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    Auction Finds

    Too much of a not-so-good thing

    They’ve got more pens today, the woman said to no one in particular, but I suppose she was directing her comments to me since I was standing closest to the items she was eyeing. We were under a canopy in a side yard at the auction house, and on a table in front of us were six boxes filled to the brim with ballpoint pens.

    I had seen them earlier when I made my preview rounds at the auction house, and was stricken by the sheer number of them. We all need ballpoint pens from time to time but six boxes were just too many. They all seemed to be different, so they apparently were not the leftovers from a company’s advertising department.

    Box of ballpoint pens.

    A box chock full of mundane ballpoint pens.

    The woman’s comments had piqued my interest, and since I couldn’t fathom anyone keeping so many, I wondered if the boxes had more than just pens in them. So I dipped my hand into one of them but out came nothing but pens when I pulled my hand out.

    These were not your lovely collectible Cross or Parker or Waternam ballpoint pens, but the kind you’d buy at Wal-Mart or a Dollar store, or get free as an advertising giveaway at an event. They must have come from someone’s office, because this same row of tables held boxes of staples, printer paper, paper clips, two large round containers of pencils and more supplies.

    For me, it amounted to just more junk.

    Boxes of ballpoint pens.

    Six boxes of ballpoint pens at auction.

    I categorized the pens as “things you can have too many of.” And with that thought, I remembered that I had seen other items at the auction house that also fit into that category – some of which were in another box on the same table a short distance away.

    They were plastic jugs of hand soap and odor digester (a bacterial product used to eliminate foul odor), more than a half-dozen of them.

    Jugs of hand soap and odor digester.

    Jugs of hand soap and odor digester.

    On a table across from the pens were tightly woven oversized straw baskets piled on top of each other.

    Woven baskets.

    A group of woven straw baskets.

    Another table held rows of aluminum pots and pans with lids, too many to fit in your kitchen cabinet.

    Aluminum pots.

    More pots than you'll ever need.

    Then I remembered a box of light bulbs in a box on a table at the front entrance to the auction house. I had come upon them in my walk-through, and I had contemplated bidding on them because I recently had to buy some.


    Some things I could actually use - light bulbs.

    Underneath a table were two boxes overflowing with clear footed glasses. Both boxes of glasses – one set etched, the other with silver trim – were actually lovely, and would’ve been nice for a dinner or party.

    Footed glassware.

    A box each of etched footed glassware and silver-trimmed glassware.

    White electric candles grouped in threes on a brass stand were in another box. Someone apparently considered these special because the box contained packing peanuts for protection.

    Electric candles.

    A box of electric candles.

    I suppose you also can’t have too many cheap faux beaded necklaces …

    Colorful beads.

    A box of colored beaded necklaces.

    Or all makes of Ty Beanie Babies and other toys, two boxes of which were on a table inside the auction house. There were enough to start your own collection – but don’t expect to get rich off them.

    Ty Beanie Babies

    Two boxes of Ty Beanie Babies.

    What do you have too much of in your home?

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