one sure sign that Spring has arrived, it's the emergence of yard sales.
If there's one sure sign that a neighborhood is inhabited solely by aliens
hell-bent on destroying the foundations of our society... it's discovering
a yard sale in which 45 families would supposedly be participating. Being
a big fan of yard sales, garage sales, tag sales, yard tags, garage swaps,
and estate fleas alike; you can imagine just how excited I became when I
first heard about it. But was it real, or was it just a cruel hoax?
I'm happy to
report that it wasn't a hoax at all. In fact, there were signs for it
everywhere within roughly a 5-mile radius. I'm not sure, but I think
that's pretty close to the advertising budget of some presidential
campaigns. Well, with 45 families, I'm sure they could make the money
back. Another impressive thing is that all of the signs were hand-drawn
with multi-colored markers. They had to have made at least 30 of the
things. Makes you wonder who got put in charge of completing that
sucktacular assignment, eh? I'll bet they made the very last family who
signed up to participate in the yard sale do it. But isn't that always how
it is in life?
So we all
got up bright and early on that Saturday morning so that we could get to
the yard sales at 7:30am (which is when they were starting according to
one of the other signs we say) to get first dibs on all the good stuff.
Maybe it was just the "WOW!!" and "DON'T MISS IT!" statements on the signs
that drew me in. I'm such a sucker for those brilliantly catchy
ad-phrases :( . Naturally, I was going for one thing in particular:
know it, the very first place we stopped at had a couple tables covered
with nothing but toys. Most of them were generic toys that nobody's ever
heard of, but there were a few recognizable ones in there. Godzilla,
Stretch Armstrong, and an old G.I. Joe canteen to name a few.
this evil looking thing. While we were both in agreement that with a
little slime it could look just like that demon creature on the wing of
the plane from the Twilight Zone movie, it was probably just some old
Spawn figure. Yo McFarlane, if you're reading this (and I'm sure you are),
that's a toy I wouldn't mind seeing. Especially if it comes with John
Lithgow freaking out inside the plane. Get your ass working on it now.
turns out the figure is apparently from the "Skeleton Warriors" series)
also a colorful little giraffe & elephant transport truck. It appeared as
though it would spin them around while it moved. Yeah, that's just what
you want to do with a giraffe and an elephant, spin 'em around until they
puke up the contents of their huge animal stomachs. As you can see, there
was also a Barney tote bag... how anybody could part with such an awesome
item is beyond me. Especially for a mere 50 cents. Also found a
pink Slinky. I guess the Slinky people
were trying to appeal to the Barbie fan demographic with that one? Eh,
anyone who's anyone knows that the only Slinky worth buying is a metal
one. The plastic ones just don't have enough "Slinky ooomph" if you ask
me. But look closer in that photo, what else do you see?
ptero-friggin-dactyl! It's not every yard sale that you can find an
extinct dinosaur at, unless you count Godzilla... but he could breathe
fire and I can't think of too many dinosaurs that could do that. As you
can see, this fella's wings weren't in the best shape, but you can't ask
for too much when he was only .25 cents. I'm still hoping that I can find
a Kronosaurus at one of these yard sales. If that happens, my life will
truly be complete. Me and Krono could then walk off into the sunset,
hand-in-hand... and life would be good. Ahem, ok back to the toys:
begin... a box of used Power Rangers sneakers. Oh if only they weren't 10
sizes too small for me, I'd be wearing those in a heartbeat. Also there
was the "generic remote-controlled guy on an
that's larger than his body" toy. I guess if you're a really sucky skater,
the best way to stop from falling off is to get a board that's roughly the
size of a car. Yep, then you'll get a date for sure.
found in the pile was a "sparkle" utility box (because if you're gonna
carry tools around, they should at least be glittery?), a tiger with a
foot broken off, more Barney junk, an assortment of generic jets, cars,
and robots, a toy cash register, and one of those crappy bubble-blowing
toy fans. Santa Claus was also in the mix... and lemme tell ya, if you
want to find cheap xmas crap, just go yard sale hopping. It's almost
guaranteed that you'll find last year's hot xmas decorations for
dirt cheap. Also in the mix was a memory game called "I SPY", but since I
can barely even remember the names of people I know, and instead resort to
calling them "hey you", I decided to skip on that one.
one shocking find inside that big mess o' toys though... behold!
THE SPECTRAL GROPER!
Ok, well it
probably wasn't marketed as the Spectral Groper which Proto wrote about a
while back... but it's a dead-on match for it. It even had the yellow
fingernail on the pointer finger. What are the odds!? If you haven't read
his tale about the Spectral Groper, you can view it
here. What's cool about it, is that it opens up to reveal a little
spooky monster scene. Check it out:
It's like a
Polly Pocket toy... from HELL! Actually, after a little bit of
research, I found out that these things actually are part of the Polly
Pocket toy line. They're apparently called "Mighty Max" playsets and
they're made by Bluebird Toys - the same people who make Polly Pocket. I
guess that would explain the "MM" logo on one of the fingers. Though since
it has an uncanny resemblance to the Spectral Groper, I'm sure it could
also stand for "Mega Molestation" just as well. Oh yeah, in case you're
interested in seeing it, there was a
Gorilla one too.
would someone like to tell me just what in the hell this thing is? I'm
always amazed at how many poorly made, giant generic-brand transformer
toys I find at yard sales, and this one was no exception. The entire back
was hollow and it was missing a head, but the thing was like 3-feet tall.
