•             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 – 20th July 2014


Green Box of K’Nex:  £6

Green Box of K'NexK’Nex is seen so rarely at car boot sales nowadays that Ted has to expect the prices to be higher than they were.

When asked for the price, Ted was told £7, and he had to haggle hard to get it down to £6. The green box will be useful, especially as it came with its lid, and there were some useful pieces in it.

It will help to replace the thousands of pieces used in his latest constructions (his Coin Pusher and his Bonanza Amusement Machine, and he still has thousands of pieces invested in his Fruit Machine).

 

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?

Car Boot Sale – 6th July 2014


Laptop Riser:  £1

Laptop Stand - BoxHow could someone go wLaptop Standrong by buying a laptop stand for £1?

When working for long periods using a laptop, back pains and other ailments can soon manifest themselves owing to the angle of the computer on the desk, and here is the solution!

Provided, that is, that the laptop isn’t so heavy that the stand flexes.

Provided, that is, that some reinforcement is undertaken first so that it doesn’t suddenly collapse.

Provided, that is, that a modification is made to the front so that the lip of the edge doesn’t obstruct the keyboard.

The good news is that it costs £19.95 from Amazon, representing a saving of £18.95.

Ted is guessing that it was an unwanted Christmas present, the recipient not wishing to trash his machine.

Box of K’Nex:  £1.50

Blue Box of K'NexTed spotted this just after arriving at the car boot sale and decided that the woman seller (who was with her teenage son) would ask too much for it – Ted has acquired a feel for these things.

Later on, Ted saw that the mother had wandered off and asked the (bored) son how much he was asking for “that” (demonstrating knowledge of an item is not a good idea).

He considered this complex question and decided that £2 was the answer. “£1.50?” responded Ted, confidently. “OK,” he said, and that was that.

There’s not actually much in the box, but it was worth £1.50.

K’Nex ‘Bonanza’ Amusement Machine


Ted has done it again – another K’Nex slot machine!

K'Nex 'Bonanza' Amusement Machine

 

K’Nex Coin Pusher


Ted has just finished making a YouTube video for his latest K’Nex amusement machine.

Have a look under the K’Nex Creations tab, or click here.

Details of its construction can be found here.

K'Nex Coin Pusher

Car Boot Sale – 15th June 2014


K’Nex Moto Bots:  £2

K'Nex Moto BotsA young boy was selling his toys, and when Ted asked how much he was asking for this he said,”How much are you offering?”

Ted’s first thought was to say, “A penny,” but that seemed mean and so he said “£2” which was a fair price.

The boy was then flummoxed. He mumbled something that sounded like “2” and so Ted handed over the moolah in case the boy’s father said that it was more.

Static Science:  £1

Static ScienceTed asked the same boy how much this item was.

“£2,” he said.

“How can it be as much as the K’Nex?” asked Ted and he started to walk off, only for the boy’s father to immediately jump in and say, “It’s £1,” while giving his son an ‘are you some kind of idiot?’ look.

 

 Erroneous-Mark Removers:  10p each

Pencil ErasersYes – Ted came across these wonderful correction implements.

If a person makes an erroneous mark with a graphite-based writing device, whether it be a lexicographical shape or part of a pictorial design, this device will, when a little friction is applied with a reciprocal motion over the said inadvertent dark trace, remove or nearly remove it.

Will wonders never cease?

Car Boot Sale – 1st June 2014


Gordon Brown Book:  50p

Gordon Brown BookThis book was only 50p and it’s almost new. Perhaps it was given as a present to a Labourphile and the owner passed it on as quickly as they could.

At last Ted can find out what happened when Gordon Brown got into Number 10.

He will be able to read about his tantrums and how he came to make the decisions that he did.

The mind boggles…

Horrible Science Tin:  50p

Horrible Science Tin (Inside)Ted spotted this quite soon after arriving at the boot sale, but decided not to buy it because he didn’t need it.

Horrible Science TIn (Inside)However, about an hour later he decided to expand his Horrible Science collection and asked the seller what they were asking for it (not how much it was, but what they were asking for it – a subtle difference).

The lady pulled a face and shrugged her shoulders. This was a good sign, because it immediately conveyed the fact that she had no idea of how much to ask.

“Erm… A pound?” she asked, hopefully.

“50p?” responded Ted, optimistically. And so the deal was done.

Box of Micro K’Nex:  £1.50

Box of Micro K'NexWhen Ted asked how much this was, he was horrified. He thought that 50p would have been about right, and walked away to recover from his shock.

Later, Ted decided that the box had some useful pieces in it and decided to buy it.

“That cost £12 new,” the seller said, “and he never used it.”

When Ted got it home he discovered that it had never been opened, and that made him feel better about the price.

Wasgij:  £1.50

Wasgij Football MatchHave you ever done a Wasgij? It’s a brilliant concept: the picture on the puzzle is not the picture on the box, it’s what someone in that picture is seeing. Do try one. The artwork is always top quality.

When Ted buys a jigsaw, he wants it to be complete, and this puzzle was still shrink-wrapped!

No haggling took place here – if the price is right, Ted pays up.

Screature:  £1

ScreatureTed hadn’t seen one of these before. It’s a brilliant thing, costing £29.99 on Amazon.

The seller had the sense to make sure that it had batteries in it, and he switched it on as Ted was passing.

When something (like a finger) gets near its nose, it lunges forward and snaps at it!

It does other things as well, like rearing up and squirting water.

Cutting Mat:  50p

Cutting MatThis is one of those self-healing cutting mats and is BRAND NEW! It’s still shrink-wrapped!

When this is cut into, there is virtually no sign of the incision; it is pure magic.

This will replace Ted’s old one of the same make which recently fell to pieces.