Monday, August 31, 2009

One Man's Trash... Is Probably Trash

Up to my elbows in chipped coffee mugs at the church hall a few weeks ago, it occurred to me that the words “Rummage Sale Donations Needed” are actually perceived as code for “Bring Us All Your Crap” in the minds of so many.

I found myself digging through box after box and bag after bag of donated items trying to decide what would be sold and what would be landfill.

But after sorting through the 24th box that had clearly been extracted from someone’s moldy attic and, rather than just being hauled out to the curb for the trash pick-up as it should have, had been transported to the church for resale, only to have me make the judgement call that, even by Third World standards, these items were long overdue for a trip to the city dump, I realized not everyone knew the Rummage Sale Rules According to Jules.

In light of this revelation, I am dedicating this week’s space to laying out a few helpful guidelines for those trying to decide what items may (or may not) be appreciated at the next local rummage sale fundraiser.

Rule #1

Please do not donate items that carry an aroma reminiscent of any of the following: basement, litter-box, ashtray, bar floor, old people. This is not only to increase the likelihood of said items selling, but also to decrease the likelihood of vomiting by the poor person charged with opening the sealed, warm boxes and garbage bags filled with said items when such odors come pouring out.

Rule #2

Neither baby powder nor Old Spice are capable of removing the odors mentioned in Rule #1.

Rule #3

Used clothing is fine. Even your acid-washed jeans. Even your Peaches-N-Herb concert t-shirt. Even your box full of enough shoulder pads to send Alexis Carrington into a fit of jealously.

If you are going to donate underwear, however, please do not leave any evidence that the underwear has ever been worn. This same rule applies to jock straps, even monogrammed ones.

Rule #4

When attending a rummage sale of any kind, you should know that if you choose to try on the above-mentioned acid washed jeans in the church hall and strip down to your underwear to do so, we will all be able to see you.

Rule #5

Certainly, there could be a select market for people looking for just one beat-up shoe in a women’s size 5 Narrow, but that is not very probable.

Rule #6

Please be sure to thoroughly clean out the training potty chair before you donate it. Ideally, you would thoroughly clean it out after each use. But that could just be me and my high suburban standards. I dunno.

Rule #7

That is awesome of you to think of us when you are trying to decide what to do with the mattress you have obviously been using since well before the Summer of Love, but I would have even more appreciated it even more if you had taken the spring-loaded petrie dish to a biohazard drop-off facility before your lured me into touching it by leaving it at the donation drop site after-hours.

Rule #8

Clothing, sheets, towels, blankets, and curtains that are covered in what appears to be hair from any part of your body or your pet’s body will be classified as “Contaminated” and immediately discarded.

The person discarding the item will simultaneously gag and curse your name once you are out of earshot.

Rule #9

If the item has ever been inside any part of your body that is typically covered by undergarments, please do not donate it to be sold to someone else. I do not care how much luck that basal thermometer brought you in conceiving your six children over the years, allowing another woman to use it is just gross.

On the plus side... Rule #10

If you donate a purse with the Prada label still attached, I will absolutely buy it the night before the sale officially begins, carry it for the next six months, and not feel weird about it at all.


Mrs EyeCanSee said...

You just summed up everything that is wrong with junk....I mean "yard" sales. I was actually laughing out loud which doesn't happen very often when reading blogs. You my fantatic friend are hilarious! Love the Wolf shirt ...where's the prada bag??

Adriana said...

Too funny! I always hate it when people sell/give things that have stains all over it.

Anonymous said...

I hope you "gloved" up for this! Love the comedy spin on your story!

Word of advice for next year, erect a huge sign at the drop off point outlining the "rules according to Jules." Oh and makeshift camera might also make the ferals think twice before they dump and run!

Are you serious about the Prada bag?

f8hasit said...

Just goes to show that if you sort through enough junk, you may just find a pearl...or a Prada.

Leah Rubin said...

Isn't it crazy what people think they can donate? Used single socks are a particular favorite of mine... Lke someone will see it on a table and gush, "Wow! --I have been looking for a mate to that sock for EVER!!!"

Hazwani said...

Nicely put.

Chris@Maugeritaville said...

If by any chance you come across a jockstrap with a CM monogram, could you let me know? I've been looking for that.

Chrissy said...

Really! What is wrong with people? Did someone actually try on pants?

LC in Hawktown said...

I've had the same experience as you, more than once over the years, with rummage sales - donated items that can't possibly in any universe be "another man's (or woman's) treasure"!! Our church rummage sales categorically refuse items such as old mattresses and sofas, but that doesn't weed out everything. Also love the picture of you in your wolf shirt and the Amazon customer review of it!

kim said...

I am hanging my head in shame over some of these. Mostly because I have done them.

KK said...

You are a treasure. A very funny treasure in a trashy shirt.

The Jules said...

I always tie-die stuff before I donate it, then you can say the stains are meant to be there.

Good name by the way.