I’M IN THE SHED
SWAP MEET ETIQUETTE
1. Under no circumstances visit an ATM on the way.
2. Tell your wife you are ‘just going to have a look to see what is there’.
3. Stay up late drinking the night before.
4. Forget to take the headlight rim you are trying to match to finish a restoration.
5. Arrange to meet a mate when there but do not specif y where or when.
6. Forget your hat, forget the sunscreen and sustain third degree sunburn.
7. Eat a pie for breakfast.
8. Join a queue for coffee that hardly moves for half an hour and jiggle from one foot to the other with frustration as you imagine all the bargains being snapped up while you wait.
9. Admire the ruins of an old Triumph motorbike and end up taking it home even though you have eleven motorbikes to restore in the shed already. You are 82.
10. Fossicking through a large tub of rusty crap, cut your index finger and wonder when you last had a tetanus injection. 11. Buy a gearbox and axle for a car you do not own and never will.
12. Wear thongs.
13. Wear underpants with elastic that is no longer elastic.
14. Lust after the magnificent scale-model scratch-built live-steam engine an elderly widow is selling from her husband’s estate and then discover she is asking $3500 for it.
15. Buy nothing all day and go home promising yourself you will not bother going to a swap meet ever again.
16. Pick up a rare owners handbook for a model of car you owned thirty years ago and find your own name inside the cover.
17. Eat a pie for lunch.
18. Grab the missing volume for the incredibly hard to find spare parts manual for the obscure model of Alfa Romeo you own and then when you get home find vital pages missing.
19. Invest in a stunning expensive heav y cut-glass multi-coloured vase to impress your wife and then wrap it carelessly in newspaper and leave it rolling around in the boot of the car on the highway home thus causing it to chip on the lip before you even get to give it to her.
20. Find the only 1949 Citroen 2CV Van left unrestored probably in the world, take the seller’s number, pass it on to car club friends and then for the rest of your life regret not buying it yourself.
21. Buy a dozen cans of remarkably cheap spray can paint and discover there is zero pressure when you go to use it and that is why it was so cheap.
Query whether it is worthwhile to go down the final aisle at the end of a long and tiring day and then discover the best enamel sign you have ever bought just as you were turning away because it was not worth the extra energ y.
23. Agreeing to look out for a spare MG TF gearbox for a mate who could not attend and spend hours asking anyone with MG parts if they have a gearbox for a TF – with zero success.
24. Haggle stubbornly over the price for a vintage Stanley plane and then wonder why you even wanted it in the first place. 25. Admire the extraordinary beautiful clockwork and tinplate toys in glass cases that are for sale for thousands of dollars and then tr y to recall who you gave yours away to when you were cleaning out the cupboards at your grandparents’ old house 40 years ago.
26. Stop and chat to a bloke who used to be in your car club and while you are talking watch someone pick up the grille for the ’32 Ford you have been searching the entire day to find.
27. Decide it is worthwhile stocking up on some chrome polish while it is cheap. When you get home and go to put it on the shelf in the shed you realise you have done exactly the same thing three years in a row and not used any of it.
28. Buy another old Stanley knife (the rare red model), to join seven others already on the bench.
29. Grab a cheap pack of twenty disposable workshop rubber gloves and get the wrong size.
30. Eat a pie for dinner. Some of these maybe based on personal experience.