It's safe to say I'm not a morning person.
I think it started back in middle school. My parents, foolishly allowed me to have a television in my room, and I would concentrate all my efforts to stay up to catch, at the very least, Letterman's opening monologue and first break. For you little tykes out there, Letterman used to come on at 12:30. That meant 5 hours of sleep on a bad Letterman night; on a Crispin Glover night it meant 4 and a half hours.
In college, luckily I bucked this trend. Not because I went to sleep early, more because I simply didn't care about morning class attendance. 4:30 was not an uncommon bed time for my roommate and myself. I wish I could regale you in tales of all drug/sex-fueled debauchery we got into during this late night period; sadly the worst we did was shoplift (allegedly!) VHS movies from the 24 hour supermarket and play video games.
Rebels, I tell you.
Anyway, the point is, I don't get up early in the morning by choice to this day, rather it is the fear of social services being called when my children turn feral if I don't fill a bowl of cereal for them that gets me out of bed. And yet, this past weekend, I was up and atom with the rooster one of my neighbors has stalking his front yard, giddy with anticipation for what the day would bring my way. Why? One (or possibly two words because I'm too lazy too check):
On the surface, flea markets are obviously a place where one group of people try to unload joke on another group of people. And yet it if you dig a little deeper, (and really, it's only a little) you can see so much more going on during the event. And for whatever reason, I enjoy that immensely.
The local community college runs flea markets a few times a year in their expansive parking lot. And trust me, they need the space, because every time the place is packed. I counted 4 rows of vendors, selling just about everything you could ever want. The rest of the lot was packed with cars coming and going, jockeying for the stray valuable space. With Summer shuffling out, the season of flea markets kicks into high gear.
If you think vendors at a flea market simply are trying to clean out the junk in their basement, you're sadly mistaken. Yes, there are plenty of people who see a flea market as little more than a place they can go to get some extra money before putting the rest of their stuff in the nearest dumpster. But that is just a tiny fragment.
The Veteran - This is the vendor who looks at the calendar in January, circles the appropriate weekends in the spring summer and fall months, and then alternates between selling and buying. Much of the bought stuff is then later sold. The flea market/yard sale combination is a way of life for this person. And don't you dare think they don't drive a van...
(Note: This was not the best van I saw at the flea market. There was a much better picture of a Mark III, it's double doors open with the owner sitting there in a sleeveless Harley Davidson shirt smoking a pipe he no doubt bought that day from someone. It was a perfect picture moment. I just couldn't get it because he had a slight don't-take-a-picture-of-me-vibe, and looked as though he was ready to kill to preserve it. I moved on.)
The Collector - The collector, for whatever reason, early in their virginal flea market life, takes a liking to one thing, and then goes and collects it. Whether it's an OCD thing or dreams of turning the niche into a huge profit (and seriously, anyone looking to make a huge profit on the flea market junket might want to rethink their life goals) these people wind up at flea markets with tables of stuff that perhaps at one time seemed like a good idea to collect and offer, but now seems a little dated. Sure sometimes the collecting can be quaint, like when you offer Christmas decorations...
...It can also be sorta deemed a mistake when you're talking about generic action figures all laid out on long tables.
The Black Marketer - Pretty much this guy is a failed music store owner, trying to unload his enormous inventory of obsolete CDs and soon-to-be-obsolete DVDs. There's usually 3-4 people at flea markets with crates of Keith Urban and gangsta rap CDs, still in cellophane. In fact, much like a "diner" that isn't open 24 hours, a flea market just isn't a flea market without someone trying to unload Keith Urban Cds. Now that's a something you can be proud of.
The Crazies - They rent a Uhaul to make sure they can bring enough stuff. What they're selling is can only be classified as bizarre. They're 90% likely to be wearing a tank top. It's the crazies. You know people who offer stuff like this...
I apologize to all my friends who right now are cursing me for not currently shooting a hand held crossbow into my wall. In my defense...you're right, I have no defense.
But that's another great thing about flea markets. I only have to wait another week or so, find the closest flea market, and if I don't find the exact same hand held crossbow, I'll most certainly find something equally as awesome/dangerous.