I went to the shop where I resell books and toys this morning. Lately, it’s been more toys than books. I can’t seem to part from my more collectible books. One of the other dealers seems to realize that. He knows I like to peruse through any new books that he brings into the store. When he doesn’t have any recent Hugo or Little Golden Books, he’ll let me know if he has any toys. Today was the later. He initially enticed me by first mentioning some children’s books he’d just scored. Vintage Seuss and Charlotte’s Web that he may soon put up for sale. I don’t like spider webs in my house but he knows I’d always find a vacancy for Charlotte. He’s a nice guy but he’s a salesman first. I took the carrot. He had my attention.
That’s when he offered to sell me the Coast-to-Coast electric railroad from Sears. For just 5 bucks. The store I recognized but not the store brand. That usually wouldn’t matter since I’d typically buy any toy that was still in its original box. This one was pretty beat up though. Also, I was there to make money too. I didn’t want to spend the $5 because it wasn’t a toy I collected. I only wanted it if I knew I could flip it for multiple more money. Also, if I was going to sell it, how could I put it in my booth, down the row from his? He’d made a nice gesture and I thought not wanting to resell it under his nose illustrated my sales ethic. It was not your typical dealer-to-dealer transaction. I politely declined and said my thank you as I left the shop.
I ended up returning later in the day with some yard sale items repriced for my booth. I’d also forgotten my staple gun. I quickly added to my display and started out the door. That’s when he yelled out to me from the middle of the store. I was mortified before I even knew what he wanted. He has to know that I don’t like attention….and now everyone at the counter was looking at me.
“Hey! You can have that train set if you’d like. Just take it on your way out.”
“Oh. That’s okay,” I said, as I tried to mouse my way out of the door. “I don’t need it.”
I was hoping that would make the passersby and customers at the desk look away.
They didn’t. They all like a good tradesman tale and this was one of them. They wanted to know the outcome.
“Really. Just take it. For free.”
“No. Well, if you are sure. Are you sure?”, as I paused to take another look at it on the bench in the doorway.
“Yeah. I’m just going to throw it in my dumpster.”
Inside I was at a crossroads, wondering how to respond. That’s when I heard myself saying, “Well don’t do that,” as I picked the box up in my arms.
Everyone was still witnessing the exchange and my heart stopped just like a train at the depot.
“Wait. What does that say about me?”
I guess I can’t part from collectible toys either. The joke was on me.