Shark attack!

I’m out in Salinas this morning helping my girlfriend with a garage sale. The whole block decided to have one today, so the traffic is massive. The population here is dominated by migrant agriculture workers, so a garage sale is a great way to stretch one’s wage. But what I saw this morning was completely unexpected. I can only describe it as a feeding frenzy. The moment we opened the door, a dozen heads on surrounding lawns turned our way. In most cases, we were unable to get the stuff out and even set it down. I left the house with a dowel containing about 20 pairs of pants, intending to hang it between two bar chairs for display. I never made it. The dowel was litterally stripped bare in the first 12 feet I traveled beyond the front door. Frugal mothers grabbed wads of clothing out of my hands, ran to corners and horded over them like Smegal, defending their take as they sifted through hoping for a gem: that elusive good buy.

In the first 45 minutes, we were worn out. The big ticket items were gone. Clothes were strewn across the lawn and hangers stripped bare. Then the apparent hive mind shifted. They knew we were done for. The lawn became vacant, and only a few carrion eaters are picking through the meager selection of flip-flops and t-shirts (as well as something Liz keeps in insisting is a “fertility icon”).

Whew. That was freaky.