Thursday, June 06, 2013

Geek Speaking the Sushi of Yard Sales

Geek Speak: Super Sushi Lunch Break

I love the idea that on most levels superheroes are just like the rest of us. They have to eat, they have to pay their utilities, and they blame farts on the dog. In the case of the Justice League I suppose they have to be very discreet when ordering seafood of any kind, but especially with sushi. There'd be no way of knowing if the contents of the take out box are the professionally prepared remains of someone Aquaman used to know. "Oh, you knew this guy? That's roughie (har har). If it's any consolation, he's delicious."

The Yard Sale

Last weekend my wife and I participated in that grand tradition of American suburbanite culture; the yard sale. Friends of ours, Tea Leaf and Celluloid Girl, live in an apartment that includes two garage spaces for their use. Neither of them uses a garage space to park their car, as far as I know, and both garage spaces were full to bursting with stuff. They got married recently and consolidated all of their belongings. Despite what you may have heard it's very difficult to cram two lives worth of accumulated belongings into a two bedroom apartment. Not and have it be someplace that meets fire codes, or that you can walk through without dying under an avalanche of knickknacks.

Tea Leaf is in the process of launching himself as a professional photographer, and needed to clear some room that he could use for studio space. Not having a yard big enough to easily accommodate the overwhelming volume of stuff they would need to move, the dynamic duo of Tea and Celluloid asked if they could borrow ours. We've had piles of stuff to get rid of for ages so we said, "sure, why not."

Early on a warmish Saturday morning Tea and Celluloid arrived with a Uhaul truck full of boxes of once treasured possessions that we would exchange with total strangers for cash. The tone of the day was set early when Tea and Celluloid arrived and a car stopped behind the Uhaul truck and waited. Tea got out of the truck and talked to the driver who wanted to know if this was where the garage sale was going to be, and if he could start rummaging. It was six in the morning. All of our advertising had indicated an eight-o-clock start. Two hours early, nothing is unpacked, and this asshole wants to know if he can start buying stuff. As it turns out he was the first of many vultures who would descend on us as we were trying to get everything out where people could come by and browse.

Maybe it's just been a long time since I took part in a yard sale, or maybe I haven't done enough of them, but I was stunned by the characters who came out.

There was a very elderly lady who told stories about being a Lucille Ball look alike handing out cigarettes in Atlantic City, who then chastised us to watch Fox News so we could learn all about how Obama is destroying the country.

There was the guy who spent fifteen minutes looking through Tea's collection of Dreamcast games before buying the Dreamcast, controllers, and games. Two hours later he brought it back and demanded more money back than he'd paid for it in the first place because the games, the ones he'd spent twenty minutes looking at, were "illegal" copies. In reality one of the selling points of the Dreamcast was that it let you do that. You could buy a game, and make a copy to use as a back up. One my neighbors eventually bought the Dreamcast. He was hilarious. His face lit up like a kid at Christmas getting the one thing in the whole world that he'd always wanted.

There was the homeless guy who wandered past with the cliche forty ounce bottle of malt liquor in a paper bag. He bought a copy of Twister so that he could use it as a teaching tool for wrestling, apparently. That one I try not to spend too much time dwelling on.

One lady bought something off of Tea for a dollar less than he told her he wanted. He said "three dollars," she said "ok I give you two," he said, "no three," she said "si, two," and took two bills out of her purse, he said "NO, THREE...hey where are you going." She had handed him two dollars and just buggered off with his stuff.

Several people came by who were evidently buying things to turn around and sell them elsewhere. Two older guys bought all of my CDs at some point. You never know, but I'm pretty sure neither one of them listens to "Five Finger Death Punch."

The day went on like that. Mostly nice people came buy who were genuinely looking for the hidden treasures. Tea had a couple of bites on a very high-end, very expensive professional camcorder he was trying to sell (probably still is if anyone is interested), but nothing very serious. Celluloid sold some clothes, some collectibles, and several odds and ends. Mildly Sensational and I sold a bunch of her clothes, some baby clothes, a toaster oven I never used, and a few other things. In the end all of us made a good amount of money.

I just wish I'd been able to sit down with my sketchbook and draw some of the loonier people who stopped to peruse the treasured things we no longer have room to accommodate. 

1 comment:

  1. Hang out at a thrift-shop in St. Louie - it's frightening.