Column: I’ll give you a sweet deal on these Ginsu knives

Published 12:00 am Sunday, September 9, 2001

What do two pink recliners, a set of Ginsu knives and a stuffed reindeer have in common?&t;!—-&t;.

Sunday, September 09, 2001

What do two pink recliners, a set of Ginsu knives and a stuffed reindeer have in common?

Email newsletter signup

For one weekend, you could buy all of them at bargain prices in our garage. It was a little late in the year, but it was time to let others rummage through our things and buy them for a tiny fraction of what we paid for them.

I’ve always thought a garage sale was a peculiar thing. Why do people expect that they can root through their house, dredge up all the stuff they don’t want, stack it up on folding tables and expect others to pay them for it?

Even harder to explain is the fact that people actually come and buy it.

While the weather this weekend didn’t exactly help, we managed to unload a few boxloads of stuff that was just taking up space. For me, that was the point of it all – clearing out a little clutter.

Others seem to have different goals for their garage sales. Some people are actually trying to make money – there are even stores where you can choose from a warehouse full of the finest garage-sale items, carefully selected by the proprietor from carports across the county.

I remember one strange garage-sale family from my youth. The people across the street from my parents used to have probably four garage sales a year. They never sold anything, and it didn’t seem like they had many things to sell at all – there were probably 20 items altogether, arranged neatly on a couple of tables. When the sale was over, they’d pack the stuff into a box and try their luck again in another month.

Of course, we always considered them to be weird. This was based mostly on the revelation that the parents made the children refer to a certain unpleasant bodily function as &uot;butt noise&uot; – which we thought sounded about 10 times worse than the alternate name, which they apparently considered vulgar. The family became known to us as &uot;the butt noise family,&uot; or for short, just &uot;the butt noises.&uot;

That’s another story.

Back to garage sales. We had been preparing for ours for weeks, going through stuff, arguing over whether we needed to keep it, and then usually deciding to keep it.

We finally hauled it all to the garage this week and put our notice in the paper. We didn’t know if anybody would come.

Luckily for us, there are enough garage sale junkies in this town to go around. Before we even opened the garage door for the sale Thursday, a couple of cars had pulled up and sat, idling their engines, waiting for the sale to begin. When I rolled up the overhead door, they swarmed in and plucked up some of the best stuff we had.

By the end of day one – I suspect this happens to most garage sales – most of the valuable items were snatched up, and we were left with the stuff we didn’t figure would sell anyway.

By the time our sale is over, we’ll probably still have several boxes of things we don’t want. I guess it will get packed up and stored away until the next garage sale.

In the meantime, anybody interested in a set of dull Ginsu knives can give me a call.

– – –

Just a note: The Tribune is resuming its old practice of printing court convictions every Monday. It’s something that’s been done sporadically in the past, but which had not been done for more than a year. We’re limiting it to the more serious offenses – anything that brings jail time, $125 or more in fines, or both.

This is public information that anybody could look up if they wanted, and we think printing it will give us better community crime coverage. Anybody with questions can give me a call or drop an e-mail.



Dylan Belden is the Tribune’s managing editor. His column appears Sundays. E-mail him at