Every year some family members and I get together and have a garage sale at my old house. The house is now owned by my mother's best friend, Kendra. They have been best friends since they were 5, she is more family to me than most of my blood relatives.
Every year, I have to remind Kendra to use her "soothing words" when a customer get particularly annoying. When she starts in on "This isn't Water Tower Place!!" or "I would rather take scissors and cut it up than to sell it to you for that price" That's when I usually step in to smooth over the situation.
That was until yesterday.
We had our garage sale (it continues today) and Kendra had a doctor's appointment in the late morning. She left her husband, John, and me in charge. That was her first mistake.
First off, John sold a $40 display table that Kendra loved for $3. Even loaded it their car for them. It was a really nice folding patio table with a handle. I remember watching him fold it up and thinking, "That's really nice, I would have bought that for $3!!" Needless to say, he wasn't asked to be "in charge" anymore which is what I think was his plan. I believe he subscribes to the Bill Cosby way of thinking. Screw it up the first time and you will never be asked to do it again.
Then there was what can only be described as the "Champagne Flute Incident". Now, I'm not saying I am proud of what transpired, but it is what it is.
This real piece of work lady came to the sale. She picked up everything and asked what the price was (everything had a price tag on it) then she would tell us how much she would give us for it. Sometimes we said yes, sometimes we said no, but she always just put the item back. She came across a set of 6 champagne flutes that were marked $1 a piece. They were really pretty, clear flute with a purple colored glass stem. She told me she would give me $4 for the set. Fine, it was only a $2 difference. I started to help her take them up to the table and she said. "Wait, let me take them into the light to make sure they are perfect, I don't want any chips!" Fine, I took them into the light for her inspection. When she was satisfied with the quality of the merchandise, I brought them up to the table for her. This is were I just sort of snapped. Here's how the conversation went.
Her: "I want them wrapped individually. I want them wrapped individually, You are going to do that for me, right? You are going to wrap them individually for me, right? You have something to wrap them up separately for me, right?"
At this point, I was still Bill Bixby, but my eyes were turning green.
Me: "Well, maybe for $5 or $6 dollars I would have wrapped them for you, but for $4, I don't know."
She gives a flinty little laugh.
The shirt that I'm wearing starts to rip.
I go and get small brown paper bags, and give her the "You gonna get cut!!!" laugh that I patented a couple of years ago. I start to wrap the glasses.
Her: "Well, I don't want them to get damaged, I am paying $4 for them!"
That's it, I was full blown Lou Ferrigno, all green with no shirt and tattered pants.
Me: "For $4 you can chuck them at passing cars and still get your money's worth!!!! Have a nice day!"
With that, she took her glasses, got into her over sized, overpriced SUV and drove away.
Kendra was so proud.
I don't think I should do garage sales anymore, people annoy me too much! I am this close to becoming the old man who shakes his cane and yells profanities at the passersby.