Thursday, October 4, 2012

Adventures in junking. And being a bad neighbor.

I'm heading home this weekend to flea market it up with my mom. Junking has been in the air as of late - I hit quite a few estate sales last weekend. It occurred to me that all estate sales feature the same thing: one of those portable toilets.


They never seem to sell, either. I mean, that's not really the sort of thing that you buy just in case. What happens to the portable toilets? Is the landfill chock full o' portable toilets? Or is there a secret society of used medical supply dealers who hit estate sales at the very end of the last day and buy the toilets for mere pennies, then resell them for a tidy profit?

Also, if you're setting up an estate sale and you don't have a portable toilet, do you have to go get one to add to the sale items? If you don't, do you incur the wrath of some sort of estate sale governing board?

One of the estate sales last weekend was 2 doors down from our house. It was interesting to go inside a neighbor's house, and I got the inside scoop that the house is going to be rehabbed, not torn down. Huzzah!

However, getting back to my house from the estate sale was an exercise in selective blindness. See, Creepy Chuck was taking advantage of the estate sale traffic on our street. Yes, my scary-ass neighbor set up a garage sale in his driveway.

Keep in mind that Creepy Chuck and his equally pedophillic-looking buddy set up the sale in the driveway the night before. Then, they covered all the goods in tarps. Creepy Chuck then sat in a lawn chair in the driveway, protecting the bounty from would-be prowlers. And probably staring at our house the whole time.

It was dark. He didn't even turn on his Christmas lights. He sat out there all night.

So, the next morning, when I was walking back to my house from my early visit to the legit estate sale, I passed Creepy Chuck's sign that screamed, "Estate Sale Here!" He'd attached American flags to the sign. Nevermind that it wasn't an estate sale - it was a driveway sale of what appeared from a distance to be some tired-looking crap. And, he didn't appear to have a portable toilet. He did, however, have a wheelchair for sale. In fact, it was the prominent, closest-to-the-street, hey-this item-makes-this-sale-look-promising, showcase item.

Again: who buys used medical equipment at random sales? Isn't there an opportunity to return this stuff when people die, or at least a friendly suggestion of what to do with it?

Anyway ... Creepy Chuck didn't appear to do a lot of business. I'm not sure what it was - the multiple "No Trespassing" signs, the general unkeptness of his house, the strong aura of creepy that surrounds him at all times - who is to say? But he held on to the bitter end - way after the bitter end, actually. He finally drug his unsold bounty back into the house at about 8 p.m.

I am a firm believer that it's a better deal to donate stuff and then take the tax deduction - you assign the value of the items and you don't have to deal with organizing your stuff or the interesting people who shop at garage sales. But, you know, Creepy Chuck didn't ask me - probably because I run screaming whenever I see him.

Seriously. If he's around, I avoid checking my mail. I am such a wuss. A judgmental wuss.


smalltownme said...

My mother had a portable toilet but I convinced her to let me take it to the dump before she passed away. So yeah, landfill. I am sorry but what else could I do? Who would want what was basically a bucket with a seat on it from 1970?

Your neighbor freaks me out. My neighhbor is just a hoarder but managed to get rid of some junk recently. I think someone reported him to the city, around the same time we had someone freaking out about our cars parked on the street.

Dorrie said...

This week, on my daily commute to/from work, I have passed a house with a portable toilet on the roadside with a sign that says 'Free'. As of today, there have been no takers. I keep wondering who would want to pick up a used portable toilet from the side of the road. Now I am wondering who would actually pay for a portable toilet. That creeps me out as much as your stories about Creepy Chuck.

Anonymous said...

I get chills just READING about your neighbor guy.
And I donate, never try to resell. No patience at all for the whole business of thrifting, rummaging and sale-ing.

Kelley said...

I LOVE estate sales. Love love love. But I will steer way clear of Creepy Chuck. *shudder*

8 said...

I keep waiting to hear about Creeph Chuck on the news, with video of the police putting handcuffs on him, and then they go inside his house. And the shudders start.... its a hoarders paradise.