•             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 – 16th June 2013


Almost Everything There Is To Know by Hunkin:  £1

Almost Everything There Is To KnowYes – Ted has managed to buy this rare collector’s item! And it only cost £1!

In pristine condition apart from the grubby edges and the inscription on the inside cover, this magnificent tome contains the complete collection of cartoons by Tim Hunkin. These cartoons appeared in The Sunday Observer between 1973 and 1987, and each one contains some useful facts followed by a ridiculous experiment (such as How to Hypnotise a Trout and How to Grow Salad on a Sponge).

Dinosaur Jigsaw Puzzle:  50p

Dinosaur Jigsaw PuzzleThis 100-piece puzzle was on the ground (which everyone seems to call the ‘floor’ nowadays – why is this???) and, like all the other items there, was just 50p. The sellers were a family who looked clean and respectable – a sign that the puzzle had been looked after and was therefore complete. It had been, and it was.

How Loud Can You Burp?:  20p

How Loud Can You BurpIt was Ted’s lucky week for bargains; this wonderful book was only 20p, yet it cost £5.99 in 2008! Yes, 20p for gems like ‘Why does the sun darken your skin but lighten your hair?’ and ‘Which bit of your brain does your mind live in?’

In case you are wondering, the book says that the world-record burp measured 104.9 decibels (dB) – and that was from over 2.5m away! Close up, the world champion burper claims to be able to reach 118dB or more.

For comparison, the average motorbike roars away at around 90dB.

How Much Poo Does An Elephant Do?:  20p

How Much Poo Does An Elephant DoThis was another wonderful book from the same seller as above!

Ignoring the fact that this cost four shillings in real money, Ted decided to splash out all the same.

If you want to know what people in various countries eat for Christmas dinner, or all sorts of facts about creepy-crawlies, this is the book for you.

And in case you’re wondering, it’s about 20 kilograms per day on average.

Magnetic Levitator:  50p

Magnetic LevitatorBeing another extravagant purchase, Ted made sure that all the contents were there before he bought this.

It contains various plasticky things, a ‘magnetic field unit’ which consists of a plastic base with four magnets embedded in it, eight strong disc magnets, some iron filing, a couple of ‘magnetic staffs’ and other things besides – and it’s all there!

This must be the best ten-shillings-worth for a long time.

Shark Attack Glow-in-the-Dark Jigsaw Puzzle:  £1

Shark Attack JigsawThe seller wouldn’t take less that £1 for this puzzle, probably because of its glowiness.

On opening the box and counting the pieces (at home; 150 of them), Ted discovered that one of the pieces had actually been chewed by one of the sharks and had a limb missing, but it didn’t spoil the puzzle too much, and Ted’s grandson didn’t seem to mind.

After completing the puzzle, the curtains were drawn, the lights were turned off, and the door was closed, and the sharks did, indeed, glow.

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