It’s been a rocky start to the 2014 yardsale season. My mother’s crocuses have started popping up, which I’m told is a sign that spring has officially sprung, although I’ve always had one question about that, and that is—”hey, what are crocuses?” (She thinks I’m kidding. Sorry Mom.)
Thanks to the weather basically being always winter (and never Christmas), most of your normal yardsale tycoons haven’t started piling junk into their front lawns yet, so the few sales I’ve been finding have tended to fall into one of two categories:
1) Creeper Sales
You know the type—there’s a sign outside that says “yardsale today!”, but there’s nothing on the lawn. No person is standing outside. The shades are drawn and the door is closed; the lights are dim. The door might even be locked. You think that if you go inside, there’s a 50% chance that it’ll reek of cat pee, and a 100% chance that you’ll find Anthony Perkins sitting there in a wig. They look sort of like this:
I don’t think it’s any coincidence that my wife and I saw the New England Spiritual Team racing by earlier today in their mystery machine.
I found two of these creeper sales this week, and three last week. I always feel somewhat robbed when I find them—which is ironic, because that’s exactly what would happen if I ever went inside. They’re basically the “want some candy, little boy?” of yardsales. No one’s ever reported coming back from one alive.
On the other hand, you’ve got…sort of the opposite of that (although with the same probability of dying):
2) Garbage Sales
This is where the person basically just dumps the entire contents of their basement and attic on the front lawn, wipes their hands and mops their brow and says “yep, I did a good job today.” They’re like inverted pack rats.
Nothing has any prices—of course they don’t have any prices, because it’s literally just a pile of garbage. You could stick a “for sale” sign in front of the town dump and get the same effect (and also probably arrested). You think I’m overstating it? Here’s one I found on craigslist yesterday (of course I found it on craigslist):
Yes, that’s a real sale, and no, I didn’t go. As my wife put it: “Oh god, are your shots up to date?!”
…I think what really sells it is the “keep out” sign.
Thankfully (prepare for a segue!), even if the real yardsales haven’t started biting yet, there’s one thing that never disappoints. One thing that’s there every day of the year—smelling, as my brother puts it, distinctly of old people and cheese. You know what I’m talking about: your local thrift stores.
Part of me thinks it’s cheating to talk about all the weird stuff you find in thrift stores, because weird stuff is basically all they have. These are the things people thought weren’t good enough to sell at yardsales; stuff that has no other possible home. You turn one corner, and you might find, say…
Actual songs from their Wikipedia page include “Drippin’ and Droppin'” and “My Husband Sleeps Tonight.” (Incidentally, this was sitting next to two copies of the “interactive movie” Critical Path, and yes, I bought them both.) Turn another, and you could see…
For the young supervillain in training, maybe? (Alternate joke: man, how do they work.) Then you might check out a rack of clothes and come across…
Just a f***ing endless supply of “go away” t-shirts. Not pictured: LIKE A HUNDRED MORE F***ING GO AWAY T-SHIRTS. (I guess everyone went away, and they didn’t need the shirts anymore.)
…I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention this questionably-motivational t-shirt, too:
Just a whole bunch of stuff imported straight from Crazy Town—and generally at pretty crazy prices, too. One of the thrift stores I frequent charges $3.25 per DVD—which I guess isn’t that bad, even if their DVDs are mildewy and have people’s names written on them with magic marker. (Also, side-note: hey, everyone? Can we stop writing our names on things in magic marker? It’s 2014; no one’s trying to sneak off with your copy of Catch Me If You Can.)
But anyway, the thing is that they charge that price per disc. So for example, if you’re looking at one of those cheapo “10 in 1!” movie sets—you know the type; they always include like one movie you’ve actually heard of, one movie starring a famous actor (from before he was famous), and then eight movies with titles like “WHEN EELS GO ROGUE”—that would run you roughly the equivalent of ten of that same exact set of movies, if you were buying them new on Amazon. (Or like three actually good movies, maybe.) Thrift store prices exist in a vacuum, is what I’m saying (in that they have no relation to the rest of the real world and also THAT THEY SUCK, am I right?!)
Me being all “kids these days!!” about pricing isn’t a very heartwarming note to end on, though, so (here’s another segue)…how about this instead? Get your “awwww” motors runnin’:
Ready? 1, 2—AWWWWWW.
…Or at least, that would be my reaction, if the thing didn’t end up on some dude’s 25-cent table. Happy yardsaling, everyone!
(P.S. There was a whole sub-plot this week about diapers and prescription pills that I didn’t get a chance to go into. Maybe next time! …Unless I forget about the blog again after one week like I did last year.)