Garage sale finds: treasures, trash, and things that will give you head lice.

Here we are! It’s the beginning of another week. Well, not for YOU. For YOU, it’s Tuesday. For me, the week’s just beginning. I bend space and time, yeah? I’m pretty fancy.

So this week’s pretty exciting, because you get extra-me! Over at Insatiable Booksluts, we’re celebrating Stephen King week!

Here is an old-school photo of King in a VERY plaid jacket and some stylin’ specs. I like this a lot.

I’ve written a number of Stephen King-y posts for your reading enjoyment, and my partners-in-crime have written amazing posts, as well, and it’s going to be totally kickass. Keep an eye over there (but you’re already doing that, right? I mean, why wouldn’t you be? It’s one of the best things about the internet, and not just because I’m one of the contributors) or you can like my Facebook page over there on your right (well, unless you’re reading this in a feed reader, in which case you’d have to click onto my blog to like my Facebook page, but it’s really as easy as pie!) and I’ll post over on Facebook every time one of my King week posts goes up this week. But you should really read them all, because the ladies and I have been sharing and chatting and geeking out over them for a few weeks now and I am quite sure you’ll love each and every one. Also, it’s Stephen King’s 65th birthday on September 21! Happy early birthday to my favorite author of all time who has gotten me through some of the darkest times of my life with some of the darkest images in literature! I would never have survived high school without your books to save me. Never in a million years. So thank you for that, King. You’re the best.

Here is King with a cat. King seems inordinately pleased. So  does the cat.

We have an important article to discuss today before I get my shit together and eff on off to work for the night shift. Here are things that are bad about the night shift: missing all my television programs (ESPECIALLY during premiere time! Arghhhh!); working at night (I like nights, but I like to be sitting on my couch with Dumbcat during them); being sleepy at work; the shift takes a LONG TIME because there’s not a high call volume to make it go by quickly; missing out on all the good nighttime internet fun. Here is what’s GOOD about working at night: the calls slow down; the night-shift people are pretty uniformly awesome and laid-back; the people who do call in almost all have legitimate emergencies and are apologetic about bothering us; the traffic home is light and I get home quickly. It’s a toss-up, really. Anyway, I need the money, they need me tonight, and I owe ’em over there. Big-time. So I’m going in. COVER ME I’M GOING IN.

The Reader’s Digest (which seems to be the place where articles about common-sense things go to die) had an article about “Ten Things You Should Never Buy at a Garage Sale.” Now, I know some people have excellent luck at garage sales. I do not. Not ever. Because I avoid garage sales. I always feel like I’m picking over someone’s life, and if I don’t buy something, I’m rejecting them, and I’m rejecting their THINGS and their LIFE and they just make me sad. Also, I live in a very small place and there’s no more room for more things. I NEED things, sure I do, I just don’t have ROOM for them. I barely have room for the million billion things I DO have. Including myself and Dumbcat. Anyway, I appreciate the IDEA of garage sales, they just don’t work for me. Oh, also, sometimes they want you to haggle. I can’t haggle. It gives me hives. (I’m better at thrift stores. At thrift stores, if you don’t find anything, you can leave, and no one’s feelings are injured, because it’s a store, you know?)


The things that the Reader’s Digest says you shouldn’t buy are:

  • bike helmets
  • carseats
  • tires
  • swimsuits
  • mattresses
  • cribs
  • laptops
  • plasma televisions
  • shoes
  • hats

OK, some of these are kind of slightly-common-sensey (like, if someone’s selling a $200 plasma TV, or a $50 laptop, at a garage sale? Caveat emptor, you know? You’re a dummy if you think that’s going to be brand-new showroom-shiny.) But the rest of this stuff?


Well, except shoes. I’ve totally purchased used shoes. Don’t even judge. I have a pair of used Docs that I really love. Well, at least I used to. They’re getting pretty run-down and one of them has something wrong with the sole and makes a little swooshy noise when I walk, but I’ve had them for ages. They’ve served me well and they were very inexpensive. I wouldn’t wear them without socks, though. Someone else wore those. I’m not idiotic.

And cribs? Well, there are safety concerns about cribs, and those change all the time, so I guess I see why used cribs are a bad idea. But if you took out the mattresses and such, and replaced them with new ones, and it was just a basic crib…not the WORST idea in the world. I mean, if you can’t afford anything else.

I also advise against gigantic hair-bows. Not because they’re unsafe. Because they make your baby look weird.

But the rest? No no no. Anything that goes on your head, you don’t buy used. BECAUSE LICE. That was on someone’s HEAD. I won’t use someone’s comb, or wear someone’s hat, or ANYTHING head-related. I learned that in elementary school. (The only exception is my parents. I will use my parents’ brush or wear my dad’s baseball cap. Or my brother’s. They don’t have lice. Or cooties. Or random head-ick.)


