But no, I'm not changing my name again.
I decided to have a garage sale this past weekend. I made signs and posted them throughout the surrounding neighborhoods along with some of the signs I had purchased at the store. I placed an ad in the 'local' paper which ended up being the wrong paper. I found out there are like 6 other local papers that the main garage sale people look at. How was I supposed to know that when all we get is the Wall Street Journal? Hey, I could have advertised globally!
The night before the sale my oldest son Taylor and I decided to drive around and check out how the signs looked. In the adjoining neighborhood, I noticed that two of my signs were missing. My first thought was that maybe some punk kids took them as a prank, but I recalled that this was a retirement community so I decided to investigate further.
I pulled up to a neighbor's house where a couple was out in their yard and asked them if they knew anything about garage sale signs being confiscated. That's where I first learned of the sign Nazi. Supposedly this guy goes around and is the neighborhood watch man who will take down any sign because he's
crazy part of the home owners association and in that neighborhood it is written in the bi-laws that garage sales are not allowed.
I am thankful I don't live in that part of the neighborhood.
After finding out about this old dude and where he lived I was hot and ready for a confrontation. Yes, I went to his house (with my son) and knocked on his door at 8pm Thursday evening.
An older lady answers the door in a t-shirt and underwear! Total granny panties. As much as I tried not to look down I couldn't believe what I was seeing and not wanting to see. You know what they say about a car wreck - you just can't believe what you're seeing and can't look away. That is what I felt like.
I asked if the man of the house was home, but she said he was asleep. So I continued to ask if she knew of any reason someone would take down my garage sale signs. She immediately got defensive saying she didn't know anything about the signs, but there are no garage sales allowed in the neighborhood. I explained to her that I placed my sign on the outside of the subdivision not even in any one's yard. Then she told me to go to her garage where she opened it and walked out (still in her underwear) holding my hand made sign. (At this point Taylor decided to wait in the van - he'd seen enough.)
Sure - she didn't know anything about signs. Puh-lease!
At this same time another couple pulls up asking about their signs that they placed in the neighborhood. The three of them start to argue and out comes the man I originally came to see. He walks out of the garage in his robe and slippers and I notice he is placing his dentures in his mouth. He begins to yell at these other people and obscenities are flying. All I wanted to do at this point was crawl away with my sign.
The other neighbors decide to drive away and the robe-wearing-denture man walks into his garage and comes back out holding my other store bought sign. I was so excited to get both of my signs back that I almost forgot I saw a lady in her undies and a man insert his teeth.
The lady instantly changes her demeanor and starts apologizing profusely. She grabs my hand and starts acting like my best friend, asking about my garage sale and if I am selling any books.
What. just. happened?
I thank her for my signs and start backing away making some excuse that I need to get home.
I had to apologize to my son for having to see what he saw. He might be scarred for life. But I was glad I decided to follow through, even if it meant meeting some crazy, rule-abiding, half-naked, toothless neighbors.