Saturday, August 25, 2007

fur follies

I love a good treasure hunt.

Whether I'm digging through dusty boxes in someone's garage or poking around cluttered shelves in a thrift store, I'm sure I'll find something of value if I search long and hard enough.

I've hit the jackpot a few times. Once I found a milk glass cake plate, still wrapped in ancient newspaper, in an undisturbed box at an estate sale. I paid $3 for it. When I got home, I did a bit of research on the Net and found the very same cake plate selling for $120!

My husband sees things a bit differently. To him, the treasures I drag home quickly devolve into junk which trashes his garage. Greg probably had an ulterior motive when he bought me the Miata, thinking it would limit my second-hand shopping sprees.

You'd be surprised how much you can fit in a sports car--especially with the top down! I've fit chairs, end tables, a kitchen sink and even a dresser in my little red car. It's awesome!

My latest, greatest find, however, could have ended up a felony if I hadn't done my homework. I came across a leopard skin jacket at a yard sale just down the street. At first I thought the price tag read $250, which I supposed was a fair price for genuine leopard fur. When I inquired, the seller informed me it was only $2.50.

"It was Aunt Clara's," she explained. "I just want it out of my house."

"I'll take it," I told her, happy to rehome the old cat.

After I got my smelly prize home (Aunt Clara was obviously a smoker), I got on the internet, anxious to see what leopard fur was going for on EBay. To my surprise, there wasn't a single leopard skin item for sale!

Further research revealed the reason: Selling any item made from endangered species is illegal, punishable by a $100,000 fine or five years in prison. My dreams of being able to fund our retirement with proceeds from the coat suddenly went up in very stale smoke.

Ah well, you win some, you lose some. And Greg won't have to worry about the jacket cluttering up the garage for long. It will definitely be the most fashionable gift at this year's white elephant gift exchange . . .