Sunday, August 2, 2009

The Sidewalk Sale That Was

Well, the sidewalk sale is now history. I made about $130 on the whole shebang and spent the better part of two days hanging out on the sidewalk. Unfortunately, I didn't sell everything, so back to the basement it goes. This is what the whole arrangement looked like:

I was a solo act from 8 in the morning until nearly noon, but then Kevin, Jill and their kids showed up with a bunch of furniture and assorted items. And then people really started buying. I was surprised to be selling to a bunch of El Rey people who seemed surprisingly lucid for crazy people. Others, would drop by, ask questions that didn't make any sense and then leave. I originally planned to shut down at 2:00, but people kept showing up. A few of these turned out to be characters who really wanted to hang out. What was I supposed to do? Yeah, I ended up staying on the sidewalk till 11:00 at night.

You know, I think I'd mentioned the fact that my bad art collection has languished in the boiler room for the last eight years. I had forgotten about many pieces, so it was a little like opening a treasure chest of bad art. Out of all the paintings, this husband-and-wife set was the most surprising:

I believe they're paintings of photographs, rather than formally-posed portraits. But don't those people look ever-so-awesome? I totally forgot that I had these. Right now, I'm looking around for a place to hang them.

OK, so that was Saturday. Sunday was a different story. I got everything set up by 8:30 and didn't make a single sale for three hours. Meanwhile, the streets of Belltown contained nothing but crazy people or Real Change vendors or some combination of the two. One guy in particular camped out in front of the Real Change office and proceeded to talk to himself very loudly for the next three and a half hours. Everybody passing by was crazy to some extent. It was also the time when I had a very weird conversation with a Real Change Mama. Her plan was to get a piece of bad art (which she didn't recognize as bad) for very cheap. Here's how our talk went:

Real Change Mama: (looking at a painting of a raccoon) Oh, a kitty! That's nice!
Me: Actually, that's a raccoon.
RMC: It looks like a kitty.
Random El Rey Guy: It's a raccoon.
RCM: I thought it was a kitty.
Me: Hey lady, for five bucks it can be anything you want.
RCM: (long pause) How about 35 cents?
Me: Sorry.
RCM: 40 cents?
Me: Sorry.
RCM: (walking off) Damn. I really wanted that kitty.

Yeah, so that's what it was like. I eventually did about $30 today. And now everything's back where it was. My clutter problem is still not solved, but I was able to get rid of a lot of stuff. Out of those paintings I took pictures of on Friday, I sold Don Quixote and Pup 'n' Brew. I also sold several paint-by-numbers and various and sundry other favorites. Tomorrow, almost everything goes back to the boiler room.

So that's it. The hydro races on Lake Washington are winding down and the Blue Angels are done making loud noises. Hey, I remember another reason why I dislike the Angels: the godawful commentary given by the auxiliary team member during the performance. They never call the planes "planes;" it's always "air vehicle flying system" or something equally as dumb-sounding. And they shy away from pronouns because they say things like: "This air vehicle flying system represents one of the most advanced air vehicle flying systems in the world. As far as air vehicle flying systems go, this is among the best air vehicle flying systems." And a plane doesn't just turn; the pilot "executes" a turn. And we're also welcomed into a world of flight jargon that it best kept away from the general public, because it sounds so ridiculous. So that's another reason for my dislike of the Blue Angels. It has nothing to do, however, with the sidewalk sale.

One last look back. This is a rocket ship that Tommy (age 5) drew on the sidewalk yesterday. There aren't any flames coming out back because he didn't think it was necessary and that thing that looks like an eye is really a window. Enjoy!

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