Monday, February 19, 2007

I Won't and You Can't Make Me.

Okay. I'm going to try to stay calm here. I'm going to stay calm and this is not going to happen. It happened once a very long time ago and I swore, SWORE it would never EVER happen again.

It's humiliating. It's embarassing. It's a total and complete invasion of my privacy and human dignity. It will cost me years in therapy. Because...

(shhh.....I'm not going to do it! I'm not! I won't!)

Okay, I'll say it, but just this once. Satan is insisting that we. Um. He wants to have...


Run for your lives!

Oh, dear god, I can't take it.

And if you're thinking that doesn't sound so bad? You don't understand either me or Satan. You would be so, SO wrong.

Our last yard sale happened in the mid-nineties. Right after another traumatic event: our wedding (otherwise known as the Event that Cannot be Spoken of).

Anyway. After that, we had to combine our households and move in together. Once we unloaded my stuff out of the moving truck and into Satan's abode, it was clear that we had way too much Stuff.

For a couple of weeks Satan amused himself by actually taking a chainsaw (no, I'm not kidding) to much of my furniture, most of which was located in the garage.

In the beginning, I would notice a stray piece of wood here or there and think to myself something like:

Dang will you look at that? That looks just like my end table! Or I should say a PIECE of my end table! As in the dismembered LEG of my end table! But, it couldn't be my end table, because that would mean someone sawed UP my end table! And, I know my end table is in the garage because I put it there. Hmmm.

And then I would go on about my business.

Until one day I came home unexpectedly and found Satan actually in the garage with an actual CHAINsaw actually SAWING up my stuff.

Well. You can imagine this lead to a serious smackdown situation that could have easily taken a nasty turn considering there was a real live working chainsaw involved. But, ultimately, I was much younger then (read: I still had hope) and I finally yielded to Satan's insistence that we simply had TOO MUCH STUFF and nothing would solve the problem except a...

Yah, a (shhh: yard sale).

[To those of you who are still wondering just what WAS Satan's excuse for sawing up my stuff with a chainsaw? Good question. According to him at the time, all my stuff amounted to a big pile of sh**, and just needed to be disposed of. I have since developed a much more believable theory, the theory of ME MAN. YOU WOMAN. ALL EVIDENCE OF YOUR PREVIOUS SINGLE LIFE AS AN INDEPENDENT HUMAN MUST BE OBLITERATED FROM THE EARTH BY MY LARGE POWER TOOL. Be honest. Which one do YOU think sounds more believable?]

So there we were. Newly married, recently chainsawed, and planning a yard sale. Satan, as it turned out, was the veteran of many yard sales both as a shopper and seller. Me, my only yard sale experience consisted of driving my Grandmother to same and then smoking cigarettes in the car as she shopped, thus not drawing any closer than a good ten yards from the border of any yard sale. Ever.

Satan insisted we actually TELL people that we were planning a yard sale in the NEWSPAPER. I was forced to place an advertisement. Satan made god-awful signs that he placed around the neighborhood.

The nightmare began the night BEFORE the yard sale when, in night-of-the-living-dead fashion, strange pale people knocked on our door and asked to paw through our crusty crap in advance of the actual sale. I don't know how that turned out, because Satan handled it while I pretended the whole situation was happening to someone else back in the house.

It only got worse, however, as the NOTLD people returned in the pre-dawn hours on the Saturday of the sale. Of course, my inclination was to roll over and go back to sleep until the SUN actually ROSE IN THE SKY, but Satan would have none of it. He sprang from the bed like it was a GOOD THING, insisting that I get up too (I'll leave that fight to your imagination).

Ultimately, I somehow ended up on my front steps, pre-sunrise, wearing very little make-up, a tee-shirt, denim shorts, my giant fuzzy Sylvester the cat house shoes (which someone tried to BUY), with a change box on my lap, half a pack of Marlboro Light 100's, and a really bad attitude.

Satan, on the other hand, morphed into Ron Popeal.

He was wheelin'. He was dealin'. He was makin' sales left and right.

By the time he staged an actual DEMONSTRATION, driveway center, with an ancient vacuum cleaner using phrases like, "Gather 'round folks!" and, "I'll even throw in this HANDY SPATULA!", I was ready to die of humiliation.

To make matters worse, our yard sale was somehow POPULAR. There was a constant traffic jam of cars and a steady stream of people. I sold a skillet with srambled eggs still clinging to the edge. Satan, in his frenzied state, may have grabbed it off our stove on the way out the door. I'm still not sure.

An obviously mentally unhinged woman approached me clutching a wadded up sliver of Christmas wrapping paper for which SHE insisted I take a dollar. When I protested this amount as an obvious over-payment even at a yard sale, Satan, evidently smelling blood in the water, rushed over and nearly talked her into giving me $5 for it.

And then. The worst happened. I began to RECOGNIZE some of the cars and some of the people approaching the sale. My humiliation was complete. I tossed aside the change box, grabbed my cigarettes, and spent the rest of the sale crouched in humiliation in my kitchen, but still secretly watching the horror through the blinds. In trainwreck fashion, I was unable to look away.

It was from this vantage point that I witnessed Satan pounce on a nice young unsuspecting couple then HOUND them into taking a piece of furniture that began life as a small, white love seat, but had ended up fourteen tragic shades of gray with a gigantic stain of what may well have been vomit (knowing our kids) on one arm. This poor couple clearly did not want the couch but obviously found Satan more frightening than the loveseat. The hapless souls ultimately gingerly loaded the loveseat into their truck and then I watched as Satan gaveTHEM five dollars.

And then I finally died of humiliation.

Okay, no...NO! I did NOT die! I had to live through this horror!

As the traumatized couple drove away with the gray loveseat, Satan skipped...SKIPPED I tell you back to the yard sale and the rest of our unsuspecting patrons and began demonatrating the wonders of an ancient ironing board, "It folds away for easy storage!"....etc, etc.

So, no. I can't go through that again. My human dignity is worth more than the measly SEVENTY-FIVE DOLLARS we would make.


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