Marketing Fleas

[Originally written on this date in 2004]

Five days ago Jon and I pried ourselves from the comfort of his bed, piled stuff into the Chevy and embarked on an adventure in selling things at a local flea market here in South Jersey.  Have to admit that I was still somewhat bleary-eyed when we rolled into the dirt lot, waking up to Jon poking me in the ribs and encouraging me to drink some insanely strong Irish coffee.  People had already set up tables, and we had arrived at eight in the morning – there were also buyers who looked as though they had been browsing for a good couple of hours.  After rumbling past one spot after another that was already occupied, we finally set up in back by a fence – figured it wasn’t too bad and started to unload the car.  There sure are some interesting characters around the market grounds, and I was particularly amused by the elderly gentleman who set up right next to us along with his friend.  They both came over and talked to us for a while.  The one guy bought a gauntlet and spiked bracelet off me.

Once things started to pick up, there were plenty of people who stopped by the table.  Not all of them bought something, but those who did had no arguments about the price.  Sold shoes, jackets, shirts, CDs, a gasmask, military hat and coat along with other various items.  Was hoping the knives would be a big seller, but I believe there are other vendors down there who are selling them as well.  Or maybe we just weren’t in the right spot.  Did not have time to go around and look at anything else, but it kept me from spending the money I had just made.  Most of the time we just sat and talked about the people while taking turns having a break in the back seat of the Chevy, which kept us amused that they would slow down to look at us more than the stuff we had for sale.  Guess they are not used to seeing two people with lots of body modifications in the same place at the same time.  Eventually the people sort of filtered out, so we decided to pack up.  Just as we were about to put the table away, some guy comes along and buys nine CDs.  That was the last sale of the day, and then we headed back to Jon’s house.

The schedule of our Sunday Nite Ritual has changed, due to certain shows being over and the general season finales that usually happen around this time.  The line-up was the Simpsons followed by half an hour of trying to find something to fill in time since HBO had something lame on before the newest Six Feet Under – that episode was brilliant by the way – and then came the season finale of Deadwood.  Hoping they start repeating the first season of Carnivale – while I know the second season starts in the fall, I would like to seas the first season again.

We are going to the flea market thing again this Sunday, because we got a box of records for free that we can put on the table and likely make some money off.  Jon also discovered a bag of children’s clothing at the thrift store someone threw into the dumpster that contained brand new items.  He also found this blue and yellow three point tent with  mesh sides and a front opening.  We joked that we could take it to the flea market with us, so then we could have our very own circus.  After having a great side-splitting laugh, we thought about the opportunity more and might actually consider doing some sideshow acts.  In the meantime there will be more dumpster diving adventures so that we have plenty more things to sell to the rubes…er, I mean, customers.

Much later that evening, while sitting on the beach and taking in the beautiful scent of the ocean, Jon shared one of his many life stories with me.  Apparently I had the sense to write it down because I was tired of forgetting them and might want to read them at some point in the future, so I am including it in this entry.

Riot On Texas Road

In the good old days of the music scene in New Jersey, bands often played what were known as DIY shows.  These were often set in backyards, basements or any other venue that sereved booze to the masses of teenagers and twenty-somethings.  One such venue was known as the roadhouse, which was usually some off the wall place in the middle of bumblefuck that you took the time to drive to because it was a place to play.

A couple of years ago, Jon was in a band called Juvenile Delinquents, and they were booked to perform at one of these roadhouses located on Texas Road, which is off Route 9 South.  They were asked to do three sets and requested payment in advanced, just in case things got too rough and they wanted to leave.  Feelings were mixed when they took the stage, but Jon was in one of those moods and was going to do his thing no matter what people wanted.  The first and second set went off without a hitch – in fact, a lot of the more sour-looking individuals had even gotten up to dance and the general mood was fairly decent.

During the third set, a crew from the next town over who had not been invited to the gig thought they might just come in and crash the party, literally.  Juvenile Delinquents were on stage when several dudes with bats were busting through the windows.  A riot between the attending fans and the rival crew ensued, with drunken locals caught in the middle.  The band threw their equipment onto the back of a truck, instruments still plugged into the amps, and hauled ass out of there as fast as they could

The roadhouse became infamous for its legendary gigs that resulted in buckets of blood being spilt on the floor.  No idea if this place still exist, but keep this story in mind if you ever find yourself on Texas Road.


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