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Of flea markets, free markets, tobacco and victims who won’t cooperate

The Head Rat and I went to the local flea market today.  She’s really into scented oil burners and the like at the moment and had heard that a couple of booths there had a pretty good selection, so we went to check it out.

First, I should say that I’m not temperamentally suited for the flea market experience.  I’m one of those “get in, get what you need and get out” kind of shoppers.  The Head Rat, by way of contrast, could inspect every item for sale in every booth and not be half finished by the end of the day.  When she is in Full Shopping Mode, I spend a lot of time people watching.  And watching other things as well.

To begin with, I can’t remember the last time I was in a retail establishment that allowed smoking.  Not only do they allow it at the flea market, they seem to encourage it, with ashtrays about every 30 feet or so.  And, of course, I had left my cigarettes in the truck.

Second, the flea market seems to be sort of an entry level capitalism laboratory.  No one charges sales tax.  There’s lots of niche marketing.  Of interest to me was that more that half of the booths are run by immigrants.  A fair number of those sell items from their original country or region.  We spent quite a bit of time at a booth owned by a woman from Cambodia who had lots of oriental clothing, including quite a few items she had just brought back from there.

Finally, our excursion ended with an attempted purse snatching.  Because it was snowing today, I went out to warm up the truck and then pull up to the loading area.  While I was gone, some guy tried to take the Head Rat’s purse.  Now, the Head Rat is about 5 foot nothing and when people see us signing… well, it’s not too hard to see how a purse snatcher could put 2 and 2 (little tiny woman plus handicap) together and get “victim”.  Unfortunately (for him), looks can be deceiving, and when he tried to take her purse, instead of being a cooperative victim, she introduced the heel of her palm to his sternum.  It was a quick, forceful introduction.  And, apparently the conversation was both one sided and brief.

The Head Rat still has her purse.  I’m not sure what the failed purse snatcher has, although given that I used to spar with act as a human punching bag for the Head Rat when she was in Martial Arts classes, I can guess.

{ 1 } Comments

  1. Rat JrNo Gravatar | February 25, 2008 at 6:35 pm | Permalink

    People should know not to mess with the little one’s they are dangerous, especially mom.

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