They came. In relentless, pulsing, sweating tides, they came. There they were at 7am as we were removing the giant green tarp from the great pile of knickknackery. By 9am their numbers could legitimately be categorized as teaming. At noon they were still there, picking through what remained despite the sight of a dozen Dunnevants packing up boxes and folding up tables. It was like some kid had kicked the top off an anthill in Mechanicsville and suddenly the ground was crawling with bargain hunters. And boy, were there ever some bargains.
My neck cooperated fully with events by barking at me all day long. It was so considerate of my two bulging disks to bark excessively loud every time I got out of the sunshine. No no, that would not do. If I wanted to get through this day it would have to be outside in the sun, the Saharan heat providing some degree of comfort. So, my job for the day would be to roam the crowd of shoppers goading them into buying stuff they didn't need or want. My technique combined false advertising claims with guilt shaming...
"Ladies and gentlemen, I would like to draw your attention to this table of men's and boy's apparel, by pointing out that several of these shirts were worn by Elvis himself!"
Hapless Customer: How much will you take for those three lawn mowers?
Me: Make me an offer.
Hapless Customer: Do they work?
Me: Absolutely not!
Hapless Customer: (appears crestfallen)
Me: Look Pal, you have any grandsons? You look like you have grandsons. Just look at those oversized wheels on those babies. You could take those and make that boy a go-cart that would make him the envy of the neighborhhood! You're part of the Greatest Generation, am I right? You guys are famous for tinkering with crap! Why, I bet you could break down one of those engines and have that baby purring like a kitten in no time!
Hapless Customer: Well, er....I
Me: Sure you can! Tell you what, for YOU...listen, give me twenty bucks and you can have all three of them, and I'll even help you load 'em in your truck!
Elderly female customer: Excuse me sir, but does this DVD player work?
Me: Does it work?! I have to say Ma'am it disturbs me greatly that you would accuse me of offering defective merchandise for sale. See that note attached that says, 'still works great'? Well, aside from the sketchy grammar, I can assure you that truer words were never spoken.
Elderly female customer: Yeah, well let's plug it in and see.
Me: Ahh yes, we have a Ronald Reagan customer on aisle 5!! Trust...but verify!
When all of the entrepreneurial dust had settled, this gaudy celebration of horse-trading had netted us over $900.
God Bless America.