•             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 – 29th May 2016


A Second Visit

Yes – Ted, having missed last week’s sale owing to a family commitment, set off on the 82-minute walk to his new car boot sale.

There weren’t quite so many fat women (why use a euphemism when that’s what they are?) this week, but Ted’s experience in the café marquee compensated for that. He sat down with his bacon roll and cup of tea, and when he looked up he found he was facing – yet again – one of the largest women he had ever seen. If there was such a thing as a 99ZZ bra size, she was wearing one; moreover, as is a fat woman’s wont, she was exposing a large area of flesh. She was sitting on a chair (which somehow hadn’t collapsed) and her belly hung over the front of it so that it was a few inches from the ground. There was so much fat in her jowls that she had a permanent sneer.

Ted realised while he was gawking at her that her overweight husband might get the wrong idea, and so he looked away (there were two overweight sons at the table too, and the phrase ‘pummelled to a pulp’ entered Ted’s head).

Hunter-gatherer Ted succumbed a couple of times this week. He spent £4.50 for his treasures plus £3 for the bacon roll and cup of tea. Walking there didn’t cost a penny (apart from the shoe leather) and the bus back was free because Ted used his old fogey’s bus pass.

ET Soft Toy:  £2

ET Soft ToyTed’s wife groaned when she saw this, which isn’t surprising because Ted doesn’t really know why he bought it. Was he doing his bit for the economy? Did he feel sorry for the seller? Who knows.

It’s rather cute, though, isn’t it?

Porcelain Door Knobs:  50p

Porcelain Door KnobsTed picked this up from the ground by the seller’s table and thought, “I wonder how much he’ll want for this? – they’re usually between £10 and £15.” The brass plates were solid, not like the plated rubbish that’s around nowadays.

He then heard a man say, “50p.” Ted turned round and saw that it was the seller. Ted held up the knobs, and the seller said again, “50p.” You’ve never seen Ted’s hand move as fast as when it dived into his pocket and retrieved the coin.

Moreover, Ted actually needs these. One of his doors has got black porcelain knobs, all the others in the house being white!

Box of K’Nex:  £2

Blue Box of K'NexTed is not buying K’Nex any more because he has enough.

He saw this as soon as he entered the sale, but thought, “No – let someone else have it.”

One thing about boxes of K’Nex is that there is often much more in the box than one might think. In the picture on the left, it looks like the box is only part full and that there isn’t much there, but in the picture below you can see that there is, in fact, quite a lot.

Having wandered around for an hour or so, wondering why there weren’t so many shoes this week, and wondering how strong the café woman’s bed must be, Ted noticed that the K’Nex was still there.

He assumed it was because, like most of the other K’Nex he had seen recently, it was overpriced.

“What are you asking for that?” said Ted. Now there are two things to note here: the first is that Ted did not say, “How much is that?” – he said, “What are you asking forBlue Box of K'Nex Contents that?” Do you see the difference? The first form implies that it has a price, whereas the second form implies that the asking price will be too high. The second thing to note is that Ted said, “What are you asking for that?” rather than, “What are you asking for the K’Nex?” By feigning ignorance of what it is, the seller might think that Ted does not know anything about it, but if they knew that Ted knew what it was, the stated price might be higher than would otherwise be the case.

“I only want a couple of quid,” said the lady, and so all this psychology was wasted this time.

Ted paid the £2, but it wasn’t long afterwards that he wondered how that café woman washed herself…

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