Carseats – well, they’re like cribs, with the rules on safety changing all the time. And I don’t think I’d trust my baby to a carseat I didn’t know was the best of the best. You’d feel pretty terrible if you bought a used carseat and then you were in an accident and your baby went flying through the windshield, wouldn’t you? Who are you going to blame? I don’t even think an ambulance-chasing lawyer would touch that one with a ten-foot pole, you know? Also, did you ever see that movie with Rosie Perez and…shit, I want to say Jeff Bridges where he demonstrated that you can’t hold onto a baby when you’re speeding in a car and hit a wall? That’s really apropos of nothing, I just thought of it. I want to say it was called Unbreakable but I might be wrong. Nope, I am. The internet tells me it was called Fearless.

If you buy used tires at at garage sale you are a goofball. You don’t know how long those have been on the road or what’s wrong with them or what kind of car they were on. Don’t do that. Don’t. You’re going to have a blowout going 80 on the highway and THEN you’ll feel silly, won’t you? No, wait, you won’t feel anything. You’ll be dead dead dead.

Mattress? NO NO NO. You do NOT buy a used mattress. Not ever. A., PEOPLE SLEPT ON THAT. There are FLUIDS in there. Sweat and…um…FLUIDS. That is DISGUSTING. B., BEDBUGS YO. Do you KNOW about bedbugs? Those suckers are like impossible get rid of. Do you WANT to invite bedbugs into your home? If so, you are NUTS.

ZOMG, this random traffic cone makes me laugh like a moron.

Finally: swimsuits. If you buy a used swimsuit ever, I am going to disown you. Then I think I’m going to burn down your house. If you’re a guy…well, swim trunks (NOT BANANA HAMMOCKS!) are just shorts, so I suppose that’s not THE grossest. But women’s bathing suits? You are buying used underwear. That’s all snuggled up to your cootch. That was snuggled up to someone ELSE’S cootch. I don’t care how much you wash and bleach that shit, THAT IS NOT SANITARY. Don’t you ever even. Either buy yourself a new bathing suit or skinny-dip or go swimming in your damn t-shirt and shorts but DO NOT BUY A USED BATHING SUIT WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOUR BRAIN AREA.

OK. So, what have we learned, kittens and cats? Things you CAN buy at garage sales: random shit like end-tables and brooches and Milli Vanilli CDs and old board games which may or may not be missing a piece or two. Things you can NOT buy: things that go on or around your cootch or head, and also things that have had fluids spilled on them. JUST SAY NO TO FLUIDS.

Happy day! Be careful out there! As Dad would say, “Watch out for the other guy. The other guy is always an asshole.”

About lucysfootball

I'm not the girl with the most cake. Someday. SOMEDAY. View all posts by lucysfootball

26 responses to “Garage sale finds: treasures, trash, and things that will give you head lice.

  • sj

    I also liked working nights but HATED missing shows. EVERYTHING IS ON AT THE SAME TIME, I HAVE TO MAKE DECISIONS!!!!


  • Samantha

    I think my reasons for liking and hating working nights were about the same as yours. Except when I worked nights my feet usually hurt pretty badly. But at least there were no customers to deal with and I could listen to headphones most of the time.

    And ew. I would much rather go to a thrift store to search for used things because it just makes me feel better. But no on helmets, etc. At least you can wash hats. :/


    • lucysfootball

      I’m lucky that I get to sit the whole shift (it’s on a computer) but yep, I get sleepy. I started to yawn last night for about the last hour. SO SLEEPY. Then when I got home I was wired. Stupid brain.

      We have a kickass Salvation Army store next to me. It’s huge. Such great stuff! I’ve gotten some excellent things there.


  • mylifeisthebestlife

    EEW!!! Buying used swimsuits would be like buying used adult toys. NO THANK YOU EVER!


  • laura_thetwors

    Love love love garage sales, thrift stores, and flea markets. I have bought almost ALL my books used from these places. And we totally had a secondhand crib for my first daughter (not mattress, though); I checked whether it had any recalls on my iphone before we got it, and it was fine, just too small for that family’s kids. But, honestly – who the f*ck buys used swimwear?!?!! Holy barf. I mean – I just can’t – EWWW.


    • lucysfootball

      Ooh, books. Yes yes yes. I’ve gotten some great books. (My library has an ongoing book sale with SUCH great books, too. And my theater is doing one, too, and I get some great books there.) Yep. Swimwear! No no no NO NO.


  • Andreas Heinakroon

    I also want to say Jeff Bridges, probably because he was on fact in that movie. Also something about strawberries.


