Black velvet and that Husband-Head smile |

Black velvet and that Husband-Head smile

Fried Rice
Heidi Rice
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
Heidi Rice

“Here I come… to save the day!” Husband-Head sang once again in his best Mighty Mouse impersonation as he came down the stairs on a recent Saturday morning around 8 a.m.

I looked at him from the kitchen with a raised eyebrow.

“It’s a little early to be saving the day, don’t you think?” I questioned, noticing that he was both showered and dressed. “You’re not usually up this early on a weekend unless there’s a football game on.”

Husband-Head didn’t answer and just gave me a smug smile.

“Where’s my wallet?” he asked. “I’m very busy. I have things to do.”

I handed him the wallet, but not before looking into it to see if he even had any cash.

“You have, like, two bucks,” I informed him. “You’re not going to get far with that.”

“That’s just fine,” he said, grabbing the wallet from me. “That’s all I need.”

And then it dawned on me. He was going to scour the yard sales – one of the first signs of spring in our household.

“I have to get out there before all the other early birds,” he said firmly as he proceeded to leave. “I’m on a mission. I want to find a velvet Elvis.”

Typically, I don’t have a problem with Husband-Head’s yard sale findings, which have included everything from furniture to pool tables, beer cans, bar stools, skull decorations, lava lamps, beer cans, posters of people nobody but he recognizes, every holiday decoration known to man, beer cans, TV’s, receivers and more beer cans. But now it was all about really bad black velvet artwork.

Two years ago he came home with a velvet painting of the Beatles which can only be described as … ummm … let’s just say, not the right nationality. Each had brown skin with dark eyes and hair, unlike the famous fair-skinned British boys we all knew and loved.

Last year, Husband-Head was quite proud of himself when he lugged in another velvet painting – this one a scenic velvet monstrosity of a cliff with a lighthouse, a rising sun and waves crashing on a beach.

“You’ve got to be kidding me,” I said as he dragged in the horrific piece of velvet artwork. “You cannot bring that into my house.”

“Nope,” Husband-Head agreed. “It’s going into my playhouse next to the Mexican Beatles.”

As it should.

“So where are you off to now?” I asked him on this particular Saturday morning. “What kind of junk are you going to save from the landfill this time?”

Husband-Head was hesitant to reveal his plans.

“I’m going out to find a velvet Elvis,” he finally admitted. “If I’m going to collect bad velvet artwork, I have to have a velvet Elvis.”

This did not make sense to me.

“Why can’t you just buy one on eBay or Craig’s list?” I demanded to know. “There’s a million bad black velvet Elvis pictures for sale. And for good reason!”

“No, no, no,” he insisted with a smile. “That’s no fun. I want to go out to yard sales and FIND a black velvet Elvis.”

Which reminded me of the old 1989 Alannah Myles song.

“Black velvet and that little boy’s smile … Black velvet and that slow Southern style … a new religion that’ll bring ya to your knees … Black velvet if you please …”

OK, so Husband-Head was fixated on finding black velvet artwork, but I was hoping he wasn’t having a collecting problem altogether.

Ironically, that evening, we happened to be watching a program on TV that focused on people who collected all kinds of stuff and couldn’t get rid of any of it.

They were called “hoarders.”

I looked at Husband-Head from across the room out of the corner of my eye to see his reaction to the show.

“That’s DISGUSTING!” Husband-Head said as we viewed a woman’s home that was completely consumed with so much crap she could barely get around it.

It was then I realized that, while Husband-Head has brought home a lot of stuff from his yard-saling hobby, he also routinely gives away or takes stuff to the dump that he is not using.

So what if he’s hung up on a black velvet Elvis this year?

“A new religion that’ll bring ya to your knees … black velvet if you please …”

Heidi Rice is a columnist for the Citizen Telegram and the Post Independent. To see more columns or to buy her book collection of columns, visit

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