This past weekend I was visiting my parents’ house for Birthdayfest—that traditional time of year when all the summer babies in my family gather together, and mourn the fact that we were all born so close to each other and therefore don’t get our own special celebrations. It’s a somber, subdued event where we play games like “Pin the Tear on Your Own Cheek,” and  (later) “Ow, My Cheek!” I look forward to it every year.

Now, I’m not the only one in my family who enjoys going to yardsales—as I stated in my very first post here, I’ve been going to them ever since I was a little kid with my mom, and I was cute enough to get free things with just a sad pout and a “my mommy said it’s too expensive…” Practically any weekend we’re together at the ol’ homestead, the whole family (or at least, anyone who can wake up early enough) piles into Mom’s minivan for a fun-filled morning of stimulating the American economy, one quarter at a time.

…Even if it’s pouring rain. Which, as it turns out, it was this weekend. Most of the sales this past Saturday that weren’t outright canceled looked like a post-apocalyptic version of Hoarderswith junk hastily packed shoulder-deep into garages, scattered contents spilling onto the tables outside—tables that were circled over again and again by we intrepid yardsalers, in hopes that something worthwhile would finally reveal itself, if only we stared hard enough.

Sad bedpan.

After about an hour of this, that orphaned plastic lid was looking mighty tempting.

But I did discover one benefit to rainy-day yardsales that I hadn’t previously realized: There’s almost no competition for the quality goods. Most of the regular salers stay home, because they assume that all the sales will just be canceled. And true—many of them were. But many of them weren’t, and we were able to find a lot of choice (and not-so-choice) merchandise. Continue reading

Why Did the Chicken Cross the Road?

A chicken crosses the road.

To find great deals, apparently! Hey there, little friend!

Why did the chicken cross the road?

She backed up one lane of traffic by strutting around and waggling her head at people, and I backed up the other by taking pictures of her like I’d only ever heard of these creatures called “hens” before in campfire stories. (“Legend has it that they have gross red things on their faces, and that they shred most excellently on the guitar…”)

Unfortunately, this cock-of-the-walk was one of the more interesting things I saw during this morning’s adventures, although I did find a few other things worth crowing about. For example—remember last week, when I was talking about things you seriously do not want to buy used? Well…

At least it still has its original packaging? Butt wait, it gets better–

Like, not to get too gross here, but…somebody peed in that. Probably the dude running the yardsale. If you’re ever so hard up for cash that you find yourself saying “Hey, I peed on this thing; how much will you pay me for it?”, it might finally be time to crack open those help-wanted ads. Continue reading