adBlockCheck

Five-Family Yard Sale Mainly Selling Items To Each Other

Top Headlines

Local

Man Practices Haircut Request Before Heading To Barber

MINNEAPOLIS—Having scripted a set of lines he hoped to deliver with confidence and decisiveness, local 34-year-old Jason Clyne carefully rehearsed his haircut request several times Friday before heading to his local barbershop, sources confirmed.

Ronald McDonald Statue Bears Full Brunt Of Teenagers’ Mockery

CLEVELAND—Remaining stoically silent throughout the barrage of vicious insults, unsavory accusations, and various other indignities directed at it, a statue of Ronald McDonald seated on a bench outside the fast-food chain’s Clark Avenue location is said to have borne the full force of a group of teenagers’ mockery Thursday.

Woman Leaving Meeting Worried She Came Off As Too Competent

OXNARD, CA—Silently chastising herself for the way she behaved in front of her colleagues and supervisors, Cobalt Property Insurance sales associate Leah Manning, 36, was reportedly deeply worried Tuesday that she came off as too competent during the company’s weekly sales meeting.

Mom Has Stacked Dinner Party Roster

GOLDEN, CO—Their eyes widening in amazement as the 43-year-old rattled off the names of heavy hitter after heavy hitter, impressed members of the Dreeshen household confirmed Friday that the roster for their mom’s upcoming dinner party was absolutely stacked.

Bold Intern Giving Parents Tour Of Office

CHICAGO—Brazenly strolling through the rows of desks while pointing out the firm’s various departments to his two guests, Lodestone Media intern Nate Kapper, 19, made the incredibly bold move of giving his parents a tour of the company’s offices Wednesday, sources reported.

Beautiful Spring Day No Match For Last 35 Years Of Man’s Life

LITTLE ROCK, AR—Nullified almost immediately by the collective force of decades’ worth of resentment and disappointment, a bright and beautiful spring day was said to be no match for the past 35 years of local man Thomas Unger’s life, sources confirmed Tuesday.
End Of Section
  • More News
Up Next
TV Listings
Just Like Everything Else!: Fox 8 p.m. EDT/7 p.m. ABC Pete's wife is still on him about building that darn shed, these kids are going to be the death of Sheila and Dave, and the hot next-door neighbor is up in EVERYBODY'S business! Sunday nights on ABC couldn't be any more familiar!

Special Coverage

Surprises

  • Email From Mom Sent At 5:32 A.M.

    DENVER—After waking up and finding the message waiting on his computer, local man Drew Swanson confirmed to reporters Thursday that his mother had sent him an email at 5:32 a.m.

Five-Family Yard Sale Mainly Selling Items To Each Other

LAKE OSWEGO, OR–Despite participants' hopes of unloading useless, long-shelved items for profit, Oakdale Court's five-family yard sale last weekend was dominated by the transfer of items from one table to another.

The scene of the mass exchange of unwanted goods.

"I had all this junk sitting in the garage, just collecting dust," yard-sale organizer John Kobler said Monday. "[Wife] Nancy kept asking me to toss it out. You know, my old drill, the kids' old Sega system, some promotional golf caps I never wear, stuff like that. I was just looking for a way to get rid of it and maybe make some extra cash. Well, I sold most of it to the neighbors and used the money to get some pretty cool stuff in return. Check out this train set."

The three-day sale, held in the Koblers' driveway, featured merchandise supplied by the Kobler, Ancona, Farrell, Ashby, and Sarracki families. It is estimated that less than 5 percent of the items sold made their way out of Oakdale Court.

"Our 9-year-old was making a big fuss when we sold his old Pokémon toys to the Sarrackis," neighbor Debbie Ancona said. "Even though he never plays with them anymore, I felt guilty, so I gave him the 50 cents we got for them to find something that might cheer him up. He ran back from the Ashby table with an old Power Rangers doll."

While the event resulted in a zero-sum gain for the participating families, they shunned the implementation of a barter system. Instead, transactions within the closed economy were conducted via the use of cash combined with a marginally intelligible system of color-coded stickers and scrawled notes in spiral-bound notebooks.

"I didn't want to drive all the way to the Salvation Army to get rid of our old baby clothes," Ancona said. "If I didn't sell them today, I was going to throw them out. It's a good thing the Farrells just had a baby. They bought all my baby clothes, and we bought a bunch of the stuff they had to get rid of to baby-proof the house."

Even items that were determined to have no cash value changed hands through the "free box." Although no record was kept of the free items' movements, everything from a stained Parcheesi game board to a broken toaster to a 1986 issue of Good Housekeeping profiling new mother Christie Brinkley managed to find new homes.

"We didn't make a lot of money," Kevin Sarracki said. "In fact, we wound up about $2 below where we started. But look at this electronic talking fish I got from the Farrells. It sings 'Don't Worry, Be Happy.' Can you believe they were just giving it away for four bucks? That's going to look great on the wall when I finish the basement rec room."

Further contributing to the inter-familial circulation of junk was the reselling of items sold at previous Oakdale Court yard sales.

"A few years back, we did a yard sale, and I remember selling a ceramic mixing bowl," Gretchen Farrell said. "It had a small chip in it, and I thought we didn't need it anymore, but before long, I started to miss it. Luckily, I found one just like it at the Anconas', and I got it for a song. It even had a chip in the exact same place. Amazing."

At the end of the day, the Koblers were the big winners at $3 ahead, while the Ashbys wound up $6.75 in the red.

According to University of Oregon economics professor Dr. Arthur Clybourne, such incestuous yard sales are commonplace.

"The Oakdale Court yard sale is a microcosm of an economic model played out every weekend in cul de sacs across the nation," Clybourne said. "It is a closed system in which the mere presence of goods creates demand for said goods. The supplier becomes the consumer, and capitalism breaks down and devolves into its embryonic state of pseudo-bartering. Any item, by virtue of its existence within the closed system, becomes something with an intrinsic value and built-in level of demand. How else could you explain somebody paying $1.50 for a scratched vinyl copy of Men At Work's Cargo?"

Sign up For The Onion's Newsletter

Give your spam filter something to do.

X Close