It was BACK TO THE SALES this week, after about a month of visiting family, attending weddings, documenting state-wide beard and goat competitions, and also sleeping sometimes, because seriously you have to get up at like 7 in the goddamn morning to find any “good stuff,” and sometimes that “good stuff” just ain’t worth it.
I picked the wroooong weekend to come back.
The first sale I hit this Saturday was along the same lines as that mega estate sale from a little while ago, with one critical distinction. Normally, an estate sale is something you have after someone or someones passes away; as much as the last thing anyone wants to do after losing a loved one is go through all their stuff and see what could fetch top dollar, it’s gotta be done, because otherwise…
…otherwise, you get this sale. I’m convinced that this house hasn’t been lived in for at least thirty years. I’m not going to say the people had been dead in their basement since 1982, and it’s only just now that anyone noticed, because that would be incredibly vulgar not to mention offensive—but if nothing else, visiting this estate sale was like exploring the world’s grodiest haunted house. Ladies and gentlemen: the vomiting bookshelf!
Chairs, partially devoured by the spoooooky specters which roam these haunted halls!
Rockers that somehow rock all on their own (possibly because the foundation of this house isn’t safe)!
And to your left, a painting of the former owner, Miles Tinyhead. It’s said that his eyes follow you wherever you go (and also that if you tug down on his hat, his entire head disappears down to his shoulders):
Even the merchandise that these sellers—an outside agency employed by the bereaved—did try to display nicely, they couldn’t be bothered to just tip over sideways to let gravity clean up at least some of the dirt. It was awful:
And if that’s not enough to convince you that this house hasn’t seen a living soul since perhaps before you were born, this newspaper I found in one of the home’s many dirt-a-toriums helpfully dates everything for us:
Not that everything at this sale was either filthy, falling apart, or disease-ridden, though; some of the items were just plan ol’ ordinary ugly. Like this chair, which I’m convinced that at least one point in its lifetime was a pair of golfer’s pants:
You know how sometimes after visiting a yardsale, or a thrift store, or a Chik-fil-A you feel so gross with yourself that you have to wash your hands immediately, bowling grannies out of the way if you have to in order to reach the nearest bathroom? After visiting this sale, I felt like I needed new hands, entirely; these ones are just ruined.
Thankfully, things got better from there. Things got much better.
First up, there was this coquettish wooden cow, looking at me with those big batting “milk me” eyes:
“Hey, big bull,” she’s saying. “Wanna go for a roll in the hay?”
I also came across: proof that the children at this sale must have had a pretty awesome childhood:
I can just imagine them coming home from school: “MOM! DAD! I’M HOME! I GOT AN A ON MY MATH TEST!” “That’s wonderful news, kiddo! You know what that means—IT’S PUMICE TIME!” “Aww Dad, you’re the best.”
I was so happy I found that book that I felt like dancing—which was very convenient, because:
Look closely: this isn’t just a CD featuring The Macarena. It’s a CD featuring nothing but The Macarena. I looked at the back of the case; it seriously had five different versions of the song, which presumably you would want to loop at your party when you wanted all your guests to suddenly remember that important thing they had to do somewhere else.
Later, I found a variety of fun and educational board games, like:
“NO, IT’S NOT JENGA! IT’S RAINBOW JUMBLING TOWERS! It’s completely different, and please don’t sue me.”
There was also:
The woman running the sale assured me that her kids “had a lot of fun with it, and it’s such a good message for them to learn, you know?”
FART: The Game! I…didn’t realize you needed a game for that. I just had to look up what you actually do in FART; here are the actual instructions, as per Board Game Geek:
Roll the die to move. When a you land on a square that says drink, drink. When you land on a square that says eat beans, you may of course substitute an obnoxious substitute that causes gas. When landing on a square that directs you to fart, you will have two minutes to summon up your best effort. The other players decide how you score on the fart meter on the game board. You will then be awarded the appropriate number of gas coupons. Winning the game is done in one of two ways. 1) First person to score 25 gas coupons or 2) Let rip with such a powerful fart that you clear the whole room!
Nearby one of the yardsales was an overflowing dumpster full of junk that wasn’t deemed good enough to sell. I had to have a peek, one because my much more responsible wife wasn’t there to stop me, and two, after seeing all the stuff that does pass for quality merchandise at yard sales, I just had to see what didn’t make the cut.
This is what didn’t make the cut:
Nobody puts baby (Jesus) in the garbage.
As for me, this week I ended up buying a picture frame and a tiny vacuum cleaner, neither of which is interesting enough for me to turn around and take a picture of it. (Incidentally, both were purchased at what was being touted as an “End of the World” sale, and honestly I couldn’t tell if they were joking or not.) …There was this one other thing, though.
Toward the end of my little adventure—when it was really starting to get hot and muggy, and I was feeling grumpy, and the next goddamn person who interrupted my treasure-hunting with a “So, ya like books? I got some books over here, ya know…” was about to get one in the mouth—I felt a little poke in my side. I turned around sharply, already readying my best New Jersey “AND JUST WHAT THE HELL DO YOU WANT” face, and there standing in front of me was: this little girl. Holding outstretched in her chubby little arms a bright orange flower.
“This is for you,” she said, shyly, handing it to me, and then darting back behind the safety of her mother.
“Well, whatever keeps her busy!,” her mother laughed awkwardly. It made my car smell really nice.
Total spent: $5