Mechanical Timer: £1
Once again Ted has succumbed to a mechanical timer – it was because it wasn’t one of the modern quartz things that Ted decided to buy it. Ted is a mechanic at heart.
“How much for the timer with a loose hand?” asked Ted.
Do you see the psychology here? While asking the price, Ted has embedded in the seller’s brain the fact that the timer is not in full working order.
“A pound,” said the seller.
Ted presented his usual look of shock horror.
“Well, do you want to pay more?”
Ted handed over the money.
The balance wheel pivots need sharpening, but Ted will sort that out in a tick.
Sharp Secateurs: £1
Ted continually scans the house-clearance chap’s goodies when he is there, visiting his stall at least half a dozen times. His policy is to sell things really cheaply just to shift it all.
If someone tries to haggle, the seller tells the meanie, in polite but no uncertain terms, where to go.
These sharp secateurs were a snip.
Silver-Polishing Cloths: 10p
These came from the house-clearance chap mentioned above.
The paper envelope they came in calls them “Silver Polishing Cloths” – but surely that describes polishing cloths which are made of silver? What would Lynne Truss say about this?
You might think that these specially-impregnated cloths might have lost some of their effectiveness over the years, but when Ted’s wife polished a silver-plated spoon, he was nearly blinded when he looked at it afterwards.
Apparently, they were called “Town Talk” because when they were invented they were the talk of the town!
Ted got three cloths for his 10p.
Trifle Bowl: 30p
Only the house-clearance seller above would sell such a useful kitchen accessory at this price.
Ted likes the word ‘trifle’ to indicate the potential contents of a bowl rather than its capacity, and this bowl will comfortably hold twice as much as his old one.
Just after Ted had bought this chipped gem, he witnessed one of the rare occasions where the wife was not in control.
“Did you sell that, then?” the husband asked his wife.
“Yes, £1,” she said.
“What? He asked me how much it was a few minutes ago, and I said it was a fiver, but that he could have it for three!”
“Er… I wanted to get rid of it…”
The husband fumed and muttered something about mugging him if he walked by. Ted smiled and moved on.