Cornering the Umbrella Market in a Drought

Compulsive personality.  That’s the only possible explanation I can think of for this recurring pattern in my life.

Today I had to go into Harper to pay a bill due tomorrow.  I hate to make a trip in without getting full value for the gasoline expended getting there, so after I’d taken care of business I drove around the several back streets.  I was craning my neck, straining my eyes, looking into the back yards of abandoned houses for a cab-over camper or camper trailer I might be able to pick up cheap as a potential way to give myself an escape route if something goes sour here.

I’ll be posting about some of that Harper thing another time.  But after I finished nosing the back streets I went to the Harper Library Resale Store just because it was there.  Picked up $6.00 worth of used books at 25 cents each, moseyed around and eyeballed a wireless weather station with rain gauge, anemometer, all manner of goodies for $20.  But the box was open and there was dust on it.

My computer-like mind registered this and concluded it had been sitting there a while, nobody willing to pay $20 for it.  So I carried my books to the register and while she counted them, “That weather station back there looks as though it’s been here a while.”

She stopped counting and looked at me grinning.  They know me there.  “You want to bargain about it?”

“Wulll. Actually, I’m not sure I want it.  I couldn’t pay more than $10.”

She grinned and pointed to the room where it was located, started walking back there.  “You’re going to TAKE $10?  You ought not take $10.”  Sheeze.  We don’t get any weather here and who cares how fast the wind is blowing?  When we got there she picked it up out of the box, frowning.

“The wind direction doesn’t work is the only thing.”

“Bobby Dylan and I decided a long time ago we didn’t need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows.”

So back to the register.  $16.00.  She holds up an orange card.  “Do you have one of these yet?”  No, I nods.  “Every time you buy $10 worth of anything we stamp it.  When you’ve got $10 stamped 10 times you get $10 off your next purchase.”

“Whoah!  You’re telling me if I spent $4 more I’d have gotten two stamps on there?”

Smile.  “Yes.”

“Okay.  Let me wander around in here a little longer.”

I found four copies of the Texas Historical Review from the 1990s for 50 cents each.  Then I found a pair of good sneakers that fit marked $3.  I carried them back to the register.  “Okay.  $2 for the Historical Reviews and $3 for the shoes.  Give me another stamp on that card.”

She starts adding, mutters, “Men shoes are half price today.  You’re 50 cents short.  26 cents even if we count the sales tax.”

Deep breath.  “I want to donate 26 cents to the library.  Stamp the card.”

Speedometer cable was making noise on the Toyota when it went Communist.  Maybe if the cable breaks I can attach that anemometer to the top of the truck and use the wind speed for a speedometer if I ever get the 4Runner running on pavement again.

Old Jules

Steve Goodman– Vegematic

6 responses to “Cornering the Umbrella Market in a Drought

  1. Darn blogger took away my last comment, so I’ll just say, very funny good stuff. Love the Dylan quote and the song it came from. Steve, too.

    There. So far, so good.

  2. Nice finds. Oh how I miss American thrift stores (and yard sales, especially the yard sales)! But I shouldn’t complain, the weekly fleamarkets here are fantastic as well, with the bonus that I don’t have to drive anywhere to get to them.

    • Hi there. I appreciate your visit. I surely admire your blog. Sounds as though trying to send you any fleamarkets would be the moral equivalent of carrying coals to Newcastle. Thanks for the …. heck, thanks for sharing your blogsite, more than anything else. I love that place you live. If I were 40 years younger and not as ugly as nature provided me I’d come over there and court you. But I’m stuck with being me, so I’ll just keep reading your blog. Gracias, Jules

  3. Jules, I believe you are a relation on my daddy’s side. Fun post!

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