SUPERLATIVES IV | Page 46 | Newberry


Q: So what’s the biggest thing you ever sold, Uncle Blogsy?

A: Well, at the end of every Book Fair for the last ten to twelve years, I’ve sold all the leftovers from the Fair, which generally amounts to a truckload or so, maybe some seven or eight thousand books, depending on what people bought. The leftover records aren’t quite so big, but they are mighty heavy. And once I put up all the unused second-hand shopping bags from Victoria’s Secret and Saks and Marshall Field’s, an entire pallet-load. That didn’t SELL, so it doesn’t count, but it did get mentioned on a website that picks the ten weirdest things offered for sale on eBay that week. And once, when someone offered me a storage locker filled with grimy books, I….

Q: When you’re through listening to the sound of your voice, dim bulb, why not tell me about the biggest SINGLE item you ever sold?

A: I don’t inquire about marital status when I sell something. Contrary to popular belief, I don’t take offers on individual volunteers.

Q: You have me rolling in the aisles, knucklebrain, but when I finish patching these ribs I cracked laughing, why not get on with it?

A: I do keep asking you not to call me names in my own blog. I did sell that 111-year run of National Geographic but I don’t suppose you’d consider that a single item.

Q: Did you see the ring on its finger?

A: I wish you wouldn’t steal my gags in my own blog, too. Well, I’ve been called in twice to sell pianos, a baby grand for a condo building that was redoing its recreation room, and a player piano (technically, a reproducing piano) for a friend of the library.

Q: A reproducing piano? I hope….

A: If you say “I hope that wasn’t single”, I shall cut off your browsing privileges. And maybe one ear. That was interesting in that I never actually came within four blocks of the item I was selling; I did it all with photographs. These were sold on eBay “for pickup only”. And twice I’ve just narrowly missed being given cars to sell.

Q: Nothing that big at the Book Fair itself?

A: Well, several of those sets of the Encyclopaedia Britannica which come in their own bookcase have passed through our hands. (Never the frank Lloyd Wright version, dang it.) And, hey, if you’d like to put in an offer on an eight-foot stack of stackable sorting bins, just step this….

Q: I think I hear my mom calling me, Uncle Blogsy.

A: So she admits she knows you, and in public, too. Well, any time you have other questions, don’t hesitate to drop…off the end of Navy Pier. 

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