Wacky and punchy

Posted by Jenny in Junk In My Trunk, Sale Tales | 13 Comments

Yard Sale Heart

I’d like to start today’s post by informing you of the results of my unscientific survey of the books currently most likely to be seen at Seattle yard sales: The Devil In The White City, Running With Scissors, and Good In Bed. I saw each of these books at least five times on Saturday. Probably more. You also still see an alarming number of copies of Wild Animus, but since zillions of copies of that book were distributed for free a few years back as some kind of weirdo marketing campaign, I guess it shouldn’t be surprising that they’re still making the rounds.

OK, now that we have that out of the way, on to the recap. Our first stop on Saturday was a sale whose ad was possibly trying a little too hard to be wacky. Some of their stuff was sort of the same. I mean, just because you draw a black star and the word “Devil” on your ramen package does not mean anyone is actually going to pay a dollar for it.

Devil Ramen and Beauty Bath

And come on … how “vintage” is this Juicyfruit?

Vintage $5

This was a multi-seller sale and there was only person minding the shop, who I don’t think was the person responsible for these items, so I couldn’t tell if they were seriously trying to cash in on this stuff or (more likely) were just having fun and trying to entertain themselves.

We moved on to a few uneventful sales, then stumbled upon this. I’m guessing that when you own a very large spider, you take advantage of every possible opportunity to use it.

Spider-guarded yard sale

This was the first sale I’d ever seen which greeted shoppers with a list of the items on hand. Kind of like a menu, or a table of contents.

Guide to the yard sale

I’m not sure if everything in this drawer was meant to be in the sale. I didn’t see those on that list of items!

Junk drawer with CDs and condoms

This is the second week in a row (and the second time ever) that we’ve encountered condoms at a yard sale. I sincerely hope that this isn’t the beginning of a trend.

We headed over to a “crafter’s sale.” This can be good or bad, but something about the listing made it sound promising. It turned out to be a small but very cute sale.

Cute, cheap, and crafty

Meghan tried on a pair of Camper shoes that were sort of abstract (as Campers tend to be), but kinda cool. They fit so well that she just kept them on for the rest of the day. (Yes, she did pay the seller first!) She also got a ton of magazines, a nice wicker storage box, a dress, and a book from the ’60s whose title made our jaws drop: Crafts For Retarded. I grabbed a bunch of odds and ends from the free box and purchased a stack of about 30 patches that said “HOOT” on them – $1 for all. I figured I’d use a few here and there, then you know the rest are headed for the yard sale catch and release program.

Next up was a fundraising sale for a local high school cheerleading squad. The team they cheer for? The Ballard Beavers.

Go Beavers!

We predicted that there would probably be a lot of cheapo size-zero clothes there, and this was pretty much correct. I don’t think either of us bought anything, but the folks running the sale were nice.

We meandered over towards Green Lake to hit a few sales. One was a fundraiser for an organization helping seniors and nothing was priced – you chose your donation/price. Meghan coughed up $10 for a pair of shoes and a pair of jeans, and I put in $5 for two items: a vintage warming tray (that will probably do little more than sit in its box on a shelf at my house, but it has such a great design I couldn’t pass it up) and a ’70s t-shirt with a very amateur-ish wizard drawing on it … captioned “Gandalf.”

After that we saw some signs for a nearby sale. When we pulled up I had sale ja vu, recalling a sale here maybe six or seven years ago. I remembered that it had strange and entertaining stuff, but was slightly overpriced. This time was about the same.

Presidential detritus

We moved on to a sale where we were greeted by this awful-looking display.

More on Deck

Yeah, there better be more than that! Unfortunately, it was about as bad as what was out front. The first thing we saw was a big pile of … Well, imagine that you took a stack of phone books, mail, and old papers, tied it together, and left it outside in the rain for a couple of years. That didn’t bode well, and sure enough, the other stuff …

Quips and quotes

Cheese Flavored Marshmallows

And worst of all … what you never want to see at a sale!

The dreaded box of undergarments

The sale redeemed itself slightly when Meghan found and purchased a set of Lawn Darts. Although now I’m a little scared of going to her next barbecue.

Next was something billed as the “feel-good garage sale of the year.” I’m not sure about that, but it was full of weird stuff to dig through. Most of it wasn’t priced, but the sellers made it clear that everything was cheap.

