Monday, May 28, 2007

Back to the flea market

I made a return visit to the good ol' Oldsmar Flea Market this weekend. This time as a buyer, not as a seller (as I've written about before here, here and here). I went to peruse the gamut of goods and services available to the consumer. Because seriously, if you ever need to pick up a couple of pounds of shrimp, a copy of the June 1984 Penthouse, some sunglasses, lingerie, baby food, empty aftershave decanters, a complete set of The Thorn Birds on VHS, some tube socks, golf clubs and a child's bicycle, there are precious few one-stop-shopping options available to you. Plus, where else are you going to see a one-armed mannequin in a camouflage bikini holding a toy M-16? Come to think of it, that may not have been a mannequin.
Anyway, if you go, prepare to be hot. Very hot. There are fans and some of the older, established booths have air conditioners but for the most part, the place is hotter than Satan's scrotum. The heat is so oppressive that I saw one woman at a booth labeled "Nut'n but fun" who looked like she was praying for nut'n but a quick death.
Sure, the people watching is unparalleled at the flea market, but what's the most fun is looking at all the merchandise. You can't say it's all junk because it's valuable to somebody (personally, I'm guilty of intentionally and without duress spending hard-earned, American money on baseball cards of Rob Sperring, Steve Dillard and Mike Lum). But you have to wonder where they got some of this stuff and who they think is going to buy it. For instance, one of many vendors that sells weapons advertised "Authentic Ninja Throwing Stars". Now how on earth did a flea market vendor in Oldsmar, Florida get their hands on something like that?
Setsuko Futaba: I find myself low on funds this month. Have you any suggestions as to how I can generate some cash quickly?
Shichiroji Ogata: Well, under other circumstances I would suggest going to the hospital and selling some blood. However, we are ninjas, and thus, do not bleed.
Setsuko Futaba: I was thinking of going to the Oldsmar Flea Market and selling some weaponry, perhaps these throwing stars.
Shichiroji Ogata: Excellent idea. Pick up some tube socks for me while you are there please.

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