Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Flea Marketing in the Sun

The problem with going to a flea market is that you're going to find something you want.

I have never gone home empty handed.

Part of that is because the really good ones, I mean truly good ones, always have fruit and vegetable there.


Hit that part last.  You know you really did want that flat of strawberries in season.  After all, you're on your way home.  You may get stuck in traffic.  It's a long drive.  Maybe six or seven miles.  You'll need sustenance.  Trust me on that one.   You need strawberries.

They are a great place to find oddball items that you didn't know you needed.  Just like those strawberries, you may just need that pair of neon sunglasses from the mid 1980's.  Why?  Well just because they're awesome just like you are.

My problem is that I'm too handy for my own good.  Walking along the box farms of new things that you can get for ONE DOLLAR!  ONE DOLLAR!  you can find things that may just be missing a little something but you really did need.  The stand mixer with the frayed cord or the picture frame with someone's aunt from 1943 in it may just need a little polishing and there you have it.  A new heirloom.

I've repaired more things than I can count.  I'm "That Guy" that has taken "dead" rechargeable screwdrivers and breathed new life into it by removing the old dead battery and placing a new set of cells in it.  Yes, with a soldering iron and having the scene from Young Frankenstein in my head, I've pressed the button and said "It's ALIVE!" when the thing whirred to life.

Every time I go to one I remember after I got there that bringing a couple AA Batteries might have been a good idea. 

On the other hand I've been told that on no uncertain terms do I need a hand held TV set from the old Analog TV days whether it was Cool! or not!

I learned one important fact about these places.  They are a shelter.

Having gone up and down the aisles in the South Florida Sun, sipping on some bottled water and casually eating a piece of fruit, I spotted them.

No, not the stall with the birds chattering loudly wanting to be anywhere but there. 

This was the shelter for Hello Kitty merchandise.   Where else but a large flea market will you find not one but four red Hello Kitty Refrigerators all stacked in a row.  I don't know what you would actually DO with a candy apple red Hello Kitty refrigerator.  In fact, I don't know anyone who would be able to tell me a good reason why you want a cartoon cat stenciled on the side of a underpowered refrigerator, but they were there.   Four in a row.  In the sun.  In their original carton.  Looking incongruous.

Among all the old hand tools, things from Grandma's Attic, and out of date foods, there was the row.  I could almost hear the chorus eternal singing an Ahhhhh! sound in the background as I approached the little red boxes that were sitting there.

Thinking I had lost my mind momentarily, I drew another sip of water from my bottle, had another strawberry, and walked rapidly away from the row of refrigerators.

What to my wandering eye did appear?  No, not a reindeer, but more Hello Kitty merchandise.  Yes, I would have been able to wrap the entire town's collection of older iPhones in a strange silicone rubber case with a white faced cat.

The sun must have been getting to me.  I turned back to reality and sanity and went back to looking for what I had originally come for.  Sunglasses.

Sunglasses are a requirement in South Florida.  You may never use them "today" but there will be a day you do.  As long as they're marked Polarized and UV400, you're fairly safe.  So leaning over the stall, I reached down to find a pair of mirrored wrap arounds with a black frame just like the pair I had on and saw them.

A pair of Hello Kitty sunglasses.

Ok, I'm out.  No more kitties, hello or otherwise.   It's has to be a mirage.  Let me get some more produce and we're done.

Blasted cats.

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