So, we’ve been to the flea market again. I say again, because they seem the same everywhere. The vinyl banners, the refurbished computers, the cheap jewelry, the candles, and the rejected household goods seem to clone themselves from location to location. Of interest this year is the trend of groups of boxes of dollar items sitting on the floor or ground in narrow rows. The items are the same in Florida, Ohio, and where we found today, Tennessee. The most interesting think is that we’ve been to enough of these establishments to find the similarities. Talk about being cost driven – we must be.
I need to tell about one unique experience at a flea market, which hasn’t repeated itself, and I hope it won’t. We were in Ohio a couple of weeks ago, and predictably made our way to one of the local flea markets. After a hour of viewing merchandise we didn’t need, don’t have room for and couldn’t use, throw away or give away we exited into a large outdoor area. Not too far away was a delivery van, with 5 or 10 pallet boxes sitting on the parking lot near it. People were taking things out to the boxes, as far as we could see. There was quite a crowd. We were drawn magnetically toward the scene.
Near the back of the truck stood a man, yelling aand hollering the same couple of phrases over and over. “Hold it up, I’ll give you a price!” “Most things under $5.” “Another truck is on the way.” The guy maintained nearly constant chatter, and held a wad of small bills.
I approached a box and looked in. Various boxes, broken, smashed and other wise shopworn were inside. At the next box a woman tore the side down to reach something inside. The ground was littered with rejected items. I pulled a mostly intact carton up, and read the notice on the “reject” label on the top, “broken, doesn’t run.” My mind completed the circuit. These boxes were filled with returned goods. Another truck was on the way.
I looked at Papa, and he looked at me. We continued toward the car, dodging the items that, by now, littered the ground. I related the scene to someone last weekend, and her words still echo in my ears, “ Are we living on the same planet?” Good question.