drawers. With the soft paint brush.
By the way. I’ve never played Cluedo. Can you believe that?

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: April 15, 2008, 2:45 pm

HEY, UNCLE B! It’s all I can do to keep my eyes open this afternoon. Chronic lack of sleep is catching up with me. If you don’t see me on Skype the usual time, I’m trying to snag some nappage.

Comment from porknbean
Time: April 15, 2008, 2:46 pm

Very cool chest. It will go very nicely in Badgerweasel House.
Is it all wood or full of veneers. Either way, still cool.

Regarding the boob chair, yeah, back in the day, upholstery was stuffed with horse hair. Hmm…so when do you think it was made?

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: April 15, 2008, 2:53 pm

What, the boob chair? Late Victorian.

The chest is mostly veneer. And, yes, I have the missing knob; it needs some repair work, so I tucked it in a drawer so it wouldn’t get lost. I’m really worried about getting up the steps of Badger Hourse. We had a couple of wardrobes that the movers insisted would never make it, and this can’t be much smaller.

(Wardrobes because there are no closets in England. Really!)

Comment from Gibby Haynes
Time: April 15, 2008, 3:16 pm

Yeah, you can’t ‘come out of the closet’ here because there are none. That’s why there are so many clandestine homosexuals. Or as I like to call them – The Government.

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: April 15, 2008, 4:36 pm

Did y’all see this at Babalu Blog? Weird.

Why would a Romanian car company want infamous dictators as spokespeople?

Could you name them all? I couldn’t. Who’s the lady? And was that Ghandi? What’s he doing there?

Comment from porknbean
Time: April 15, 2008, 5:12 pm

Hmmm….Castro, Lenin, Ghandi, MLK, Mao, Che, Marx…..don’t know who the dude in white is or the woman. What woman started a revolution? I could only think of Helen of Troy starting some shit, and that ain’t no Helen…..Madame Curie? Virginia Woolf?

All revolutionaries in their own way. Obviously there is no edumacation in Romania as regards to the body counts of some of the revolutionary’s ‘better’ ideas. Dips.

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: April 15, 2008, 5:46 pm

MLK? I assumed that was Idi Amin. I guess I was thinking “really horrible people who had power” rather than “revolutionary figures.”

The Romanians have no excuse, though. They were under the thumb of the Soviets for decades, to the tune of a couple million souls. Is there a Communist chic sweeping the former colonies?

Comment from porknbean
Time: April 15, 2008, 6:00 pm

Hmm…could be Idi Amin but it looked more like King. Was Amin a revolutionary or just a doofus like the pot belly pig of NK? And if it is bad peoples, then who would the woman be? Hillary wouldn’t wear her hair in a bun.

I don’t know about the Romanians. Whenever you hear some weird assed story about weird assed people, it will usually be from Romania or Florida.

Guy in white – Ho Chi Minh?

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: April 15, 2008, 6:05 pm

Romania was Ceauşescu (yeah, you bet I had to hit Wiki for the spelling).

I think Amin was more lunatic than idealogue, but I haven’t a fucking clue what the makers of that ad were thinking. So there’s that…

Comment from Muslihoon
Time: April 15, 2008, 6:10 pm

I mean no offense, but it’s Gandhi, not Ghandi.

I say that because we can hear it when the wrong letter is aspirated. By which I mean: when I read the word, I pronounce it in my head as it would be pronounced by a Hindi-speaker. Aspirating the “g” when it should be the “d” jars me mentally.

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: April 15, 2008, 6:15 pm

Eh. Thank you, Musli. I looked at it and thought about Googling it, but sometimes I feel just too damn retentive for my own good 😉

So, is that who that was?

Comment from Muslihoon
Time: April 15, 2008, 6:26 pm

Yep, that’s Gandhi all right on the bed.

I get a little irked when people call him “Mahatma”. It’s a very religiously charged term and I feel uncomfortable using it as I don’t buy into the system that undergirds it.

But it beats using his real name, which is Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, either of the first two being a mouthful.

I think they put the wrong Gandhi in the ad. Jawaharlal Nehru and Indira Gandhi (no relation to Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi) were the socialists.

Funny thing is that one of my top posts, as far as people accessing it, has been one that rips into Gandhi.

Comment from porknbean
Time: April 15, 2008, 6:30 pm

They should have made the commercial in a very hot place. Like where magma and betailed demons reside.

Comment from Uncle Badger
Time: April 15, 2008, 6:38 pm

I’m surprised they didn’t include Pol Pot, just to get the full set.

Great Bast, preserve us from Men With Big Ideas!

Comment from Muslihoon
Time: April 15, 2008, 6:42 pm

Bast = Egyptian goddess of cats, yes?

Comment from Enas Yorl
Time: April 15, 2008, 6:54 pm

I see that ad differently Weasel. Castro shows up at a run-down old retirement home for run-down old “revolutionaries”. They’re all just sitting around, doing nothing. Che wants another revolution, but Marx says, “Che, it’s about what people need.” His tone and the ad’s conclusion indicate that it certainly isn’t a revolution by those people. What they need is the car. Heck, you can’t hardly find a more pro-capitalistic symbol than a car, right?

