Perpetual Peddling

So he's opened up his lawn again to all his treasures. Things you wouldn’t normally want to part with. He has four broken coffee pots, seven dirty stuffed animals and a Donna Summer’s cassette in excellent condition. One of our neighbors down the street has been having the eternal garage sale. It seems that every week we go by he has unloaded his house out onto his grass. Setup the four card tables and labeled all his nearly priceless trinkets.

I don’t have any issues with garage sales. It’s a good way to get rid of the things you don’t want to keep anymore. You sell what you can. Donate what they’ll take. Throw away the rest. Then you can enjoy a little extra cash, satisfaction and more open space.

I always feel a bit strange at garage sales. It’s a little odd sorting through someone else’s junk and finding something that will one day become your junk. Some people try to unload the strangest stuff. Word to the wise never buy a, pet-brush, hairbrush or toothbrush at a garage sale. Even if it does have a Winnie the Pooh handle on it. Why do people think just because you put a price sticker on it someone will buy it? No one wants your church mouse toaster cozy!

If no one buys from your first eight garage sales, odds are you don’t have anything anyone wants. You would think this would be a simple concept to grasp?

“Maybe no one saw this lamp?”

“Mel,” his wife sighs “It’s a plastic artichoke lamp; they just aren’t as popular as they used to be. Maybe we should just throw it away.”

“Do you remember what we paid for this?!”

“Forget I mentioned it...I’m sure it will go this week…”

So he sits in his driveway every week with is Panama hat, cargo shorts and flip flops. Itching to make an exchange, hoping to haggle and dying to deal. His lockbox is shined and hungry for gobbling up greenbacks.

“Thanks so much for coming” He waves, “All deals are final!”


Anonymous said...

On this one, I have to say, there are those who do and those who don't. I LOVE sorting through other people's junk. But garage sales are too easy. This weekend I saw a whole box full of promising looking "stuff" in our apartment's dumpster. So I fished it out, brought it back to my apartment and then closed the blinds to my apartment. I dug through such treasurers as a silky floral bag and two pretty scarves. Although these items aren't worth much, it's the child like thrill, the possibility of treasure that makes it fun! There's almost an expectation of someone coming around the corner to say they have changed their mind and want their precious items back!

J Crew said...

Garage saling is alright. Your only hope is that someone is getting rid of something that is invaluable like a Mickey Mantle rookie card or weed eater that just needs gas in it or something like that.

kludge said...


That sounds like a full blown addiction! I suppose I can see the thrill in it the way you put it. I can spend hours going through old computer parts... I suppose your right, it's a perspective thing!

kludge said...

J Crew-

If I ever had a garage sale that's what you'd find at my place. We're all about purge! A few years later we go

"Did we just throw that away?!"

Brian said...

The first year Esther and I where married we had a garage sale with some other families. It was crazy the stuff that we got rid of. This one lady came and bought tons of stuff, even the dried coconuts our friends were selling. I think it might be time for us to do another sale esp. before we head out overseas.

kludge said...


That's too much! What do you think she did with the coconuts? Probably put them up on a shelf somewhere just to look at them...

I imagine there are a lot "things" that will serve very little point in Africa. You can probably purge a lot of your MN winter wear for instance!

SJ said...

I forgot to add that my one pet peeve in garage sales is that I never stop at the ones that are "professional" garage salers - they just go buy everyone elses stuff and then stick it in their yard.

Anomie-Atlanta said...

I always feel like I'm looking into someone else's medicine cabinet at a yardsale. Shuffling through other people's stuff makes me feel like a dirty voyeur.

kludge said...


I swear, no lie, I saw a man purchase a pair of tighty whities at a yard sale!

What are the chances of

a. having the nerve to put your underpants on the lawn with a price tag

b. someone comming to your sale and buying them!