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Garage Sale

Ever have a garage sale? Ever been to one? They’re incredible, and they seem to bring out the most in worst people. Even I, a thick-skinned, terminal misanthrope, was awed at the gall of some people who demand to see your entire house or who pound on your door at 6:00 A.M. to get a “head start” on a garage sale you announced in the paper starting at 9:00 A.M. Getting the message?

Let’s have a garage sale at your mark’s residence. Or let’s have it in your mark’s name but at the neighbor’s address. List all sorts of outlandish bargains and tell people you have guns, old china, glassware, and dozens of inexpensive antiques. You want obnoxious gawkers, not buyers. Remember that! Naturally, the mark and/or the neighbor will know nothing of this until the first knock on the door at 6:00 A.M.

“I used to get all sorts of odd-hour calls from home-remodeling-and-repair salespeople at this one local company,” recalls Jim Kenslogger. “I must have called them a half dozen times to ask that my name and number be removed from their files. No luck. So I decided to change my luck.

“I learned who their chief executive was and pulled the bogus-garage-sale number on him, complete with newspaper ad. Then I started calling his home at odd hours, asking if he were the party having the garage sale. He was really out of sorts after about a week of this.

“I stopped, and about ten days later I got another routine sales call from his company. I called right back, asked to speak to that executive, and told him I was damn tired of being bothered by his salespeople and could he get them to stop calling me. He pledged he would and told me wearily, ‘Buddy, I know just how you feel. I’ll surely take care of it for you.’ I had no trouble after that, so neither did he.”

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