By RICH FOLEY
I’m sure you noticed in last week’s paper where Mr. Green referred to the sophisticated young buyer of my Slipknot lunch box at the annual Morenci garage sale as a “sucker.” That’s not a nice way to refer to my enlightened customer. Especially after what happened later.
The evening the paper came out, I ran into Sybil Diccion, who said she would have bought the lunch box had she known about it. I doubt that David would call her a sucker. Yet Sybil did resist my counter-offer of a pair of Ozzy Osbourne bobble heads, so she apparently does have limits when it comes to, shall we say, collectibles?
She’s not the only one, since, as already reported, my venture into the annual sale wasn’t particularly successful. And with such fine items, too. It was enough to make me question the dumber man theory.
The “dumber man theory” is my contention that I’m not the dumbest person on earth and I can find another person to buy any collectible item I’ve purchased at a somewhat higher price, or, at least, for what I have invested in it. So, if something appeals to me, I can buy it, secure in the knowledge I can always pass it along to someone else if I tire of it. After the Morenci sale, I’m not that sure anymore.
I would have thought that pillows shaped like Dale Earnhardt’s car would have, excuse me, raced off my table, but no such luck. Some other nearby sellers were doing a bit better.
I watched with interest as Duane Dunbar brought item after item outside his store, including an ancient baseball bat. “Did that used to be Babe Ruth’s?” I asked him. “Could be,” he laughed.
At least I recognized the bat. I saw customers buying stuff from Duane I couldn’t begin to identify. Just a few feet away from me was a bike rack. Probably a dozen people asked me what it was until Duane found a buyer. The dumber man theory was working for him, big time.
What I found fascinating were the dozens of people carrying bags of purchases who walked by without so much as a glance. I can understand if you’re not interested in anything I have, but how do you know that without looking?
Meanwhile, dozens of diecast cars, trading cards sets and more sat sadly buyerless. Maybe I should have brought along a Kinky Friedman cookbook. Someone might have bit on that. Or a Steve Yzerman rubber duck. Yes, a rubber duck painted to resemble the Detroit Red Wings Hall of Famer.
Or maybe a Pirates of the Caribbean lunch box. Slipknot might be a bit on the edge for some folks, but who doesn’t like Johnny Depp?
By now, my folding chair is starting to get a bit uncomfortable, and I’m considering putting one of the Earnhardt pillows to use. There was a time when Earnhardt items were always the first to sell. Not today.
Finally, a brainstorm hits. I have about 300 rock star trading cards sitting on the table, and so far, no interest in Ozzy, Bruce, Ted, Elvis, the Beatles or anyone else. But when I dig out three Michael Jackson cards and put them out front, they sell almost immediately. I guess I should have asked more for them. Now I’m regretting not bringing my Farrah Fawcett poster, too.
At about 3 p.m., having found a new home for Slipknot, but not much else, I loaded up the Buick and drove over to see how co-worker Kim Ekins and family were doing with their sale. I mentioned that people kept parking in front of me, then disappearing for parts unknown, blocking my display from view of anyone driving by.
Chuck Ekins suggested I should have parked in front of the office myself, then set up my stuff in the space behind my car. Then no one could have missed me. I suppose then I could have held up items within a foot or two of cars as they went by, at least until the first time Larry Weeks drove past.
On the way back to Fayette, I noticed that the Amish folks who run the bake sale at the west edge of Morenci were still set up. They’re lucky. Even if they don’t sell all their items, they can always eat the leftovers. I wouldn’t want to have to eat a Dale Earnhardt pillow.
I wasn’t particularly pleased with the results of my sale, but I have 11 months to decide if I’m going to give it another shot. In the meantime, I’m thinking about talking to Duane Dunbar about that Babe Ruth bat. Do you think he’d trade it for my Three Stooges lunch box? Or should I try to sell that one to Sybil?