•             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 – 27th May 2013


Blood, Bones and Body Bits:  £1

Blood, Bones and Body BitsTed thought that this was just the ticket for his 7-year-old grandson.

However, upon opening it, Ted discovered that it contained packets of stuff which needed to be made up, and he could see that it would be quite messy. He therefore decided that it would be better played with at his grandson’s home, not his own.

Chiming Clock:  £5

Chiming Clock (Front)Ted heard someone asking how much a chiming clock was, and the seller said, “£5.”

“Hmmm…,” muttered the potential purchaser, “I’ll ask Rodney what he thinks…,” and walked away.

Ted, who has been repairing clocks for many years, picked it up and turned the hands to see whether the chime and strike were working. It turned out to be Chiming Clock (Back)fairly unusual, in that instead of having a Westminster chime, it had a Whittington chime and a St. Michaels one. The clock happily produced the latter when the hands were turned.

“How much for the clock?” asked Ted.

“£7,” said the seller.

“But you just said £5 to that chap!” responded Ted.

“Well, that was before I heard it working!” said the seller.

Ted laughed and offered £5 and it was accepted.

Victory Geographical Jigsaw Puzzles:  £1 each

Victory Geographical PuzzleVictory Geographical PuzzleTed didn’t haggle because £1 for a lovely old plywood jigsaw puzzle was good value.

One puzzle was completed in its box, but the other, although in an identical box, was actually somewhat larger, and so Ted could only hope that it was complete.

Unfortunately, one of the pieces (to the right of Poland) had been chewed by a baby, or perhaps a dog, but there were no missing pieces.

Victory Geographical Puzzle (Completed)The picture is of Europe, many of the pieces representing whole countries.

Shortly after buying these puzzles, Ted saw someone at another stall looking at a very old and ragged carpet which was about 3 feet by 4 feet. Running from an edge towards the centre was a 15-inch tear.

“All you’ve gotta do,” said the seller to the looker, “is stick a bit of carpet tape under the tear, or instead of that, put a bookcase over it…”

Ted tittered as he walked away.

Wooden Jigsaw of England and Wales:  £1

Wooden Jigsaw of England and WalesThis came from the same seller as above. The puzzle was in an old chocolate tin, and Ted took this to mean that there were missing pieces; after all, if the owner couldn’t look after the box, what chance was there of looking after all the pieces?

It’s a lovely puzzle which has been cut by hand from 3/16″ plywood. No doubt you are wondering how Ted knows that it was cut by hand. Well, one of the pieces doesn’t quite fit, and the only explanation is that it is from another supposedly identical puzzle.

Wooden Jigsaw of England and Wales (Completed)Just before spotting this gem, Ted saw a stall behind which was a young girl and her mother. The girl had a lucky dip, and on it a piece of paper which said, “LUCKY DIP  20p a go, or 3 goes for £1”

Ted said to the girl, “3 goes is only 60p, but you’re saying 3 goes for £1.  Did you mean this?”

“Yes,” she said, and that was that.

A little time later, Ted noticed that the sign had ‘£1′ crossed out and ’50p’ on it instead.

“Ah!” said Ted, “I see you’ve changed it!”

The mother replied, “I didn’t realise what she was doing! Believe it or not, though, someone actually paid £1 for three goes!”

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