The feelgood yard sale of the year

Most of the stuff seemed to be from the ’80s, like this table full of fabric.

Acres of fabric

They also had boxes of fake food (age not known).

Fake food

I started digging through a box of purses and kept coming across random debris left inside: gum wrappers, ticket stubs, wadded up tissues … gross, but then I kept thinking maybe there would be some forgotten cash inside one of them! But that wasn’t the case, so I moved on to another part of the sale, where I found this lying in the grass.

The Johnson Pet-Dor

Meanwhile, Meghan was stunned by this fascinating sweater with a pattern that looked like fried eggs.

Fried egg sweater

I’m not sure the picture conveys how very cropped and wide it is. She picked it up and put it down about five times, until it was clear she needed to just add it to her pile (which already had a bunch of vintage sheets, towels and other stuff). While she was getting her total, a woman started trying on various scarves she’d picked up and asking me what I thought of them. I’d give her the thumbs up or down, and was surprised to see that she completely followed my opinion in deciding whether to get them or not. It was like she’d somehow decided that I would be her personal style guru. When Meghan finished paying, the woman seemed disappointed that I had to stop advising her and pay for my items (two ’80s scarves and a set of black and white Vera pillowcases).

We started to head back home, figuring we’d stop at a few more sales en route. Meghan was starting to get a little punchy and proceeded to dish out potentially caustic remarks to three sellers in a row. It was all in good fun, but still cracked me up. First, a female seller gave her a friendly pat on her arm while they were talking, and she responded by sternly saying “Don’t touch me.” (I told her she was channeling Karl.) At the next sale sale she just announced she was going to be irritating when we walked in. The seller seemed concerned, but that was the end of it. Then we went to a sale where we could tell as soon as we walked up that it was a bust. The seller started joking with us: “Hey, you girls look like you need some golf clubs!” Meghan’s reply: “You’re about as funny as my dad. He golfs too.”

Yeah … it was time to call it a day.

And that does it — another Saturday, another trunk full o’ crap!

Junk In My Trunk 8-1-09

13 Responses to Wacky and punchy

  1. sue says:

    I so love your posts. Every time there’s a new one, I get all excited, thinking (hoping?) maybe I should start hitting yard sales after all. Apparently not. I’m eternally grateful that you do it for me.

    P.S. I was once whining to a friend about how sucky Good in Bed is and she told me the author is a really good friend of hers. Whoops. It still stinks.

  2. Bamamama says:

    Oooohh, lawn darts. Good score. Gimme.

    I would consider the gum vintage if the sticks were still individually wrapped but five bucks? No f’ing way. I don’t chew gum but I recently tried to teach a neighbor kid how to make a gum chain and found out that they stopped wrapping the sticks with paper. We cut up some wrapping paper but it wasn’t the same. Another reason to feel sorry for the kids of today.

    Have you read the reviews for Wild Animus on Amazon? They’re a hoot.

  3. Karen says:

    Hmm, condoms and underwear. I don’t mind if at a yard sale someone sells NEW underwear that hasn’t been worn, but in that picture those don’t look new. 🙂

  4. Wait, I want to see the Gandalf shirt!

  5. Crafts for Retarded? Ay-yay-yay!

    We’ve certainly come a long way since then!

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  7. Nicole says:

    Oh wow lovely blog! I found you by a comment you made on Lunchtime Quickie, and I am researching all over the place about the chameleons with collars pinned to peoples outfits. I was wondering if you have a picture of this anywhere or where I could find them. Ive found so much written but no pictures. Thanks so much!!!

  8. Jenny says:

    Hey Nicole,
    I wish I had a photo of my grandmother and her live chameleon jewelry, but I just checked with my folks and there don’t seem to be any. Dang! Good luck – seems like there have gotta be some photos floating around out there somewhere!

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  10. Susanna says:

    Umm, M wasn’t being funny – she was being a bitch. Big difference.

  11. meghan says:

    Wow. Are you calling me a bitch? Actually I wasn’t being a bitch, I was being snarky or maybe even surly, but not a bitch… Though your comment is making me want to be a bitch.

  12. Melissa says:

    Hey Susanna, if you can’t lighten up, then just run along now. Go on, shoo.

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