So before I tell this story, I must first detail for you Mr. E’s love of the useless junk being sold at your average every day American garage sale.

Now, don’t get me wrong.  I am a big big fan of garage sales.  Just last weekend I scored a garage sale table, a huge box of thread, a counter sized piece of butcher block and a mortar and pestle, all for the bargain price of ten dollars.  But I think you can agree that all of these items are eminently useful.  And Mr. E looked askance at all of them.

Because unless you are shilling old science fiction novels, crappy cds, or half of a bike, Mr. E is just not interested.

Truly, if there is a run down crap ass bike for sale anywhere in the tri county area, Mr. E is drawn to it like a moth to a flame. I cannot tell you how many rickety non working bikes I’ve had to drag that boy away from in this lifetime, but I can tell you that when we moved out of our apartment in Ann Arbor, we had to get rid of four partial bike frames he’d had strewn around the basement for years, and then we had to do the same thing when we moved out of our house in Nebraska.  And now he even owns a real! working! bike! that I made him buy NEW at a BIKE STORE, and it makes no difference.  Just last weekend I had to grab him by the shirt and drag him down the sidewalk as he ogled a ten dollar bike without tires.

This is why Mr. E is not allowed at garage sales unsupervised.  He has inherited a deep deep love for useless crap.

But last weekend I was off my game and I was cleaning something and someone down the street was having a garage sale and Eli wanted to go for a walk and so Mr. E and Eli wandered off without me and when they returned they were wheeling a shop vac, and Mr. E said “Look! I bought you a present! And it was only twenty five dollars! This isn’t really the correct hose for it and it makes sort of a loud noise when you turn it on but I know you’ve been wanting one!” and he was all excited so even though twenty five dollars seemed a little high for a shop vac without the right hose I am trying to be less bitchy about presents and also I did really want a shop vac so I just said “that’s so great!” and smiled and wheeled it into the garage.

And I should maybe add here that I am never ungrateful to anyone’s face about any presents, EVER. I ALWAYS write a thank you note and I deeply appreciate the thought every time anyone gives me something. It’s just that I have highly particular taste, and while I certainly don’t blame anyone for not getting it, sometimes when it comes to Mr. E it’s best for me to just pick out my presents myself.  People always think they know better than you but in fact it turns out they do not. For example I was raised Episcopalian, and so when I was nine years old I had my confirmation ceremony and my father bought me a cross on a chain at J.C. Penney.  I wanted a sterling silver cross, but the sales woman insisted that when I was older I would change my mind, that gold was really the thing to have and that “grown ups” wear gold and I would like it please to be known that I am THIRTY TWO and I still don’t wear gold, so there J.C .Penney lady.

In other words, I know what I like.  But I am working on keeping an open mind.

Anyway.  Fast forward to this afternoon –  I was scraping paint in the hallway because what the previous owners of our house did not cover in travertine or marble, they painted.  Badly.  And since they didn’t sand or prime or anything all the paint in the hallway is bubbling and now I have to scrape it off so I can repaint the damn thing to look just like it did before, and that is why there was paint all over the floor and all over the hallway but never mind the giant mess! I have a shop vac now.  Fabu!

So I dragged the thing in from the garage, plugged it in, turned it on, and let’s just thank god Eli was across the room, because otherwise I’d be spending my afternoon at the ENT, I swear.  I mean, people.  The noise.  The noise emitting from that thing?  When I turned that machine on I fully believe it pierced the barriers of space and time, because never in my life have I heard a noise like that coming from anything and I used to be forced to attend the Highland Fricking Games every summer and they have a BAGPIPE PARADE that sounded like a choir of dulcet angels compared to the instrument of brain melting evil formerly known as my garage sale Shop Vac.

I called Mr. E and tried to make light of the situation “Seriously? Why did you buy this?  I cannot believe anyone would hear this noise and buy this machine!” even though I was kind of totally pissed off.  But then I lost what we laughingly call my sense of humor about the whole thing because after that phone call, I felt a sharp pain and then BLOOD CAME OUT OF MY EAR.

And that is why Mr. E will never ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever everrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr EVER be allowed unsupervised at a garage sale ever again, for the rest of his natural life.

I just hope the damn shop vac can be fixed with spare bike parts.


13 Responses

  1. SNORT! That was funny! But, not about the blood and your ear part. Did you burst your ear drum?

    I have to pick out my own gifts for my husband as well. It’s so bad that I actually tell him where to buy it, where the nearest store is to his office, I make it as EASY as possible, and then I kindly act surprised 🙂

  2. Hey. I said it was kinda loud.

  3. $25?!?!? My husband is also a Crap Collecter and I tease him mercilessly about his 18 (REALLY!) Chainsaws – only some of which work. But $25 for a used ShopVac is highway robbery!!

  4. Wait. Did you seriously have blood coming out of your ear? If that is really the case, then that shop vac is louder than a gunshot and Mr. E is in big trouble. Also, you might want to go to the ENT after all.

  5. I will always remember Mr. E’s stories about his grandfather buying all kinds of random things, including the famous school bus.

    I know a shop vac has its uses, but the Miele could probably do just as good of a job and at about 0.001% of the volume. 😉

  6. OMG a ruptured ear drum? Those suck!

    Thankfully the hubs hasn’t yet discovered the wonder of a garage sale. I know one day he will though and it will all be over for me. He already is a junk collector and somehow without ever going to ONE garage sale! His father came to visit us once and someone had a coffee table on the curb in front of their house? Guess who demanded we walk the rest of the way to our house so he could have room for that coffee table? UGH.

  7. I love the way you write!

    I’m sorry you ended up with a ruptured ear drum, but what a story:)

  8. This is one of the funniest posts I’ve read in a while. I love your sense of humor (or what you laughingly refer to as your sense of humor).

  9. I can relate in a different kind of way. We just bought a house and my husband is buying and/or lusting after every tool that has been invented since the wheel. Seriously. We now own a brand new shop vac. And trust me, they are just as loud out of the freaking box.

    I have to do – he’s now trying to weld in the garage and we haven’t yet purchased the protective gear. 😉

  10. Does your husband really like science fiction? If so, I am going to totally hook him up. I’ll bring him presents to the Blathering.

  11. OMG, seriously about the blood in the ear? Because AAAAAA!!! Or else “Ha ha ha ha ha!” if you were joking, but it did not sound like a joke.

    I can’t really be trusted at yard sales because I always feel sorry for the items being discarded and want to “adopt” them.

  12. Sorry to be laughing at your expense, but this post was hilarious. Your poor ear. Ruptured ear drum for sure. I am here to tell you I have seen hearing aids with pretty flashy designs on them. So if this ear thing comes to that, you may be the proud owner of a pink and orange swirl Miracle Ear..and a life time of martyr material.
    At least he didn’t buy any underwear, lingerie, or breast pumps at said garage sale.

  13. no ear bleeding but…one time someone else was unsupervised and brought home a shop vac WITHOUT A CORD.

    it didn’t even make it to the garage but instead when straight back out to the alley where she found it. jesus.

    (hope your ear’s okay?)

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