Monday, October 20, 2014

Garage sale people are out of their minds

My friend Ronny is moving soon and he decided to get rid of some stuff with a good ol' fashioned garage sale. I wanted to support my friend and Ronny is a musician who has had a long and very interesting career, so I attended with the intention of getting some cool stuff and maybe snapping some photos of even cooler stuff that might have been out of my budget. Specifically, I anticipated being able to look at some very cool guitars. I got there just after 9AM, the scheduled start time. There was very little on display on the tables outside and I thought that he really wasn't getting rid of all that much. I saw him and told him I wanted to take the guitar tour and he said they were basically all gone. "Yeah, they pretty much cleaned me out at 7:30". I had made the crucial mistake of forgetting that garage sale people are out of their minds.

I had a garage sale once, when I lived in Sarasota. I remember that people showed up hours before the advertised start time. I remember people passing on what I thought was good stuff and instead snatching up the things I figured I would end up throwing away. I also remember that they paid no attention whatsoever to the price tags or even a price quote.
GARAGE SALE GUY: How much are these?
ME: They're a quarter each.
GARAGE SALE GUY: How much really?
ME: A quarter.
GARAGE SALE GUY: Yeah, but how much will you actually take for them?
ME: Only because I want to see where you're going with this, how much are you offering?
GARAGE SALE GUY: I'll give you a dime each.
ME: That's crazy. I don't even have anything smaller than quarters here to make change.
GARAGE SALE GUY: All right, but you have to throw some in for free.
I didn't sell him anything and he wasn't even insulted. Just shrugged his shoulders and left. Onward to the next sale, I presume. He didn't want what I was selling (these were books, by the way), he just wanted a deal beyond the considerable bargain already being offered. He wanted to negotiate as a form of recreational competition. "I didn't just buy these books, I beat somebody out of them!" That's because he was a crazy person, like most garage sale people.
I think beyond feeding that level of psychosis, the other thing that people find appealing about garage sales is the opportunity to judge people based on their stuff and feel superior to them. You get to walk around and scrutinize people and the way they lead their lives based on what they set out for sale. "Look at that! Who in the world would ever buy that in the first place? God only knows what they're keeping!". Think about it: we don't really get a lot of legal opportunities to look inside of people's houses. And sure, you can make fun of stuff you might see at Target but that stuff doesn't belong to anyone yet. It's just waiting to be picked up by someone displaying bad taste or making a poor decision. That's not nearly as much fun. You want to see the tacky item juxtaposed with the individual who cared enough about it at some point to have spent heard-earned money on it so you can form an opinion of what a laughably sorry person they are.

Of course those assholes were there at 7:30 in the morning. As a result, I didn't get to see any cool guitars or even most of the stuff that Ronny had for sale. I did score this sweet poster from a show he did that happened to be on my birthday...

Also, I bought two books and a microphone stand (note: I do not own a microphone).
That, plus a very sweet lady recognized me as the writer of this thing we call a blog and said several nice things about me to me. I love it when that happens!


Jeff Hickmott said...

These are the same people you see on the show "Hoarders".

sandys said...

its funny cause its true