“Are We There Yet?”

Little-known fact: I LOVE yard sales. Love them. They are, literally, the only reason I ever do anything outside. (What can I say? I’m Irish—I can’t even be in a room with bright wallpaper without getting sunburned.) I’ve been going to yard sales ever since I was a little kid; every Saturday morning when it was nice out, I would sacrifice watching Saturday morning cartoons to go “saling” with my mom, in hopes of finding some cheap NES games, or someone’s leftover McDonald’s toys or something.

I still go today, even though I now live in the strange land of Connecticut, where “yard sales” are called “tag sales,” and also nobody knows how to run them properly. Since I can’t do something in real life without running to the Internet and saying “look, I did something in real life!”, I want to start using this blog to chronicle my best yard sale finds. And by “best,” I mean all of them—after all, I wouldn’t buy something that isn’t totes awesome. Here’s today’s haul!

It’s not often that I have friends in my car, because I don’t like driving, and also I don’t have any friends. (One of the reasons I don’t have friends? I blog about yard sales.) But when I do, and we’re not getting into wacky hijinks like getting trapped inside my car because the doors won’t unlock, and also it’s 2AM, and also it’s hailing, I like to provide entertainment for them. I have a variety of things in my car for people to futz with, like a Rubik’s Cube, a toy lightsaber, and several plush Ninja Turtles, and today I added something to that collection:

Yes, it’s the book that inspired the classic 2005 Ice Cube film! Are We There Yet?, written by 18th-century spring maker Richard Salter, is filled with all kinds of so-called fun travel games for kids. Many of which have the word “bored” right there in the title, which doesn’t instill me with a lot of confidence.

Most of the games involve seeing who can find the most objects from a specified list in a specific amount of time, and many of them are named after hilarious car puns, like “Carbon Copy.” “Carismatic Caracters. “20 Carstions.” Yes, seriously. They tried to get away with Carstions. I like puns as much as the next guy, but that’s pretty trucking bad.

Unfortunately, it doesn’t have the game like to play when I’m in a car with little kids, which is “Sit There and Be Quiet, and See Who Can Be Quiet the Longest.” Maybe I can pencil that in.

A few of the game descriptions have goofy drawings, and I couldn’t help but notice this drawing in the “airline games” section of the book:

Now, it might just be me…but I think the wings on that airplane make it look like its flying upside down. I’m wondering if, perhaps, this isn’t the best way to placate a small child before a terrifying plane ride. “MOMMY, I DON’T WANNA GO ON THE PLANE ANY MORE! IT’S GOING TO KILL US ALL!”

This was one of those yard sales where the people don’t price their stuff, which always puts me on edge. I’m always afraid I’m going to pick up a little dinky book like this, ask how much it is, and the person will tell me it costs one-hundred thousand dollars. Either that, or they’ll ask me to “name a price,” and I’ll insult them by low-balling them, because I have no concept of how much things should cost. Thankfully neither of these things happened today, and I was able to escape the yard sale with fun book in tow.

Hey, you know what? Let’s play one of the games from Are We There Yet? right now! It’s called (ugh) Rider‘s Cramp. To play:

“1. One player begins a story by saying only the first three (or four, or five…) words of it.

2. Going one at a time and in turn, all other players follow in order and add three (or four, or five…) words of their own until the story comes to an agreeable ending.”

Then everyone votes on which player won the game. Or, as Are We There Yet? puts it: the votes determine “which Road‘s Scholar deserves the Mobel Prize for Literatour.

Here, let me start: “Thankfully I only paid 25¢…”

6 thoughts on ““Are We There Yet?”

  1. Cousin Chris says:

    Just starting to read your posts. LOL. Love them. Glad I’m not with you because I’d just buy something! Great finds so far. 🙂

    So, lightsaber in right hand and rabbit (?) in left? Guessing.

  2. Next time we’re in the same town on a weekend, we’ll have to go together!

    Close—it’s a lightsaber in the right, and one of the sheep from the “PEAR OF SHEEP” statue in the other. A memorial to a missed opportunity.

    • Cousin Chris says:

      You know, I’m thinking you need to get over the missed sheep. I know that the next time I go to a garage sale I’ll find one of these things and burst out laughing (scaring people off…hmmmm I might get all the bargains then!).

      My last find was an old iron (I thought it was the kind you’d heat up on the stove and use but then I found the two prongs to plug it in). I bought it as a door-stop. It works very well.

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