by Jeff Marshall

Jeff Marshall, humor

My humblest apologies for missing last Friday’s blog – I certainly hope your weekend wasn’t destroyed in light of my absence. I do have a good excuse for you, though – I wasn’t on the couch watching Netflix and dipping Cheetos in bowls of assorted melted cheeses – but what an awesome plan for this weekend! Give me a second, I’m drooling all over the keyboard…

That was a wonderful food porn moment. Back to the subject at hand.

Last weekend I hosted a rummage sale.

My family has been having rummage sales for generations. I believe our first one was hosted by Eve in the Garden of Eden. She was always raising CAIN when she wasn’t ABEL to sell all her stuff! Get it!?! Whatever. If you want professional comedy, you’ll have to wait for the re-boot of FULL HOUSE on Netflix. And everyone collectively yelled UGH!

A rummage sale, in theory, sounds like a simple way to make some extra money. Grab a vase, stick a price tag on it, put it on a table, and try to convince the customer it’s an antique from the Ming dynasty in China circa 1482.

But remember, if it sound too good to be true, it always is! The deceptively simple rummage sale is actually a lot of hard work, especially when you’re anal retentive, moody, wishy washy, and ridiculously picky – i.e. ME!

I am going to give you a couple tips and suggestions for the next time you attend a sale.Tips for Attending a Rummage Sale

First and foremost, if you attend a garage sale, don’t ask if the garage is for sale, and if you attend a yard sale, don’t ask if the yard is for sale. That is the oldest joke in the book, and speaking on behalf of those of us who have broken our backs, not to mention a couple collectible plates, in order to meet your rummaging needs, it JUST AIN’T FUNNY! I have avoided this from happening by always referring to the sale as a RUMMAGE sale. Keep in mind we have spent hours, sometimes days, getting this crud ready – our senses of humor are not at their peaks.

A little bartering and negotiation is fine – in fact, it’s a little fun. Kinda like your own production of PAWN STARS. However, a lot of bartering and negotiation quickly becomes tedious to the extreme and you will be asked to leave the premises immediately, forcibly if necessary. The chihuahuas will happily escort you to your car.

If you consistently question the price of every single item you want, you are not so subtly telling the sellers that they are idiots who are overpricing waffle irons and Strawberry Shortcake lunch boxes, and they’re about as smart as a bump in the highway. If you find it necessary to negotiate the price of a canning jar filled with rainbow colored sand, then perhaps you should be shopping at Saks Fifth Avenue instead. We don’t need ya – get lost!

Finally, your rummage sale host is not a bartender, a psychiatrist or your mother – we don’t have time to listen to your life story. I’m sorry if that’s mean, but it’s the truth. I would love to talk to you one on one sometime, but not while the dude behind you is trying to pay for the Santa Claus on a Harley Davidson statue you found under the toolbox in the shed. It’s always amazed me how perfect strangers will share the most private and intimate things about themselves, and in oh-so-memorable detail. I won’t elaborate as not to offend anyone, but after last weekend, I know more about Mrs. Dellfield down the road than anyone has a right to know.

I have decided to continue doing rummage sales in honor of my mother. She loved them so much, and she was the perfect type of person to do them. We spent many wonderful bonding times doing the sales, and as difficult as it is to do them in her absence, I can feel her spirit telling me, “Jeff, just sit back, smile, and let this woman you’ve never seen in your life buy the bra with three cups. It’ll be a wonderful memory!”