(I still make time for regular programming -- "Mad Men," "The Killing," "Once Upon A Time," "New Girl," "Up All Night" and season four of "Breaking Bad," plus "The Young & the Restless" and new episodes of "30 Rock" and "Parks and Recreation." And when all 10 new episodes of "Arrested Development" are released on Netflix, I will devote my weekend to plowing through them.)
(Yes, I watch a lot of TV. If my parents hadn't restricted me from it so much when I was a kid, I probably wouldn't be this way. Playing outside is for the birds!)
(Put a bird on it.)
(When do we get a new season of "Portlandia"?)
Two Wednesdays ago I read about a community rummage sale in my neighborhood, so I bought a table and decided to get rid of clutter. Friday night Ashmi came over and helped me sort through all the junk in my apartment. (I'm ashamed to admit I have moved three times with a rusty dog carrier which never housed Noli, 14 random forks and three beat up Old Navy purses, among many, many other things.) Saturday morning I was up bright and early loading it all in my car, and by 9 a.m. I was open for business! Except it was cold and threatening to rain.
As I stood behind my table and looked hopefully at each person browsing through all the junk -- which was mostly old CDs and children's toys --, I realized I may have had visions of grandeur when I first read about the rummage sale. The last time I participated in something like this, in a church parking lot in Stone Mountain, Georgia (coincidentally, where Kenneth from "30 Rock" is from), I made at least $100. And any time my family had a garage sale, we made loads of money. I can remember taking all the ones I earned from selling off my toys and throwing them above my head in my bedroom, pretending I was Scrooge McDuck. (Duck Tales! Woo ooh!)
"How was this advertised?" I kept asking the other sellers. All anyone knew was that it was in a couple of neighborhood newsletters. We should've made a Facebook page, hung up fliers, asked local businesses to plug us, my PR mind silently scolded the organizers.
Have I got a deal for you! Everything for $1! PLEASE!
Max couldn't have been more than eight years old. He was wheeling and dealing like a pro. It was pretty obvious that Max had been coached, but a lot of it must come naturally. I watched him argue with an elderly Asian woman. How can you argue with an old lady?! "I can't go lower than five dollars," I heard him say. She offered him three, her hand shaking as she handed it to him. "Nope," he said. "Five is my final offer. No sale if three is all you got."
You'd think that his stern attitude would have been off-putting, but that kid was raking in the cash. So when he wandered over to my table, I had to mess with him.
"How much for this dog carrier?" he asked me. That nasty dog carrier was priced as $3, and I would have given it to him at that point in the day, but I needed entertainment.
"Three dollars, but I'll give it to you for two."
"Hmm, I don't know..." Max trailed off, looking behind him at his puppy, some kind of shepherd mix, who was obviously not going to fit in that carrier that was meant for 7-pound Noli. "What if I gave you one dollar?"
"Okay Max, I'll take one dollar," I said.
He hmmed and I-don't-knowed for a few more seconds, then he said, "I think this could be really useful for my new dog. Okay, I'll give you one dollar." He reached into his pocket and pulled out a wad of cash. As he began to unfurl a one, he said, "On second thought, I'd rather give you change for it."
As the woman beside me and I chuckled, Max's dad walked over and ruined the sale. "Max, your dog isn't going to fit in this." GET OUTTA HERE, OLD MAN! I felt like yelling. I was about to make a dollar.
Max inspected it some more then abruptly looked up and said, "Eh, I don't think I'll get it."
I almost sold an end table to a hipster who looked about one step up from a hobo, but, after I'd dropped the price to $5 and he'd stared at it for at least 10 minutes, he finally told me, "I'm just not at a place in my life where I can deal with a glass table top." What the heck.
In the end I broke even and made about $30 on top of that. I donated most of my stuff, but it was such a great feeling to cleanse my teeny space of the junk. Next time, though, I will just call Salvation Army and have them come pick up everything. I found out after the fact that they will bring a truck with movers and take out your stuff, including furniture. A rummage sale may work in the suburbs, but not in the land of yuppies.