•             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 May 2011


Two Rolls of Tape:  50p

Two rolls of a long, thin material, 1″ wide, of the famous Tickitape make, consisting of an aqueous deposit from linen rags, esparto, wood pulp or other form of cellulose, to which a mildly adhesive substance has been applied, for the purpose of covering areas on which colouring matter or resinous solutions should not be applied, and having the property that it can be removed after use without leaving any traces of residue.

Ted managed to grab these just before a greedy woman snapped up the other eight rolls.

The New Adult Joke Book: 50p

Yet another joke book. Ted just can’t resist them, can he?

But this book was brand new. The only potential problem is that the pages are stuck rather than bound, and it looks as though the book will fall to pieces long before all the jokes have been read.

The type size is quite large and there is a lot of white space, thus making the book quite thick (nearly 400 pages) when in fact it contains only about 800 jokes – but hey! It was only 50p!

Table Skittles Game:  £15

Bob and his wife (the sellers) explained that the latter’s father had made this game while he was an apprentice, and that it had lain in the attic for the last 15 years.

It looks as though it has been professionally made, with a quality that is not seen nowadays. The case is made of real wood (none of today’s chipboard, MDF or blockboard) and everything is solid and heavy. The pole has been made from a snooker cue, and at the top there is a ball race so that the swung ball moves smoothly. Underneath the scoring board is a container for the ball and two-part pole.

The game was in need of a good home, and it has found one.

As a bonus, when Ted picked it up and remarked that it was so heavy that he’d have to ring his wife to get it back home (Ted doesn’t drive), Bob offered to drop it off!

Aynsley Cheese Knife and Plate:  £3

Ted has had a weakness for the Aynsley design for some years, and when he saw this beautiful cheese knife and plate in the Cottage Garden design he didn’t bother to ask how much it was because the seller had trader-looking items on his table. However, later on, when Ted saw that the box was still there, he asked how much was being asked for it, expecting something like, “Fifteen quid, mate.”

Surprise! He only wanted £3, and Ted could probably have got it for less because the seller had no idea what it was!

Moreover, the plate was still in its sealed plastic bag!

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