•             Welcome

    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 – 29th August 2010


‘Mad Max’ Video:  30p

Ted’s wife had wanted to watch this film for some time, and here it was!

When Ted asked the couple what they were asking for this video, he was told, “Erm… 50p.” Now any sign of hesitation means that haggling is highly likely to be effective, and so Ted looked aghast. “How much would you pay, then?” the chap asked. “25p,” said Ted, and the chap looked at his girlfriend. “OK then, 30p,” said Ted, and the deal was struck.

After 15 minutes of watching it, Ted’s wife realised that it was a load of violent rubbish and gave up.

Set of 1940s Advice Books:  £3

Yes – ten volumes for £3. The internet is not always up-to-date, and so Ted decided to invest in these magnificent volumes. It looks as though they were published (by Odham’s Press) in the 1940s, but unfortunately the date is not given. Each volume contains copious black and white line drawings and numerous brown spots.

The volumes are:

  1. The Book of Hints and Wrinkles – lots of tips on the housewife’s personal appearance, clothing hints for men, the family, running the home
  2. The Home Counsellor – all about landlords and tenants, motoring, marriage, law
  3. How to Write, Think and Speak Correctly
  4. The Practical Handyman
  5. The Practical Home Doctor
  6. Practical Information for All – Weights and measures, abbreviations, etc, etc, community services & insurance, social life, householder’s guide, commercial guide
  7. The Practical Way to Keep Fit – Fundamentals of healthy living, stages of life, hygiene of the body, supplemental questions of health
  8. Real Life Problems and their Solution – Childhood, adolescence, courtship, middle age, old age
  9. Secrets of Successful Gardening
  10. The Wonderful Story of the Human Body

‘Shan’ by Eric van Lustbader:  50p

If you haven’t read one of this author’s novels, do so. His descriptions of martial arts fights are second to none.

Small Yellow Box of K’Nex:  £2

Once again Ted has succumbed to a K’Nex purchase. He has just completed his Whirligig Machine (Front, Back, Left-hand side, Right-hand side) and needs all the pieces he can get for future wacky models. This pointless device works from 12 volts (either from a transformer or from two of Ted’s 12V 5W photovoltaic panels) and sends balls in various directions, as well as counting on one of his 6-digit mechanical counters (which has been integrated into the machine).

Three Pairs of Everlasting Socks:  50p

Well, even if they’re not really everlasting, they can’t be bad for 50p – can they?

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