Great finds at the midnight garage sale and beyond

Posted on June 6, 2011

Welcome back.  Recently I have made some acquisitions which I think you, good readers, might find intriguing.  First off is the discovery of yet another strange feature of life here in Ottawa’s Chinatown.  I was out for a stroll with some friends after a dinner out.  It was about ten thirty and the air was buzzing with iced cream, rock and roll, and pho.  Perfect.  Then, on Somerset Street, just across from the funeral parlour, there was a car parked with a weird hippie sort of flag flowing from its open trunk.  And on the tiny lawn nearby there was a table and all sorts of items laid out.  Yes that’s right folks – an after-dark garage sale!


This dude had a small table of completely randomly strewn clothing, and it was literally so dark that it was impossible to even browse.  Plus everything looked orange under streetlight light.  He had some flippers, a set of cutlery, and a handful of other items.  Of course we stopped and I bought a few things:  some cutlery and a garment bag.  He even had tote bags for his customers.  The garment bag was priced at $8, and led to the world’s worst negotiation.  I said “eight bucks? okay”.  To which he guiltily replied “is eight bucks really okay?  It’s eight or best offer…”.  One of my companions is a hellacious bargainer and haggler.  It took all of her might not to choke me after I accepted the original eight dollar offer.  But really, how could you bargain down a guy trying to sell flippers on Somerset at night?

Then he treated us to a lengthy standup comedy routine (with with he had managed to make a group of young ladies vacate the nearby Umi Cafe at open mic night, according to him).  It involved numerous filthy words; I’ll let you imagine it.  I can safely say that it was the first after sundown garage sale I have ever seen, and it is truly a good idea.

And speaking of garage sales…  The recent Glebe Garage Sale was a complete bust for me (turkey sausage notwithstanding) but I made up for it on Flora.  Behold, my new picnic set:

Is it a bomb or a charming afternoon waiting to happen?

Melamine! Aluminium! Picnic time!

Send an S.O.S. to the world with a message in a thermos

It weighs about 10 pounds, and is thus very convenient, but even cooler the thermoses (thermi?) have corks!  So weird!  Apparently the thermos was designed in stages:  first the casing and then, years later, a team of engineers designed the resealable lid.  Progress!  Weep, collectors.

Posted in: The Obscure