First, I must apologize since it has been almost 2 weeks since my last post. It has been a very busy time. As you know, I moved into a new apartment, which is SO much better than my old place. Anyway, I have been very busy at work and for a number of different reasons, not the least of which is that my new apartment does not have cable or internet due to the requirement to use the Comcast Devil but that will be a different post.
So, now the experience I intended to write about today before boring you with the introduction. Today I had a garage sale. Made a bit of money and got a good sunburn, even though it was cloudy and I stayed in the shade most of the morning. Still don’t get that. I live in Houston, TX, apparently no longer just the world’s largest petrochemically enhanced concrete sauna, but now boasting the title of environmental microwave since I guess I was cooking just by being outside, even feeling a breeze, which I guess means it was a convection microwave. Who knew we were so advanced? So, although I usually don’t burn in the shade, now I look like a bearded beet.
Feels better since I put on my aloe vera gel, though I realize it looks “really good” and I will get killed when I go to work at the World’s Best Cancer Center on Monday. “Have you lost your mind Bagman? Don’t you know about the sun and skin cancer? Don’t you remember you already had cancer????. Don’t you know this is HOUSTON and you can’t go outside in the summer?????” What a healthy world we live in. I forgot to wear my bag today, which I never knew protected me from the Houston environment, which is now apparently a heavy a radiation zone. HMMM. That might explain the garage sale zombies I encountered today.
Had the garage sale to get rid of stuff that I don’t have room for anymore and there were really some things I hated to sell, like tools that I have had for a long time and that I will not be able to replace for the money I got for them. However, maybe someone else will be able to use them rather than sitting in my closet. After all, it is frowned upon to perform woodwork and construction projects with power tools in an apartment. Issues with noise and sawdust I guess. So picky.
Well, we posted signs for an 8:00 garage sale. Predictably, at 6:30 am the first people show up. Still moving stuff to the driveway when they start picking through unpacked boxes and asking if that $ 100 saw will sell for a quarter. “No, my extravagant friend, how about $ 5.00?” Looking at me in disbelief that I would ask such an exorbitant amount, they wander off aimlessly searching for the next yard, hoping to buy a Cadillac for a dollar. Well, not to be outdone, I suddenly became a master salesman.
“Whoa there buddy. You know something here needs you. It will be sad if you leave it here. Lemme make a deal for that smoker. Hey pal, how about $50.00 for that boat motor that would cost thousands to buy new? You wanna pay $ 10.00 for that 27 “TV? Sure.” I would say anything to keep from taking it back to the garage or transporting it to Goodwill. Ethics and morals? Not at a garage sale. Pay what you ask for it? HA! Are you kidding? 25% of the asking price is about right. This really bothers some people, but I know it is part of the garage sale experience. People wander and touch everything you have, ask how much it is, and are disgusted if it’s more than a dollar. They tell you they want something so you set it aside for them. Then they leave without it after you told the next guy it was already taken. It’s like going to the flea market but ll the fleas are in your driveway, they are part of a circus, and they’re trying to spend the least amount possible for your junk. Can you believe it?
But you know what?
Occasionally, something cool happens. Today, two little kids touched my heart. One beautiful little girl around 3 years old just lit up when I gave her an old basketball. I opened the bag full of balls and told her to pick the prettiest one. She picked an old rubber blue basketball that had not been played with in 10 years and her face lit up like a lamp. “Mommy, I love this baaaaaketbaaaaa”. My heart melted and all the gripes about the pickers went away.
The other was a boy around 10 yrs old who, from the look of his clothes and vehicle, came from a humble home, bought a basketball for 50 cents earlier in the morning. As I was packing things up at lunch and the remaining balls were about to go to Goodwill, he came back wanting to buy another one. I asked if he would like the 5 remaining balls to give to his friends. He was shocked but in a millisecond snatched that bag from me and I couldn’t see anything but his smile. You would have thought I gave him a car. Smiling from ear to ear, he carried the bag of balls to his dad waiting in the car. Dad stared in disbelief, then smiled broadly and nodded to me in the way only another dad knows. He spoke to his son, who then ran back and said “Here Mister” and gave me another 50 cents, wanting to make sure he paid for those balls.
That was the best 50 cents I received all day.