Danny Tyree: In need of federal control of garage sales
Having just helped my mother with her annual yard sale, I have come to a disturbing conclusion.
As much as it pains me to say it, for the sake of buyers and sellers alike, the federal government needs to intervene in the yard/garage sale industries.
Homeowners displaying collectibles for sale need to receive some sort of stipend for enduring endless sob stories from shoppers whose mothers saw fit to dispose of valuable baseball cards, etc.
And the shoppers themselves need consoling via a free copy of the LGBT-approved book "Heather Has Two Mommies — And Both of Them Threw Out Her Comic Books!"
Call it the nanny state gone amok, but we need protection from ourselves. Folks displaying unappreciated shower gifts they received in the past six months need a spin doctor to help them respond when the gift giver unexpectedly shows up at the sale. ("Believe me, I discovered at the same time you did that this ‘Steve and Marcia, Wishing You A Lifetime of Wedded Bliss’ platter was a shower gift.")
Likewise, sellers may need emergency relocation if their minister makes a surprise visit and sees all the shot glasses, bawdy T-shirts and well-thumbed "Playboy" magazines.
This service is popularly known as the "Federal Jehovah’s Witness Protection Program."
Peace negotiators must be rushed in to quell angry mobs in normally quiet cul-de-sacs where one homeowner always thoughtfully advertises "Free Beer For 18-Wheeler Drivers."
The Department of Education should give crash courses to children of overprotective mothers, so when mom warns, "Don’t touch those toys — you don’t know WHERE they’ve been," the youngster can retort, "Don’t reelect that congressman — you don’t know WHERE he’s been."
Troops must be dispatched to those homes with towering stacks of used romance novels.
Deodorant, nose hair trimmers and 21st century underwear will be airlifted to the males in the household, and a tactical nuclear strike will take out their wide-screen football games.
Public service announcements could help sellers be more selective about buying souvenirs, trinkets and whatnots in the future. ("If you find yourself exclaiming, ‘Hey, I forgot I had that!,’ maybe the memorabilia wasn’t so doggone memorable in the first place.")
Perhaps the U.S. Forest Service could do something about all those unused fondue sets and treadmills that have crossbred and gone feral.
For the shoppers who set out to buy 25-cent items armed only with a roll of twenties, the Bureau of Printing and Engraving could produce a special Boy Scout-themed bill. ("Always be prepared — for dirty looks!")
Maybe the FBI could offer help to sellers who line up thousands of sale items only to receive countless creepy inquiries about the clothesline, the mailbox, the family lawnmower and other not-for-sale items. ("So, how much for your grandmother’s ashes in that hermetically sealed box tucked under your upstairs bed?")
The sellers who won’t budge from the latest "retail plus 20 percent" prices on their heirloom George Foreman grills need a surprise visit from the Environmental Protection Agency. ("Contrary to your beliefs, our inspection really does detect an aroma wafting from your bathroom.")
Yes, the issue is a puzzle with a couple of pieces missing.
Speaking of which, how many popcorn poppers with slightly chewed cords would you take for that puzzle with a couple of...?
Danny Tyree welcomes reader e-mail responses at firstname.lastname@example.org.