There aren't enough drugs to make me feel better.


The yard sale brought around an interesting character. The nephew of an older guy who lives a couple of doors down. A guy in his early forties with a baseball cap, a little moustache, and eyes that rolled around a little too often in excitement as he talked. He was having a yard sale on his uncle's driveway, and he came by as my daughter and I were setting up. He gave us a few tips on yard sales and a little history of the neighborhood itself.

The first tip was that no one was going to buy anythng for more than a dollar. The only people who showed up at these things were Mexicans, and they never had more than a handful of change. And we were told to watch these Mexicans, because while some are talking to you, other Mexicans are busy pocketing your stuff. I watched my daughter as her back stiffened and her head slightly cranked to one side. If there was one character trait that epitomizes my daughter, it's her absolute intolerance of prejudice and racial discrimination. I was curious to see her operate in the real world. She tried to ignore him, going back and forth into the house to bring out her stuff.

As we crossed paths in the house, my daughter gave me an incredulous, disgusted look. I commented that it's interesting that some people assume that you share their prejudices. And she went ballistic. She was ready to jump on this guy.

Back on the driveway, Talky, the quasi-neighbor, went on. He pointed out the house on the block that had been used as the Cunningham home on "Happy Days." There was a lot of cool stuff about my neighborhood. Of course, a few blocks away, it got a little dangerous, you know, less white. My daughter missed that one. I couldn't wait for the friends to show up who were going to help her with the yard sale. One young woman is a very dark Nicaraguan. The other guy who was going to show up (but ultimately didn't) is black, with a huge afro. Definitely not white.

The talky neighbor wound up staying at our sale because no one was going near his sale. He had two old cabinets, an end table, and a computer from 1987 or so, a nice old beige paperweight. So, to my daughter's dismay, Talky wouldn't leave. As one young woman was poking through baskets of jewelry, he made a crack about how women just liked to shop.

Soon, pissing off my daughter even more, Talky started dragging our customers over to his yard sale, enticing them with, "Are you interested in some antiques?" My daughter exploded every time the guy left, but didn't say anything to him.

A little later, the Nicaraguan woman showed up. Black shorts, black nasty boots, and a black tee shirt that said "Cannibus." Talky was gone, and I eventually went back into the house where I was working with a client. My peace only lasted a few minutes. "Dad! Come out here!"

I went outside. While my daughter had briefly gone into the house, Talky had hit on her friend. He asked where she lived. It turned out to be the area where he scored his weed. He asked her where he could meet girls. She recommended a club, but neglected to mention that it was a hip hop club. He asked if she had a boyfriend, and then asked her if she wanted to go out. My daughter and her friend were going crazy. "She keeps messin' with his head," my daughter laughed.

Toward the end of the day, the two girls went off to jump up and down and scream at passing cars - a pair of younger Melrose Larry Greens. I was asked to man the table. It was two-dollar time. I sat at the card table, out in the California sun, watching people pick through my kid's crap. Took their crumpled bills. Made stupid small talk. I felt so... so white trash. A can of beer, an animal that looks sort of like a dog and, man, I'm there.

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