A few observations on garage sales

1) People stake them out ahead of time. We had repeated drive bys the night before and in the early morning hours just after sunset. Nothing was out on display. So it begs a question: Exactly what kind of intel could possibly be acquired from this sort of surveillance?

2) No matter how ridiculously rock-bottom the prices, they still weren’t low enough for some. Some people had absolutely no shame asking to cut a deal, despite the obviously ridiculous deal they were already getting.

3) I was a rather indifferent sales clerk. I didn’t really care to mind the store. People could’ve walked away, huffing and puffing, back straining, with armfuls of bric-a-brac. I wouldn’t have noticed. Yet people were honest, more or less, although there was that one old lady.

4) There’s a rhythm to garage sales: A deluge in the morning hours, a lull as the sun peaks, and a rush hear the end. The reason seems obvious to me now: People want to get there early before all “the good stuff” is gone, and they also know you’re going to drop your prices near the end to get rid of everything else.

5) And they also know there will be a final purge, where you pile up all the unwanted by the curb along with a hand-written sign that says “Free.” It’s there now; I’m staring right at it. We had at least half a dozen visitors last night, like raccoons rifling through the trash for leftovers.

But it’s good to travel light, good to get rid of the glut. It still means a mountain of duffel bags and, of course, the Dog of Destiny, but better, much better, than packing up the entire house and taking it all with us.

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