Thursday, December 10, 2009


Here's something you don't see in the city: people who turn their yards into a business venture.  It's probably just because people in cities don't have yards and therefore, although they've probably thought of the idea, don't have the means to act on it.  There are a few houses I see every once in a while when I've failed in my attempt to plan my driving route so that I make as few left-hand turns as possible while also making sure that the ice cream is bought AFTER the trip to the video store so that it doesn't get too melty and I end up in some neighborhood with all these houses with all their stuff in the yard.  I've found myself in this place a number of times since it's where I always get confused about what makes the most logical sense, gas then grocery store, or groceries then gas?  (I would normally get gas then groceries so that the ice cream meltiness is as minimal as possible, but I get a discount on gas if I spend a certain amount on groceries so I have to figure out what I'm going to buy and there's a lot of math involved...)  
Anyway, the first time I saw this I thought maybe these people just ran out of room in the house and started moving some furniture out to the front yard to make room.  Maybe they were just getting it out closer to the dumpster so they would be ready on "big trash day."  The next time I drove by it was raining and there were tarps over the stuff, as if to protect it, so it obviously wasn't your everyday trash.  It finally clicked (yard sale!) the third time I drove by, a Saturday, and there were people out front looking through it, as if this were just another yard sale full of unwanted baby clothes and starburst clocks that would be packed back into the house later that afternoon.  Only these particular baby clothes and starburst clocks would still be there that night under their protective tarp, only to be unveiled again on Sunday, and Monday, and everyday until some young mother with a taste for kitch and an extra $2.25 (if she talks them down) takes them home.  
These people had taken the idea of the once-a-week yard sale and turned it into an every-day-of-the-week business.  I guess they thought "everybody likes a yard sale, right?  And nobody likes setting them up, or taking them down, or Saturday afternoon when all the good deals are gone the sellers are packing it in, why not eliminate all of that, de-clutter the house and make a few extra bucks in the process?"  And whomever they were saying this to said "why didn't I think of that?"  I guess when they get something new they just take the item being replaced, slap a price tag on it and set it outside. They probably have the most organized houses once you get through the front door.  
It sounds like I'm making fun of these people but I'm not.  I'm wondering why this doesn't happen more often.  It seems so logical. If you've got all this stuff you don't want or need, why not get it out of the house and try to make a little money off of it instead of throwing it away? Apparently a few people have caught on, but not as many as I would have thought.  I think people here place a lot of importance on their yards, so maybe the extra stuff to mow around is what is dissuading people.
I've never seen such an entrepreneurial spirit in a people group as I have since I've moved down here.  It seems like everyone, even people who don't mind filling their front yard with what is for all practical purposes, trash, is always thinking about finding their niche.  Maybe that explains JB Hunt, Sam Walton, and Don (is it Don?  I know it's not Mike, I'm not going to make that mistake) Tyson, all Arkansans.  I'm trying to find mine, but so far I think I'm stuck with writing about other peoples, and that doesn't pay as well as selling your old Christmas ornaments on your front yard.  I wish I had more stuff in this house I wanted to get rid of.  

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