DAY 288: Getting insulted at my own garage sale

16 Jun

IT’S eight in the morning and five straggly men are peering through my gates (not a euphemism).

“The ad in the paper said nine,” I admonish, marching past them with a bunch of cheery balloons.

“That’s okay, we can wait,” one says, pushing his nose through the pickets.

On the dot of nine, they sweep through my carport like gannets.

“Is this all you’ve got?” one asks, peeved that I’ve assembled no medals, antique clocks or rare vinyl he can flog on his stall somewhere or other.

This garage sale is a far more businesslike venture than the local community meet-and-greet I had envisaged. “You’re the first person to say hello,” I beam at one bloke who mutters a “g’day”. He ignores me.

“Who’d buy a book with a cover like that,” one matron snipes of some anthology or other as her friend stands back an adequate distance from the table to make it clear she will not be roused.

“Me,” I point out, “I did.”

As the hours wear on, I become increasingly aware of all my expensive follies during the last few years of gainful employment. Take the Ab King Pro, which it turns out, everyone has one of at home, and everyone is using as a clothes horse.

Talking of which, I haven’t sold a single item of clothing or accessory. A woman tries to offer me a dollar-fifty for a cardigan I paid fifty bucks for while getting bored waiting for my tram on Gertrude Street, and the leather doctor’s bag that looked well worth $60 at a secondhand boutique in St Kilda is considered, but ultimately deemed not worth two dollars.

These 'Gaugin' girls may well look mortified.

Keeper? Now that I’ve quit my job to live on magic beans, this is a lesson on the value of money that has come a smidge too late.

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