It started Friday evening. I was gathering things to take to a friend’s yard sale when my 20-year-old housemate came home from Bible study. Since he’s moving out next week when the college term ends, I asked if he had anything he’d like to sell so he won’t have to move it.
“Let me check,” he said, and bounded off up the stairs.
I wandered out to the garage to survey my own collection of saleable crap. When I returned to my office, I discovered he’d left a small pile yard sale goodies for me to take. The pile included the following:
- A lamp
- A recipe box
- Several articles of neatly folded clothing
- A pocketknife
- A poster
I was also kind of wondering if he had the keys.
But by then, he’d gone to bed. Knocking on his bedroom door to inquire about a pair of red fur handcuffs seemed like a bad idea on several levels, so I set them aside and called it a night.
The next morning, I headed off to the yard sale. Included among my items for sale were two giant boxes filled with 10 years’ worth of Playboy magazine. Yes, the subscription is mine. What? I love the recipes, articles, and political commentary. I’m only dimly aware there are naked pictures inside.
I was a little worried my friend might balk at the idea of selling big boxes of nudie magazines, but realized I had nothing to fear when she began setting out an array of sex manuals for sale.
“Maybe we should set these on the other side of the yard so people don’t have to dig through the boxes right next to us and worry we’re judging them,” she mused.
“It’s our stuff,” I pointed out. “Why would we be judging?”
So we sat and waited. It hardly took any time at all before a guy came up and made an offer on an entire box of Playboys.
Then a few of the sex books sold.
Then the rest of the Playboys sold to a guy who couldn't fit the box on his bike, so he opted to leave the bike with us and walk home with his box of magazines. I wish I was kidding.
I should point out we weren’t just peddling porn. There was furniture and clothing and appliances and artwork and everything else under the sun.
But even so, the sex thing permeated every exchange.
“Are you allowed to go down on things?” a woman asked as she marched up to my little cashier table.
I looked up in alarm. “Um—”
My friend kicked me. “Prices. She means prices.”
An hour later, my friend got a similar inquiry. “How firm is this?”
By the end of the afternoon, all the risqué merchandise was gone. It’s possible one of the books made it into my pile of purchases.
It’s also possible those handcuffs never made it to the yard sale at all. What? They're fuzzy.