Ever plowed through a crowded flea market with a fancycam on your shoulder? You’re gonna cause a stir. Yep, no matter how your bury your nose behind that Sony, some joker in a Tony Stewart shirt is going to ask you “Hey, how much for the camera?”. Sure, you’ll be tempted to offer a biting retort, but you’re only wasting your breath. Save it. You’ll get plenty of chances to use that snappy comeback the next 400 times it happens, which, if my calculations are correct, should be within the next half hour or so. Keep moving. Chances are those old ladies won’t harass you if you steer clear of the figurine aisle. And those sixth grade delinquents with the paintball pistols set on splat - the ones who keep asking you “Is that camera ON?” - they’ll never follow you through the used bloomer section. So put your pride in your pocket and your batteries on standby…we’re going in!
At least that’s what I told myself Friday as I waded into the oven-like environs of the Burlington Hospice Flea Market. I was kind of lost in thought when I first pulled up to the old missile factory location. But one look at the blue collar throng gathered just outside told me one of a few things was happening. Either (A) Larry the Cable Guy was holding an impromptu concert inside, or (B) the world’s largest supply of warped Tupperware lids and Oak Ridge Boy 8-tracks was about to be plundered, or (C) I’d greatly underestimated the popularity of this annual event. Upon slogging in, I discovered all but the first item were true. But no soomer had I confirmed the absence of the Git-R-Done guy than I was overtaken by the stifling air and belch-flavored humidity of the nation’s larges charity flea market. Medic!
Once my vision returned, I realized what I had to do. Get in and get out - before the noxious fumes of a thousand busted lava lamps rendered me inert. But I couldn’t just up and run. I had to prove I’d been there, both in pictures, sound and perspiration. That last part wasn’t a problem - as I sweat like a revival tent minister comin’ off a bender, anyway. Throw in an abandoned silo, a few thousand Hee-Haw fans and the finest in broken sofas and you have my top three reasons why some stories should be shot in a hurry. So that’s exactly what I did. With not a modicum of shame, I roared through the horde like the Tasmanian Devil on deadline. No sooner had I swept the collection of old Chia Pets, declined all offers to sell my tripod and stalked a talker or two - than it was time to go. This I did with the greatest of haste, for some scenes get no better worth time…
Speaking of which, if you’re looking for the complete collection of Junior Johnson cuckoo clocks, I can hook a brother up!