I don't know how you feel about Southerners, but you should never underestimate our optimism. And nothing shows just how wildly optimistic we are than a quick tour of our front yards, driveways and garages, especially on Saturday mornings. You'll see car parts for sale. You'll see cheap furniture for sale. You'll see toys, clothes, dishwashers, air compressors and stuffed animals for sale. We are notorious for sticking "GARAGE SALE" signs in our front yards and expecting you to race to our doors with a wad of cash in your hands. And so far, we haven't been stood up. Over and over, you see the sign, park on the street, walk up the driveway, and buy something off the wobbly, plastic picnic table. It's just unavoidable, in the South.
I like our southern passion for garage sales, but it can go too far. Some things just shouldn't be sold off a picnic table, but someone always tries. Maybe it's blind optimism that says, "Put your old underwear in the ‘Buy one, get something free,' box. Somebody might want it!" Maybe it's blind optimism combined with bad taste that says, "I'm gonna see if I can get $100 for my padded toilet seat collection." No. It's more than that. It's blind optimism, bad taste, and undiagnosed cranial damage. That's the only way I can explain some of the junk I see in garage sales. Absolute, total, junk! I know that old saying - "One man's trash is another man's treasure" - but I don't believe it applies to used underwear and cushy toilet seats.
If you're going to have a garage sale, you need to follow a few rules. First, if you've sweated in it, most people don't want it. Get it? Second, a garage sale is not a substitute for a trash pick-up service. Pay the monthly fee and let the big, smelly truck take away the garbage; don't put it out for sale. Finally, only sell stuff that you are ready to let go of. I hate to find a killer deal on an Elvis-on-velvet painting that I want, only to have your son yank it out of my hands and say, "That's NOT for sale!" If you put a price tag on it, you've got to expect someone will want to buy it. The only exception to this rule is that used underwear I warned you about. Sadly, I can't say the same about the padded toilet seat collection.
David McCoy, a notorious storyteller and proud Yellow Jacket, lives in Conyers and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org