Monday, August 10, 2009

The aliens have landed!

Run! Run for you lives! We've been overrun by a bunch of really stoopid aliens from outer space!

Sure, you've wondered why a civilization capable of intergalactic, faster-than-light travel would cross the stellar void only to arrive here and abduct people from Arkansas. How smart could they be?

As it turns out, not very. They've given up the whole abduction and anal probe thing in favor of that truly American pursuit, cold hard cash. Maybe they're thinking that by scraping together a big pile of money, they won't have to abduct people anymore. They'll go willingly. It goes a long way toward explaining Donald Trump's appeal.

This idea struck me as I wandered around a local flea market over the weekend. I went there looking for the usual goodies: old tools, old books, old cameras, and the odd bicycle or two. The key word is old. "Valuable antique" is not in my vocabulary. I look for stuff that's usable, not pristine.

But there's been an undeniable effect from E-Bay and the Antiques Road Show. E-Bay allows the biggest idiot in the world to set prices for the rest of us. And the antiques shows give every Nimrod with a garage full of junk the idea that it's all valuable junk. Prices at the flea market were breathtakingly absurd.

I have some old tools like these Crescent wrenches. They belonged to my Dad and possibly my grandfather before him. I wouldn't dream of parting with them, but on the other hand, I wouldn't hesitate to use them either. Tools are meant to be used.

At the flea market, I saw a 10" Crescent adjustable wrench priced at seventy five dollars! That's absolutely crazy!

Kodak box cameras that would normally cost no more than ten dollars in good condition were priced at fifty.

I saw a couple of bikes, a Dahon folder and a twenty-year-old Trek. I was afraid to ask their prices because my heart can only take so much. I guess they were 'vintage' bicycles, you know, like the thirty-year-old 'vintage' Huffy on Craigslist that was suitable for use as landfill back then and hasn't really improved with age. Or what about the 'vintage' Schwinn Varsity with a rusted chain and rotted tires, priced far more than any Varsity ever sold? What's wrong with these people?

Well, first, they're aliens from outer space. They got an initial toe-hold in our economic system by taking over all the dollar stores. Don't believe me? Go take a look at the clerks in a dollar store sometime and you'll come away convinced.

Second, they're stupid, as in mind-boggling, can't-find-the-prize-in-a-Cracker-Jack-box stupid. Seventy five dollar wrenches and piles of bicycle-shaped scrap metal cannot be worth their asking prices. Yet what does it say about us, since I have to honestly report they were doing a brisk business.

We're doomed! Run! Run for your lives!


Blogger Rantwick said...

Hey man, you wanna be careful about messing with the Schwinn Varsity crowd... they love those things.

9:16 PM  
Blogger The Donut Guy said...

Wow.....I'm a millionaire if I can manage to sell all of my wife's crap without her noticing.

12:26 PM  

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