Where the hell do these things come from? I never see them at Toys R' Us
or even at the local "Dollar General" store, but they have to come from
somewhere! I'm not sure, but I think it swallowed a nearby infant too.
big thing is apparently part of the Power Rangers toyline. Such a shame I
didn't buy it, eh?)
Moving on to
more yard sales, Proto found a set of pirate hooks. For when you want to
dress up as the pirate that didn't learn his lesson the first time he lost
a hand, now you can wear two hooks at once. All for a whopping .50 cents.
Later on I
found a Star Wars "Galactic Battle" electronic game amidst some more
crappy remote control cars. I was really tempted to buy it, but it was
missing some of the game pieces and I couldn't justify spending 6 bux on
an incomplete set. Still, if you ever happen to find one of these things
complete, do yourself a favor and buy it. It's the same thing as
Battleship, only it has nifty Star Wars voices and sound effects. Plus, I
don't think anybody is going to deny that an X-Wing is much cooler than a
battleship. And if you do deny it, you're wrong.
fine if you want to get your kids interested in playing music at a young
age, but kryste... if you're gonna do it, at least buy them a decent
guitar. Some mom swiped this thing up for 8 bux shortly after I took the
photo of it. Two of the strings were missing from it, and although it said
it was made of "quality wood", trust me it was a cheap piece of crap. I
pity the parents that will have to listen to their kid try to play "hot
cross buns" on that thing for the next couple of years. What a nightmare.
Ha Ha! It's
"The Better Pasta Pot!" Yes my friends, another thing you can count
on seeing at yard sales is all of those "As Seen On TV!" products that
people were stupid enough to buy into.
"Honey! Come in here quick! Look on the TV! Do you see that pasta pot!? It
has holes on the top of it!"
"Well smack my ass and call me Chef Boyardee! IT REALLY DOES HAVE HOLES IN
"We must buy one!"
"One? Step aside woman... I'm ordering TWENTY of these bad boys! We will
be the king and queen of pasta-land!"
really, are people so fucking lazy that they can't pull out a strainer and
dump the pasta into it? Bah, it's just another one of those inventions
(and I use the term loosely) that pisses us all off because some idiot
managed got rich off of it.
you've got yourself quite a powerhouse system here. A real workhorse.
Just hook this AST bad boy up and you'll be playing Solitaire and
Minesweeper in Windows 3.1 on a glitchy VGA monitor in no time. All for
the price of $150. WHAT A STEAL!
So I found a
pink Barbie jeep that came with a cell phone. And while I decided not to
buy it (I mean COME ON, it didn't come with a Ken doll!
Sheesh!), it turns out the cell phone was actually a remote control for
the thing. Way to go Mattel, teach the kids at a young age to use cell
phones while operating a vehicle. That's foresight if I've ever seen it!
You know, considering all of the remote control toys we've already seen
today, I think that's a pretty sure sign that parents should steer clear
of them. It's obvious that they're just gonna end up selling them off at a
yard sale in the near future due to lack of use.
Yes! No yard
sale is complete without spotting the "Mouse Trap" board game. I
don't know what it is about the game, but I've seen this thing at more
yard sales than any other item that comes to mind. Maybe it's just because
it's a pain in the ass to setup and it's really not all that exciting once
you've already seen the trap do its thing once. Considering that we still
had plenty of yard sales to go to, I made a bet that we'd see it again.
Would I be right? I guess you'll just have to keep on reading now won't
WELL! If it isn't my old nemesis from last Halloween: the Bleeding Skull
Mask! I guess I shouldn't even be surprised to have found this piece of
shit at a yard sale. For those of you who don't remember, this thing had a
heart pump that you squeezed to make blood trickle down the face of the
skull mask. Only problem was, the thing was capable of SUFFOCATING
you! You can read my write-up on it from last year
staple of yard sale history is without a doubt the used Casio keyboard.
Usually a sign that a) the kid wouldn't practice, b) the parent got sick
of hearing the kid press the "demo" button, or c) they never thought to
buy an adapter for it and got tired of purchasing 6 C-sized batteries for
it all the time. Hell, before I learned to play piano (and even
afterwards) I know I damn near wore out the demo button on one of my first
Casio keyboards so that I could hear "Für Elise" over and over again.
Don't dismiss these little synths though, they can still be quite handy
for recording if you've got some decent software on your computer. You'd
be surprised at what you can do with 'em.
KIDS! GUESS WHAT TIME IT IS???
