Monday, March 28, 2011

The Evil that Lurks on Driveways…

Got up Saturday morning and turned on my computer, and there was the little rain icon on my Google home page. Groan! I clicked on it to check the day’s weather forecast, and learned there was a 21% chance of light precipitation.

Twenty-one percent?! Not 20 or 25, but 21. My friend Diane and I made 21% jokes all morning; 21% of your yard will get wet; 21% of yard sales will be rained out. Fortunately that last one did not come true, we managed a couple of neighborhood sales plus a few strays and had lots of fun.

Except for a few moments. Like when we pulled up to a sale and were getting out of the green convertible. A young woman was crossing the street, looking back over her shoulder at the sale across the street and yelling, “Yeah, well, I can be rude too, a******e.” Yup, we thought, you sure can. We checked out the sale we were heading for, then crossed to where she had been. And by the time we left, I realized there was probably some justification for her outburst. At first I thought the guy at that sale was just a tad uncouth. Certainly their stuff was overpriced - $3 for a lantern you can buy at Ikea for $1.99 is not my idea of a good deal! Diane found a nice little storage tin marked fifty cents, and when she handed him two quarters he wanted to know what that was for. She showed him the fifty-cent price tag, and he took her money but started going on and on about how nice the tin was and he didn’t know how it got marked that low, rather like he expected her to give him some more money. As we left he started yelling at his wife to bring him something he wanted now. Now! Now! Now!

Ig. Kind of wanted to whack him over the head with Diane’s tin. (I’m not really a violent person. I just have the occasional fantasy of violence. Which admittedly I enjoy probably more than I should.)

Of course he was just obnoxious. A few minutes later we encountered True Evil.

It looked innocent enough. But play this little film, and you’ll see what I’m talking about.

Normally my innate good taste would prevent me from bringing something like this home. Trust me, it won’t be staying long! I thought of one or two people I don’t much care for that I could anonymously give this to (‘give’ in the sense of ring the doorbell and run) but now that I’ve admitted in this very public forum that it was in my possession, it would be hard to deny if I got caught. So it will be a door prize at my next children’s librarians’ meeting…if I can get anyone to take it!

It came from the sale where I picked up this nice Madeline doll (also destined for door-prizeness).


When I asked the price, the lady said a dollar…and the flower thing went with it for free. She paused, then said, “In fact I’ll pay you a dollar to take the flower thing.” By now I was seeing humorous possibilities, so I grabbed both items and handed over a dollar to one of their two little blond-haired girls. The mom looked across the driveway at the dad and called, “I got rid of that flower thing!” He looked very happy, and we chatted for a few minutes about obnoxious noisy toys. The kind I think of as the grandparent’s revenge – buy the kid this noisy toy and send them home with it. Revenge for all those times you had to listen to your adolescent whine, “Ohhh, mooooommmmmm!” as they rolled their eyes.

Mom and the two girls headed across the street to a neighbor’s sale. When we got there they were heading back home. The mom thanked me once more, and one of the little girls stopped in the middle of the street to tell me in heartfelt tones, “Thank you for taking that flower!”

As Shakespeare said, nothing in this flower’s life became it like the leaving. Or something along those lines.

The rest of the morning was peachy keen. I stocked up on a few more door prizes


and we found some flamingos for a friend.


(At least I' hope she’ll still be a friend after receiving them!)

Good day for pets, too. First there was Gracie Lou, the calmest Jack Russell I’ve ever seen.


After she checked out Diane’s boot,


she jumped into her owner’s lap and snuggled. I noticed this bike trailer and asked if it is Gracie’s.


It is, but she doesn’t like it at all. Just then a young woman walked up and asked if the bike trailer was for sale. “No,” said the woman holding Gracie Lou.

“Yes! Yes!” said Gracie Lou. “Cheap! Free!”

But the shopper didn’t speak dog.

This pretty Himalayan was very snuggly. I got to hold her after I took her picture and enjoy her purr.



Her name, they said, is Farrah, “But we call her Sophia.” Ummm, okay. She was a pound kitty, one of six they have rescued.

This is Apollo, who was out for a walk.


Our Edward, who is part Rottie, does that exact same pose.

Noble Dog Edward

Here are Thelma and Louise. They do not own a convertible.


Harry was another rescue.


The dad at this sale said his wife found him a couple of days before Christmas and took him to the vet to have him checked – and he was there for about three months as they worked on all the things that were wrong with him. But now he’s home and plays all day with their little girl. He’s a very high energy dog. And his full name is Dirty Harry – not for the movie, but for the book Harry the Dirty Dog. Neither the dad nor Diane were familiar with the story, so I told it to them. The little girl and I both love the part where Harry, who has gotten so dirty that his family does not recognize him, gets a bath and emerges as himself. “ ‘It’s Harry! It’s Harry! It’s Harry!’ they cried.”

Theo the Wheaten terrier was our last furry encounter of the day.


We met him just before we reached the sale where this lady was demonstrating some of the merchandise.


Not surprisingly, this is the sale where we found the flamingos.


All through the morning, the sky changed from sunny and warm to cloudy and cool, back and forth. But not a drop of rain. However, when I got up Sunday morning, I saw that my patio was wet, though it hadn’t rained enough to get wet under the table or chairs.

Google weather got the last laugh. It rained 21% of the night.


  1. Ask your special needs technology person to hook that flower to a switch. Being able to activate it will bring joy to some little person's heart.

  2. i absolutely LOVE that flower. LOL i like those kinds of things. i'm the person in the store that goes down the aisle and turns them all on at the same time. great fun. my sister pretends she doesn't know me.

    i like the flamingoes, too. you have such fun

  3. i totally would give that horrible flower to one of my siblings. it would probably get passed back to me at christmas.

  4. That flower looks like it's ready to shimmy right out of its planter and murder someone. Who knew flowers could be so creepy!?

  5. flower still not as obnoxious as that silly mounted singing fish from a few years back....but close!
    are you having fun yet??

  6. Love the Dirty Harry story! My son has inherited my Harry the Dirty Dog book, and he keeps asking me who wrote their name in the front. He doesn't quite believe that mom had a different last name at one time -- after all, time didn't exist before he appeared, so mom must have always been married to dad.

  7. I got a new dog. Puppy this time around. A Yorkie. She's adorable. I'll send you a picture from work soon.

  8. Well the little flower would make a great "white elephant" gift to go around and around each year! Fun!

  9. Gosh those flamingos are perfect for our family flamingo wars!

  10. I love the kitschy finds and the animal photos, as always. I love to record the obnoxious noisy things that end up at thrift stores and yard sales.

    One time I almost purchased a bass that sang a bad version of "I Will Survive." ALMOST...


I really love your comments. Thanks for coming along on my thrifty adventures!

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