•             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 – 10th October 2010


Big Joke Book and Playing Cards:  50p

“How much for the joke book?” asked Ted.

“50p, mate.”

“OK.”

“Here,” said the man, “Have some of these – I’ve got loads of ’em,” and tossed to Ted a pack of playing cards. Not just playing cards, but brand new, shrink-wrapped, unopened playing cards.

Well, the joke book is quite simply brilliant, containing many good jokes never heard before. It’s brand new and has a cover price of £5.99 – a saving of 91.65%! And it’s not full of widely-spaced jokes in big print, it’s solid jokes printed using a 10pt font.

However, Ted has noticed that it doesn’t contain anywhere near 4,000 jokes – it’s more like 2,000.

So why the playing cards? Well, on the box there is a picture of a bottle of spirits labelled ‘Jim Beam,’ and also on the box is the word ‘MUSIC’ underneath the ‘Jim Beam’ logo. There is a sticker on the box which says,

COLLECTORS EDITION PLAYING CARDS

©2006 Beam Global Spirits & Wine, Inc.

Please note that the use of the music idols shown on these playing cards does not in any way imply an association or endorsement of Jim Beam or any brand associated with Beam Global Spirits & Wine, Inc.

So there we have it – there must have been some legal case looming and the playing cards were due to be pulped.

Beautiful Metal Cash Box with Key:  £2

This is a solid piece of engineering; a beautiful stove-enamelled round-cornered cash box with a key – yes, it’s actually got a key. The lock, which has a key, has a satisfyingly solid, clunky feel to it, and engages with two metal lugs. The hinge is welded to the body of the box (which has a key) and the lid. On the top is an engineering marvel in the form of a carrying handle. This is a fine example of Dutch engineering.

When Ted asked about the price, the man said, “Well, I really want a fiver for it…”

Ted adopted his well-practised look of horror and replied, “Sorry, I’m not paying a fiver for that!”

The man then said, “OK, give us a couple of quid then,” and that’s what Ted did.

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