Oh, A “Yard Sale”? Sure, That’s Just What The Government Wants You To Think.

October 15, 2012


*** While The Byronic Man learns the answer to the query, “4 should be fine.  I mean, how many burp cloths could a person possibly need?” please enjoy this old, uh, classic post.  ***

Okay, pop quiz, hot shot…

You’re at a yard sale.  Why are you at a yard sale?  I don’t know, maybe the in-laws are in town; maybe you need 3 mismatched forks and you’re unwilling to pay retail; maybe the car you bought already had the bumper-sticker and you feel it would be somehow hypocritical to not, in fact, brake.

The point is you’re there.  You’re looking at an interestingly shaped bottle.  The 14-year-old girl helping work the sale says to you, “Oh, that bottle kind of looks like the Eiffel Tower!”  Do you reply:

A) “It does, a little, that’s true!”
B) “Have you ever been to Paris?”
C) “I don’t care if it looks like the face of Christ, I ain’t paying no 35 cents.  You’ll take a quarter or I walk”.
D) “You know the towers, the Twin Towers?  Have you ever looked at videos and photos of that morning?  I mean really looked at them?  The way they came down completely vertically?  Like, poom-poom-poom-poom!  Why does a building fall like that? Controlled demolition, that’s why.  And what about building 7?  Marked for ‘renewal’?  Oh, yeah, right.  Think about it.  And the planes – look at the photos of the planes closely.  Have you ever tried to find the windows?  No windows… (continue for 15 minutes)”

That’s right, a quarter. Think I’m bluffing? Try me.

Which one did you choose?  It’s a tough call, isn’t it?  Friendly banter…?  Paranoid rant…?

Now there are conversations you have with strangers, and conversations you just don’t.  As you, O clever reader, may have surmised, someone went for option D this weekend at a fund-raiser yard sale I was helping out with.

Obviously, this fellow lacked a certain socialization je ne sais quoi – (je ne sais quoi being French for “clue”).  But, perhaps, he didn’t know, right?  Maybe he’s mentally unbalanced, or maybe he’s been online so much that he’s forgotten that the physical world isn’t like his favorite forums.  Makes you wonder, doesn’t it?

So, because I’m here to help, here’s a deeply scientific test on social readiness.  Should you be going out in public?  Find out!

1. You’re in the grocery store.  Someone says to you, “I can never tell which one’s are the best melons.” You reply:

Not for thumping.

A) Try thumping them.  You’re listening for a good, firm, resonance.
B) Did you hear that Christopher Meloni is leaving Law & Order: SVU?
C) I once threw a cantaloupe at Christopher Meloni because he stole my idea.  Now there’s a restraining order.  Long story. It started one summer…

2. You’re at a dinner party. The topic of what’s to be done about America’s public schools comes up.  Someone says that schools “need to be run like a business.”  You say:

A) While initially interesting as an abstract concept, it’s overly-simplistic in any kind of real world application and ignores the basic tenets of the public education model.
B) Do you get all your public policy beliefs from bumper stickers?
C) Isn’t it weird that no one ever gets bored of masturbation?  Like, ever?

3. You’re in the desert, walking along in the sand.  You look down and see a tortoise crawling toward you.  You reach down and flip the tortoise on its back.  The tortoise lays on its back, its belly baking in the hot sun, beating its legs trying to turn itself over, but it can’t. Not without your help. But you’re not helping.  Why is that?

A) Is this part of the test?
B) I’ve never seen a tortoise… But I understand what you mean.
C) What do you mean I’m not helping?

4. Someone makes a, to be honest, fairly obscure reference to the opening scene from Blade Runner in his blog.  You:

A) Smile, and pretend to get the reference
B) Scrunch your eyebrows and wonder if The Byronic Man has gone off the rails.
C) Raise your arms and shout, “Blade Runner is AWESSSOOMMME!” then finish the scene in pantomime and sound effects.

Next question, Leon. You’re at a yard sale, looking at an interestingly-shaped bottle…

5. Someone says to you, “Whew!  I am pooped today.” You reply:

A)  I hear you, brother.
B) *giggle giggle giggle*  “Poop.” *giggle giggle giggle*
C) I once tasted my poop.  Just to be sure.

6.  A stranger says to you, with no provocation, “The government engineered the 9/11 attacks using military planes and missiles as a means to put into effect draconian policies and start wars to control oil.”  You reply:

A) While there are certainly some strange elements to that attack, and many unanswered questions, it seems unlikely that the planning could have been carried out with such a strange mixture of Bond-villain complexity and stunning stupidity.  Also, it seems unlikely that a government willing to carry out a horrific attack on its own populace would then be unwilling, or not think of, planting weapons of mass destruction in Iraq soon after, in order to justify their invasion.

