Tag Archives: sunburn

This Was A Bad Day. (Conclusion)

19 Aug

August 19, 2016

For those who came in late:

After the Big Bang, stellar matter whirled and coalesced into the plant we know as Earth. It cooled and life formed. Dinosaurs flourished and died, the human race evolved, and eventually Saarah and I decided to sell some things at a local flea market. This turned out to be a bad idea.

It was hot and the sun beat down on us from not just above but, somehow, from behind as well. No matter what we had for sale, we were offered one dollar. If these same people showed up at Sotheby’s they’d offer a buck for a Fabergé egg. The only thing they’d pay over a dollar for might be ransom, but I doubt it. We sold little, I had my share of misadventures, and ROTNAC took me into his confidence. I still don’t know why. I had the opportunity to buy as many Bobby Darin vinyl LP’s as I wanted and believe it or not, still that didn’t make the day worthwhile.

They only people who had any kind of a good day were two little girls who made a play fort under an empty table. I briefly considered joining their tea party because at least they were in the shade, but a grown man crawling under a table to be with two little girls tends to look bad.

Finally, it was time to pack up. The market was scheduled to close at 4 but by noon tables were beginning to pack up and little by little vendors were going home, so by 2 it was already half empty. There weren’t that many shoppers to begin with, but when people would walk by and see it was half shut down they didn’t bother to come in at all. We decided we’d give it another half hour and depending on sales we’d decide to leave or stay.

Typical flea market customer.

Typical flea market customer.

There were no sales so we left.

We began to pack up and then, of course, people rushed over. “THEY’RE LEAVING? WHOA, they must have already made a fortune! Their stuff must be AWESOME! Let’s go there fast and see what we can get for a dollar!” At least that’s what I think everyone thought since we suddenly had every cheap looky-loo at our table as I packed up. And no, no one bought a thing despite making me dig stuff out of the box I had just packed for them to look at.

Saarah and I brought our things out to the sidewalk and since the car was a couple of blocks away and it was heavy, Saarah waited while I brought the car around.

This is where it all goes wrong.

As Saarah waited, I got the car. The plan was to double park for about one minute while I loaded our stuff in the back and then we’d leave. Simple.

What actually happened is that pretty much everyone else at the flea market had the same idea. (And since they were all leaving the flea market, that made it a flee market. Ha ha, that’s awful.) So when I came down the block and got to Saarah there was a huge traffic jam and no room to stop so I had to go around again. When I came back, the only spot was in front of someone’s driveway and since we were only going to be a minute that was no big deal. Oh, if only….

The driveway was a few houses down from Saarah and I didn’t want to leave it running so I shut the engine while I went for the boxes. Soon the car was loaded, Saarah and I were ready to go, and I started the car and-

I started the car and-

I started the car and-

I didn’t start the car. After three attempts nothing at all happened, not even a wheeze. The battery was totally and completely dead. It could not even power a Clinton’s cold, calculating heart. I had noticed that earlier in the day the car didn’t start right up and the battery seemed weak but I thought that it would recharge with some driving. I guess sitting around in the car letting the air conditioner run while it idled wasn’t such a good idea after all.

Well, so far this wasn’t so bad. All I’d need was a boost, I’d just make a quick call and- HONK.


HONK. Yes, it was a car in the driveway I was blocking. The driver had picked the worst possible moment (for me) to want to get out. So Saarah slid into the driver’s seat and I got out and pushed. No biggie, I’ve pushed more than a few cars in my day. I was much younger then but hey, I can do it. So I leaned against the back of the car and pushed and two things happened at once.

1- The car started rolling.
2- I tore a muscle in my left leg.


And it hurt like Hell.

I pushed the car across one of the busiest streets in Brooklyn with one leg in the air. See that, younger me? I can push a car across a busy street with one leg tied behind my back. Plus, Saarah had some trouble steering so as I pushed I also– in the busy intersection, with one leg- maneuvered to the driver’s side window and helped steer as I pushed. Yep, that’s some real man stuff right there.

The luckiest thing is that there was a parking spot right on the corner so I only had to push it straight in, no backing up.

To make a long story short, and maybe it’s too late for that, after we got a boost we went to the closest mechanic where I paid $120 for a new battery and thus, counting all the money we failed to make at the flea market, ended the day with a net loss of $120 since we managed to just break even at the flea market.*(SEE “A Note On Breaking Even” at the end of this post.) And a sunburn, since not only did we sit all day in the sun, the mechanic’s waiting area was, conveniently, a small table and a couple of chairs in the sun.

I slept in the next day.

The moral of the story? I’m not sure there is one, except maybe to never get a table at a flea market again.  


* A Note on Breaking Even

At the end of the flea market, we had earned just as much money as we spent for the table, thus we left with the same amount of money we started with. That’s great if you are in Las Vegas and break even after a day at the slot machines. Most people lose more than they can afford. But that sucks if you spent a miserable day in the sun dealing with idiots and cheap morons and go home with nothing to show for it.



This Was A Bad Day. (Part 1)

19 Jul

July 19, 2016

It did not pay to get out of bed. It began with a sunburn and a ROTNAC encounter, continued with a dead car battery, and ended with me limping around due to a torn muscle in my left leg.

And I may have accidentally become a sexual predator.

It was a bad day all around.

The day began with high hopes. Saarah and I were selling some old things at a local flea market. We did the same thing last year and had a great spot in the shade of a big leafy tree. This year we were set up in a different place against a bright white wall. We started in the shade but after a couple of hours not only was the sun beating down on us, but it was reflecting off the wall behind us and we were getting it from all angles. I spent a lot of time fidgeting and trying to press as close to the wall’s diminishing shade as my belly made possible. But hey, if you’re making money, who notices a little sunshine and heat? Me.

Setting up our table, I had to go back and forth to my car through a crowd of people who were gathered at the entrance waiting for the flea market to open. Have you ever wondered who would line up for the opening of a local flea market in a churchyard next to an old trailer where most people are selling dirty rotary phones? It isn’t pretty. But it turns out there was a celebrity among them! Believe it or not, ROTNAC was there. I kid you not. (And stick around. I have a suitably weird story about him in the next part.)

Imagine this but with more boxes of old floppy disks and broken lamps.

Imagine this but with more boxes of old floppy disks and broken lamps.

Well, it was crowded and I had to thread my way through the people at the gate. As I was going out, I had to avoid a vendor coming in pushing a shopping cart full of used sneakers and boxless VHS tapes. (See what you missed? You could have gotten that boxless VHS copy of Short Circuit you never wanted.) Problem was, I was on the edge of a slope, where the sidewalk ramps down at an angle to the street. As I moved around the guy’s cart, I accidentally stepped off the edge, and just lost my balance so I stumbled a little to the right. Didn’t fall over, just tilted and quickly regained my balance. But there was a catch.

When I stumbled, my hand automatically shot out to try and grab something to catch myself, and it (there is no better way to say it, I swear) went right in between the buttocks of a woman in a sundress. Hard and fast. Went right up and in there. Pretty far up.

Uh oh

Uh oh

The woman let out a high pitched “OOOOHHHH!” I got my hand back fast as a flash and said the first thing that came to mind, which was “whoa! Slippery over here!” Then I kept on going like nothing happened and I wasn’t going to end up on the sex offender registry. I smiled at some random people as if to say “I’m a normal guy! Nothing to see here!” I somehow managed not to run like a scared rabbit. 

On my way back I came in through another gate.

And not long after, I had an encounter with ROTNAC, who may have muttered something anti-Semetic in my ear.


Sigh. There's no picture in the world that can make this better.

Sigh. There’s no picture in the world that can make this better.



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