I have this reputation for being able to make money on some of the more worthless objects in nature. We had somebody’s notebooks and exam books from a local school and university, neatly filled out in the early 30s. Useless? Sold ‘em as stage props. I was given two fifty year-old fur jackets, in a short style no longer worn. Worthless? Sold one as it was, had the other made into a bunny rabbit and sold that. I was given a massive wooden contraption made for one purpose only, and the donor removed a crucial piece in case she needed it, rendering it useless. Unsellable? Well, so far, but it’s only been ten years. SOMEBODY out there needs a big wooden box with a foot lever.
And there was the time we were given a slew of greeting cards. You know the drill: you buy ‘em on sale, or from a passing Middle School child raising money, and before you know it, you have nineteen times as many cards as you have acquaintances. Well, these are generally no problem: there are other people like you who like to buy cards at a bargain price and use them as needed, and we can sell those right quick. Provided the cards are unused to start with.
In the collection was a box of Christmas cards which were TECHNICALLY unused. That is, they hadn’t been sent. They HAD, however, all been signed by the couple: let’s call ‘em Birdeva and Bruno. We had this whole box of identical cards–blank envelopes included–all signed “Best Wishes of the Season, Birdeva and Bruno”. Now, some people would regard that as useless, worthless, and unsellable. But I had a buyer for them within 24 hours. Mind you, I got only a dollar for them, but it was a dollar the Book Fair hadn’t had before. But, you ask, who would buy such a thing? A scrapbooker? A decorator?
I did, kids.
Over the years, a mere Book Fair manager suffers a certain number of knocks, a sufficiency of insults. I am descended from at least two varieties of Europeans known for their ability to bear grudges long beyond the call of sanity, and to seek revenge at great risk. But you know how it is: the demands of a job and the burden of my fame as a blogger take up so much of my time that I just can’t get around to anything too strenuously vile.
But that year, everyone who had somehow offended me, and whose address I knew, got a Christmas card. My mission was accomplished if just one of those people spent a sleepless night wondering “Birdeva and Bruno? Who are Birdeva and Bruno? Did I send THEM a card? Maybe their address is in that address book we used before we moved. I think that was in the attic next to the old mangle. I’ll look tomorrow.”
I guess this story wasn’t as inspirational as I thought. Still, if everybody who had a grudge sent a mysterious Christmas card instead of a bomb…. (See? I can even find a use for an uninspirational Christmas story.)