not normal

Garage sales are absolutely insane.

When I woke up this past Saturday morning I didn’t realize that within a couple hours I would be in a heated bargaining debate with a Russian immigrant over a pack of lead pencil refill sticks. He tried to weasel me down from $2.00 to $1.00…. let’s just say, it got ugly. After much deliberation, I had to throw in a pack of Canadian stickers to even keep him at $1.50. Pathetic.
And it wasn’t even my garage sale! It was my brother Brian’s garage sale. The same garage sale he had been talking about for a month and it all started at way too early of an hour.

Brian knocked on my door at 7:15am. “Lisa I need your help with something,” he yelled through the door. Ahhhhh what could he possibly need at this hour…and while I was up…I was still in bed. So I dragged myself out of bed and walked outside where I heard commotion. I arrive on our driveway to find Brian rampaging through his car unloading piles of magazines and random crap. He was placing magazines on the driveway, hoards of Maxims and FHMs were being lined up in an orderly manner. I stood there looking perplexed, taking everything in one piece at a time.

A I see a vintage cassette tape on the table: “The Simpson’s Sing the Blues.” Ouch.

I turned to Brian and say, “What’s going on here?”

With sweat dripping off his face and totally out of breath he turns to me and said, “It’s Scripps Ranch Garage Sale Day. I need your help.”

Oh Yeah…right….I had forgot…the garage sale he drove down from LA for. It was this weekend.

“What do you want me to do?” I asked

As he scribbled a price on a piece of paper, he said, “I need help with the advertising. I need you to make a sign.”

So I began the process of marketing schemes. How will I entice these customers to stop? What to write? What to write?….ahhh YES! I have it. THE IDEA!!! The slogan that will drive them in! It will be big and I will write it in block letters. (I can draw a pretty solid S in block letter font.) I felt pretty motivated and began to go to town on the sign. It took me about twenty minutes because I had to color in each block letter for impact, but it was worth it. I started taping up the letters one by one to reveal the sign: THERE IS A LOT GOING ON HERE.

I felt proud, especially with my S.

As I stood there admiring the work I had just accomplished on only 4 hours of sleep, Brian walked up behind me and read the sign out loud. “There is a lot going on here?” I could tell that he was not digging the sign. He hinted at the fact that he wanted more of an obvious sign: aka…”GARAGE SALE”….But I wasn’t about to start over. (Like Ms. Stein made me do in 3rd grade….I am still holding a grudge.) I reminded him of the Ms. Stein story and he just nodded and walked away. He didn’t want me to have to deal with one of those again.

brian and benson

A few minutes later my little brother Matt and my mom came out to help and suddenly the games had begun….people started to flock in…Louie and Doug and Benson and Anthony….and the Russian immigrant. Bargaining ensued and the customers swarmed the tables full of JUNK like seagulls on a hot dog bun hunt. Lemonade was made and given away “free with purchase.” Things were really starting to kick into high gear. Some man rushed in looking for a “trenching tool” – we didn’t have one – he turned around without saying anything else – and left. Some people new exactly what they were looking for, others were just out for a casual Saturday morning stroll through people’s crap.

I decided I had to capture the moment and so I grabbed the camera, placed Ardy on the Two dollar table…and snapped away.

ardy two dollar table

The phone rang inside and I went to go answer it. I ended up on the phone for about 30 minutes not even realizing I had left Ardy on the two dollar table. As I got off the phone – I remembered. OH NO! I ran outside to take him off the table…BUT…. he was gone.

I turned to my mom and said, “Uhhhh….Mom…where is Ardy?” She then put her hand to her mouth and looked at the two dollar table in panic mode. “Oh God, THAT was Ardy? Lis, I thought it was just a random duck. Someone just bought him,” she said. UM! WHAT! ARE YOU SERIOUS!!?!?! For how much? “For 25 cents,” she said.

I was speechless. What had I done….who bought him??? And more importantly, why did he only go for 25 cents??? This was not good. I had made a big mistake here. I was careless. I put him out like he meant nothing to me, like he was of equal importance to “The Simpson’s Sing the Blues.”

I began to frantically pace the driveway, thoughts running through my mind…why why why!?!?! Then my mom started to laugh…and threw Ardy at me. “Haha…just kidding,” she joked. She then went on to reprimand me by saying, “Serves you right for leaving him out here, up for grabs.” I guess she hadn’t even realized he was on the table until someone picked him up and offered her 25 cents for him…Luckily, she knew better!

So yeah….that was a close call again with Ardy. Poor fella.

I guess you could say it was a lesson learned. As if I hadn’t learned from the swan incident already. Later that day I reflected on that moment and realized that sometimes when dealing with Ardy, I play with fire and I have to remember rubber is flammable. I need to be more careful with him.