Chapter 5 – Nobody Should Have To Walk Around Naked

Published March 12, 2013 by Larry Fisher


“The opposite of what people say and do is also true.” – Manny

“Money is not nothing , but it ain’t everything. Money is a weapon in this world, but I’d rather have a weapon that fires six shots. – Chucky

Money is not nothing but it ain’t everything… is true. In fact, one day money may be worth nothing if it ain’t worth nothing already – Manny


“Don’t shit on my dreams, and I don’t shit on yours.” – Aunt Minnie


During World War 2 Manny sold a hundred sewing machines to Japan. He was arrested and thrown in jail for a couple of years . His charge was initially espionage, but the judge realized that Manny was just dumb.

The Judge asked Manny,”Why would you sell sewing machines to Japan?”

Manny answered,”Nobody should have to walk around naked.

Manny had no idea that those sewing machines could be used for making parachutes, and tell the truth, you didn’t think about that either till now?

I “found” myself in the junk,  I was buying and selling, or maybe it really is that I was losing myself in the junk. I guess that is how Manny was willing and able to sell a hundred sewing machines to the enemy. In his mind, they weren’t the enemy, they were happy customers. He lost himself in the junk.

“Why should the enemy not have fashion?” Manny pondered.

“The Judge told you that they were going to make parachutes with those sewing machines.”

“The Judge and nobody else really  knew what they were going to do. I bet they didn’t even know.”

I knew what I was doing. I was making money. I was taking stuff headed for a landfill and selling it to Antique dealers.

Old Vogue Magazines, First Edition Books, Movie Posters, Vintage Clothing, Do-Wop 45’s were all heading to the dump, if it wasn’t for me. I was a Garbologist, I was an Environmentalist.

Bald Headed Richie told me,” I wrote the President. I told him what we do here. We salvage the environment with our garbage picking. The Government should pay us to keep the landfills as empty as possible.”

“How did he respond,” Cadillac Joe said sarcastically.

Bald Headed Richie picked up a random stick and pointed it at Cadillac Joe,”He said he’d think about it.”

Manny yelled at Bald Headed Richie,”Don’t be telling the President anything. Next thing you know he’ll be bringing the bulls around sniffing.”

“The Bulls?”

“The Bulls, the cops, the IRS, all kinds of guys in black suits and skinny ties.”

Everybody laughed except for me and Bald Headed Richie. Bald Headed Richie took off with his Granny Carts.

I wanted to open up a store. I talked to everybody about it. My desire to open up a store created chaos by Manny’s. People had strong opinions about me opening up a store.

Manny said, “Don’t open a store. You’ll be tied down to it. Get the stuff and flip it. If you get a store, it is like getting married. You are going to start washing the dishes and making everything shine. Don’t do it. You’ll miss the big payoff. Find yourself some chumps to sell your garbage to. Save some cream for a rainy day.”

“What did you mean by a  big payoff?”

“Instead of  hanging out at your store, selling a piece of junk for a couple of bucks. You are going to walk into a lottery that can set you up for life.”

Bald Headed Richie thought that my opening a store was a great idea, “You’ll be in the store selling a piece of junk for two bucks when someone comes in and asks,’Do you sell lamps like this, I have a thousand of them for a buck a piece.’They will all be Tiffany lamps.”

Richie was making a point and taking a dig at Manny at the same time…I had heard a story of Manny doing a clean out of a Warehouse with colored glass. He busted all the lampshades of  glass, so he could scrap the metal. By this time, you probably realize that Manny had broken every Tiffany shade in that Warehouse. It was  worth quite a little lottery. He just didn’t know.

Richie the Cop said,”Stick with your job at the Corporation, and keep doing what you’re doing. Eventually, the Company is going to get rid of you. When they dump you, then you can open a store.”

“It’s a grave,” Manny said.

Cadillac Joe said to Manny,” You have a store.”

Manny said,”I only have a store because I need a place to live. If I didn’t need to live anywhere, I wouldn’t have a store. Besides, I’m never here.”

I decided not to open a store till the Corporation would get rid of me. Instead, I started selling books and records on the streets of The East Village, and I did the occasional Flea Market and I found some chumps to sell large amounts of garbage to.

I’ll get to that next.








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