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The Wednesday Outlook – March 2, 2011

This morning as I walked Freja the wind stung my eyes and face, making it difficult to breathe. And I remembered that last year, on St. Patrick’s Day, there was no snow left on the ground.


There was nothing to do to raise my spirits but go thrifting, so I headed over to Arc’s Value Village in Richfield. Pretty much anyone who’s anyone in the world of thrifting goes to Arc, not that we have any idea who each other are. Oh, sure, sometimes you’ll see the signs. Today, for example, there were quite a few just-passed-middle-aged men scoping out the women’s jewelry. These are guys who sell stuff on eBay for a living. And when I tried to muscle my way in to see the goods, I sure got an earful from two guys talkin’ shop.

Gruff Guy: Things aren’t what they used to be. I started this, what, 15 years ago? Oh, the pickings were good.

Guy With Strange Hair: Yeah, I’ve been in it for 8 but I’ve seen a steady decline. There’s no more good stuff.

Gruff Guy: It’s the economy! Everyone is selling stuff now to make money! They’re ruining it! They need to go back to work.

[Let me interject what I’m thinking here. Number one, I’m trying to imagine all the thrifting riches from 15 years ago when people looked down on it. Number two, I’m getting kind of annoyed because it’s not that easy for people to just “go back to work,” and, in a capitalist system, competition is part of the downer, boys.]

Guy With Strange Hair: I used to go to the Goodwill over on (mumble mumble) and I had so much stuff in my cart that I wanted that I could barely afford it all.

Gruff Guy: Everyone’s looking for my stuff. Old women are looking for my stuff. I can’t find golf clubs now to save my life. Old people. Young people. Short people. Tall people.

Guy With Strange Hair: The only way to sell something now is if you have the only one of it available in the country at that time. I had that last year…

Gruff Guy: You had that? With what?

Guy With Strange Hair: That leather jacket I had. I had the only one available and I sold it for $800…

Gruff Guy: So the only way to make money is to… it’s through scarcity.

Guy With Strange Hair: Yeah, that’s about it.
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