Fun times yard sale

Posted by Jenny in Junk In My Trunk, Sale Tales | 8 Comments

I have to admit that I have been feeling a little burned out on yard sales after barely missing a Saturday (aside from being out of town) all summer! Plus, trying to have our sale last week got me way more into purge mode than shop mode. I actually tried to make other plans for Saturday morning, but when they ended up falling through I figured I might as well make the rounds. Once fall starts the pickin’s get slimmer, but I was able to put together a list of about 25 sales.

I got to Meghan’s around 8:30 and we went to the bank … then drove around to sales that hadn’t quite started yet. Some days it really isn’t worth leaving the house before 9. As we were cruising around I fished in my purse for a pen so I could cross off the sales as we hit them, and write down any addresses that we saw on signs — standard routine. But I had no pen. I then searched all the spots in Meghan’s car where she usually has a pen or two kicking around. She informed me that over the last few weeks, I’d apparently taken all the pens from her car (presumably sticking ’em in my purse without thinking about it) and now she was completely cleaned out. This sucked. Even before we had hit any sales, the lack of pen was making me antsy. I decided to keep an eye out for a pen at a sale — not really that typical of a sale item, but it could happen.

One of the first sales we found that was actually open sounded pretty bad from the ad — for one thing, they had mentioned “old rocks.” (Which prompted a rather philosophical discussion about whether there were really any new rocks.) There were indeed a few rocks for sale, sitting in a wire basket. They didn’t appear to be particularly special, but hell if I know what’s hot in the rock collector marketplace. Meghan found a cute vintage dress, but it turned out to have mold on it. Yuck! I noticed this peculiar looking book sitting on top of a crusty box of more normal books, and snapped a quick photo.

Box of books

As an afterthought, I picked it up and started flipping through it. I thought it would be some kind of cheesy psychological manual with overtones that passed for racy back in the day but would be humorously quaint now. Let me tell you: I could not have been more wrong. This is without a doubt the dirtiest book I have ever seen at a yard sale. There were full penetration close-up shots in all kinds of graphic, hairy detail — “fully illustrated” is an understatement. Those of you who were upset that I passed on Super Boobs or the Mister Peter Ice Mold might be happy to learn that I then purchased it for the princely sum of twenty-five cents. However, once the initial shock wore off, I kinda wished I hadn’t. It’s nasty. Meghan suggested that I could leave it at someone else’s sale, or just start tearing out pages and leave them at all the crappy sales we were sure to hit that day as a form of retaliation for their lack of good stuff, but I just threw it into the back seat and tried to mentally scrape some of the images out of my brain. I am sure that somehow I will find an appropriate home for it at some point. Perhaps it could be a bridal shower gift, or I could bring it to a white elephant party at my workplace and then deny that I had anything to do with it. Nah, probably not such a good idea …

The next sale was in an alley. This is always a pain in the ass, and indeed, the sale sucked … but what is this? As we were heading to the car, I spotted a ball-point pen in the driveway! It appeared to have been run over, and was bent into almost a 90-degree angle, but it still worked. My crisis was happily averted.

We moved from one sale to the next pretty quickly, being ruthless about driving past anything that looked bad. There was one that had advertised vintage/antiques which turned out to be a couple who were about to move and were in the process of getting rid of nearly everything they owned. Oddly, none of this actually appeared to be vintage or antiques, but we each bought a few things anyway.

Another sale was huge, with stuff from multiple sellers. Right when I thought I was going to strike out, I saw something I decided I was interested in: a brand new Crock-Pot! Oh yeah … you know you’re jealous. I have sort of wanted one for a while, but never badly enough to deliberately go out and get one. The sellers said it had been a gift and they wanted five bucks for it, which I happily paid.

We then hit a sale was listed as a girly-girl who was moving in with her boyfriend and thus had to get rid of some of her girly furnishings and things. To keep things fair, she was making him pare down too. They were nice and had some decent stuff. I thought these glasses with peeing cartoon characters were pretty funny.

Peeing cartoon character glasses

There were a ton of clothes and accessories but at first I didn’t find anything. Then Meghan uncovered two purses from Smoking Lily, a cool independent store in Vancouver/Victoria where we have both purchased things before. We each grabbed one of those. I also picked up a cute pair of stud earrings with luminous blue stones, then found a bunch of sunglasses. After trying a few one I found one pair that looked good on me — by Armani! Most of the clothes weren’t priced and I was a little nervous about how much things would be, but it ended up being reasonable: $4 for the purse, $1 for the earrings, and $10 for the sunglasses (which she said she had spent over $200 on). Meghan also got a really cool huge leather purse for something like $15, and we both left happy.