I think the lady might be Marie Curie. Nah – somebody else. Eva Peron?

Comment from Uncle Badger
Time: April 15, 2008, 7:33 pm

Among many other things, Muslihoon!

She seemed splendidly appropriate for the sentiment 😉

Comment from EW1(SG)
Time: April 15, 2008, 7:46 pm


…..don’t know who the dude in white

Sun Yat Sen?

And that ad looks awfully German to me. Vice Romanian?

Comment from EW1(SG)
Time: April 15, 2008, 8:06 pm

Ah, ha! Those lousy Fwench (~in the form of Renault) are behind this. Being unfamiliar with Dacia, I had to google it to find it was a multinational marque (made, among other places, in Romania).

I still think the ad was targeted to a German audience, not sure why that would play well there unless the audience is just relieved that Hitler wasn’t included.

Comment from jwpaine
Time: April 16, 2008, 12:06 am

The woman is Rosa Luxemburg. And that’s MLK, not Amin.

[Look, Ma! I can Google all by myself!]

Comment from jwpaine
Time: April 16, 2008, 12:13 am

The Asian… I was thinking Sun Yat-Sen, but it’s Ho-Chi Min. I guess the way to approach the IDs is to think Socialists Only.

Comment from jwpaine
Time: April 16, 2008, 12:17 am

Incidentally: Here’s a comment on the YouTube version of that ad:

“Este video me parece INDIGNANTE, me parece vergonzoso que la burguesia quiera hacer negocio usando a los líderes de la clase obrera. Sois unos sinverguezas. FAscistas, cabrones VIVA LA REVOLUCION SOCIALISTA.”

[translation mine: “This video seems indecent to me; it seems shameful to me that the bourgeoisie want to do business using the leaders of the working class. You are shameless! Fascists, assholes–Viva the Socialist Revolution!”]

Yeah. Viva, and all that. And by the way, Chachi: Learn grammar.

Comment from Old Iron
Time: April 16, 2008, 12:57 am

-raises hand-

I have a question. Is this company trying to sell it’s vehicle under the guise of persons (Pol Pot, Marx, etc.) that made it almost a mandate, due to lack of any other product being available, to purchase only the product that is implied to be Socialist-approved? Basically issuing the “You have no choice. This car is all you can purchase, and for the good of the People it shall be purchased by you” mandate?

Comment from porknbean
Time: April 16, 2008, 1:09 am

Rosa Luxemburg? Looks like her though I have never heard of her, so there was no way I would have known who to look for.
What I want to know is why these freaks – commies – always talk about the working class rising up and taking over, when the working class never do and suffer the most under the revolutionaries boot.

Comment from jwpaine
Time: April 16, 2008, 1:17 am

I’m guessing the humor is all these “leaders” in a retirement home. Or maybe it’s just that the only Revolution the people can get behind these days is a low-priced MCV (“Multi Convivial Vehicle”). Lord knows that’s the paradigm shift I’ve been waiting for. Gotta go now; lots of ammo to buy.

Comment from jwpaine
Time: April 16, 2008, 1:19 am

Because, PnB, these revolutionaries have learned something the rest of us haven’t: You can fool some of the people all of the time, and that’s quite sufficient.

Comment from Dave in Texas
Time: April 17, 2008, 11:53 am

OMFG! That word on your dresser is straight from the Necronomicon!! DO NOT SAY IT OUT LOUD! !!11!1

Comment from PattyAnn
Time: April 19, 2008, 12:59 am

Did you try it by turning it upside down?

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: April 19, 2008, 8:31 am

The dresser or the word?

Comment from Steamboat McGoo
Time: April 19, 2008, 12:24 pm

Either would work, but I think turning the word upside down would be easier. (Bu-dum! Pah!)

I thought of that earlier. The second half of the word looks “detached” from the first – like they are from two different words or half is upside-down. But the wood grain looks continuous.

Comment from sippican cottage
Time: April 29, 2008, 4:22 pm

Weasel, why you no ask your friend Sippican? Sippican is the lord high muck-e-muck of furniture.

That’s called “Empire” style. Popular in the 19th century. The curvy bracket feet are to imitate a “lyre” shape. The empire they’re referring to is Napoleon. The Louis one, not the Dynamite one. This furniture would have looked perfect in a big old Greek Revival house.

It’s made from heavy woods like walnut, or mahogany, generally. Often veneered. It was made in a factory, even way back then, and they’d write right on the back, all sorts of notes about what it was, using a “keel,” another name for a carpenter’s crayon. It probably is noting there’s a mirror to go with it.

It’s probably a copy made in the twenties or thirties.

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: April 29, 2008, 4:34 pm

Sippican! Of course! And Empire is the word I was trying to think of, not Regency.

Actually, I’ve been composing a mental letter to you for months. I have some unfinished furniture questions. They can wait until Badger House, though.

Twenties or thirties? Boo!

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