•             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: 30th June 2013


Threepenny-Bit Tin:  £1

Threepenny-Bit Tin

Yes – Ted has found the perfect container for some of his 3d bits. He uses these to play his two Bally Bingo machines.

He was expecting the seller to ask silly prices for his tins (as they usually do), but was pleasantly surprised to find that they were all priced at a most reasonable £1.

Filled Threepenny-Bit Tin

Filled Threepenny-Bit Tin

It was just after Ted had made this serendipitous purchase that he actually heard a WIFE asking her HUSBAND how much something was to be sold for – a rare occurrence indeed given that husbands are nearly always under the control of their better half.

3 Riveting Books:  £1

Three Exciting BooksHave you noticed how many modern books are filled with white space? Some authors write chapters consisting of less than one page, resulting in a book of, say, 370 pages containing something like 110 chapters. Each chapter typically starts a third of the way down a new page, meaning that, on average, five-sixths of a page is wasted for each one. Moreover, the top, bottom and side margins are larger than they need be, and a larger-than-necessary font size is used to boot. Those 370 pages would have been around 150 at most in the past.

Well, these books are real ones: long chapters, small margins and smallish print, and should provide a good read, not one that takes a single morning.

Iroko Box:  £1

Iroko BoxTed must have had a weak moment here – he really didn’t need this. It was probably caused by the pleasantness of the seller.

As we all know, iroko is a large hardwood tree from the west coast of tropical Africa, sometimes referred to as African Teak, though it is unrelated to the teak family (thank you, Wikipedia).

Iroko Box (Disassembled)It would have been a good purchase were it not for the odd blemish and the fact that some filler is missing from the inner section.

Ted will no doubt stick a label on the bottom saying ‘Hand-made in Africa’, together with a price saying ‘£19.95’, wrap it in some nice paper, and then present it as a gift.

Shortly after this unwise purchase was made, just after Ted had passed a stall where a man was trying to sell his late mother’s collection of elephants, he overheard an interesting conversation:

“How are yer, mate?”

“Pi**ed off,” was the reply, “I placed an each-way bet on the Irish Derby, and I must’ve picked up the credit card slip but not the f***ing betting slip! Can’t collect my f***ing win.”

It reminded Ted of the case a few years ago where a chap lost his winning lottery ticket. £3m was at stake. The lottery-operator Camelot’s rules are clear: a lost ticket must be reported within one month of purchase, and claims (with the ticket) must be made within six months, otherwise no pay-out. Even though Camelot were ‘110% sure’ that the claim was genuine, it was refused.

The moral of this is that if you’ve made a gamble, KEEP THE TICKET and REMEMBER TO CHECK IT!

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