•             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 – 13th July 2014


Electromechanical Timer:  £1

TimerTed struck gold here.

Liking to be up-to-date with technology, he discovered this beautiful electromechanical timer amongst a pile of “£1 or less” items on the ground at the side of the seller’s car.

It is identical to the one on Ted’s 35-year-old oil boiler and will be put aside as a spare.

Ted’s mother once dreamt that her husband had a second wife. In the dream, she ended up by saying, “The fact is that you want two of everything in case one wears out,” which just about summed up Ted’s father, and this trait has obviously been inherited.

Slide Case:  £1

Slide CaseTed picked up the case and opened it. This somewhat surprised the seller, since other curious people / potential buyers had been unable to do so.

Intelligent Ted, however, on finding the case apparently locked but without a lock or catch, immediately spotted the unobtrusive buttons on the front of the case and pushed them in to open it.

In spite of impressing the seller Ted had to haggle hard here.

When asked for the price, Ted was told £2. He gave his well-practised look of horror and put it down, whereupon the seller said, “Well, how much were you willing to pay?”

“50p,” replied cheeky Ted, but the seller refused. “75p then,” responded Ted, but the seller wouldn’t budge.

“OK, then, 99p,” said Ted, having a bit of fun.

“Well, that’s virtually a pound – OK” responded the seller, and Ted handed over a pound coin.

“Keep the change,” he said, as he walked away with a beautifully engineered box which will have as many uses as his other empty boxes.

Dangerous Book for Idiots

Dangerous Book for IdiotsNow this is what the Dangerous Book for Boys should have been. That misnomer of a title was a book which covered things like the kings and queens of England, football teams and other boring and innocuous topics.

Here are some of the contents:

  • Walking on Red Hot Coals
  • Competitive Nettle-Eating
  • Biting the Head off a Live Snake
  • Volcano-Boarding

…and so on. Get the idea?

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