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).