This story starts, somewhat unexpectedly, at a car boot sale.
Car boot sales are not, you see, likely places for stories to begin. Quite the contrary, car boot sales are where stories go to end, where the unwanted entrails and detritus of life are paraded in a muddy field as drizzle and a light fog roll in like old hookers looking for one last, undoubtedly dry, job. They’re inherently depressing places.
In the back of one man’s rusting Ford Sierra is a box marked clothes with the price ambitiously set at £1. Closer inspection reveals that the whole box is now, after sitting in the damp for the best part of 3 hours on a shitty Saturday morning, available for £1 and not simply a single item. The box is opened and inside are jumpers, a range of old, worn, tired jumpers.
But the jumpers were not coming home today, partly because, well, he had enough jumpers, particularly damp jumpers, and secondly that buying them would break the cardinal rule of car boot sales. There are, you see, three basic rules of the car boot sale.
Rule one, never pay the asking price, pretty simple that one, after all we’re dealing in unwanted shit here rather than Faberge Eggs.
Rule two, the only point it’s acceptable to pay asking price is for an actual Faberge Egg. Or something clearly of great value. To show a respect for the seller that will dissipate when you appear on the Antiques Roadshow and it’s valued astronomically high and they get in touch to ask for a cut.
Finally never buy clothing. Or fabrics. The problem with fabrics and particularly clothing is – they never had a good story attached to them. If he’d picked up the box of jumpers and returned home he’d be swiftly informed by his better half that only two things had ever occurred while they were being worn, option one, death, not clearly ideal, and two, reckless masturbation. He’d never thought to question the phrasing of reckless masturbation, after all, his better half as she frequently introduced herself, was, and this she said was a fact, never wrong. Clearly the reckless nature make a simple boil wash with extra Ariel Ultra just not an option.
Next to the rusty Sierra was an older lady with a small car, smaller dog and a fearsome look. As he approached, still being slightly cajoled by the Jumper seller to buy his wank clothes of death, she looked him up and down and stepped forward slightly, “you look with your eyes”, she stated in no uncertain terms, clearly unaware of the primary function of eyes and also the relative attractiveness of her wares. She was clearly in the midst of divorce and seemed to be largely selling off things that she’s previously devoted much time to but he, as he stepped out the door had said looked like “ornamental crap”. The husband as it happens had finally had enough of the soul crushing mundane routine of his life and had decided that, after accidentally breaking the china leg of a china model of a ballet dancer from Italy but ironically made in Korea that had caused his wife to have a meltdown and scream at him, that life could be more than this. He was wrong as it turned out, as he shouted, left the house, walked triumphantly into the road and was promptly hit by a bus and killed instantly.