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The Garage Sale - with Illustration

We sat in our respective chairs, a group of friendly neighbors, chatting back and forth while people milled about the goods.
This was not the first time that we’d had a monster garage sale, so we were well acquainted with the “shouldn’ts” and the “shoulds.”

Experience had taught us that you “shouldn’t” put the signs out ‘til everyone is ready, and the coffee’s good and hot.
We also knew you “should” be sure your things were cheaply priced. (The focus was on selling things…no matter what you got.)

Still…when things are marked at prices low enough to fill a 45-foot moving truck for less than twenty bucks, 
And yet some whiny “browser” - with a cocky attitude - tries to purchase everything for less…it really sucks.

I don’t have a problem when a gal with several kids asks for little discounts on a bunch of children’s clothes,
But, at this early morning sale, the most obnoxious shopper I’ve ever had to deal with got completely up my nose.

Today I’d brought a television, "22-inch color.” It worked like new, but we’d just bought a slightly larger size. 
Priced at only seven dollars - with remote control - and lots of special features, yet…to my complete surprise,

From his pocket mister “wheeler-dealer” pulled a tape and measured ‘cross the screen to check the size I’d said it was. 
And though I had it labeled “works just fine,” he hollered out, “Does it work?” And I responded - sweetly…“Yes it does.”

That’s when things got ugly. He began his rude routine. He told me, “You must think this thing is made of solid gold.” 
“That’s the best that I can do,” I guardedly replied. “We hardly ever used it…and it’s less than two years old.”

“I don’t care how old it is,” he snapped right back at me, “your seven dollar price tag is just simply out of line.”
“How much would you like to pay?” I asked…to play the game. He said, “I know how I would price it…if the set were mine.

“Old TVs are common. Why…you see them every day. But I will give you fifty cents, if you will give your word                                                                                                      This set will last for fifteen years - and give my money back if anything at all goes wrong!” I gave the guy the bird!

That’s when Violet Baxter intervened. She’s really gutsy, and knew that I was angry, by the gesture that I’d made.
She strolled around the table, walked up close…and gave a wink, and softly said, “Remember…this is how the game is played.”

Whispering softly, Violet added, “Take him for a ride. Make him think you’re willing to negotiate a bit.
Act as though you’re just about to take his measly offer, then say you’ve changed your mind, and that you’re simply…keeping it!

“That should tick him off enough to make him go away. It worked for me last April, when I brought a bedroom set. 
This same disgusting scumbag, in that same disgusting shirt, told me, in a million years, that I would never get

“Even half of how I had the bedroom outfit marked, and how he’d give me fifty cents if I would guarantee 
That he would get a refund if he ever brought it back at anytime in fifteen years!   Come on…it worked for me!

“Priced at twenty dollars…for a darling 3-piece set…I let him think that I was close to taking fifty cents,
And then I simply told him, ‘Sir, I thank you for your offer, but I’ve decided not to sell.’ You should have seen him wince.

“I remember well the dirty look he gave us all, and how we heard him cursing ‘til he drifted out of sight.
Millie says she’s seen him in a new Mercedes Benz, so we all think the way I made him angry served him right.”

Violet’s tale of sweet revenge would make me stop and think. I knew that she was right, and that this guy was quite a jerk. 
I grinned and softly whispered, “You know what…I think I will. He really is a wiener!”   Then I put my plan to work.

“How about a dollar, sir?  The set is just like new.” He looked at me and growled again, “I told you…fifty cents.”
The way he bit my head off…and the offer that he made…and knowing Millie’d seen him in a new Mercedes Benz…

Gave me all the gumption I would need to “play the con,” while Violet and the others quietly watched me reel him in. 
I fin’ly told the pesky fool, “You know…I think you’re right.  I’ll never get the price I want.  We’ll put it in the den!”

All the ladies…even all the shoppers…went berserk. They couldn’t hold their laughter when the man became incensed.
And as he stormed away they cheered when I yelled after him, “I’d like to buy your fancy car! I’ll give you fifty cents!”

   BTW: I plan to post many of my AUDIO files on the soup over the next few months, most from my 4 new AUDIO-CDs, along with many more text files from my books of verse. (Only a few CDs and books left -- 1-11-21). 
   Because, as with most academically undisciplined poets, depending entirely on the mood I’m in at writing time, my pieces vary greatly from meaninglessly comical to meaningfully poignant, and a few are, admittedly, irreverent. If you happen to enjoy “traditional verse” - and appreciate great variety, check out my website’s at:  WWW,WRITEROFBOOKS.COM --- or Google me...after 58 years of penning verse and authoring childrens and suspense books, I’m easy to reach! I've also got a bunch of my verse posted on Youtube, and a few samples listed on Ebay, both findable by simply searching: "Mark Stellinga". 


Copyright © Mark Stellinga