My lovely wife Minnie gets on this kick every year about spring cleaning. She’ll wash down the walls and tidy things up and get me to haul some old stuff out to the road for the heavy garbage pickup. And as long as it don’t interfere with me watchin’ the first part of the baseball season on TV, I don’t mind helpin’ out at all.
The only problem is, every year, sooner or later, her favourite target becomes the baby barn – which, apart from the toilet, is the only place I can call my own where I can go hide out and get everybody out of my hair.
But, for some reason, even though it’s the only time of year she pays any attention to it at all, Minnie wants that baby barn cleaned out every spring.
Thing is, too, she figured out that the best way to get me to clean it out is to not mention it to me at all. She just waits until I’m down at Tim’s some mornin’ havin’ coffee with the boys and when I get home, there’s Minnie’s arse stickin’ out the baby barn door and a bunch of my stuff in a pile in the backyard.
What in the hell is this? I says to her the other day when I came home and found her out there.
I figured we should get rid of some of this junk for the heavy garbage pickup, she says.
Junk?! I says. And I told her she was friggin’ around with all my stuff and what difference did it make to her if I kept my stuff out in the barn, since she never goes out there anyways?
It’s just junk, Billy, she says. Stuff like this can go in the garbage, can’t it? she says, pointin’ at a box of old light switch covers.
Are you nuts?! I says to her. Some of them would be ten bucks if you went to the store to buy them new, and there’s a whole box of them there – I ain’t throwin’ them out.
And it was the same thing with an old jigsaw, and a pair of old hip-waders, and a lamp with a shade shaped like a football – every time Minnie wanted to throw somethin’ out, I’d tell her how much it was worth and ask her if she was nuts.
Well then, she says, if this stuff is worth so much money, and you really don’t need it, why don’t you have a yard sale, then? And I tell ya somethin’, it was like a lightbulb went off in my head and I could see myself countin’ a big roll of money.
I went down the basement and got this big old blue trunk that used to belong to one of Minnie’s dead aunts, and I took the clothes out of it and put them in a pile down there, and then I hauled the trunk out to the front yard and I piled all kinds of stuff from the baby barn into it.
Rosie had these little stickers she needed for a school project, so I took some of them and used them as price tags, and went and stuck prices all over the stuff and left each thing sort of stickin’ out of the open lid of the trunk.
Twenty bucks for an old fishin’ rod? Minnie says, lookin’ the stuff over. You can probably get a new one for that much.
I shook my head and laughed at how simple she was. No, my dear, I says. This is how it works – you put a big price on it and then you let them beat you down so you get what you actually wanted for it anyway. I’d take five bucks for that fishin’ pole, I says.
Anyways, I went in and ripped the flap off a two-four box and got Rosie to write “Yard Sale” on it. We came back out to see how it looked. I had the sign propped up on top of the box, but the little bit of wind we had kept blowin’ it over.
So I went inside to get the roll of scotch tape from the junk drawer, only I couldn’t find the damn thing. So I yell for Minnie to come in and we’re both lookin’ for it, but we still can’t find it. So Minnie yells for Rosie to come in because she was usin’ the tape for that same school project she had the stickers for.
And anyway, that’s how the trunk full of junk got left alone in the front yard. And I guess it was somewhere between Rosie comin’ in and us findin’ the tape under her bed twenty minutes later that some buddy came along and put the whole trunk on the back of his truck, thinkin’ it was just junk for the heavy garbage, I guess.
When we went outside and seen what happened, I raised holy hell because Minnie made me lose all my stuff, and she blasted me right back because I lost her Aunt Bea’s trunk in the process.
My googly-eyed tool of a neighbour, Dave, yelled over with a big smirk and said we might be able to put it through our insurance. I just clenched my teeth, but so help me, if I see him paradin’ around in old hip-waders and a fishin’ pole anytime soon, I’m gonna puck him in the mouth.