My wife, God love her, has a problem. Ordinarily, she is a wonderful woman, always kind to animals and small children, friendly with the neighbors, loved by one and all. But every Saturday morning, just after sun up, something happens to her, something horrible! She becomes an ugly, vicious, salivating, clawing thing! No, she's not a werewolf, but that's a pretty good guess. If only it were something a silver bullet could cure (or a case of Silver Bullets, for that matter).
Her problem is no mere sickness of the blood, my friends. Hers is a sickness of the mind, the spirit and the body. It's an all-encompassing affliction, kind of the same thing you'd get the morning after downing the aforementioned case of Silver Bullets, I suppose.
This curse is called...Yardsalitis! (Please imagine an ominous musical burst here)
If you laugh it's only because you haven't been exposed to this disease. Be warned, Yardsalitis is everywhere and spreading fast! There are different levels of this disease and if caught early it can be cured. To help you identify a person with Yardsalitis, let me detail the various stages for you.
First, there are the SY's (Social Yardsalers), those who only partake occasionally and usually do so with a group of their peers. These are the lightweights of the game. They do it to look cool, to fit in, not because they have an overpowering need to prowl through other people's junk.
Then come the RY's (Recreational Yardsalers). This group considers yardsaling a fun, harmless pastime. The first symptom of this stage is denial. "I ain't hurting nobody!" is the slogan of the RY's. RY's will go yardsaling if the weather's nice and they've nothing better to do on a Saturday morning. They can live without it, but they'd rather live with it.
Things begin to get ugly as the disease progresses to the next level, known as "Progressive Yardsalitis." This is the most pathetic group because they teeter on the brink of the final stage. They feel the need to get up at the crack of dawn on Saturday morning and hit the streets, sniffing out the proverbial "good deal" like crack addicted bloodhounds. But when that high subsides and reality returns, they regret paying $200 for a Tickle-Me-Elmo that their kids aren't allowed to touch. Most have no memory of the actual purchase. They claim to just wake up with their bargain in hand.
Devastated, they vow "never again," but it's a hollow oath. Sure, there are those who can go weeks without getting a fix. But relapse is imminent. They know it, their families know it, and those cruel souls having the yardsales know it.
"We got what you need," is the mantra of the yardsale pusher.
Finally, hope is abandoned and the call of the deal must be answered. The afflicted becomes a full-fledged Yardsalaholic. This is the category my lovely wife falls into. She is the High Priestess of the Open Garage Door. She is Conan the Yardsalian!
Like a gunslinger in Dodge City, a champion yardsaler has to be quick of hand and have the peripheral vision of an iguana. And you can't be afraid to get in there and fight for what you want, either. There's more elbowing at a table covered with Beanie Babies than under the hoop at the NBA playoffs! These women are vicious, and in this scenario my wife would be Dennis Rodman.
I recently witnessed an actual yardsale. It wasn't as frightening as participating in a snake handling or going to my mother-in-law's for dinner, but it was pretty close.
This was a joint venture, make that misadventure, between my wife and sister, the Lucy and Ethel of the yardsale set. As men, I don't think we really know our wives until we see them in the yardsale setting. What I saw was educational, indeed.
What follows is an excerpt from the research paper I am writing on this experience. I'll submit the finished text to the South Hampton Institute of Technology's Hammond-Eggar Anthropological Department when it's finished. Or I may just send it to Paul Harvey, I haven't decided yet. Anyway, here's the excerpt:
"And just who are these pathetic souls who can not live without their weekly fix of mismatched Tupperware and decapitated Barbie Dolls? Usually, and this may be totally hormonal within the species, they are women. The only men present were the ones whose wives dragged them along to hold their purses while they (the women) clawed through boxes of Beanie Babies and tried on used shoes that were three sizes too small. These are the same men often seen loitering about the women's underwear section at Wal-Mart, holding purses and looking appropriately dumbfounded. Not even the prettiest of women on the pink brassiere labels can pull them from this funk.
"Scientifically speaking, this is a whole 'nother culture. People were gathering in the driveway at 6 a.m., though the signs Subjects A and B (Lucy and Ethel) plastered all over the neighborhood clearly stated that 7 a.m was the start time. It was like that movie 'Night of the Living Dead,' where the dead are stumbling across the field toward the farmhouse where the non-dead, that would be the living, are holed up. Staggering along they come, arms outstretched, fingers wiggling, a glazed look in their eyes. "Quaaaaarter," they moan. "Will you take a quarterrrrr..."
End of excerpt.
And therein lies the true art of the deal: it's not how much you spent on that Flowbee with the missing attachments, but how much you talked them down from the asking price. This is called "Yardsalanomics," a theory of economics not even Donald Trump can explain. The crux of Yardsalanomics is this: it's not how much you pay, it's how much you don't pay.
Only an idiot pays the asking price. Ask my wife.
To be fair, she is trying hard to break her addiction. She just joined the local chapter of Yardsalaholics Anonymous. YA is a "make a profit if you can" group that meets in members' garages every Saturday morning for fellowship and support. Unlike most addiction programs, however, YA has only nine steps.
It used to have twelve, but my wife talked them down.
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Tim Knox, Entrepreneur, Author, Speaker, Radio Host
Founder, The Insiders Club, Giving You The Power To Start Your Business Today
Bestselling Author of: "Everything I Know About Business I Learned From My Mama"
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