Tuesday, May 26, 2009

One Man's Trash...

Mr.4444's dad, God rest his soul, was a pack rat. The man could not throw a thing away. To illustrate this point, I'll tell you that after he died, Grandma 4444 called Waste Management and ordered a dumpster. It got filled and emptied three times before everything was purged (and that's just what was in the basement and crawl space.)

On the bright side, whenever you needed something (anything, really) Bob had it. In fact, he usually had two or three. The impressive part, too, was that he usually knew exactly where he had put it, too. Over the years, though, his wife was not impressed. She constantly threatened to "throw that shit out" and begged him to get rid of some of it.

One year, Bob decided to get his wife off his back and have his first-ever garage sale. The night before, he painstakingly set up his display areas and prepared for the sale. Grandma 4444 was so excited! She tells me that although he had consented, he refused to let her get involved in any way. If she'd make a suggestion, he'd reject it. As she tells it, he said, "This is my thing. You're not going to be putting stuff out here that I don't want to sell. She stayed in the house and let him do his own thing.

The next morning, the "Early Birds" arrived as per usual and began looking over Bob's "valuables." How much is this? a little old lady asked about an old phone. He told her a dollar. She asked, "Will you take a quarter?" What?! Bob was not a haggler; he had no idea people would nickel and dime him to death at his garage sale. Nonetheless, she didn't look like she had much, so Bob just gave it to her. This happened several times with other shoppers, as well.

An antique dealer mentioned that she admired the beautiful bassinet that had been Bob's as a baby. She said, "I suppose you want a fortune for that. You know, you could get a lot for that on consignment in my shop." Really?? Bob decided the bassinet must really be worth a fortune, so back in the house it went!

The more and more interested customers appeared, the more and more uncomfortable Bob became with selling it. The minute someone showed an interest in something remotely valuable, Bob would say, "That's not for sale." and take it into the house. When it was all over, Bob closed the garage and told Pat, "If you ever bring the garage sale idea up again, so help me...." Everything left went back into the basement,

which is where we found his Playboy magazine collection after he died.

And sold it on Ebay for $100.

I think he would have been proud.

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