Shh. You hear that? That whooshing sound? It’s the sound of another work week – and an irretrievable part of our collective youth – slipping by.
It all happens so quickly! If only we knew what was on the horizon, knew what to expect, how we should dress…
Ah-HA! But we do! Because everyone knows that my iPod, set on shuffle and played on my Friday-morning commute foretells the future.
It could happen!
Fake Palindromes by Andrew Bird
Golden Years by David Bowie
Low Spark of High-Heeled Boys by Traffic
Say Blow by Blow Backwards by Fred Wesley and the Horny Horns (track #3 on the link and featuring Maceo Parker, James Brown’s sax player for years)
So there you have it. Any time “Low Spark of High-Heeled Boys” shows up, not only do you know what you’re doing for the next 12 minutes but there’s the chance a velvet jacket will show up.
I’ve moved mine to the front of the closet.
And speaking of velvet jackets and lest you’ve failed to notice: The season has returned.
I’m talking about Garage Saling.
No, not Garage Sailing, a weekend pursuit in which one outfits a garage for maritime sport but Garage Saling, a weekend pursuit whereby one cruises for home-made signs posted about town in the hopes of being lead to cheap, used goods. On foot, on wheels, these signs – hand-made neon or store bought, wheedling “Multi-Family Sale!” or my favorite, last weekend’s “Buy My Crap” – lead me on, lead me in, a Siren’s song of instant gratification and cheap thrills.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not looking to buy your old underwear. Unless they’re really cool underwear. No, no, just kidding. Not even if they’re really cool. Well, unless they were your great-grandma’s bloomers and I need them for a Halloween costume. No, not really. Well, yes, really. But don’t tell anyone.
I’ve pushed others into the Garage Sale Vortex. We spend whole Saturday afternoons chasing down “Huge Sale” signs, the car veering to the left, to the right. The neighborhood and surrounding neighborhoods are rife with garage sales, people selling quirky art and funky clothing; and like the faithful horse of yesteryear trotting its drunken master home safely from the pub, the shimmed and duct-taped front end of the Civic carries us, junk-drunk and giddy, home.
Best deals ever? Fifty-cent vintage Ray Bans in perfect shape. A three-dollar leather coat that fits like a glove. A three-dollar 1920s rolling cocktail cart in passable condition. Best of all? A five-dollar unopened Husker Du original pressing. Mwa ha ha ha haaaaaa! Victory is mine!
This is not to say that we haven’t been had, even if “had” was only in the sense of pulling over and getting out of the car. There are people out there selling sweat-stained, button-less blouses; cup-less, cracked saucers; and sweat pants with blown-out waistbands. And what’s with trying to sell me things you’ve received for free?! I know where you got those Pert Shampoo samples, lady.
There are also “professional” garage sales held by people who never seem to bring their items in from the garage/yard/driveway but simply cover them with tarps from Monday through Wednesday, their “sales” resumed Thursday. It is my belief is that these people buy items from other garage sales, double the price, and re-sell them. These sales, to use the vernacular, “suck”.
And of course there are some pretty specific garage sales out there: tons of stuff for babies, the terribly skinny/overweight, tools but not much else, that sort of thing. It comes with the territory. We Garage-Salers are a hardy bunch and accustomed to the disappointment that comes with, say, a garage full of romance novels or cardboard cut-outs of Easter bunnies and “Kiss Me I’m Irish” buttons.
The season is upon us, and starting this weekend, the Honda and I will be out.
And if I see you at a garage sale, then, good luck to you, and may the sharpest eye win.
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