Shady practices, unable to empty pockets over sunglasses


During the days of sidewalk chalk-dusty knees, early 20th century colloquial proverbs were flung obnoxiously about, sure to stick in noggins for life. Apparently.

“Secrets, secrets are no fun …”

“I am rubber, you are glue …”

“Finders, keepers …”

It was that last one that stuck with me for the last 22 years and man, it really doesn’t help that it rhymes.

I have a pretty bad track record with sunglasses — I always have. Oceans and other bodies of water have consumed past pairs as modest snacks. My tush has cracked them into car cushions. Some have suffered irreparable damage to overly aggressive hugs whilst hooked to the front of my shirt. And yes, I have flat-out lost others. Dozens and dozens of darkened specs fell victim to my bad luck until I came to the conclusion that maybe I should just quit doling so much dough on them.

Now don’t get me wrong, I have never shoplifted one thing in my life or “janked” anything ever in a premeditated sense. It’s more like, should I stumble upon some abandoned shades, my response usually doesn’t involve looking around much and usually does involve immediately sliding them in front of my peepers.

You’d be surprised how often orphan sunglasses surface.

I’ve come across them tucked alongside empty beer bottles in party aftermath — hey, it was MY house. Collecting dust in James’s office — they’d been there for months. Laying on the teal counter of CD Connection when I worked there — OK, so maybe I kind of watched the owner exit without them, but that was years ago and I still feel really bad about it! But then again, they did look pretty cute on me.

With all the other expenses plaguing my busy life (records, burritos, beer … vital things) and all of the discarded sunglasses floating throughout the universe, I just don’t get how people will strip their wallets without a flinch for a pair of Ray-Bans. The bargain barrel rankings of those puppies ring up to a whopping $150 a pop. A hunny and a half? Damn, that could buy you a couple of tanks of gas to fuel an adventure! Or you could stay put and use those dollars to collect the Pavement discography. Either option seems more savory than a pricy logo stamped on the side of your shades.

If it’s a dry time for sunglass-spelunking, I scour the Beach Boulevard flea market ($7 per and $10 for a pair if you hit the guy posted between the faded cassette tapes and the macrame man) or the thrift store. But I do have dark eyes and can usually stand squinting until another serendipitous pair falls into my lap. They always do.