by VIRGINIA JAMES
Columnist

Spring is creeping in and that means two things: we can finally lock the kids in the backyard again (hooray!), and it’s time to sort the clothes, fill the bags, and get ready to make the easy cash. Consignment sale season is upon us.

This week I participated in one of our community’s larger children’s consignment sales, and it was an eye opening experience. May I share some advice with you? Of course I may.

First things first: This one should go without saying, but please don’t sell something that is broken or missing pieces. Just don’t. If my kids have been wanting Battleship, and I spy yours at the sale, it’s definitely a happy day for this mom. Unless, that is, you’re the turd who sells it with a broken case and a missing gunship.  No lies, Seller #7970 – that’s a genuine loser move! A few white or red pegs, no worries. But if what isn’t there impedes the use of the item, be the bigger person and drive that junk to Goodwill!

In a similar line of thought, please do not buy stuff at yard sales, mark it up, and try to sell it here. Multiple years in a row. Holy Moses! #1415, you gotta know that no one is EVER gonna buy three loose pair of undies in a Ziploc bag! That tag has been on there so long, all yellow and curled up at the edges, even if it says “New!”, no one believes you! And sitting next to a framed Michael Jordan poster and a pair of Oriental slippers!?! I felt like I was in the flea market version of the Twilight Zone!

And most importantly, this: when you are at a sale, with a bunch of people you don’t know, please, PLEASE, do not have a massive GI episode (the kind that likely requires medical attention) in the middle stall of the ladies toilets and leave it. I mean, wow. (Disclaimer: I am mostly looking out for you, my distended friend. I’m not sure how your body could hold 6-7 cowpies worth of human fecal matter, but seeing it like that is seriously alarming.)

And the thing is, while I’m sure you were terrified to flush that volume of waste, that leaves the person who does find it with three choices: leave it too (note: this is what most good citizens would chose, I’m sure), report it and look as if you’re guilty (that same guilt when you say you’re just asking “for a friend”), or deal with it. Well, guess what: I deal with things.

I am not your average bear. When I venture into a public restroom and someone has forgotten to flush, I do them a solid (sorry, bad pun), and I flush. I’m a mom, I can handle it. (But then, of course, I use another stall. I’m not a total freak.) I could see that this was a bit of an unusual situation, but I decided to do my standard good deed. Now, looking back, let me simply say that I can see the imminent possibility of danger just as clearly as you! But at the time it wasn’t registering. So here goes nothing.

  • Flush #1: Bye-bye, paper. Poo? Unmoved. Yes, unmoved. It was absolutely moored to the porcelain.
  • Flush #2: No change. Just wasted water. (Sorry, treehuggers.)
  • Flush #3: This is the part where it kind of started to remind me of that river erosion experiment we all did in 6th grade with the sediment and the water. Yeah, fun times.
  • Flush #4: And this is where things got a little dicey. There was a seismic shift in the mass and suddenly we had ourselves a dam. Thankfully it was on the latter end of the flush and not much water backed up.

But now I had a decision to make. I could keep trying to hid this crime against nature, or go public with this problem and potentially make it worse. Honestly, I chose neither option. I chose to slink away quietly. (“I’ll take door #3, the Coward’s Way Out, please.”) It was toward the end of the shift, so I told the coordinator I wasn’t feeling well (not a lie at that point), got my check, and got the heck out of there.

In retrospect, I am quite positive that the coordinators of the sale soon discovered the bathroom situation, assumed it was me, and thus made my return to that sale a virtual impossibility. As they say, no good deed goes unpunished. Ah, well, I can find Margaritaville t-shirts at the church sale up the road, anyway.