If you drive down Humboldt Boulevard on a Friday or Saturday from April to October, you'll see a half-dozen or more signs announcing a yard sale somewhere in the neighborhood. There are so many that those of us who drive down this street regularly don't even process the signs by mid-May, unless, of course, we're in the mood to peruse tables of used treasures (or piles of junk, depending on the sale).
I admit that I am more likely to notice -- and go to -- a rummage sale that's advertised with a nice sign. Subconsciously I believe that the fancier the sign, the cooler the crap. Of course I've gotten burned by this, finding myself at plenty of "art-students-moving-back-home" sales which try to pass off sub par items like a papasan frame (because the cats peed on the cushion) and that hideous black halogen floor lamp (you know, the one with the dimmer switch that most students and first apartment people seem to have.)
But, I digress. My point is that in order to compete with the bombardment of rummage sale signs, people have gotten desperate and creative. Hence, in the last few weeks I have seen some peculiar, provocative signs.
One of my recent faves was a sign reading "Rummage Sale ... FREE PEZ." I actually had no intention of going to a sale and was on the way to the park with my kids, but as a Generation X Pez enthusiast, I had to check it out. And glory be to the sugar-buzz gods, it was true. The sale hostess had dozens of unopened Pez dispensers and was handing them out to anyone who shopped.
The best rummage sale sign, however, was taped to the streetlight on the corner of Locust and Humboldt a couple of weeks ago that simply read "NAKED RUMMAGE SALE" with an arrow pointing west. Unfortunately, I was on my way to a meeting, so I didn't have time to check out if this was pure gimmick or indeed a clothing-optional junk bazaar (hey, it's Riverwest, so you never know).
Since I didn't get to investigate, I can only imagine the possibility of a Riverwest naked rummage sale. There's the "good naked" version that includes beautiful bohemian types hawking barely-burned soy candles, an unopened Pilates video and batik halter tops, and then there's the "bad naked" rummage sale that includes chubby old hippies and an overpriced beanbag.
That said, it's probably a good thing that I didn't check this one out.
Molly Snyder started writing and publishing her work at the age 10, when her community newspaper printed her poem, "The Unicorn.” Since then, she's expanded beyond the subject of mythical creatures and written in many different mediums but, nearest and dearest to her heart, thousands of articles for OnMilwaukee.
Molly is a regular contributor to FOX6 News and numerous radio stations as well as the co-host of "Dandelions: A Podcast For Women.” She's received five Milwaukee Press Club Awards, served as the Pfister Narrator and is the Wisconsin State Fair’s Celebrity Cream Puff Eating Champion of 2019.