What do a cocktail shaker, Spanish naval cap, wedding dress and two alarm clocks have in common?

Bridal GownIf you said “Tom Cruise” you may be right. It really sounds like a Tom Cruise movie montage, doesn’t it? However if you guessed, “what 1Lisa bought at a garage sale this past weekend,” you would be a winner. You might also be a stalker, but we’re cool with that.

You see, 1Lisa fancies herself an American Picker. She comes from a long line of…well, let’s face it, hoarders. Seized in the grip that “somebody,” “someday” might need “something,” hoarders find it difficult to throw out anything of value. And nowadays almost anything can have value. But who would have dreamed a semi-lucrative career in the import/export business would manifest itself in the form of an empty lighter fluid can?

It all began a couple of years ago when 1Lisa’s mother encouraged her to explore the entrepreneurial side of ebay. Already deeply entrenched and skilled in the dark arts of bidding and buying, Lisa said, “no thanks, I’m good.” After a bit of cajoling, ego boosting and various other jedi mind tricks her mother picked up on a recent visit to Korea, Lisa finally consented to give selling a try. What did she have to lose, after all? And there was everything to gain: great wealth and the prospect that she would not have to help shlep all her parents crap around (again) should they move (again).

So she and her father started their vast empire with an empty lighter fluid can. It was however, not just any empty lighter fluid can. It was a vintage empty lighter fluid can. And those of you well versed in the lingo of the ‘bay know “vintage” means big $$$. Or it just means “old crap.” One man’s trash and all that. Anyway, as you can probably guess there was a huge bidding war for said vintage can and we made a million dollars and retired to Pensacola the-end. Except not really. Pensacola isn’t what it used to be and we only made ten bucks — but seriously, who would pay $10 for an empty tin can?! Somebody. Somewhere. And so the chase goes on. Unfortunately for 1Lisa’s husband the wedding dress is her size (if she loses 80 or 90 lbs and undergoes excess skin removal), so she just might have to keep it. Along with the framed photo of Secretariat, the signed Ice ashtrayCapades program and the nifty keen Las Vegas casino ashtray. I mean, you never know what Rat-Pack celebrity might have snuffed his stubs in that tray? With the magic combination of vintage and provenance, heck that thing could be worth tens of dollars. To somebody. Somewhere.

*1Lisa is not divulging her identity or location at the risk of being audited by the IRS, but suffice to say garage sales in Michigan in April are more rare than snow in Florida. 1Lisas is already hiding her vast book royalties in an offshore account, while TOL (The Other Lisa) keeps hers in her underwear drawers (plural).


6 responses to “What do a cocktail shaker, Spanish naval cap, wedding dress and two alarm clocks have in common?

  1. I can’t help but laugh at that asterix proviso!

    I passed by a property some days ago that must belong to a Canadian Picker. It’s the only reason for more garden lamps being on the property than anyone could ever have use for….

  2. (feel free to pm me that address)

  3. My mom used to go to garage sales. She was the queen of negotiators. She’d come home with her “treasures,” gained at carefully-negotiated prices, take them back to the storeroom–and as soon as she went out for a day, Dad would go haul everything out to the dumpster. The following week, the cycle would begin anew….

  4. I admire a good negotiator. I have been know to offer people more than they are asking. #salefail

  5. I have a vintage crock pot and several baskets that need homes. Name your price, Garage Sale Girl.

    • I find your lack of faith disturbing. A “vintage crock cooker / pot ~ large” from Australia fetched $30.91 plus $174.50 S&H. Closer to home, a Black & Decker in California just raked in a sweet $153.50. I suggest you basket up that puppy and join me on the dark side, padawan, there is much I can show you.

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