Friday, October 20, 2006

Retail Is for Suckers

The other day one of my co-workers was remarking on the unholy freak show that is our fabulous State Fair. Actually, he was sort of sadly noting that the excellent people-watching spectacle that it used to provide has been totally surpassed in his experience by simply working at our public library for eight hours a day. Toothless midway barkers, endomorphic bumpkins with a turkey leg in one hand and eight kids on a rope leash on the other, seven-year-old kids smoking menthol cigarettes behind the pig race grandstand--they'd all be lucky to catch my sideways glance after my many months manning the library front desk.

I was similarly let down after throwing a garage sale this weekend. It used to be that about three-fourths of the thrill of opening one's driveway to the retail-beaters and junk-gawkers was simply watching the parade of weird humanity and saving up anecdotes to share when the foolishly ambitious neighbors are planning their own Yard Mart. Nowadays I can barely work up the enthusiasm to look up from my book. I've seen superior bizareness on a daily basis, like the dude checking out witchcraft spell books, for example, to "fight fire with fire" after having been levelled for too long by his next-door neighbor's premium voodoo.

(Another witchcraft practitioner attempted to curse our own security guard a while back by thrusting his arms elbow deep in his pants and then flicking his fingers out at her while simultaneously performing a deep knee bend. No such thrills and chills at the garage sale, I'm afraid.)

No, it was a mostly mundane mix of bargain-hunting hagglers and neighbors curious if our garage was packed with more useless crap than their own. The lady who successfully bartered us down to 75 cents on a one dollar pillow was boringly typical. I hope she at least felt like she'd accomplished something worthwhile as she walked away like the big bargain winner on this triumphant day. One happy customer did warn us, loudly and in an ethnically superior tone left over from her school days in the 1890s, that "Those Mexicans steal more than they buy!!!!" I'm sure the pair of friendly Hispanic families checking out our wares just then in the same echoing garage appreciated her security concerns as much as I did, but after meeting my library's local Ku Klux Klan representative recently, I have a hard time being very surprised.


Blogger GypsyFolklorist said...

Wow - that is all that I can say. Oh yeah and whitetrash.

11:31 PM  
Blogger Adjective Queen said...

So I'm guessing you weren't able to fund your trip to Dallas with the proceeds from your sale?

6:30 AM  

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