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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

    TYPES OF SELLERS

    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.

    THE LANGUAGE

    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.

    WHAT ON EARTH IS THAT?

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

    WIVES

    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.

    HAGGLING

    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 – 22nd August 2010


Fifty Amazing Hairbreadth Escapes:  £1.50

A beautifully musty book, published by Odhams Press Ltd in an unspecified year (but probably around the late 1930s, thinks Ted), containing a number of impressive line drawings within its 703 stained pages. Ted decided not to haggle in view of the fact that this represents almost 4.7 pages per penny of riveting escapades.

Monocular Viewing Device:  £1

Ted’s bargain was somewhat marred when he subsequently noticed the chip in the eyepiece and the dent in the surround of the object lens, but nevertheless this purchase represents excellent value for money, especially since he has a dominant eye and a squint, thus rendering binoculars ineffective. Moreover, the instrument was made in the USSR, and its serial number is 7824203 – a prime number!

K’Nex ‘Looping Lizard’ Set:  £6

Ted had wanted one of these for some time, but had been put off by the high offers for them on eBay. Complete with box, this will make a fine distraction for Ted’s wife’s 4-year-old grandson, who will be able to watch as Ted constructs it. The look of horror on Ted’s face when told that the price was £8 encouraged the seller to accept a lower offer.

Small Bag of K’Nex:  £1

This was hardly worth buying, but Ted bought it because it included a couple of K’Nex panels – he’ll need these for his fruit machine.

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