Wednesday, April 12, 2006

People watching

The second Saturday of every month is Sale Day.

It's a stock sale that I go to ... well, more of a junk sale with a bit of livestock. The owner won't pony (heh, 'pony' get it?) up the cash to get bonded and so he is legally unable to sell anything larger than a turkey. This leaves a rather small little sale, more of a social outing than anything, but I go (not least for the social aspect) and rub elbows, talk stock, shoot the ... uh, breeze ...

Anyway, the junk is pretty cool, you can find really great deals (for example, they sold a '96 four-wheel-drive Blazer for $800) and they have whatever the people thought to bring; from tractor attachments to chicken feeders to kitchen chairs to baby toys.

I have picked up some good stuff - mostly tools and small pieces of furniture - but I really go for the chickens (fowl, actually: pigeons, geese, turkeys, guineas, etc). I also love to people-watch. There's some interesting ... types.

There's the rawboned, loud, obnoxious northerner with the classic grating accent whom they just call 'Yankee' (like it's his name. I find that pretty rude, myself) who refuses to speak to me. Seriously. I asked him a direct, friendly question one time and he literally walked off. I accidentally spoke to him Saturday. They'd just sold the Blazer and I leant over (didn't realize it was him) and said "Was that thing missing on one cylinder or was it just me?" and turned to find him staring at me as if I'd grown tentacles.

There's also the abrupt, mannish little woman who seems to wear the exact same clothes every sale (it's kind of an outdated polyester business suit thingy like you'd imagine fierce female corporate climbers wore ... in 1974). She bids on every bit of junk offered. Every bit. Broken clock? Bid. Box of cheap kitchen knives? Bid. Worn out filing cabinet? Bid.

The only thing she leaves alone is baby stuff and large livestock items like gates and feeders. She must spend hundreds of dollars each sale. What does she do with the stuff? I know she works at the women's prison and she takes some of the clothes and stuff up there. But what about the rest of it? I overheard her say that she'd buy something and "take it up the road".

To another sale? A flea market? Inquiring minds wanna know!

What about the Woman With The Hair? Perhaps y'all can help me with this one. There's this chick; tall, slightly overweight, youngish (hard to tell. She smokes and wears a LOAD of makeup but I'd estimate late twenties.) and she has this hair ...

The first time I saw her it was a drizzly day. It'd been raining off and on but wasn't when the sale got started (the junk is all outside, next to the sale barn). When I caught sight of The Hair I had to stop myself simply gaping at her in wonder. It's long, down past her waist, and was originally a mousy kind of brown I think. At any rate it's been streaked with a pale yellow and permed so that it's wavy. The bizarre bit is that she puts some sort of stuff on it, a gel or cream or Crisco or something that makes it: a) look wet (this is why, when I first saw it on that rainy day, I wasn't stunned - I thought it was wet) and b) lay in lank, greasy-looking, wavy locks like tired snakes hanging down her back.

But that isn't all. There's the front.

The front, her fringe around her face, is short, blow-dried-crispy, and teased up real big and stuck together with hairspray - giving the effect of a huge croissant perched up there on here forehead.

What the HELL is that all about?! Is she in some freaky weird religious hair cult? Is she being sedated in the night and forced to have her hair that way by some insane stylist out for revenge? Is she really an alien in disguise and they had really bad reception on their View-O-Matic as they were approaching our planet and so accidentally put together 3 different hairstyles?

WHAT? I have to know.

Then there's the generic assortment of jaw-droppers: the idiot whitetrash twinkies who show up in flip-flops or halter tops and frown and whinge about it being cold or wet or hot or boring or it smelling like a barnyard. It IS a barnyard you twit! If you'd just let poor Billy Wayne get out by himself every now and then ...

And the people who bring their young children. They kill me. The sale starts at 9am and ends about 4pm. Most 8 to 18 month old babies need to be fed and have a nap sometime during those hours. Sure enough, about noon, there's a few very tired, very crabby crawlers/toddlers whining in the sale arena stands while someone attempts to keep them quiet with a few Doritos.

On the subject of small children at the sale: I've seen a mother and grandmother liberally apply Jim Beam whisky out of a fifth onto their infant's gums (presumably for teething pain(?)) and a woman pour Pepsi into a bottle to give to her (guessing) 4-6 month old. I once saw a woman give her same age baby - about 4 -6 months - a enormous whole dill pickle which she happily sucked on. I've seen sets of young siblings with their teeth rotted completely out - just brown stumps.

And there's not just the Whisky Tango factor. The sale will net the occasional ex-suburbanite we-have-a-house-in-the-country types. This last Saturday I parked my wee Toyota nose to nose with a vast, shimmering Cadillac Escalade and was able to pick out it's owners instantly: two walking L.L. Bean advertisements who lingered, bewildered, on the fringe of the crowd when the bidding started.

I could tell they were confused. It's not like the rules are posted anywhere, and if you've never been it can be overwhelming. The woman (in her lime green gardening clogs) caught my eye a couple of times and I tried smiling in a friendly fashion but she apparently thought me too intimidating. Did I look too white trash? I do wear my wellies - my barn boots - and a cap (hey, it has a suede brim!) with my long, hippy-looking braid hanging down my back.

Maybe it's the facial piercings.

I dunno, but at any rate it's loads of fun to go and just gawp at folks (and have them gawp at me) and I'm going to another one this Saturday. I think I'm addicted to the people watching ... I, uh, mean I need to sell some goats!


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posted by MrsEvilGenius @ 12:14 pm   2 comments


At 2:00 pm, Blogger Michele said...

I am FASCINATED! We have a similiar auction/flea market/junk sale near me but with far less interesting people.
Any way you could surreptitiously take Hair Girl's picture? i would love to see the croissant.

At 5:51 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This was hysterical! I love your descriptions. And yes, plesae post a picture of The Hair


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