I had to seriously consider whether I wanted to post this adventure or not, but I’m already broke, jobless and soon to be homeless…screw it, ain’t no shame in my game.
setting: The Swap Shop on Sunrise Blvd., the largest flea market in the U.S.
When different vendors start getting ready to leave they will start calling out “$1, everything left $1” then “50 cents, everything 50 cents” then finally “Free, everything left free.”
Now I’m not trying to justify my actions or make excuses, but I have always shopped at thrift stores and I’m kinda thrifty myself and I have both Irish and Gypsy roots…just sayin.’
So when the first vendor made his Free! announcement a large group of old Haitian and Jamaican women rushed in and started grabbing everything up. So did I. I jumped right in there, bumped a 70 year-old out of the way and commenced grabbing treasure: to improve my quality of life, ok?
This was around 4 p.m., I grabbed a big cardboard box and when the next vendor closed down I was ready, throwing whatever caught my eye in it. I had to watch my box close after that, because the women thought my stuff was the free stuff from the booths and keep trying to peruse my treasure: is John gonna have to choke a bitch? Or more likely get choked out actually…
My box is full so I have to take it to my car, then hurry back with a new box. I fill my box up again and I am planning on making another trip to the car and back again for more swag…until this guy aggressively asks me for a $1. I laugh his request off by saying “You see I’m digging through this junk with you” but I’ve been momentarily brought out of my free-shit-addled-daze. I assess my situation. I’m wearing a button down Polo shirt and nice jeans. I’ve been taking pictures of this adventure with my droid. I am the only white person there. It’s dusk and getting darker with the quickness. I am in a decidedly bad neighborhood. It’s time to go, peace out
When I get home I take stock of the day’s haul…I’m rich, I got some good shit and the price was right, including:
Thirty-seven (37) Milka chocolate candy bars, nothing wrong with them that I can tell. They were next to a trash can, but they’re still in their wrappers, unopened, I’ve already eaten like ten of them, taste like Hersheys to me.
Books check ’em out: Catcher in the Rye, Brave New World, Animal Farm, White Oleander, Glass Castle, Neil Gaiman, Terry McMillan, Anne Rice, L. Frank Baum, Joseph Conrad, H.G. Wells.
Two big stacks of kid’s books, Dr. Seuss, Sesame Street and a bunch of Disney: Dumbo, Peter Pan and Wendy, The Rescuers, 101 Dalmations, Peter and the Wolf.
Two of my most favoritest books of all time: Where the Wild Things Are and Are You My Mother? (these were both a little well-loved let’s say, gently or not-so-gently used).
A pair of Spongebob slippers and a teddy bear that I gave to my babies, three washcloths and a towel, 15 plastic CD cases, a pie pan, a Canes sweatshirt and a works-fine-slightly-cracked used for my morning coffee French press completed my acquistions. Now God knows I have an addictive personality, combine that with getting good stuff free…you might find me lurking at the flea market every day, like a junkie…guess it’s better than being in a casino or bar, right? More dangerous maybe, when I was picking through the stuff I realized I could get stuck with a hepatitis needle or something, hopefully I’m up-to-date on my shots…