Sunday, August 23, 2009
Garage Sale: Crazy Pants are 1/2 Off!!
The garage sale scene is an anomaly, a magnet for penny pinchers who want to negotiate pennies over a chipped deviled egg plate. It's a grassroots, capitalist enterprise erected on an oil-stained garage floor. Really... a garage sale is a strange and wonderful event. We just pulled the squeaky metal door down on our two-day knickknack haggle and, despite initial gloomy weather, the results were quite lucrative. My favorite part of a garage sale is the people-watching and I was far from disappointed. Here are some of the high points:
* A family(?) arrived in a rusted pickup trip. Sounds pretty typical for a rural-type community, right? But wait, there's more! This was a very special sort of pick-up... one that caused me to nearly snap my neck in a cartoon-style double take. You see, there were two rows of seats and the back row had no roof -- they were riding convertible-style. It appeared as though the roof over the back row of seats was sloppily hacked off and the family(?) that stepped out of the coverti-truck looked like extras from the set of Deliverance. As the sloppy jalopy chugged down the road, I couldn't help but hum the Beverly Hillbillies theme song.
* Sometimes in a small community, the locals assume you share their values and beliefs. Yesterday, one of our customers decided to unload her opinion over a very recent controversial issue and spoke as if we must agree with her. We did not. In fact, when she finally stumbled off of her narrow-minded soapbox, John might have socked her (if his jaw wasn't still firmly planted on the driveway).
* A dog wandered onto the scene and decided to stick around for a few hours. The dogs in our neighborhood tend to run unsupervised and fill their bellies on the all-you-can-eat garbage-bag-destruction buffet, but I didn't recognize this one. We eventually called the number that was on his tag and alerted his owner to the dog's whereabouts. Did the owner sound relieved that we'd located his beloved family pet? Nope. There was no gratitude, no urgency in his voice indicating he was on his way, nothing. Later on he arrived -- still ungrateful and apathetic -- and collected his dog. Sometimes I don't understand people.
* A member of a landscaping team that was working down the street stopped by and inquired about a stuffed parrot that was perched on a table. This was no ordinary stuffed parrot... you can teach this feathered fellow to speak. Landscape guy asked if he could teach the bird to say dirty words. We assured him that this was a possibility. He was so excited at this prospect and, after some shrewd negotiation, purchased the bird for a song.
Yes, a garage sale is fertile ground for growing all the crazy you'd ever want in one place. There's something to be said for getting to know your neighbors...and something greater to be said for locking the doors.