Thursday, February 22, 2007


10. Mousy Bookseller Woman, who took each hardcover and paperback off the shelf, leafed through the pages and then typed something into her cellphone -- checking their resale worth on the internet. Another prospective customer got pissy about her monopolizing our mini-library, but hell, she was gonna take a whole bunch off our hands, right? After a half-hour, she put all the books back except for four, and paid me a dollar. Guess the others had no profit margin buyin’ ‘em at two bits per book.

9. Stuck in the '80s Movie Buff who was pleased to see I was selling all my VHS tapes, since he himself has no intention on upgrading to DVD. Problem is, he wasn’t familiar with any movies that were made after 1989. So Silence of the Lambs, Fargo, Pulp Fiction -- never heard of ‘em. He bought my copy of Johnny Dangerously.

8. Crotchety Old Couple, who showed up at the end of the day and complained about the quality of my girlfriend's dresses -- this one had a tiny rip, that one was a bit worn out, didn’t we have anything in top condition? Listen, Gramps, all the serious vintage retailers were here at 6AM. We were still trying to set up, and those early birds were pulling everything off the rack as fast as we were putting ‘em out there, praising Adelphia for her good taste in clothes that are now too big for her. Next time get here sooner to get the best stuff. Although what’s left is still pretty good. I don’t know who or what a Betsey Johnson is, but I’m sure at $5 an outfit, it’s a friggin’ bargain.

7. Packrat Dude, who I talked into buying lotsa stuff, from my old snorkel gear to Adelphia’s old plastic Kabuki masks. Guy seemed pretty nice, but definitely had a weird vibe, especially as he said he’s been living in his place for a long time and couldn’t help accumulating so much stuff he doesn’t need. I thanked him profusely for his business… (but secretly, it was for the reminder that without this yard sale, that coulda been me.)

6. Guy who kept his old mother locked in the backseat of his car, looking at him forlornly while he shopped.

5. Honduran on a Huffy, who told me through his broken English and my broken Spanglish that he didn’t have a license, so he rode his bicycle everywhere. Of course, he bought the most unwieldy item at the sale: a big old heavy fax machine, which we put in a garbage bag to dangle off his handlebars as he swayed and pumped the pedals up Hollywood Blvd. I was even more impressed with him than the fat woman who bought the big bookcase and balanced it against a tiny shopping cart to wheel down the sidewalk.

4. Israeli Neighbors, who walked into the middle of the yard sale, then lit up their unfiltered cigarettes and acted like Tel Aviv’s answer to The Wild and Crazy Guys. Still, they purchased my series of annual Malibu 10K T-shirts because the race’s dolphin logo made them miss swimming with the dolphins in the Red Sea.

3. Louise, a strange women with crazy multicolored hair and an even crazier detached expression who asked for Adelphia’s number to inquire later about any items that weren’t sold. Actually, Louise thought Adelphia was so fun and cool, she wanted to be her new best friend and has left over a dozen messages on Adelphia’s voicemail, asking if they could hang out and do a psychic reading together.

2. Sneaky Bastard, who tried to trick me into selling some jewelry for nothing. He had held up a set of playing cards with naked ladies on the back (talk about a full house, da-dum-crash!, poker? anytime! pow!, I’d like to swab that deck, ka-zing!) and asked me how much. Since he had already paid a fair price on a bunch of my sweaters, I waved it off as a freebie. What I didn’t notice is that in his hand he also held one of Adelphia’s necklaces. A minute later, she asked me if that guy had paid for it -- he was about to leave -- and then he insisted I told him it was free. We set him straight, but I didn’t appreciate the ruse. He knew damn well I was distracted and was only giving away the ba-da-bing, not the bling.

1. Ditzy Dog-Loving Director, who asked us to hold onto a few items while she went to her yoga class. But when she came back she said that she had been to the animal shelter and couldn’t decide if she should get this cute Pomeranian she saw there. Clearly needing guidance, I just tried to show empathy by saying that a friend led me a dog adoption website and I found it hard to look away; my friend described it as doggie porn. “Funny you should say that,” she said, “‘cause I direct adult films for a living, but maybe I should work with animals. I mean not in porn, but, I mean… See, I already have four dogs and two horses. Ever since my husband died, they’ve been a real comfort to me. They all sleep in my bed every night. Well, not the horses, at least not every night, but… Should I get another dog? I don’t know…” Fascinating. Now, pay for the stuff, willya?


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