75: Slightly Bent Flugelhorn, Best Offer

75: Slightly Bent Flugelhorn, Best Offer

From Chicken Soup for the Soul: The Joy of Less


Slightly Bent Flugelhorn, Best Offer

Men will always be mad, and those who think they can cure them are the maddest of all.


Lord, please save me from garage sales.

Every time I see one, it just never fails.

I always have to stop and look around

at all the junk laid out on the ground.

Oh, the excitement! What might I find?

What treasures await? It boggles the mind!

It’s usually worthless, but you just never know.

I might find an authentic Vincent van Gogh!

We’ve all heard the stories about some typical fool

who paid ten cents for some tacky, cosmetic jewel

then a week later, the same guy found out with a thrill

that it was Cleopatra’s ring and it’s worth twenty mil’!

Doesn’t that make you just want to puke?

I mean, don’t we deserve to have such a fluke?

It’ll happen to me, though folks say it can’t.

Someday, I’ll score an original Rembrandt!

But so far, I’ve only bought stuff I don’t need

like a mountain of books I can’t find time to read,

old clothes that are already starting to fray

and old records that are too scratched to play.

I have tons of toys (though my kids aren’t yet born).

I’ve got a stuffed iguana and a bent flugelhorn,

a velvet painting of Elvis that nobody can stand

and a baseball mitt that doesn’t quite fit my hand.

I have a cymbal-banging monkey, an old tambourine,

a lava lamp, some hula dolls and MAD magazines,

a banged-up surfboard and a magic eight ball.

I’ve got enough stuff to start my own mall!

My den looks like the set of Sanford and Son.

I know I should stop but it’s just too much fun!

Some people like neatness but I’d be in a funk

if I wasn’t surrounded by cool, kitschy junk!

Searching through old boxes gives me such pleasure.

It makes me feel like a pirate searching for treasure!

It’s probably wishful thinking, but I know that someday

I’ll find something to sell for big bucks on eBay!

But half the joy of garage sales is passing the time

with old folks and children and neighbors of mine.

Just shooting the breeze like folks did in the past

is less common now that the world moves so fast.

I have no excuse. I guess I’m a hopeless case

but I run into garage sales all over the place!

My home’s filled with junk. My family’s in a huff.

I’ve got to have a sale to get rid of this stuff!

~Mark Rickerby


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