The customer always comes first

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

Last Friday I saw an ad for something claiming to be a 75-family sale right near my house. I decided to swing by in the afternoon and it turned out to be a church rummage sale — really bad, but at least I got a picture of this mind-boggling mug.

World's Greatest Wife

That has got to be a contender for “worst art ever to appear on a commercially produced mug.” How does that even happen?

Saturday I headed out with Meghan and Karl for the first time in a few weeks. One of our first stop had this wagon full of records.

Record wagon

Karl dug a small pile out of there. Meghan made a couple of small purchases and as she was putting them in the car, noticed a vintage child-sized metal shopping cart priced at $5. She pretended to think about whether she really needed it, but I think it was love at first sight. She did mutter something about possibly receiving divorce papers once her husband saw it in the house.

We made a couple more stops and then pulled up to a sale with a bunch of great-looking vintage items. Meghan yelled, “I want those bowls!”

Mmmm, vintagey

They would have been hers, except for their crazy price — I can’t remember what it was, but almost everything at this sale was expensive. The exception was a box of shot glasses marked at fifty cents each. Karl and I pulled a couple out and the guy made some comment about how we should see all the ones he wasn’t letting go. Then for some reason he told us about one of his favorites, a Mustang Ranch souvenir shot glass reading “The Customer Always Comes First,” which he claimed he wouldn’t let go of for his life. He told us he found it at an antique mall, and I accused him of lying about that.

As we continued onward we found some wacky holiday decor …

Crinkly plastic holiday decor

Flags galore

… and a whole mess of Santa hats that someone had decided would best be displayed in a tree.

Tree full of Santa hats

Another sale had a lot of wacky stuff. Meghan found some post-it notes labeled with swear words which were pretty awesome, as well as some great vintage clothes. After talking with the seller she figured out she’d been to a previous sale at the same house seven or eight years ago, and scored a bunch of clothes there too. None of us bought these odd foot candleholders, though … or the accompanying, um, paraphernalia.

Feet and paraphernalia

We saw some creative sign repurposing as we made the rounds.

Beginning Sale Lessons

Sale sign with beehive

Then there was a neighborhood sale that took forever to get to and turned out to be so-so. Driving away we saw their sign — it looked like the tiniest sign ever, but we realized the real sign must have been taped on and fallen off. I decided to continue what seems to be an occasional trend of altering yard sale signs, mostly because it cracked me up imagining that someone would drive by and think this sign was for real.

World's tiniest yard sale sign

Not long after that, we drove past this.

Hydrant with hat

I have seen yarn bombing before, but this is the first time I have seen a fire hydrant with a hat … we had to take a picture.

The day sort of started to go downhill. From interesting but ultimately undesirable free items …

Free items on tablecloth

… to the jankiest moving sale sign ever …

Mo Sale

… to a tooled leather clock …

Tooled leather clock

… to a life-sized Hobbit stand-up.

Hobbit standup

We took an extended snack break, then followed some Burma-Shave-esque signs down the street to a yard sale … which completely sucked.

All sales final :)

We didn’t want to end on that note, so we veered over to one last sale, whose ad had been interestingly wacky. (Pair of moose-antler hats! Dinosaur-shaped cake pan!) They seemed pretty cleaned out by the time we got there. I’m not sure it really would have been all that better earlier, anyway. At least I spotted this painting — it looks more like a chortling space alien than the Dalai Lama.

Free Tibet

By the end of the day, I had only purchased a few small items. Meghan and Karl had some interesting stuff in the trunk, but you can’t see much of it here. But get a load of that shopping cart! Can’t wait for that to be filled up with beer and wheeled around at some future barbecue.

Junk In My Trunk 7-9-11

8 Responses to The customer always comes first

  1. How many records does Karl have?

  2. jaclyn says:

    please tell me somebody bought the tooled leather clock! aghhh! i love it.

    what is it about husbands and being afraid to bring stuff home to them? mine has to put up a fuss everytime. but he usually loves it in the end. fun post.

  3. silver says:

    Fantastic post as always – I laughed out loud at the description of the Dalai Lama painting – and love that he seems to be holding a popsicle.

  4. Erin says:

    Ok ..first of all, I would have definitely have nabbed that “water pipe” classic stonerware 😉 I agree with silver that the Dalai Lama is eating a popsicle. Maybe that’s part of his meditation .

  5. Jenny says:

    Oh yeah – that is TOTALLY a popsicle in his little mutant alien hand. Don’t know how I missed that…

  6. Melissa says:

    OMG, those tulip bowls are hella expensive – I’d hate to tell you what I paid for a set of 4 and a matching grease cannister with lid. You hardly ever see those “in the wild” so that was a good sighting. Gives me hope for yard sales again.

    Good catch on the future beer wagon!

  7. Howard M Beers says:

    Dalai Lama? Are you kidding me? That’s Ray Charles, and it looks more like a fudgesicle than a popsicle. Either way, it’s probably melting all over his keyboard.

  8. Sarah says:

    i own those pilgrims!