Funky monkeys and funky bunnies

Posted by Jenny in Sale Tales | 6 Comments

Meghan and I were talking about some of the sales that we’d been to over the years and how sometimes there seems to be a theme for the day. Maybe you see the same book at five different sales. Or maybe there is an abundance of velvet everywhere you go. Or maybe it’s the day that the whole city has decided to get rid of their ice cream makers.

Way back in 2001 we had a day where there was a definite theme: monkeys. We came across tons of monkey items, everything from kitschy ceramic monkeys (some of which I purchased) to a book about … The Monkees. We drove past a sign reading “Free Dirt — and Free Monkey with every load!” And then I found a homemade mixed tape in a box of cassettes called “Spankin’ the Funky Spunk Munky.”

Spankin' the Funky Spunk Munky

Obviously I had to buy it, based purely on the name alone. I was extra-intrigued by the custom paint job on the cassette itself. I popped into Meghan’s car stereo and it actually turned out to be good, with tracks from the Bar-Kays, James Brown, Stevie Wonder, Hugo Montenegro, Barry White, and much more. There were also some funny spoken interludes like movie dialogue and weird cigarette commercials. This tape became our official yard sale theme tape and we played it at least once every single Saturday, until Meghan got a new car without a cassette player and the Funky Spunk Munky era came to a close.

I have to give respect to Meghan’s amazing sale memory, because she remembered that this was the same day that we went to a sale hosted by a wacky girl with a ton of crazy vintage and oddball stuff spread over her front lawn. Parked out front of her house was a scooter with a glittery sign reading “Funky Bunny’s Sparkle Shack.” She was about to move to L.A., which seemed entirely appropriate. I remember spending quite a lot of time looking through her stuff and chatting, and I’m sure I bought something, but I can’t remember what it was. Meghan purchased a stunning disco-themed lunchbox, which came with the original thermos … filled with booze. Nice! (I asked if she ever drank it, but she said no.)

I was pleasantly surprised to discover that we aren’t the only ones who remember this sale. This article from 2002 describes a local historian who spent some time going to yard sales and filming sellers as they parted with their junk:

Over the past three years, Dorpat has trolled Seattle’s weekend yard sales in search of bad art pieces and the people to share the stories behind them. He rolls his video camera to capture the precise moment the seller makes the release. The “Forsaken Art Project” is another of Dorpat’s projects in a life’s worth of projects.

And wouldn’t you know it, one of the sellers he filmed was the Funky Bunny herself!

I can’t find any more info about this project (is there some kind of curse on yard-sale-related movies that prevents me from being actually able to see any of them?), but it sounds completely fascinating. And it would be a bonus to get to revisit a sale we actually went to. In fact, now that I think about it, with all of the sales we were going to around then … I wouldn’t be surprised if Meghan and I recognized more than a few of the sales he filmed. Maybe some day I will get to find out!

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