It is unusual for me to be making moolah on a Saturday. Often, I’ll hand over some coin in one meaningless pursuit or another. Last week it was internet IQ tests. I won’t be seeing that ten bucks ever again.
Today is an exception. The much-hyped garage sale, my first foray into getting people to pay for old junk that I would have had to pay to have removed, became a reality. It was beyond brilliant. I might as well have hoodwinked a man I liked into buying me dinner at my favourite Turkish restaurant.
The moeny was a boon, I won’t lie about that.
Passing stuff around to the young guys up the street, for instance, who were delighted to be getting a bargain on the bedside tables that were clearly unnecessary to their existence, but which made them happy – that’s a much nicer feeling than the soul-sucking Ikea experience.
I was hoping, however, that at least one good story would come from the sale.
My leisurely attitude towards the sale, which featured me going straight from a party, without sleep, to managing the money tin, that’s an interesting story. But not one my co-saler is prepared to laugh about yet. Too soon, apparently.
The best moment of the day came as we were closing up. My bed, and some much-needed shut-eye were just moments away. The junk that no-one wanted, the real crapola, was back in boxes, ready to go to the guilt-free tip, Vinnes.
Then it happened.
Three ladies stroll in casualy and decide they want to examine every garment in the bags we have just packed away. For half an hour they rummaged with a vigour that I usually reserve for pushing flower girls out of the way at wedding when the bouquet is in the air.
In the midst of their does-this-skirt-match-my-hair banter, a serious punter saunters into the sale.
His garage-sale-ish attitude was as obvious as two people enjoying some hanky panky on a camping trip. As if recalling a tactical military operation, he tells me how he scoped us inside the yard sitting around, saw a bookshelf and then, BOOM, spotted the garage sale sign. He was so delighted with himself, just to be walking around our yard full of junk. It was an impressive attitude.
And, I couldn’t help it. I pounced.
“That tv cabinet is going for ten bucks,” I told him, of the eyesore that we were having enormous difficulty getting off our hands.
He walked around it slowly. It was like a guitarist checking out a new pair of strings, an utterly unnecessary amount of attention was lavished upon the task. “I just don’t know what I’d do with it,” he says, sounding very interested in the ugly cabinet.
“And it’s just so big.”
I waited, patiently, for I knew this guy had ten bucks in his wallet that he really did not want anymore.
“Ok, sold,” he screams at me, eyes feverish.
To say that I saw the sucker coming from two doors down, is an understatement. He also purchased a fax machine, a few books and an empty plastic water bottle, for good measure.
And with the finish line so clearly in my sight, for the annoying girls had left with a brilliant bounty of old clothes, the story I had been waiting for arrived.
The guy backs into the driveway in his matchbox car. I am not even sure how this dude got his lanky frame behind the wheel, so tiny was his vehicle. And the challenge of getting the huge tv cabinet home with only the shirt on his back, the tiny car and his wits; that was not going to be a problem.
In fact, that was the challenge Garage Sale Man had been waiting for.
In the blink of an eye a blanket was tossed on the roof of the car and these guys had chucked the tv cabinet on top, seriously lowering the vehicle to the ground. Tie-down straps were produced from the garage-sale section of his car.
Garage Sale Man is always prepared for a yard sale. He searches out opportunities to get crappy furniture at very low prices and to create significant transportation problems for himself.
I was highly impressed by the tie-down shenanigans. But the real glory came when they had to leave.
“How do we get in the car,” Garage Sale Man’s less garage-sale-ish mate asks him, somewhat uselessly, after trying unsuccessfully to open the door for about a minute. Yes, the doors had been tied shut with the tie-down straps.
Garage Sale Man did not even shrug. Nonchalantly, as if the situation was as ordinary as getting home from work and flicking on the telly, he tells his friend “it’ll have to be Duke’s of Hazzard style, mate.”
He jumped through that window as if there was a pot of gold on the other side.
Oh he was so pleased with the whole situation, grinning from ear to ear. A cheap, crappy cabinet and a door that wouldn’t open were all he wanted on this fine Saturday.
Non-Garage-Sale Man, he was rather put out and also a bit plumper than Garage Sale Man. I was almost in hysterics as he struggled to push himself through that window. Just now, I’m still smiling, wondering how he got out.
So we may have rid ourselves of plenty of junk today. And I deprived myself of some sleep. Hey, we even made a tidy little profit.
But the real winner was Garage Sale Man and his red matchbox car. As soon as he drove out, honking and smiling, I closed the gate.
Nothing and no-one can beat Garage Sale Man on these occasions.