One Sleepy Saturday, I held a yard sale. Everything was going like hot cakes. I was only selling hot cakes but boy, were they going like themselves.
Fifty-Five Overweight Uncles arrived looking for bookcases, pots and pans, One Magazine About Fishing, gumboots and a diamond. While their backs were turned and they were chatting about barbecues and being overweight, I hastily constructed several of these requested items out of the hot cakes themselves – pressing them into each other with my stubby fingers and using only my saliva and that of a stray dog’s as a form of adhesive.
‘One Magazine About Fishing’ proved to be particularly difficult. How I obtained such a level of detail - from the afternoon sun glinting off the scales of the Siamese Mud Carp as it leapt out of the river; the gnarled hook cutting into its side, to the weathered features on the faces of the 16 fishermen aboard the Haines Traveller TC170, with only a handful of overcooked cakes and a dribbling dog - to this day I’ll never know.
An Overweight Uncle (who looked uncannily like Geoff ‘Coxy’ Cox) peered suspiciously at the wobbly, undersized, doughy bookcase and shouted, ‘I’ll give you fifteen bucks for it.’ I was elated, but also disappointed as I was selling the hot cakes at two dollars each and the bookcase was assembled from sixty-five. My weekend short-course ‘Business: Is It Any of Yours?’ had taught me that was technically deemed A Loss, and that I should stop rifling through the neighbours’ rubbish.
I had pretty much constructed the contents of a suburban op shop (including The Eldely Volunteer Who Makes Tea Over And Over Again) when the Fifty-Fifth Overweight Uncle enquired as to the whereabouts of his diamond. I beckoned him for him to come closer and whispered, ‘It’s hidden inside one of the hot cakes.’ And then added, ‘And it’s not made of cake – it’s like, an Actual Diamond.’
He began to tear open hotcake after hotcake, sugary pot after crumbling pan, one edible gumboot and then its partner, as I sat there snickering – the diamond was actually tucked safely into the pocket of my elaborately decorated, yet terribly unfashionable tunic.
He tore open the sixty-five-hot-cake bookcase, hot dog holder and bean bag. When he destroyed the 15th century replica of Michelangelo’s ‘Pieta’, I did flinch a little but I had their money, which was what mattered. Crumbs, steam and Angry Overweight Uncles were flying all over. The Thirty-Second Overweight Uncle suddenly caught a glimpse of the Diamond Tucked Safely Inside My Elaborately Decorated Yet Terribly Unfashionable Tunic Pocket, and I instantly regretted making him those hotcake x-ray glasses.
I grabbed my $72 and bolted into the sunset. The sunset’s inside was hot but I was an Underweight Aunt, so they never caught me.