Friday, July 27, 2012

July 27: Customers, So Hurried, Rummage Sale

...but the customers were all so hurried and so eager in the hopeful promise of the day, that they tumbled up against each other at the door, clashing their wicker baskets wildly, and left their purchases upon the counter, and came running back to fetch them, and committed hundreds of the like mistakes in the best humour possible...

This little excerpt describes a scene Scrooge and the Ghost of Christmas Present encounter in their wanderings about the streets of London.  Dickens seems to thrive on details of the bustle and crush of humanity at the holidays.  He loves descriptions of bakers and poulterers and butchers.  Vendors selling things like roasted chestnuts and fuits of all kinds.  Dickens' city comes off sounding like one huge farmer's market.

I don't mind farmer's markets.  I don't mind community events where local people are selling wares.  I'm not a huge fan of white elephant sales or garage sales or rummage sales.  I just can't get into buying somebody else's junk.  I do watch Antiques Roadshow, and I do know that a lot of the hundred-thousand-dollar items are purchased at yard sales.  However, I just can't bring myself to sift through tables and tables of cast-offs in hopes of finding a work by a nineteenth-century master of the Hudson River School of Painting.  That's just not me.

My wife is having a rummage sale tomorrow.  She and my daughter have been preparing for this event for months.  We're selling baby clothes and old toys and tee shirts and books.  My daughter is hawking bowls of shaved ice, strawberry and grape and cherry and mixed berry.  They are both very excited about it.  I, on the other hand, am not looking forward to garage sale groupies knocking on my front door at 6 a.m.  I can't stand pushy people, and, in my experience, garage sale groupies are some of the pushiest in the world.

Thus, I will be keeping my distance from my wife and daughter's sale (garage/rummage/yard--it's all the same thing).  My only hope is that we don't lose money and my daughter sells a few of her shaved ices.  We have probably spent around twenty or thirty dollars preparing for tomorrow morning, so any money beyond that is all profit.

Saint Marty will not be selling his Rembrandt, however.

This sign says it all!

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