We got a tradition down here on the South End that when we want to purge our bounty, clear out our closets or empty our sheds, we drag the unwanted possessions down to the highway, slap a FREE sign on the treasures and let the passing motorists fight for the spoils. Usually only takes half a day before someone slams on their brakes, jumps out of their pickup, does a cursory investigation, then grabs what items would fit in their closets or their sheds.
Sure, we could haul the stuff down to the thrift stores up north but they would charge money selling them to pay for their overhead and rental so why not skip the middleman and reach out directly to our fellow indigents? I carried out two nice maple colonial chairs circa 1950, cushions reupholstered, mint condition (okay, pretty good condition), set them at the end of the driveway with a woman’s Schwinn bicycle and a rug. The rug was gone in an hour, the bike in a day and the chairs — well, I suspect the new owner needed to find a truck or van, but they disappeared today, two days later. Saved me that hellish trip into town, saved the scroungers mucho bucks, probably saved the planet too although I don’t want to get overly carried away here, just doing our part, no need to thank us or even throw a good review on Yelp or whatever social media you still think is worth the End of Democracy and Civilization as You Know It.
All I’m saying: down here on the island’s Banana Belt, capitalism has evolved. The barter system still works, garage sales outpace the mercantiles now that Tyee Store is ancient history, non-fungible tokens have taken root at the History of the World Gallery … and roadside thrift stores bypass the backlogged goods waiting in ports from San Diego to Vancouver. Future economists, no doubt, will study us. Meanwhile, anyone need a perfectly good microwave, come on down tomorrow. Satisfaction guaranteed!