A Summer Punderland

Exploring the deer-infested wilds of New Jersey.

I was back in New Jersey this weekend to celebrate a few more family birthdays, and while our yardsale trip was cut short because 1) the sales weren’t biting much this morning, and 2) none of us were able to get out of bed before 9:30, we still managed to do our fair share of picking through other people’s garbage.

Some sales were a bit more garbagey than others.

Here are some of the highlights:

And you thought driving while texting was bad. A coffee maker for your car! Haven’t you ever wanted to brew some Joe on the Go?

…Man, that would’ve been a MUCH better slogan than the one they went with: “Just plug into your LIGHTER SOCKET!!!!!” And hey, if you decided to pick that up…

You could always grab some “genuine” second-hand coffee filters from 1984 to go with it.

At the same sale:

This old student desk (or “pupitre,” for any long-time Fanzens out there). How old is it? Well…

Old enough that they were still using Juno.com e-mail addresses. (Was I even born yet then?) By the way, a free shout-out to anyone who e-mails that address—and gets a response.

One more from these guys:

Coffee filters from the 80s; student desks from the 50s, and racial sensitivity from the 1800s. Coming soon to a theater near you: Yardsale Time Machine.

Before I get too much further, I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention one of the other highlights of yardsaling with my family—the puns. When I’m sailing by myself, I usually have a selection of podcasts to keep me company (and entertain me during the five minutes between yardsales because I am a child); but when I’m with my family, the non-stop entertainment of seeing who can out-pun the others makes the trip seem even longer. …I mean better; definitely better.

Here’s just a choice selection:

[As we drive by a llama farm]

Person 1: Hey, isn’t that an Andrew Lloyd Webber musical?
Person 2: Huh?
Person 1: You know—La Mas!

(This would’ve been much funnier if Les Mis wasn’t in fact written by Claude-Michel Schönberg.)

Or how about this one:

[After driving by a street called Minnetonka Trail]

Person 1: That’s where all the toy cars go.
Person 2: Only the small ones!

Hoo boy! A laugh riot, right? Here’s one more:

Person 1: Where’s Andover Drive?
Person 2: I’m not sure, but I bet you have to go andover hand to get there!

…I’m so sorry. Back to the yardsale finds. Later in the day, we came across…

A pillow that can be used exactly once…

A book of “classy Christmas gifts” you can make yourself (such as bottles of perfume, and eggs), and…

This singing Christmas tree, which I was able to buy even though there were several responsible adults around who really should’ve stopped me.

At one of the sales, I also came across a DanceDanceRevolution board game—which seems to me a crazy thing to exist, inasmuch as DDR is a videogame that requires a television screen, a dancing mat, and pretty much none of the things that come packaged in your standard board game. I asked the little girl who was selling it, “How does it work?”

“It doesn’t,” she replied. Gotta love honesty in advertising.

Total spent: $1

10 thoughts on “A Summer Punderland

  1. Esther says:

    Hey. I had a Juno email account. In sixth grade. It operated via desktop client (is that what I mean?), it took ten minutes to “get mail” (via 14.4), and I never got any mail. Also, I think I had a black-and-white monitor then.

  2. Spent too long trying to look for someone in your rear-view mirror. There was no one. Therefore, Paul Franzen is now the ghost of Paul Franzen.

    I’d be interested in that Classy Christmas Gift book. I’d love to know how to make a butter knife… or eggs…

  3. Chrissy Horvath says:

    Love that tree. I was trying to figure out if that was a famous voice singing or someone who got paid a small amount of money (who probably then went to the store and pressed “try me” on all of the trees to hear themselves sing).

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