In fact it turned out to be a very lazy, sunny, breezy Sunday afternoon.
Me and my friend Joe hung out at the beach which was being battered by 10 to 15 foot waves and swimming was not an option. So, after laying in the sun for much of the day, a banner toting plane caught my eye.
“Festival Flea Market. Over 500 shops. Visit today.”
Having just about enough of the melanoma inducing sunshine for one day, I said, “Do you want to go to the Festival?”
Little did I know what I just set myself up for.
Lets get one thing right out in the open – I don’t like flea markets. I’m not into buying other people’s crap. Sorry. Just not my thing.
However, how bad could this be?
My mahjong playing Jewish bubbe’s go there to get their “gear.” My brother goes there to buy cheap, obnoxious looking watches that he thinks actually look good on him. And friends tell me about the “bargains” they find at this local mecca.
Once inside, I immediately wished I never saw that plane.
If you’re looking to sell your old gold for pennies on the dollar, there were about two dozen places to do so, all of which promised the “Best Prices Paid.” Want some perfume or cologne? Well, there were just as many places to buy your favorite fragrances as well.
Joe bellied up to the first toilet water seller who immediately tried to sell him open bottles of cologne for $45. That offer quickly changed as the hawker behind the counter said, “But for you, I’ll sell any open bottle for $40.” Like a kid tugging at his mother’s skirt because he had to pee, I kept saying, “let’s go, let’s go” in an attempt to save him from losing forty-bucks.
“Oh Scott, these things are all real. They’re testers that never made it to the department stores. They’re OK.” Whatever, it’s not my forty-bucks.
Walking around some more, there were rows and rows of people selling cheap jewelry, things referred to as “collectibles,” clothing that looked like it wouldn’t hold up after the first washing and then my eyes caught something I would never expect.
Tooth whitening. A row of chairs setup in this hodge-podge of I-don’t-know-what, where you could get your teeth whitened. Really? I’ll stick to the dentist.
Just when I thought I’ve seen it all, we passed the “wigs while your wait” booth where you can buy a wig, have it trimmed and walk home with a new look. Not to leave the men out, there was also someone selling men’s hairpieces. I think I finally found out where (name deleted to protect the guilty) get’s his.
I’ve had enough.
But wait. What is that over there?
Do I see a sign for New York Pickles?
“I’ll have some sour, half-sour and some sour tomatoes please,” I excitedly bellowed to the guy with the Brooklyn accent behind the counter.
“Do you really think these are from New York?” Joe asked?
“Twelve bucks,” the pickle guy shouted.
I handed over my credit card and he said, “cash only” as he pointed to a nearby ATM.
“Yes, Joe. They are from New York.”