An Odd Clash of Elbows and Community Spiritedness
I went to a jumble sale today. I was not the only one:
Who’d have thought it, but a jumble sale in the village was a very popular idea. There was a queue of a couple of hundred people wrapped around the church hall, waiting patiently to be let in to the bargains.
I made a beeline for the books. Four for a pound. Can’t say fairer than that. So, I bought £5 worth of books: seven Narnia books, three Lemony Snickets, a Harry Potter and some miscellaneous Jacqueline Wilson and the like. Not for me, you understand… My fingers were already being sliced by the weight of my book-laden poly bags, so I steered clear of the HUNDREDS of equally cheap other books and wheeled around to the toys…
The toy stall was set out in a narrow horse-shoe arrangement, with an solid mass of PEOPLE wedged inside. We had to queue even to get a look at the… plastic lawnmower, Monopoly, trucks, dolls, soft toys… there was a tantalising guitar high up at the back… but it was no use, I couldn’t breathe, and the size and weight of the books meant that if I ever got to the front and ever wanted to BUY anything, there is no way I would be able to get my hands free and into my bag to locate the 20p necessary… so I backtracked – maybe I should have crowd surfed- and into the calm of the foyer. Then there was an art stall I couldn’t get near, with hordes of hoary-headed art fans created an impenetrable wall around it.
Next was the junk stall which I really wanted to see. I had another mission. I was looking for the holy grail. Like actually. It’s only a week until my Passover/Last Supper event thing, and I am gathering props. The tables were loaded with white elephants, with more white elephants stuffed beneath. Within seconds I had found it!:
We had a wee look at the linen, clothes and shoes and then were out in the fresh air, having a look at the bikes and furniture. Son of Sanstorm bought himself a office-spinny-chair at £3.
What a well supported event! So many people must have donated, and so many people turned out to help and so many people turned out to buy things.
Alongside this community spiritedness (the event was to raise funds for a local youth organisation) was a contrasting necessity for elbowing egoism.
I had had to suspend my usual shopping etiquette. I approached the stalls by squashing right in and using my elbows to slot in sidey-ways. I had to shimmy to create a bit of breathing space and continue to squeeze on in, either that, or I’d only ever see have seen people’s backs.
Caught in an uneasy juxtaposition (a jumble?) of selfishness and altruism, we decided to move on.
We loaded the chair with the books and spun our way home.