Check out this year's jack-o-lantern!
The best thing I ever bought at a garage sale was a black plastic Kit-Cat clock. It doesn't work. It keeps time for an hour or two, but eventually the hands settle into a position between 4:25 and 7:40. This doesn't bother me too much, since Kit-Cat's flicking eyes are a little unsettling.
I've wanted a Kit-Cat clock ever since I was a little kid. I once seriously considered buying a new one, only to hang back when I considered the silliness of spending $50 plus shipping on a demented-looking novelty timepiece. I really wasn't anticipating ever finding one second-hand. So it was an amazing surprise to spot Kit-Cat's familiar, manic face at a garage sale in Strathcona.
It wasn't a proper garage sale. There wasn't even a garage involved. Instead, some people from a nearby apartment building had spread out a blanket on a bit of grass by the sidewalk. They were selling the usual stuff—old CDs, shoes, candle holders. The kinds of things you own when you live in a cheap apartment. And a Kit-Cat clock. I jumped on it and bought it for a dollar. How many times in life do you get just the thing you've been wanting for years for a dollar? (I've probably used up my quota, but I'm keeping my eye out for a Blythe Doll, just in case.)
Minutes after buying the Kit-Cat Clock, my friend Dave and I saw a poster for a lost dog. I always read lost animal posters, even though they make me sad. This lost dog was a Boston terrier with the phrase “thug life” tattooed across its belly. Naturally, this blew our minds. With his bulgy eyes and black and white fur, the thug life dog bore more than a passing resemblance to Kit-Cat. In the following days, posters for this dog appeared all across the city, becoming a funny little phenomenon of summer 2008. But I always associated it with the garage sale and my day of crazy good luck in Strathcona.