The 8 Strangest Things You Can Buy at My Yard Sale

It’s finally happening: I’m turning the camera around, and focusing on some of the weird stuff that I’m selling at my own yard sale. Hoisting myself by my own petard, as they say! Slipping on my own banana peel! Dropping an anvil on myself! I think the metaphor got away from me…

Anyway as you know we moved, and we did the thing that smart people do: shipped the entirety of our worldly possessions cross-country, and then decided to cull it down a bit, after realizing we couldn’t physically fit the amount of crap we’ve amassed over the years into our new house. (This is probably Lizo’s fault, since I never amass large piles of garbage.) It was either annex our neighbors’ propertywhich they seemed patently unwilling to agree toor have a yard sale of our own.


This is what our yard sale looked like right after we’d finished setting it up. For comparison, here’s a shot I took at the end of the day:


As you can see, it would be exaggerating to say that business was good. It would also be exaggerating to say that any business happened at all.

We did have one customer, Bob, who was nice enough to give our weird collection of goods a once-over, all the while providing a colorful running commentary. “Those wooden spoons should be good for spankings!” he told me. “Yeahhhhh!!” (The way he said it sounded like he didn’t mean for misbehaving children.)

Then, as he was looking over some recipe books, there was “Vegetarian cooking?? That’s what FOOD eats! Ewwwwww!!” He actually said “eww” like that, like a child discovering belly-button lint. Later, as we were ringing up his purchases: “I’ll take the knives. …I need to go back and get dressed first, though.” (It’s at this point I should mention that he was wearing a pair of rubber overalls, with both of the straps down, and nothing else.) Bob was great. Things got a little awkward though when someone mentioned the Amy Winehouse documentary, and Bob muttered “another dead druggie.”

Oh, Bob.

Bob wasn’t our only customer, but he was one of maybe a dozenmost of which were neighbors who were out walking their dogs and wondering why we had the entire contents of a Sam Goody circa 2002 dumped out on our driveway. We were asked “did you guys advertise?” at least a half-dozen times, with “because I had no idea this was even happening” politely left unspoken. Then around 11:30, we had a freak thunderstorm (the first rain we’ve seen since moving here) and most of our stuff got water-logged. It was not a very good sale.

Where did we go wrong? Well for one, the house we’re renting is on a peninsula with a population smaller than my high school’s graduating class, so any yard sale we had here was doomed to failure. I guess in hindsight, too, I wish I hadn’t called out “early birds”those people who show up before your scheduled start timein my Craigslist ad like I did:


Also, our sign didn’t make it through the rain so good.

All-in-all I sort of hate yard sales now, so this is the end of the blog forever.

Okay I lied. Here’s a sampling of some of the weird stuff we tried to sell to Bob!

Continue reading



You better believe I was driving up and down the street like one of the Wet Bandits waiting for this yard sale to start right there when it opened!

I used to be SUPER super into Magic: the Gathering for like a week in high school, then a couple months in college, to the point where I actually entered tournaments, and even one timethis is completely truecame in second to last, rather than just dead last. (…But only because my opponent and I agreed ahead of time to call it a draw, so we would both win booster packs. We then played a game “for fun” and he wiped the floor with me.)

For years afterwards I had dreams of finding a giant box of cards for sale at a yard sale, and I did, from time to timebut they were always, like, $40. $50. Some totally reasonable price that I definitely didn’t want to pay.



I mean, yeah, they’re mostly commonswhich is Magic speak for “sh*ty coasters”but I’m hopeful I’ll find at least a couple cards to augment my elf and wall decks as I dig through the box. (I already found a dime and a pair of tweezers in there, so I’m feeling prettttty good about this.)

What will I do with the rest? Oh man hmmm, I dunno… 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