The Square Peg - Sale On, Silver Girl
© S. Bradley Stoner
I couldn’t resist the play on words in the title. It’s just the way I am. Don’t ask me why. It’s okay to ask why I chose to do that. You do want to know, don’t you? Okay party poopers, I’ll tell you anyway. This weekend is our neighborhood garage sale. Yep, you can make somebody else’s junk your junk. And garage sales have a tendency to attract silver-haired ladies.
The whole idea of a neighborhood garage sale is to save on advertising. The HOA takes care of that so a whole lot of folks you wouldn’t ordinarily invite into your neighborhood can come and case... uh, I mean scope out what you have that they might want, then argue with your price to try and buy it for pennies on the dollar. I think they’ve all been taking lessons. I’m just not sure whether its from Pickers or Pawn Stars. Either way, it isn’t good for the seller.
Don’t get me wrong, I used to do garage sales all the time when I was younger. I needed stuff then. I don’t need any more stuff. Matter of fact, I probably have some stuff I could get rid of, but I just don’t want to. Not at a garage sale anyway. Besides, I might need it when the apocalypse occurs. At least that’s what Bob says.
Now I must admit, I have my reservations about our economy in the future... both near and far, but I’m just not ready to throw in the towel. Bob is. His predictions are dire. I think he’s been visiting those “prepper” web sites again and he’s getting ready so he won’t be... what was it he said? Naked and Afraid? Yeah, I’ve seen the commercials.
Anyway, Bob had cleaned out his garage and I noticed he was carting stuff from the house out and putting it on the folding tables he’d rented. I wandered over. I was curious to see what he was going to put on sale tomorrow. Hey, what’s wrong with a preview of coming attractions? They do it in movie theaters. Besides, I didn’t think Bob would mind. Bob saw me coming. He had a look of shock on his face. It’s usually the other way around.
“Hi Bob. Getting ready for the big sale tomorrow?”
“You comin’ to get an early look?” he challenged.
“Do you mind?”
“Not if you buy something... I just don’t want you pokin’ through the stuff and messin’ it up before sale day.”
I looked at the jumble of stuff piled on the tables. For the life of me, I couldn’t see any rhyme or reason to the organization of it. As a matter of fact, disorganized was the term that came to mind. “I don’t think that’s possible,” I grunted. “It’s already there.”
Bob just shot me a dirty look.
“There’s no prices on this stuff,” I noted.
“And there ain’t gonna be,” Bob shot back. “They’re going to have to ask. Besides, I set prices on the way folks are dressed. The better the dress, the higher the price.”
“Huh,” I huffed. “I always thought you set ‘em based on age, size and skirt length.”
I noticed Bob had a set of cookware on one table. Surprisingly, it was very good cookware. Calphalon stainless steel... and they looked virtually new and still in the box. “What price are you going to put on these?”
“I dunno... probably five to ten bucks apiece.”
Now normally, I don’t give Bob tips... usually because he doesn’t take them. In this case, however it was clear that Bob didn’t have a clue what these were worth. “That might be a little low,” I said.
“Who cares?” Bob replied. “I need to get rid of them. I just replaced all those things with some cast iron and stoneware I bought on line. Better stuff, much more durable. I want stuff that lasts... I’m gonna need it when the economy collapses.” Bob looked up from where he was piling a bunch of women’s shoes. “You got yer go bag and boxes all ready?”
I had to admit I didn’t have a go bag... at least not the kind he was talking about. I had one for natural disasters, along with a fireproof, lockable go box with all my important papers in it. Beyond that, I figured I could pretty much weather whatever came down the pike.
“Well you best get one ready for the coming tribulations,” he intoned seriously.
“I’m a bit more optimistic than that. Does your wife know you’re selling her shoes and kitchen ware?”
“I’m king in my castle,” Bob poked the air with a finger for emphasis.
Just about that time, the queen of the castle let out an ear-splitting scream that resonated through the entire neighborhood. I heard her coming and decided, discretion being the better part of valor, that this would be an ideal time to beat a hasty retreat.
“Good luck, Bob,” I shouted over my shoulder. I didn’t see what happened afterward, but there were rumors later about a new use for those Calphalon pans.