Friday, April 27, 2007

Boorish bargain hunters

Would you knock on a door at eleven at night to propose taking tarps off tables so you could go through things left out for a yard sale set to start the next morning?

This is not a question I concocted out of thin air.

I wish it were, but it isn't.

Last night we had someone knock on our front door, and then, not getting a timely answer, he went to a side door and knocked. At eleven at night.

This I could understand if it were the fire department reporting that we needed to evacuate, or police warning us of a dangerous felon on the loose, or a child who is lost and desperate, or something like that.

But no. This was a guy who said he and the other people in his car were passing through town and wanted to browse through the yard sale next door. Browse. Paw through. Just in case there was something one of them wanted.

It wasn't even our yard sale. Since it's set up in the parking lot of a company more or less next door to us (there used to be a house between, but it burned down), I guess I can see that a person - especially the sort of person who would knock on a stranger's door at 11 p.m. to announce that the large signs clearly saying No Sales or Looking Before 8 a.m.!!! do not apply to them - might happily if erroneously jump to the conclusion that the inhabitants of the nearest residence might be able to give them the go-ahead to shop.

Perhaps I should clarify that. The fellow didn't seem to be asking permission so much as demanding service.

Let us say my husband made it clear we weren't interested in obliging him.

At a guess, the stranger mostly didn't want to risk being shot at or arrested; perhaps he thought he was going through the formalities to keep the silly peons from panicking. It's hard to say. He didn't make himself clear on that, but that's the impression he left behind after he took his disgruntled, high-handed self away.

I'm going to go out on a limb and guess that you'd never demand middle of the night special browsing privileges at a yard sale? Am I right?

I hope so, let's put it that way.


Laurie said...

No, I wouldn't. But...I did sneak out about midnight one dark night many years ago with my husband and another man on the staff of our church and his wife, and I did go with them to another pastor's house where we set up a lone card table with junk in the middle of their driveway. Then, I helped to hang signs all through the neighborhood announcing a garage sale at the home of the lone table. They, then, had people knocking at their door at 6am asking if that was all there was. But, please don't tell. It's a secret!

Kathryn Judson said...

Laurie, OK, I'll admit it. You made me laugh out loud.

I'm not much of a pranks person (that's an understatement), but harmless foolishness amongst friends, well, I think perhaps we need more of that in this world. So we have different styles... so what?

If the other pastor thought it was all in good fun (or, if, for that matter he really and truly deserved a bit of a poke) I'll not quibble. :)

But 6 a.m.? What is it with these garage sale fanatics?