THAT'S RIGHT! IT'S...
think it's safe to say that Killing Joke wins the wacky hat pageant. I've
always thought of him as the #1 party princess in my life... this photo
just confirms it. While I'm sure you would love to see hundreds of more
wacky hats, it's time to continue on with the tour of yard sale crap.
we be without Mr. Potatohead? While some people will overcharge for 'em,
if you can get a good deal on 'em, some collectors will actually pay a
decent amount for a family of Potatoheads. I didn't bother buying 'em
though because I'm far too lazy to try to sell 'em off on eBay. Neat gag
though - if you fill up a Mr. Potatohead figure with red syrup, when you
pull out his eyes or ears, it'll look like he's bleeding from the holes.
That's a sure-fire way to scar your kid for life. "MOMMIE! I KILLED MR.
of assorted toys to scrounge through, but nothing of real interest. Well,
nothing of interest unless you wanted to see the
Silver Surfer giving some guy oral action while Cyclops watches.
Well, there was a little Cobra boat in there, but it wasn't from the 80's
G.I. Joe collection, it was a crappy reproduction. Throw in a few sucky
wrestling toys and a figure without any arms, and you've got yourself one
big box full o' SUCK.
INFLATABLE SHARK! That's easily gotta be one of the best things I saw
all day long. Man, I wish I had room for the thing in my house, but
I've already got a giant inflatable Spiderman hanging from my ceiling.
Somehow I think Spidey would be pissed off if I had a killer shark move in
on his territory, and you don't want to piss off Spidey. He's raped people
in their sleep before because they pissed him off, and he won't hesitate
to do it again. But mark my words, as soon as I become rich and have a
pool installed, the first thing on my list to buy for the pool will be a
giant inflatable shark.
sorry, but I can't justify paying 5 bux for a used strip of plastic
in which you will surely impale yourself on at some point in the future.
And don't act like you don't know what I'm talking about. Anybody who's
ever used a Slip 'n Slide has had to endure the "SLIP 'N SLIDE RIGHT OVER
A FUCKING ROCK WHICH LEAVES A HUGE BRUISE ON YOU BECAUSE SOME JACKASS
DIDN'T CHECK THE GROUND BEFORE HE SET THE GODDAMNED SLIP 'N SIDE UP"
experience. Lay about 5 layers of bubble wrap under the thing and you
might get me to try it again.
Ah yes, how
could we go for so long without finding the obligatory "naked doll" in the
mix? Odd though, this doll had a very short buzz cut and his hair was
pink. Actually, you know, it kinda
looks like Flea now that I think about it.
eh, close enough...
of the yard sales had very little to offer, others look like a toy factory
had exploded on their lawns. I mean look at this...
even fit everything into the picture, it just went on forever. Absurd
amounts of Beanie Babies (man the popularity of those things died off
quickly, didn't it?) and assorted plush toys. Veggie Tales, Lite Brite,
boomboxes, more naked Barbie dolls, ancient computer monitors, used kids
sneakers, broken Sony Aibo dog robot clones, and more. And all this time I
thought it was *me* who was buying too much crap. Boy was I wrong.
MORE xmas crap! In addition to some ridiculously tangled light sets and
some holiday-themed gingerbread cookie cutters, we found a nativity set.
But the box it was stored in was upside-down! OMG! THEY MUST BE SATANISTS!
being tall has its benefits here 'n there, but I envy anybody who is small
enough to still be able to fit on kids rides so easily. If I could fit on
those things, you can bet your ass I'd spend all day riding down the
street on my badass 4-wheeler singing the "POW-POW-POWERWHEELS!"
theme song. But don't worry about me, I'll get over it. You wanna know
Because I won the bet
another copy of the "Mouse Trap" game!
(if only I had
actually bet something tangible on it... you know, like money.)
there's another thing you're almost guaranteed to see at yard sales:
workout equipment and videos. Why? Because people get bored with the
equipment or simply don't have the motivation to keep using it, so it ends
up just collecting dust. Same goes for the videos. Still, I would just
like to state for the record that when faced with the choice of watching
some crappy workout videos or Jerry Maguire, I'd go with the workout
been really huge when it comes to board games, unless you count Hungry
Hungry Hippos. I'LL KICK YOUR ASS IN HUNGRY HUNGRY HIPPOS AND I'VE GOT
DIBS ON THE GREEN ONE, GOT IT? Anyway, this hangman game caught my eye.
Not because I particularly cared for hangman, but because of who was on
Vincent "Theatre of Blood" Price!
resort to appearing in softcore porn flicks on Cinemax when they have
trouble finding work. Not Vincent! He simply took on odd jobs such as
posing for board game boxes. Rock on Vincent, rock on.
In the end,
it turned out there wasn't nearly 45 yard sales. It was more like 20 tops.
That's entrapment damnit! So who do you sue for false advertisement of a
yard sale? Eh, no matter, we just went to a bunch of other yard sales that
day and still managed to get some good stuff. I snagged a Mr. Mouth game,
a Mattel Classic Baseball handheld game still sealed in the package, and a
crappy Darth Maul 3-D figure paint set which I'll be painting in the near
future for all of you to see. But most importantly, I had a chance to pay
respect to one of my fallen homies...
AALIYAH 2001. NEVER
SUGGEST THIS TO A FRIEND!
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