Sunday, May 11, 2008

Flea Market Weekend

How thrilling can things get?

Not very, especially when the highpoint of your weekend is going to the flea market.

I loaded up the old Gilson Brothers rototiller, it's about thirty years old and a big, heavy-duty model. An animal that can drag you across the garden if it hooks up and takes off. 8 horsepower will do that.

It's been sitting in the smokehouse for the past two years. Since we got the four foot wide tiller for the small tractor, I didn't have any reason to use the Gilson. Someone out there will love to have it, beats the hell out of using a hoe. They can also cancel their health club membership. You can lose about two pounds in an hour, but you won't be able to pick up a glass of water the next day!

Saturday is the best day down at the flea market. The religious folks frown on doing any Sunday sales, but will be out in force with their plants, canned and baked goods. I had a late night Friday, working on cleaning up the tiller and getting a few other goodies ready for the market. Got a late start and didn't make it to the market until almost 10:30. Much later than my planned 8 o'clock.

It didn't make any difference. There was hardly anyone around. Set up my wares, putting out all the stuff from my grandmother that I find to be unmanly around the house. Like woven baskets, old glassware, stuff like that. If it's not car/motorcycle parts or books, I don't need it.

Got to talking to the folks across the way. I set up near them, since they have the local used book emporium. We had a pretty lively discussion going with difference groups of people. Most of whom were looking and not buying. It all boiled down to the economy or lack of it.

They told me that they had good business up until about 18 months ago. Then, weekly customers started coming around every couple of weeks, now they show up about once a month. Gas prices are keeping people from getting out and travelling.

For me, it's about 22 miles to the flea market. An average trip for me. The closest town is more than five miles. They have one store, one restaurant (OK, that's stretching it, but I can't call it a cafe, either), a bank and a junk shop. That's all, no post office. It's ten miles to the post office.

To a town with more than 210 people, it's 17 miles. So, you waste an hour doing anything. One of the reasons that I don't leave the farm more than a couple of times a month. Get the list out, hit all the stores, etc. then back to the homestead.

It gives me plenty of time for writing, when I don't have to deal with the farm.

The flea market was a bust. The bookseller maybe sold $25 worth of books and old glassware. I didn't even do that well. I sold a dog cage and a little kid's red wagon. The tiller's still here, now back in the tractor shed, waiting for next weekend.

I couldn't even sell my "Diesel Smoke Makes Me Horny" license plate, even though about a dozen people stopped to fondle it.

Now, that's a depressed economy.

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