What is a monkeybox?

When I was a little girl, we had a pet monkey named Amanda. My Dad worked in the produce business, so each night he brought home that days culls in a big box - spotty cucumbers, pithy apples, limp celery, moldy oranges and the like. We called it a monkeybox. It was really just trash, but my Mom would take each piece of fruit and trim it, pare it and cut it up to make a beautiful fruit platter for Amanda. Even though it was deemed trash by one, it still had life left in it and was good for the purpose we needed it. That's how I live my life - thrifting, yard saling, looking for another's trash to be my treasure.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

A Little Auction Action

Last Saturday I spotted an ad for an auction that sounded promising.  It started at 10:00 and I got there about noon.  I have learned that most household auctions around here start with the bigger pieces of furniture and the higher end items then they usually sell cars and guns about noon and then they start on the household junk - which is MY THANG.  When I got to this auction it wasn't a household auction.  It was the second of maybe ten or twelve auctions that they will be having at this location.  This old man and his brother liked to buy stuff.  And I mean anything - jars - so many jars - rope by the many dozen hanks, books and books and books.  And tools, electric cords, and on and on. Just so much stuff.  This was stuff out of a shop building, so it was more of the manly sort of junk.  I found out that there is a house, three sheds. FIVE school buses, three semi-trailers, four outbuildings and a chicken house FULL of things yet to go.  The old man, his brother and his children are all gone and the land and it's contents have gone on to a bunch of twenty something grandchildren who want no part of it.  Really can you blame them?  It is a lot.  But not nearly as much as my family will have when I am gone.  I KID!  Ha ha!  

The only things at this auction that interested me were old printers blocks.  Tray after tray piled upon pile.  They were scattered on every trailer and table.  I love these things.  I wanted some BAD.  There was only one other person there that bid on them.  No one else seemed to understand what they were or what they were worth.  But old #512 did.  MY NEMESIS.  He said out loud, "I will be getting all those blocks."  So, every time a tray or box of pile of blocks would come up, the auctioneer would say, "Where's my gal?" and then he would make eye contact with me and #512.  Bidding would start at $5.00 and then I would drop out at say, $20.00, so he would get them.  On and on and on.  I was hoping he would take PITY on me and let me have a couple of trays, but Noooooooooooo.  So, I decided if he was going to have them all - he was going to pay.  I would bid up to $95.00 and stop - he would pay $100.00.  Take that #512!  He had money - lots of money - I on the other hand, had only $30.00 to my name.  He bought SO much stuff, it was crazy.  And as for his number - 512 - I was one of the last people to get a number and I was #198 - so apparently he is always #512 at very auction.  So, if I am ever at an auction and I hear #512, craaaap!  *I totaled up and I bid over $1000.00 on printers blocks.  I don't have a thousand dollars.  Obviously.  In the end, I spent $2.00 on a box of manila paper and some envelopes.  Whomp  Whomp.  

Today my favorite local auctioneer was holding an auction at a small house not far up the highway from me, so I headed out there about noon.  This auctioneer holds up something  like say a Syrup server and says, "Hey look at that old syrup server - you don't see those every day" and then he starts the bid at $1.00.  He's like - this is old and neat and you might want it, but it's not worth a fortune, so let's not go crazy.  They make huge piles of things and sell boxes of wrapped up dishes and you really don't know what you are going to get sometimes.  I was the high bidder at $2.00 on a box of dishes and the other guy kept pulling things out, holding them up.  I was still the high bidder at $2.00 when he pulled out a Pyrex mixing bowl with yellow polka dots - well, dontcha know EVERYONE started bidding on that dang box.  I think it sold for $27.00 in the end.  I was bidding on a box of old jars when they suddenly discovered TWO old Tom's peanut jars in there.  I wanted them to stop digging and just sell the boxes!  But, it is fun to watch.  The lady that got the Pyrex bowl ended up clutching it to her chest with her right boob stuck into it the remainder of the day.  I think she liked it.  

There was a family there with a girl about ten.  I watched her go over to people that had been forced to buy random piles of stuff for one or two things and ask them if they had anything they didn't want. People were more than happy to give things to her rather than take them home.  They filled up an entire pickup truck with cast-offs which was actually quite genius.  WHY DIDN'T I THINK OF THAT AND WHERE CAN I GET A CUTE TEN YEAR OLD?  (Lara - let's get your twins trained PRONTO.)  And, now that I think about it, the Pyrex Bowl Boob Lady gave away the contents of that box I was wanting.  DAGNABIT.

I bid on a box of old quilt blocks and feedsack squares and got it for $1.00 (I know, right??).  When I went to pick it up, the box was wet and falling apart.  The auctioneer scooped it up on a big piece of plastic and the other people all sucked in their breath - "THAT WASN'T INCLUDED" and he handed it to me to carry off.  I went over to put in on the ground and a lady came running over asking me the cutting mat was for sale.  I didn't even realize that it was a cutting mat - I thought it was just a piece of plastic.  Anyway, long story short except it's too late for THAT - I sold it to her for $2.00.  I ran (okay - I don't run, but I hurried my short legs) back to the trailer because there were two fabulous old ledgers I wanted.  When I got there - they had been sold. Boooooooo.  Later, after I paid for my purchases, we cut around the front of the house to leave.  I walked past a pile of things and there were the ledgers in a box full of really old automotive repair manuals.  The man sorting them was wearing a mechanics shirt, so decided he just might not be interested in those ledgers - so I asked if he wanted to sell them.  He looked at them - looked at me and said, "There's nothing in them???" and said, $2.00, which I just happened to have already pulled out and had in my hand (JEDI MINDTRICK). So, I got my ledgers for a great price and I didn't have to buy anything extra.  I never really thought about buying or selling from piles, but it is really a great deal for everyone.  

