Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Paidea School Rummage Sale - Druid Hills

Technically this is neither a yard sale nor an estate sale. In a way covering school, church and charity sales does not fit into this site since there is no invasion into the home space of the seller on my part. But this sale like church and other fundraising sales do say something about a population in general. In this case the material gathered here represents what affluent parents who send their children to a progressive school no longer need and want to get rid off. There are some opinions one may already have about these parents, one: they are more than likely blue staters, two: they consider themselves progressive and three: they have money and children.
The sale held in the basement-parking garage of one of the newer buildings had rainwater pouring down the driveway and onto some of the merchandise collected inside. When I arrived a lot had already been picked through so I’m not sure if what I saw represented an accurate image of the lives of the Paidea parents. Getting away from the water runoff I headed to the back and examined several tables full of games and kid stuff. Two games of note were The Worst Case Scenario Game and the American Spirit Game. The first tests a player’s ability to get out of terrible situations the later tests one’s patriotism. In these troubled times perhaps the games should be combined. Less troublesome was the Donut Disaster Game. One item of interest was a plastic Planet Hollywood bank, where young savers can save up to invest in bad restaurant schemes. I also found another strange item to put on your hand, the Finger Beatz a glove -drum machine combination.
Nearby on the book table was a large assortment of children’s literature including the usual things I see in my daily work like such as a set of Captain Underpants novels. In the adult section there were at least five books on Anorexia. There were also a large number of works on child rearing and childbirth. One notable one was “401 ways to make your children work at home” perhaps this was used to try and offset the cost of sending one’s offspring to an expensive private school. I examined its index and found nothing on sweatshops. One self-help title was “Gentle Reminders” one of the reminders was “ Some folks think they are busy when they are only confused”
In another part of the sale was a large selection of child safety devices, a ceramic figure saluting the 100th Anniversary of the Teddy Bear, a Chicago bulls telephone and a CRT monitor for $20. Among some debris on the floor was a TV tray with photographs of a child on it. Written below the child’s images was “Jason- Our firecracker”. Near the door and in the water were three exercise bikes, two bread makers and a candle in the shape of Santa with a cigar in his mouth.
I bought nothing.

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