Is This A Garage Sale Or A Sick Joke?Commentary • Opinion • ISSUE 36•23 • Jun 21, 2000 By Anita Grose Anita Grose Just what exactly is going on here? The cardboard sign out front said "Garage Sale," so when I pulled up and parked, I naturally assumed that I would be attending a garage sale. But what I see in front of me is more like some kind of sick joke. For starters, the children's clothing isn't even separated from the adult clothing. It's all jumbled together on the same rickety card table. What's more, the baby jumpers aren't even folded! This is absolutely obscene. Large items like exercise equipment, stop signs, and crutches are stacked against the wall in such a way that it's hard to tell what's for sale and what's simply being stored in the garage! Then there's the utter lack of rhyme or reason to the display of smaller goods: Fisher Price playsets next to Sweet Valley High books, Water Piks next to latch-hook rugs, cast-iron cookware next to Herb Alpert records. Who would have the audacity to call this labyrinth of stained pot-holders, plastic Christmas-tree-shaped snack trays, and Betamax tapes a garage sale? Is this poor excuse for a garage sale even real? My God, three dollars for this hot-air popcorn popper? The butter-melting cup isn't even attached anymore. Fifteen dollars for this rusted electric typewriter? Excuse my laughing fit. And this water-purifying system: Are you aware that the replacement filter cartridges are missing? If you are, there certainly is no masking-tape tag on the box indicating as much to a potential buyer. I should have immediately been tipped off by the crudely hand-lettered "Garage Sale Today" signs all down Tokay Boulevard. They were needlessly decorated with balloons, as if anyone would be foolish enough to mistake that for a hallmark of a quality garage sale. These people must have had some reason for luring unsuspecting motorists off Maple Street to come in and sift through this overpriced garbage. I can only imagine what evil scheme lies behind these wooden salad-bowl sets, hair crimpers, and GE tape recorders. Can you believe there's not even a "free" box? Old plastic yogurt containers and glass jars without lids–obvious candidates for such a box–are marked five or even ten cents. Am I hallucinating, or is that a stringless yo-yo for sale over there? In my 44 years on this Earth, I've never seen such a vulgar display. It might be conceivable that someone would consider this picked-over selection of damaged goods acceptable for public display, had this so-called garage sale been in its final hours. But to find out that today was the first day, well, I don't know if I'm more shocked or saddened. Finally, there's the small matter of your display of Avon Skin-So-Soft hand lotion next to the cash box. Were this garage sale just a ruse to lure customers in to buy beauty products at retail price, that's more than a mere breach of garage-sale etiquette. That's downright evil.