Sunday, 31 August 2008

Ring Of Fire



Dear Johnny Cash fans who've been directed here by the obscure digital machinations of a search engine...sorry, but there's no 'Man in Black'-themed content on this page. I have the pernicious (& clich├ęd) habit of using vaguely 'relevant' song titles for my posts, and since I promised a few weeks back to tell the tale of my (surplus to requirements) wedding ring, well...again, my apologies. Still, you're in good company, since the poor folk who went looking for "Billy Ray Cyrus pro union?" (no idea), "Katie Melua nip slip" (that's what they want to see more of in Odem, Texas, apparently), "bungle valve" (say what now?), "how to make a buscuit [sic] tin banjo" (even less of an idea), and "pre-preparing pasta for a crowd" (the final evidence that Google might be broken) all washed-up on these shores. Poor sods.

Anyway, as I said, it's finally time for "the wedding ring story". Hardly worth the wait, frankly...but hey ho, a promise is a promise...

...which is a notion often overlooked in favour of expediency and/or lust-and-greed-fuelled notions of personal gain in the Volsunga Saga, my favourite version of the myth of Sigurd/Siegfried/"Ziggy....dude!" the dragon-slayer - how he came to possess Andvari's cursed ring, went through fire for Brynhild only to be tricked into marrying the wrong woman, was murdered treacherously by her brothers, and the all-round carnage that ensues for everyone concerned when his widow finally has her revenge...

There. That's saved you having to sit through Wagner's entire "Ring Cycle" (60 deg. C, extremely long wash, followed by several hours in the tumble dryer), that has. And there was you thinking today might be a total loss, eh?

(Just to give an idea of the tone of the piece for anyone who's unfamiliar with it, one of the chapter headings in the German version of the legend, the Nibelungenlied, is "How they threw the corpses from the hall" - yes, it's C13th poetry that makes Chuck Norris look like a pacifist, and brilliant bed-time story material for the littl'uns).

Returning to the more immediate past, my own version of the Andvaranautr had been kicking around the house for far too long, (ever since I was traded-in for a younger model back in November last year, in fact - clearly that ring hadn't done me much good ), but I wasn't entirely sure what to do with it. I knew it wasn't worth much in it's 'slightly battered and tarnished' condition, (just like it's owner), but prices on Ebay were so low as to not make that worth the effort. Eventually, I determined to sell it to a jeweller's in Edinburgh that I remembered dealt in 2nd-hand gold items, because whatever I got for it - £10, £20?? - would be more useful than hanging-on to the damned thing.

Naturally, when I got the opportunity to jump on a train and head southwards over the Forth Bridge, I found that the shop had long since gone - hell, more stuff from my youth in Edinburgh seems to have vanished, changed ownership, or met a flying wrecking ball every time I visit the place - but there were a couple more jewellery shops just down the road, so I went to try them instead. "Nothing ventured...", as the foolishly optimistic might say...

Now, I know I wasn't exactly dressed in top-to-toe Armani, but the initial reaction of the shop assistant to my "hey, I had a gig last night - can you tell?" appearance wasn't promising...and they were very quick to express no interest whatsoever in the ring itself. The second place was a repeat performance, complete with anxious glances (and grimaced smiles) over my shoulder towards the other customers - the poor dears were clearly worried my presence might cause people with actual purchasing power to leave...

Well, there's only so much condescension and dismissiveness I can take in one morning, I'm afraid (c'mon now - I'd showered earlier, my underwear was fresh on - I was clean, dammit! It's not my fault that I have childcare-related-lack-of-sleep haggardness etched onto my face, or that I'd have to shave 3 times a day to avoid hairy chin issues..). Muttering imprecations under my breath, (which probably just served to confirm their opinion of me as some oddball social inadequate trying to sell them a worthless ring he found under a park bench), I strode out of the shop - I say 'strode', but the Medial Collateral ligament in my left knee's damaged, so any 'striding' must have been quite lop-sided...aaand we're right back to "oddball social inadequate"... - in a foul mood, rounded the corner...

...and dropped the 'cursed' ring into the outstretched hat of an old derelict guy who was sitting, begging, at the foot of a flight of stairs, and looked like he needed whatever paltry sum it might bring a damn sight more than I did.

Almost instantly, the world felt a tiny bit lighter on my shoulders...and who believes in such foolish nonsense as 'curses' these days, anyhow?

6 comments:

Martin Lennon said...

Cliched? CLICHED???


Harrumph...

Andy Gilmour said...

Ahhh, but you tend to modify them subtly to better fit your content...

I just slap 'em up there, misleading or not.

:-)

Martin Lennon said...

heh...

Nice recovery. I suppose I should find another song title to abuse and get another of my blog thingys out there, eh?

Blog-rock, indeed.

zornhau said...

On the plus side, at least you didn't have a tatto to get rid of.

"Despairing of overpriced laser surgery clinics, I purchased a paper knife from Costcutters...."

Martin Lennon said...

I'm fo....llowing you...

Apparantly.

Andy Gilmour said...

As long as you aren't wearing flowing orange robes and waving a tambourine...man!

:-)