So, what did I buy you are DYING TO KNOW, RIGHT??????

I got the old metal cart for $2.00 because it had boxes of cleaning supplies and file folders on it. People see the junk and not the good sometimes.  The old metal suitcase was my splurge at $5.00, but I use them to hold things at shows, so I was happy to get another one.  The Sunbeam mixer with two white Glasbak bowls (it works too) was $2.00 in a "choice" lot.  I really bought it for the green milk crate and the mixer was a bonus.  The old jars were in a box lot of something I don't remember.  

The ledgers are on the cart - love them - I found a bank envelope in one when I got home and I about fainted.  It was empty.....:)  The wooden box that opens has all these nifty dividers and ABC markings.  The old sewing box was in with the fabric I bought and the old tool box is really great  it opens both ways and has cool drawers.  As The Breadman was loading up two gas cans that I bought with the toolbox  he said, "I'm sorry they threw in that old toolbox with those gas cans".  Uh - how well do you know me dude?  - I do not buy bright orange plastic gas cans!  I buy rusty old junk.  I saved some dishes and a few other things out of the box lots and sent the rest off to Goodwill.  

It was a fun day out and a cheap one to boot.  Plus - look at that stuff!  :)


  1. How FUN!! Sometimes I think the 'people watching' is The.Best.Part. of auctions ;-) Sorry you didn't get any of the printers blocks, but glad you kept your head about the situation!!

  2. Dang it! There is ALWAYS someone that rains on your parade at an auction. You did get some vintage goodness, though. You were brave to bid up to $95 when you only had $30 on you! LOL! I used to go to auctions all the time and it's so easy to get caught up in the bidding and before you know it you've paid $225.00 for a Limoges chocolate pot, cups/saucers and matching tray.... Uh, (cough, cough) I saw it happen....😳

  3. Great story! I have never been to an auction and it sounds like it is not for the faint of heart. Glad you got some cool stuff!

  4. Holy Cow! Loved your auctions story! Reminds me of the guys who buys storage units and they try to make the other guys pay too much for a unit :) Hoping #512 spent all his money at this auction and has to stay home for while!

  5. I am glad you got some great items even if you didn't get any of the blocks. I've also never been to an auction but would love to go with you, what fun!!


  6. I can totally feel your frustration with the boxes. Did you hear me yelling "STOP PULLING THINGS OUT OF THE BOX AND JUST SELL THE DANG THING!" all the way from here? Oh well, I'm sure that Pyrex Boob Lady and her bowl will be very happy together :-)

    Sorry that money envelope was empty. It could have had your million dollars in it and we could be on our way to our private JT concert :-)


  7. Sounds like a fun time at the auction. I love auctions. Too bad you didn't get any printers blocks but I hope #512 payed a mint for them. Greedy ass. I love that wooden folding box, very cool. I have a cute 19 year old daughter I can send with you to distract people from the good stuff while you scoop it up for a buck. Will that help? :)

  8. I love auctions but don't get to them often. good finds.

  9. Sounds like you had a good time. We used to go to auctions a lot when we were doing eBay sales. It wasn't unusual to buy things from other bidders out of their piles of stuff and we sold things out of ours quite often. We bought a lot of box lots of things, which is what it sounds like you wanted your auctioneer to do - it's fun that way, there are sometimes surprises in the boxes and mostly they are good. I would have bought everything you got, or at least those are the types of things I would be bidding on.

  10. Pyrex Boob Lady just needs a bowl for her left boob now and her "Pyrexa, Warrior Princess" costume will be complete! I'll loan you Chiquito to take when you ask people for their auction cast offs. No one can resist a cute kitty! I haven't been to an auction in ages. I need to do that. Boo 512!

  11. I mostly go to auctions to get stuff for my booths... so as I was reading your story I just kept smiling thinking about how something similar has happened to me more times than I care to remember. Especially like #512! It happened to me on Saturday, in fact. They had a load of bakelite bracelets. The auctioneer just said they were plastic. Except me and this other lady knew otherwise. There were about 20 of them in the lot. We kept going back and forth. At $100 she said "You are not going to get these." So, even though I knew that it was bordering on retail value at this point, I bid her up to $225. Serves her right for being a jerk! Anyway, I could talk auction stories all day, but just wanted to say GREAT (cheap) finds! :)

  12. I have never been to an auction (except the one we held at my grandmother's estate) but I am dying to go except I need YOU there to keep me company and gossip about the other bidders!

  13. That is a tried and true tactic they use on Storage Wars (bidding up the other bidder higher so they spend a lot of $$$) lol


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