We had a garage sale today. This is my first one since, oh, the junior high days. I admit I was a little nervous about the whole thing because I didn't think we had enough stuff and I was afraid that our relatively remote location would be hard for people to find.
Nah, they sniffed us out like bloodhounds.
I stayed back while Kristen set up the signs. Seriously, it couldn't have been two minutes after she left that she diverted a steady flow of "yard sale junkies" (the term "junkies" is employed loosely here) in my direction. Most of them executed the "drive-by" technique -- this technique is the embodiment of the inference that the size of the sale is indicative of the quality of the items being sold. Really, this is quite the rich sub-culture (the term "rich" is employed loosely) with rules governing everything from the standard price of magazines and VHS tapes to the politics of haggling. I offended one person for asking too much for a magazine and I offended another person for asking too little too quickly for a stack of books. Apparently I robbed him of that precious sense of triumph that can only come from talking someone down from $2.00 to $1.50. My very last customer of the day, as luck would have it, told me about all these rules.
Here are some of the other highlights with our "garage sapien" buddies:
* A man walked into our garage (while we were talking with other customers) and began to sift through our belongings, which were clearly not for sale. His mongrel dog followed suit and began to eat our Gandalfo's breakfast sandwiches, which were clearly not for canine consumption.
* I had more opportunities to practice my Spanish today than I have in the last two years combined. I met some awesome folks from Peru (where my little sister Christina was born). This nice Peruvian couple said that they wanted to cook me some Peruvian cuisine -- something involving "lots of shrimp".
* I got a big hug from a nice lady when I gave her son (a new philosophy major at BYU) a good deal on some philosophy books.
* Someone stole the nice camera we had for sale, but left the nice case that came with it. We gave it to a girl straight out of the "Teen Girl Squad" who wanted to use it as a purse.
* Only AFTER I sold my handheld tape recorder did I realize that I forgot to erase some embarrassing clips of me singing.
* An old man (decked out in biking apparel) pulled up on his bike, parked it, and took a quick glance at the pile of free stuff at the front of the driveway. After a few seconds, he mounted his bike and said to me, "I'm gonna be riding this bike all day." Then he drove away, leaving me with a funny mix of puzzlement and admiration.
Overall, it was a smashing success. The best part of the day was when Kristen, in her exuberance over the amount of money we managed to make with the whole affair, accidentally gave me permission to spend $30 on books.
And that's why the quote of the day comes from Amazon.com.
Here's the "What in tarnation?!" quote of the day:
"I think the human brain is highly overrated."
-- a reviewer on Amazon.com