Local Garage Sale Goes Poorly

In Reports from Green Lake by Brady Carlson0 Comments

Elderly woman left with lots of old junk as Green Lake looks for answers

Sighs were audible and spirits were downcast at the home of Dolores Taylor last week, as family and friends pulled the plug on a thoroughly unsuccessful garage sale.

Not a single item was sold at the sale, the 77 year-old’s eleventh of this year’s garage sale season. “It’s rough,” Taylor said, as she put away an unbought, coverless copy of “My Antonia.” “You wonder if you shouldn’t just walk out onto a block of ice, like those old women in Alaska. Is it time for my pill yet?”

“Mother-$#&*ing $!(*$, I’m tired,” said son-in-law Terry “Patch” Mathews, 34. “What’s people’s &$*!$ing problem, anyway? Ma’s practically giving this stuff away!”

“You better believe it,” Taylor added. “This cracked picture frame once held a picture of my Uncle Felix wearing a new hat. Only $15, and no one bought it.”

“It’s a gold mine, and they’re too dumb to realize it,” said Mathews. “I’m so mad I’m gonna spank somebody.”

Garage sale-goers once lined up early outside the Taylor residence to bid on her wares. They still come, but in fewer numbers, and often without buying anything. Plus, “Dolores is a little batty these days,” says longtime friend Cecily Keats. “She gets a little confused and her sentences trail off into strange old stories. Why, just last week when I was there, just to say hi, you know, because I don’t buy on the third week of the month cause of an old saying my mother told me. ‘Buy in the third and cry in the fourth,’ she’d say. My mother loved a good garage sale. She also loved walnuts.”

Wall Street was watching the garage sale closely, expecting heavy sales to pull the local economic picture out of its doldrums. In the aftermath, economists are scrambling for answers to why Taylor’s sale failed, and what it could mean for the future. “It seems pretty obvious that the lack of success at Mrs. Carson’s garage sale is due to globalization,” said Dr. Phil Meyers, chairman of the Green Lane-based Economists for Global Panic. “All the corporate bigwigs have opened up the worldwide garage sale market and driven all the prices down. American garage sales can’t compete with prices in Taiwan and Singapore. I hope those WTO hotshots think about Dolores Taylor, stuck with 87 stained tablecloths she can’t sell, thanks to them. I hope they remember that when they have their next meeting.”

Local merchants fear that the Taylor debacle may be an omen for them as well. “I never thought I’d see the day that you couldn’t sell a broken Polaroid camera in Green Lake,” said Willy Bugs-Tyrone, owner of the Rustapalooza pawn shop. “Now, all bets are off. I’ll have to fake my own death to keep this place running. Can I say that?”

For now, Dolores Taylor and “Patch” Mathews have packed away the remains of what could be their last garage sale: hundreds of magazines with all the pictures clipped out; a 1977 RCA videocassette player (“it don’t play tapes now, but the clock works,” said Taylor); six pairs of 3-D glasses; several polo shirts with missing sleeves; dozens of record albums; and a chipped mug with the faded inscription “Congratulations Mark.” All were placed into Taylor’s attic, which, according to Mathews, “isn’t as smelly as the back closet or the garage.” The price tags still remain on each item, perhaps a symbol that next year will see more garage sales after all? “Just in case,” Taylor said with a wink, before tripping over her own feet and falling to the ground.

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