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#22 :: Aluminum folding yardstick

February 28, 2004

The best Heavy Little Objects are metal, mechanical and shiny. I bought this yardstick in the ’80s in one of those little new-wave tchotchke stores, the kind that sold red rubber ducks with devil horns, vintage rhinestone lorgnettes, fur pillows and screaming-nun friction toys that spat sparks as they walked. I remember thinking at the time something like, “9 bucks is a stupid amount of money to pay for something like this, but I must have this thing, and besides, it’s a tool and I’ll use it, not like the other stuff I collect that fascinates for the first day and a half, then loses its luster like sea glass plucked from the surf.” I use it at least once a week – if not to measure then to fiddle with while trying to avoid writing. It has its uses. $9 was a steal.

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