  • emmawolf

    For car seats, the issue also is that they have been exposed to extreme heat and extreme cold (in the car), which can harm the plastic. There is also no way of knowing whether or not they have been in an accident. (Apparently you are supposed to replace a car seat after an accident.)

    Along the lines of used swimwear, my kid is three and he is (mostly) potty trained. He has a cousin of the same age and potty training abilities, only the cousin looks significantly larger (my kid is small, my sister’s kid is big. Together, they are an optical illusion). It’s great because I get a lot of hand me down clothes from him. Anyway, so my mom was handing me a bag of my kid’s clothes and I saw a pair of underwear in there. I handed them back to her saying they were not his. She said they were cousin’s but they don’t fit him anymore, so they are my kid’s now. I told her no no no! Kid and I buy almost everything from thrift stores (except for the above), but we do not wear used underwear. My mom tried to explain that they were from his cousin, so it’s ok. No. Not ok. The conversation ended by her telling me she didn’t know I was so funny about underwear.


    • lucysfootball

      Oh, I didn’t think of that (the carseats) – good point. I don’t think I’d be comfortable with a used carseat. It just seems like something you should buy new.

      I got a ton of hand-me-downs as a kid – pretty much all I wore for years. And never never NEVER underwear. *shudder* I’m with you. That’s not funny. That’s practical!


  • Andreas Heinakroon

    Time slows down when you’re in an accident, so you would have time to feel stupid for what would feel like a very long time before your car would crash into a lamp post and you’d feel your neck snap with that dry sound you get from breaking bone and cartilage. It’s not a pleasant feeling. So yes: don’t.


    • lucysfootball

      I’ve only been in…let’s see. One real accident (I wasn’t driving) one sort-of real accident (luckily, we were going slow and nothing got hurt but our cars, I have to talk about that one someday, what a comedy of errors THAT was) and a few fender benders (some with me driving, some with me as the passenger.) Time did get so weird in the real accident. That’s another thing I need to talk about someday, I guess. Probably one of the scariest moments of my life.


  • Andreas Heinakroon

    Well.. Technically you can wash any clothes items, so it wouldn’t be unsanitary as such, but more of a mental image problem.


  • lahikmajoe

    Fearless is one of my favourite movies, but then that must have something to do with my relationship to Isabella that she doesn’t yet know about.

    Have you seen her recreate grasshopper sex? It really cuts my mustard, that.


    • lucysfootball

      I remember liking it a great deal. I think I actually own it around here somewhere. And I have a total Isabella crush. I’m with you on that one. She’s fantastic.

      I have not seem her recreate grasshopper sex. I don’t know if I want to see that. I’ll leave that to you. And your euphemistic mustard.


  • 35JupiterDrive

    I read 11/22/63 pretty recently and was surprised at how much I enjoyed it.

    I have to admit, I love garage sales. I agree with Readers Digest & you. But there are even more things I won’t buy: towels, washclothes, etc. Anything that would have food in it, because people do gross things. Bedding: sheets, blankets, etc. Pretty much if someone could do something gross with it, then no.

    I LOVE the nightshift because I write through it. Writing is the perfect activity because it helps you stay really awake and keeps your brain working while at the same time being quiet and letting you be very aware of what’s going on around you. But if the shift is quiet, you can get a great deal of writing done, which rocks.

    You dad says some very wise things. That statement is especially true in LA. Though perhaps less true in Canada.


    • lucysfootball

      I think I’m in the minority, but I loved 11/22/63. It made me think and it made me sob and I thought it was just a really well-written book. I couldn’t stop thinking of what I’d do if I had that opportunity. What I’d change, or would I change anything? (I don’t think I could stop myself from changing a couple little things. They wouldn’t affect anyone but my loved ones, not in the grand scheme…but I couldn’t be given an opportunity like that and not try to do things to help those I love.)

      I can’t write during the night shift – well, I could write longhand on tiny sheets of paper, but we don’t have computers with internet capability. Plus it’s busy enough that I have something to do the whole time. Now, if I worked the overnight shift, I think I could bring in things to do. The overnight girl brought in homework the other night. But I don’t want the overnight shift. I think it would kill me. I’m not meant to work overnight. It would screw up my sleeping schedule beyond all imagining.

      Dad’s got some good ones, that’s for sure. He’s a perfect combination of wide-eyed optimism and jaded pessimism. He makes me laugh.


  • Heather

    Oooo… I need to find the garage sale that’s selling Milli Vanilli CDs.


  • becomingcliche

    I buy all kinds of things at thrift stores and garage sales. My number one rule when I buy any article of clothing is to assume it has lice. Just assume it and treat it. Wash in hot water. Wash again. Hot water.


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