Sunday, April 23, 2006

everything sells or everything burns

tb had an entire apartment full of stuff he has collected for his past 32 years as a bachelor that he needed to purge so he can move in with js. read his post on plant camp here. our parents have never had a yard sale and i have to admit that i love them, or that i used to, at least (i haven't stopped by one in forever). my hometown would have a city-wide rummage sale weekend where everyone would have one at the same time and i would skip school to go with my friends on the friday afternoon of the event to score ridiculous crap like 70s sunglasses and bad homemade handbags. when tb decided to have a yard sale of his own i was all about it. i dragged a suitcase full of cds and video tapes that i couldn't make any money off of on amazon, plus a box of shoes (all size 11, which is too big for almost all women, and all really unfashionable - red boots, silver loafers, beat-up brown doc marten mary janes) to his apartment saturday afternoon, spread my junk out on a patch of lawn in front of his building, and watched as shit got funny.

highlights of the day:

$2 vodka lemonade stand also coincided with the yard sale. they were good sellers, but we pretty much drank away any profits.

a guy in an airbrushed wolf t-shirt bought the three really bad wild-animals-in-nature posters (each shrinkwrapped to a piece of cardboard) that tb bought at the grocery store in our hometown a few years ago. they were originally purchased because they were so lame, but i have a feeling that they'll really add a certain something to that dude's home.

two punker skateboarders who couldn't have been older than 15 snatched up a cool olive military jacket that all of us tried on but was too small. the one that bought it was obviously the less-kool of the pair (the kooler one had a blonde mohawk with pink in it, and wore pants that nicole richie would have had a hard time fitting into while the other one had a mom-sanctioned haircut and looked a little chubby in his skintight jeans) and you could tell that he really wanted to make sure the kool one liked it before he plunked down his $2.

a harley dude pulled up, went through my cds for a long time, and walked away with 10 of them.

a crazy lady who apparently wanted to be js bought all of her shoes and a bunch of the old jewelry she had been given by her grandmother (plus my sheryl crow cd), and spent a lot of time talking to her. tb thinks that she is the traffic cross-guard up near the el. she came back at least one other time to look at stuff.

tb had two stacks of playboys and penthouses. i now understand how irritating it is for newsstand owners - don't just flip through them! you can read it if you buy it! a cabdriver (who pulled his cab over, i hear - this is before i arrived) and a couple of latino guys bought about half of them, plus the playboy videos).

a woman from the cuban restaurant across the street bought the blender. to use at the restaurant.

a girl returned the vaccum cleaner because she said it spewed dust and crap all over the carpet and didn't have any suction. he apologized, gave her the $10 back, and immediately put it back on the lawn next to everything else. i started laughing so hard there were tears. it was later sold for $5 but the couple was warned and the guy seemed to be confident he could fix it.

most of tb's clothes weren't sold - men don't buy clothes, especially winter coats and sweaters in the spring, particulary when tb is 6'4" and many of the men that dropped by were about 5'2". all of the clothes hung from hangers along the wroght-iron fence in front of the building, which was a nice, colorful advertisement that there was shit for sale. right before we packed up around 6:00 an old guy on a bike pulled up and ended up buying a pair of green umbro soccer shorts, a pair of cargo shorts, and a forest green button-down shirt. i note this because he told me that he was happy that the button-down and the soccer shorts match so well (both green). "great new outfit!" he told me.

the mattress was on the lawn for about 15 mins before tb just brought it to the dumpster in the alley. no one thought it would sell for any amount of money, and we were concerned that it was "junking up" our yard sale. hahahahhahaahahha.

the pull-out couch was so freaking heavy - and ugly - that tb and his friends heaved it off of the back porch (from the fourth floor). it landed on its legs but was totally busted, only held together by its fabric. this, unfortunately, had to be shoved over to the dumpster as well.

a nice thing to say, but what struck me as weird, is that a lot of people said as they left (even a little kid on a bike), "good luck!"

the best moment came around 5:00, after things had wound down quite a bit. tb dragged a ikea-type computer desk over to the corner near the stop sign with a xeroxed flyer for the sale taped to it to garner more interest in the desk and the sale. a middle-aged african guy pulled up in his car and asked how much it was for; tb wanted to get rid of it, so he said $5. the guy said okay. just then a crazy white middle-aged dude in a mini-van, real hyper, stopped in the middle of the intersection and yelled "how much for the desk?" tb said "this guy just bought it for $5." the minivan guy yelled "i'll give you ten!" tb said "er, okay," and it totally looked like a staged shake-down (for five bucks). the guy pulled the minivan in a crazy 180-degree circle and hopped the curb, and the african guy was like "i'm a student! you can't do this!" but he agreed to pay tb $10, so he got it for $10. capitalism.

i made about $50 selling cds, vhs tapes (all $1 each), some cigarette cases that rj reynolds had mailed to me to thank me for being such a good slave/customer, and a water spritzer bottle. the shoes didn't sell, and i don't blame anyone for not wanting them. it's funny to see your possessions spread out on the grass, just waiting for someone to come along and want them. you find yourself not caring if you only get a dollar for things that a few hours ago were on your shelves in your apartment. tb made about $80, sold a lot of his things to people that probably needed them more anyway, or are at least in the market for a $5 microwave, and cleaned out a good portion of his apartment. a beautiful spring day, all in all. i made just enough to cover my cab fare and go out that night. we did not, unfortunately, burn anything.

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