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February 23, 2012
He has been carefully going through two boxes of old china at the yard sale. After 20 minutes of watching him place every piece in a stack of rejects, I saunter over with mock offhandedness and say, "They're all perfect. Can I help you find something?"

"I was hoping for something chipped," he says, "or at least scratched."

"Are you planning to break it to make a mosaic or something?"

"No, I just prefer the underdog," he says. "You think I'm nuts."

"Quite the opposite," I say, thinking of the cracked gravy boat out of which I eat dry cereal.