Copyright 2011 Joe Brewster/Transgressive Fiction
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Joe passed that same ‘Yard Sale’ sign every summer day for the last 10 years; same sale, different summer.
Yard sales were a common sight in the neighborhood but no one else ran one all summer long. The city had ordinances to prevent that.
Not that he ever stopped. He never checked it out. He wasn’t a big fan of that sort of thing. Flea Markets, Estate Sales, Vintage Stores— all of that stuff bored him silly – but today, for some reason, Joe stopped. He checked it out.
He didn’t have much else to do. Not since Betty died. She was the one that loved these sales. She tried her best to get Joe interested but Joe wouldn't budge. Betty went solo to scour the neighborhood for bargains and treasures.
If it bothered her Betty never let on. Betty never complained.
The sale was in the yard of a modest ranch style home. Folding tables were set-up in the driveway and neatly piled with clothes and books and toys and all sorts of oddball things.
One of the first things Joe saw was a vintage drinking straw dispenser filled with old drinking straws. They were made of paper.
Joe had forgotten about that. How, when he was a kid, all straws were made of paper.
If you didn’t drink your drink fast enough the straw got waterlogged and soggy until it unraveled and fell apart.
On some of his first dates with Betty they’d sit at the grill counter and share one Coke™ with two straws; trying to save a little change to put in the jukebox. Betty thought that was so romantic. Her friends called it a cheap date and laughed at Joe. Betty paid no mind.
The two of them made that one Coke™ last all night it seemed. Their straws became soaked until they were mushy and useless.