Sunday, September 18, 2011

Garage Sales are an extreme sport

It's raining today. It's supposed to be Half-Priced Sunday at my garage sale. Maybe it will stop.

On Friday, as I was putting things out on the driveway for the sale, a medium-sized, middle-aged, white-haired man picked up a lamp and set it beside his car. It was a nice lamp. It had a western themed shade with brown faux leather whipped around the top and bottom. The lamp itself was red and translucent white stacked plastic. It was lovely. Then, when we weren't looking, this crap-eating bastard put the lamp in his car and drove away with it. My very first customer was a thief.

In a way it was fortunate that it happened so early in the sale. I learned my lesson. Watch people. One, they are worth watching, and two, they are not all honest. Other than one fantastically pesky gobshite who wanted me to reduce the price of my scooter, the people were wonderful. Friends stopped by, bought stuff, brought me lattes, and visited. Family helped me lug things in an out of the garage as the rain came and went. I met some sweet and lovely people and sold lots of stuff.

It's so hard for me to sell my treasures. I have collected the fun and unusual for 40 years and now I'm moving to a smaller living space. It will give me a chance to start again. New weird and wonderful things for me to have and look at and use in my artwork.

Here are some of the things I did NOT put in the sale:
A taxidermied frog band
Hundreds of rusted x-acto knife blades
A crapload of pen nibs
A ginormous collection of paper and books to use in collage
Political buttons that say, "Betty Ford for President"
Autographs from Gilda Radner, A.S. Neill, Jon Hendricks, and Tom Conti
Gobs of fabric
Every towel I've ever owned to be used as batting for hot pads and trivets.
A signed readers' copy of "Love in the Time of Cholera"

Here are some things that didn't sell:
A two-tiered table I painted with the cat from black cat fireworks
In-the-box action figures of Xena and Autolocus
A lizard purse with the whole lizard right on the front
A chinese moped that hasn't been out of my garage for several years
Signed copies of "Lake Woebegone Days"and "Children of Men"
First editions of "Valley of the Dolls" and "(George)" (by E.L. Konigsburg)

Some things I did sell:
Cock Ring Ken - remember him? Mattel pulled him off the shelves when they realized that the ring hanging around his neck was not just jewelry.
An old hand-press Pavoni espresso machine. I loved that thing.
books, books, books. I even sold my Latin grammar books.

Garage sales are not for the timid. One has to be physically able to withstand 7-8 hours of standing, moving things, and chatting. It's the chatting that wears you down. However, they are great for people-watching, ridding yourself of excess belongings, and earning a little cash. And now, on Monday, when the Disabled American Veterans come around, all of my stuff is in the garage and can be put out by the curb with little difficulty for them to pick up.

Whew, what a weekend. There might be pictures later.

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