We headed into a different neighborhood which included a sale with an ad that bewildered me. It sounded pretty normal, but they included this (and only this) photo.

Yard sale ad photo

This is the actual photo from the ad, with my very sophisticated addition of blocking the eyes out. We couldn’t figure out what the hell they were thinking. Why the hell did they add this photo? When we got there, it was a really sparse, boring moving sale in front of a newer townhouse. The sellers were a couple and sure enough, that was the guy (but dressed much more casually and with no ornate doors in sight). We left no less baffled than before.

We hit a sale where two twenty-something dudes were cleaning house. They had a great DVD selection, but the guy wanted $5 each — too high. He then told his friend to watch the sale while he went inside for a sec. Meghan asked if we could get a deal if we bought a few DVDs, but the other guy was understandably hesitant, since they weren’t his. After about three minutes we were sick of waiting and decided to move on. I did spring for Lost in Translation and while I was fishing out my five bucks Meghan noticed this bench amidst the rest of their crap.

Poetry bench

Yes, that is the “when I am an old woman I shall wear purple” poem. Meghan asked the guy why they had it, since it didn’t exactly go with the rest of their stuff. He said they’d bought it used and claimed they had tried to paint over it several times but it never took. We decided that this was almost certainly a lie.

We then headed to another sale and drove right past it … then backed up to find this sign in front.

You have reached the sale

We passed on the free Sandra Bernhard photo out front, but Meghan grabbed her collection of about 20 copies of Bitch Magazine and I bought a few cheesy t-shirts.

One of the last sales we hit had titled their ad “What’s Up Yard Sale,” which sounded promising, or at least not boring. We passed one of their signs and it read “Fun Times Yard Sale.” The fun theme continued with this assemblage out front, featuring sidewalk chalk and a star-shaped balloon tied to a beer bottle.

Fun Times Yard Sale

While I was taking this picture Meghan walked up the stairs to their yard and said “I’m here for the fun times yard sale!” The seller waved her hands in the air and went “Wooooo!” We liked their attitude, but I don’t think either of us ended up buying anything.

All in all, it turned out to be a decent day. Aside from that skeevy book, I didn’t get anything that could be considered vintage (those boots in the trunk shot were Meghan’s score), but I was really happy with all the stuff I bought. And for the first time in ages, we ended up crossing every sale off my list. (Good thing I found that bent-up pen!)

Junk In My Trunk 9-27-08

8 Responses to Fun times yard sale

  1. That Edward Tuffte book is bitchin.’ I think I paid $30 for it new.

    Also, I am tempted to ask you to scan in some creepy porno pics. Please disabuse me of this notion. I know I would be sorry if you actually did it.

  2. Jenny says:

    I totally understand the inescapable curiosity … after all that’s how I ended up with it in the first place! But dude, it is not gonna happen. For one thing, that would mean I would have to look at it again. For another thing, I think it might cause us to lose a bunch of readers we like and get a bunch of new ones that aren’t really quite what we are really looking for here …

    I was super stoked to find the Tufte book – not just that one but three, for a buck apiece! I think someone went to one of his seminars once upon a time, then the books just sat around collecting dust. I’ve always wanted to read ’em!

  3. colleen says:

    The Tufte book caught my eye, too. I went to his seminar in NYC. A buck a piece is crazy! You’ll probably make around $50 if you sell them on eBay (after you read them, of course).

    Have you been reading “The Secret”? Maybe that would explain the pen. All you needed to do was imagine yourself with a pen, and voila!

  4. Angie lee says:

    Love your blog am so jealous[I really wish we had yard sales in Ireland ,I have to be content with mickey mouse charity shops]But i get to enjoy reading your blog ,and looking at your treasure ,happy hunting Angie.

  5. I know what you mean about hitting yard sales every week … I too cleaned out by having my own sale in mid-July, and I have been very hesitant to fill up the newly emptied space with more crap.

  6. VaxGirl says:

    I can see where that book would be the kind of think I’d buy and regret later. Kind of like a dirty book hangover. I just found a crockpot at a church rummage sale and was enormously proud that from the several they had, I was able to see the value in the one with the removable crock. Cause I really wanted the one with the cool orange 70’s flowers…

  7. Jenny says:

    VaxGirl, I know exactly the orange flowered crockpot you are talking about, because that’s the one I grew up with!! Mine is indeed a newer model with removable crock, which is definitely the way to go… even though it’s very plain and white.

  8. Bitch On Wheels says:

    Please bring the vile smut book to the next swap. It will absolutely find a happy new home.