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Friday, June 12, 2009

Yard Sale People

We had a yard sale today. Everyone in the neighborhood was having one so we got involved (though I usually don’t care to jump on that bandwagon). The impetus for us is trying to raise money for some things we need for our sabbatical. For the last few nights, we spent 2 hours a night getting stuff together—up from the basement, out of the closets, etc.

We took turns as the garage cashier and lookout person. During my turn, I drank about 4 Coke Zeros and read my graphic novel, “The Watchmen.”

My greatest thrill of the day was people watching. Here are a few of the characters I met today.

Impatient Snotty Old Lady
The yard sale didn’t officially start until 9:00 but this lady (and a few others) smelled the scent of the treasure in my garage beyond the closed door at about 7:45. When I opened the door to start getting organized, they pounced. Snotty Old Lady pushed her way into the garage.

“Ma’am, if you don’t mind, it will take me a few minutes to move things out so it’s not dangerous and disorganized.” She insisted she needed to look and would stay out of my way. She started moving things from one table to another. “Ma’am, I’d really appreciate it if you could . . .”


In this moment, I wished I wasn’t a pastor in a small town where everyone knows one another and is most likely related. I couldn’t say what I wanted to say. Thankfully, my wife said some of those things for me. Snotty Old Lady (SOL for short) destroyed a brand new platter ($40 value but we were only asking 5 bucks). And, she made a mess.

Her final words: “Well, if that’s how things are, I guess I’ll be leaving.”

Scanner Lady
This lady was early too but she was cool. And, she had a cool little scanner with her. She went through every one of our books, scanned the UPC, and told us the price she was willing to pay for them. I was so intrigued by her scanner. It was like the Kelley Blue Book of Yard Sale merchandising. We were priced well. Except for one book. She gave it back when I told her I wouldn’t change the price. I don’t barter before the sale starts.

Cookbook Man
Before I tell you about this guy, I need to say he had some special needs. It was obvious. So, I’m not making fun of him. He was rather endearing and made me smile.

This tall, skinny gentleman went rummaging through my oldest daughter’s old Teen Vogue magazines and a few others while he laughed out loud and kept saying, “oh my gosh, oh my gosh, these are great prices on these cookbooks.” I smiled at him and told him kindly they were teenage girl magazines. He insisted they were cookbooks.

He took the whole box to his caregiver who had just broken a set of salt and pepper shakers (which she insisted on paying for unlike SOL). She told him to put them back, they were NOT cookbooks and he couldn’t have them.

He was sad the rest of the time. Until she bought him a VHS copy of Men in Black and Overboard with Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russell.

Puppy Lady
Her truck pulled up to the house and her teenage daughter yelled, “Can we let the puppy out?” I had my 10-pound Maltese on a leash beside me so it only seemed fair. Maybe they could play together.

Out of the truck lunged a 100-pound slobbery hound of some kind with a whipping tail and . . . no leash. He ran in and out of everything in the garage and the whole yard while they kept yelling, “No! Be good!” and then laughed.

My dog barked, spilled his water, and then peed.

Tool Guy
This guy was about 175. He didn’t want to buy my tools; he just wanted to talk about them. And the stuff he makes. He stayed for about 15 minutes to talk shop. Furniture, blade styles, projects, we talked about them all. Then he left and bought nothing. But, I felt better for having met him.

Lot of fuss over Nothing Lady
This lady grabbed as much stuff as her arms could hold, cussed at her kids for almost making her drop it and then showed it to her husband who she couldn’t buy anything. They argued for a bit and she put it all back . . . kinda.

Potty Boy
This kid came with his grandma. He danced the potty dance for a bit and then she asked me the question I knew was coming. “Can we use your bathroom?” “Of course,” I said. She took junior in to pee. He didn’t come out for 20 minutes. Not a good sign.

Insult Me and My Church Guy
This guy used to go to my church, before I was hired there. He told me what he didn’t like about it. Before I was there. He told me there were too many changes. Before I was there. Sensing the theme? Doesn’t matter when he was there or what he didn’t like before, however. I know he would hate everything about my church even now. Because, I think that’s who he is. He didn’t sound like he liked much of anything. Anywhere.

Looking for Gaither CD’s Ladies
I kid you not. 3 different ladies. Hours apart. Came looking only for Gaither CD’s. What?

Angry Sleeveless Harley Shirt CD Guy
He bought about 20 old worship music CD’s from me which was funny because the whole time he was here he talked to his wife like she was an idiot. At one point the wife asked, “Honey, do you know which CD’s I might like?” He replied, “I don’t think you know what you want at all.” Classy.

Dad with Sit N Spin Daughter
His wife was going to all the other sales on my block so he decided it would be best to stay at my sale and let his daughter play with all the toys. She especially liked the musical Sit N Spin. So, for 45 minutes, she spun in circles and pushed the button that played, “Pop Goes the Weasel.” Then they left as she screamed because Dad didn’t want to buy her the $2.00 Sit N Spin.

His last words: “That thing would annoy us all day long.”

Oh, really?

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