The elusive quest of bargain hunters


Miranda Brookwell / Youth Correspondent

In Ponoka, the warmer months seem to bring about an incredible uproar of garage and yard sales. Once the rain has lifted and the sun decides to peek out, every corner seems to be loaded with balloons and homemade signs. Warm weather brings optimism, which brings about that attitude of “yes, let’s be productive today,” which in turn creates a feeling that yes; finally, you will tackle Junk Mountain in your basement and share it with the neighbourhood.

Now for my question — what is it about the bargain? What is it about a good sale that drives everyone wild? And what about that sense of accomplishment we all feel once we’ve taken home a real deal (even if it is on a pair of salt and pepper shakers). I’m thinking it’s all about instinct, human nature, and the five senses. A modern day hunter-gatherer reaction, if you will.

It starts with you, an average citizen, driving in your car.You see the signs and the partially deflated balloons. The signal light goes on as you execute a turn that has only been seen in Nascar. You pull up to the driveway or back alley and begin your search. You aren’t sure what you’re looking for, but you’re confident that the change in your vehicle and coat pockets will be enough to take it home.

Then you see it – that wonderful deal. The item could be useless or useful, new or old, but it’s yours. You managed to elbow your way to the table, ahead of your incredibly nosy neighbour. Ha! The satisfaction is overwhelming. You’ve hunted and gathered your prize, and another day’s conquest is over.

And who knows, maybe in a year you’ll sort through Junk Mountain and think to yourself, “What idiot brought this home?” but at that moment, it was amazing, and that is what is important. This sunny day you have lived in the moment. You have made someone’s trash your treasure. You have given an ancient pair of salt and pepper shakers a home. And you paid for them in change. You are magnificent. Happy summer everyone, and happy hunting.