At least we can all agree on something.  Not a shadow of mystery there.  Ha ha!  Get it?  “shadow”?  ‘Cause this is the photo with the weird shadow?  Oh, you get it?  Oh.  Okay.

B) Hm, maybe. But at least we can remain confident that Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone, right?
C) So, are you going to buy that bottle or not?

So, how’d you do? If you marked mostly A, you are one wildly healthy, socialized person.  If you chose mostly B, you’re not so much with the social graces, but probably awesome at parties.  If you chose mostly C… well, thank God for the Internet, right?  Best head on over to Amazon and leave some product reviews!

Oh, and that was the last yard sale for the foreseeable future; but thanks for your business.

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About The Byronic Man

Recently voted "The Best Humor Site in America That I, Personally, Write," The Byronic Man is sometimes fiction, but sometimes autobiography. And sometimes cultural criticism. Oh, and occasionally reviews. Okay, it's all those different things, but always humorous. Except on the occasions that it's not. Ah, geez. Look, it's a lot of things, okay? You might like it, is the point.

View all posts by The Byronic Man


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21 Comments on “Oh, A “Yard Sale”? Sure, That’s Just What The Government Wants You To Think.”

  1. truthspew Says:

    1) A
    2) B
    3) C
    4) A
    5) A
    6) B

    So the A’s rule.


  2. Blogdramedy Says:

    Obviously, you missed your true calling. Omni Poll Inc. needs you to call them RIGHT NOW!


  3. Maria Says:

    Holy bargain hunting this made me roll on the floor with laughter… truly, the roommates think me mad as a hatter now.

    I’ve had a very long, very confusing day and this is exactly what I needed.

    Thank you for hitting the nail on the head and doing it with sharp wit.


  4. Kathy D Says:

    Found you through my pal Ms. Dating Rx, saw that one of your tags was “Blade Runner” and was hooked instantly. Thanks for giving me yet another reason to spend too much time in the virtual world. Sigh.


  5. Go Jules Go Says:

    Did I ever tell you in some NJ towns you have to get a permit before you can have a garage sale? Try not to spread it around; it may hurt our “greatest country in the world” reputation.

    “Christopher Meloni…Not for thumping.” HA!

    Was he really trying to buy an interestingly shaped bottle?


  6. Michael Says:

    I bought a 3-D puzzle of the Titanic at a yard sale once. Unfortunately, it was missing a few pieces around the hull. Seemed appropriate, really.


    • The Byronic Man Says:

      They should have made the puzzle that way, and then included a “100% guaranteed structural integrity!” sticker on the box. “Not even God could make this puzzle fall apart!”


  7. Sandy Sue Says:

    And while I know you won’t be checking comments on this one (because you’ll be out at Wal-Baby getting more spit-up cloths), the answer to #5 is “B” ONLY if you can giggle like Ralph from the Simpsons.
    And how could there be any other answer to the Tortoise in the Desert question except “Time (wait for it) to Die” Sheesh, man. Get some sleep!


  8. sj Says:

    I laughed a lot at your Voight-Kampff test. Nicely done.


    • The Byronic Man Says:

      I give the test to my students every year. Just in case one of them is a replicant. And if so, what kind. And what it would take to get them to wear that spray-on eye make up that Pris wore.


      • sj Says:

        You know, just a year ago, I would have been all over your Blade Runner references and agreeing that it’s one of the best films ever made, but I’m going through an “I’m so mad at Ridley Scott, someone needs to punch him in the junk and MAKE HIM STOP!” phase, so…


  9. Soma Mukherjee Says:

    Byronic Man you are the funniest, this quiz looks serious so i will participate and try to win
    1) c
    2) c
    3) a ( i thought the whole idea was to bake tortoise for lunch.)
    4) b
    5) b
    6) c
    7) c …..oh


  10. Archon's Den Says:

    I was sick that day. Can I hand in my essay later?


  11. susielindau Says:

    I used to go garage saling every weekend! Oh the bargains I have missed, but I don’t miss the clutter. How is the Byronic baby girl?


  12. Angie Z. Says:

    The tortoise one broke my heart. Do people really do that? I won’t be able to sleep tonight wondering how many tortoises are helplessly lying on their backs out there.


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