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    This is the personal site of Ted the serendipitist, who has interpreted the Wikipedia definition of 'Hunter-Gatherer' (see that page) as meaning someone who visits junk shops, charity shops, antique shops and hebdomadal matutinal car boot sales in order to acquire low-value objects, which no-one in their right minds would want, at low cost (well, apart from antique shops, that is).

    Deluded Ted believes that at some time in the future, some of his acquisitions will be highly desirable and worth a small fortune.

  •       Car Boot Sales


    There are two types of sellers at car boot sales, viz traders and ordinary people. Ted tends to avoid traders owing to the high chance of inadvertently purchasing inferior goods at high prices. However, Ted did recently manage to acquire a large number of pairs of everlasting socks at only 50p per pair.


    Buyers need to understand traders' language; on asked how much the French carriage clock is, the response might be "toonarf." This would be interpreted as £250. There is no first aid on site for buyers who faint.


    Ted has discovered that, 99% of the time, a strange-looking object is either a massager, a fitness device or a CD rack.


    When a husband and wife team are selling their unwanted items at a car boot stall, it is an interesting fact that, whatever position the husband holds at work, be it dogsbody, manager or chief executive, it is the wife who wears the trousers. If someone asks the wife how much the pretty mug is, she'll say, for example, "50p." However, if the husband were asked, he would turn to his wife and say, "Er... how much for this, dear?" - even if it belongs to him.

    At other times the wife can be heard saying, "No, not there - put it on the ground here...", "You need to turn those round", "You can empty this box now..." or "You can pour me a cup of tea now - you did pack the flask as I asked, didn't you?"

    The simple fact is that women are more suited to this activity than the average man is, and so they naturally take control.


    In the early days, Ted's wife would suddenly say, "Ooh, look! They've GOT one!!!" This somewhat weakened Ted's position when he started to haggle. A more appropriate method for achieving a minimal sale price is to pick up the piece unenthusiastically and give a look of horror on hearing the price.

    Some sellers dither when asked the price of an item. At the first sign of this, the buyer should offer a very low price; there is a high chance that it will be accepted, especially if a wife is not in sight.

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Car Boot Sale – 1st August 2010

After Ted’s 3½-mile walk to the car boot sale, and after wandering amongst the sellers for two hours, all he ended up with were these:

Lots of Large Plastic Meccano:  £3

This was a huge amount of a Meccano-like construction toy, ideal for a four-year-old. The seller said that it was in a black plastic sack which burst open because it was so full. Ted filled his rucksack and two large jute bags with it.

Two Brass Geese (or are they swans?):  £2.50

This was the result of a very satisfying haggle. “How much are you asking for these?” said Ted to the couple. Note the use of the phrase “How much are you asking,” rather than “How much do you want.” The former implies that it’s an asking price rather than a selling one; the latter implies that the price will quite likely be paid.

“Two pounds each,” said the wife (note how it was the wife who answered, not the husband). “Gosh,” said Ted, “I was thinking a pound each.”

“£3 for the two,” responded the wife. Ted looked her in the eye. “£2.50,” he said. “OK,” she said, and looked at her husband (not that he was involved in the transaction). “Well,” he said, “I hope they’re going to a good home.”

“They are,” said Ted. And they were – he has eleven other brass birds of various breeds and sizes (these ones were 5½” high).

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