Our Giant (Removable) Brain

“A family that lived in our house left a bunch of boxes in the attic,” Mary Denby wrote me last week. “Would you like to go through them and see if there are any treasures for the Big Flea?” she asked.

Magic to my ears.

My six-year-old (the one with a penchant for phones that are not working) pleaded to come with me. Not knowing what I’d find, or the space in which I’d be confined, I demurred. Shortly after dinner on Tuesday evening, I trucked over to the Denbys for a little sleuthing. Interrupting their dinner, Chris and Mary welcomed me into their home and escorted me to the dusty attic. There they were, about 20 old boxes with who knows what inside them.

The first contained a bunch of old stuffed toys. And so did the second. And third. The next few had old kids and baby clothes. None of this was really Big Flea material, but I soldiered on. And that’s when I found it. Ironically, it was stuck in a box filled with a variety of threadbare stuffed animals: a giant human skull with a removable brain.

“Can we play with it?” my girls asked when I returned home a little later.

“You’re not keeping that thing, are you?” my wife asked hopefully.

I’m sorely tempted to do so. After all, it’s one of the strangest items we’ve yet received, equally eerie, educational and just plain gross. But I think I’d rather see someone walk away with it on April 26, a big smile on their face, and more money in our pocket.

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