Saturday mornings are good for a trip to the fleamarket. I don’t go very often but I do have a favorite booth. An elderly couple sell used comic books for 25¢ a piece. They’re nice people. The Old Lady gives you a discount if you buy more than 8 comics and makes a little conversation while she bags them. She always looks like she’s trying to avoid making eye contact with the vulgar comic covers, and particularly awful ones she flips upside down. Their booth has row upon row of boxes to sort through and I am a sucker for any sale that includes endless searching for hidden treasures. It’s like being a kid again and being given $2 to ransack the candy aisle. I usually wander the endless aisles of junk stalls, fresh fruit stands and homemade crafts before settling in to a morning of flipping through comics and watching an interesting assortment of people pass by. These are good mornings.
On a recent morning of comic sifting I overheard a conversation between the old couple and a fellow who often wanders over to chat from a nearby booth. First, because they both sell DVD’s, they discussed the movie Match Point and Old Guy #1 (comic booth old guy) lamented not having bought it from his supplier because he had never heard of it but now people have been asking for it. Old Guy #2 crowed that he knew all about it and had sold three copies already. They compared notes. They agreed that there definitely hadn’t been a cartoon movie out about cars and some customers just make things up. It went on like this for a bit.
This led to a conversation about business not being so good lately. Saturdays are okay but Sundays it's a ghost town. Things get especially quiet after 3 so maybe they should start closing early. The Old Lady joined in and they began to discuss how things aren’t as good as they used to be in general. People aren’t the same. Business isn’t the same. All aspects of life are different. They concluded with this exchange:
Old Lady: “I still remember when you went out to the yard to get a chicken for dinner.”
Old Man #1: “Ain’t the same now. Chicken ain’t the same.”
Old Man #2 (shaking his head): “S'true. Can’t get a good yard bird no more.”
That is why I like early mornings at the fleamarket.
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