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5:24 a.m. - 2005-08-29


I came up with a brilliant money-making idea this weekend that any of you are more than welcome to steal and make millions off of.

I'm like Donald Trump with a better hairdo and gut.

Our neighborhood had a community yard sale on Saturday morning and we ventured out to see what our neighbors no longer needed and we could benefit from.

According to Andrew, the best find was a toss-up between a Mickey Mouse computer game and a brand new Mousetrap game which he has forced me to watch him play for the last 48 hours.

According to Susie, it was the 25 pieces of clothing for Andrew that she bought for $2.50.

Including a pair of Tommy Hilfiger jeans.

For a dime.

So when she found those 25 bargains, a light bulb went off over my head.

I swatted at the light bulb a few times because ... let's face it ... it's pretty f'n creepy when a light bulb materializes out of nowhere and goes off over your head.

I mean ... your first thoughts are to call an exorcist.

Which ... I don't know about where you live ... but when you look up "exorcists" in the Yellow Pages here, you wind up with a big ol' list of nothing.

Anyway ... I had the idea that instead of just going to yard sales and looking for clothes for Andrew, why not go to yard sales and just buy children's clothes that are in good shape and priced cheap?

Girls, boys, infants, teens.

It doesn't matter who the clothes are for ... just make sure they're in great condition and cheap.

...And then ... here comes the beauty of this idea ... you take those clothes home, wash them, and then store them in a closet until the local consignment sales open around town.

For our town, we have three consignment sales that run twice a year.

That's six consignment sales a year for those of you whose math skills are slipping in your old age.

Because ... yard sales offer good clothes at incredibly cheap prices.

Consignment sales take your good clothes and let you sell them for about 10 times as much as yard sales charge.

So let's say Susie decides to sell those Tommy Hilfiger jeans.

She paid a dime for them.

She can take them to the next consignment sale, slap a price tag of $8 on them and someone will buy them up quickly.

I have no idea what percentage of profit that would be because my math skills are slipping in my old age and I can only handle simple mathematic equations that don't include percentages.

But it's a lot.

Susie, who loves going to yard sales anyway, finally deciphered what I was trying to say while clumsily explaining this theory to her through a mouthful of blueberry bagel and decided it was a good idea.

On Thursdays, she'll pick up a copy of our local Buy-Sell-Trade publications and find the upcoming yard sales with children's clothes advertised.

On Saturday, she'll hit those sales early and buy up all the cheap, good clothing she can find.

Late Saturday morning she'll come home and wash all the clothes, tag them with the prices she'll charge and put them away until the next consignment sale.

Then, when that sale comes, she take truckloads of clothes to the sales and sell them for jacked-up prices.

At first I thought "Man ... this can't be very ethical".

But people that operate Flea Markets do the exact same thing ... just not with children's clothes.

And then I thought ... what consignment sale organizer is going to say "Ummmm ... you can't bring THAT MANY clothes in here. I don't want my consignment sale to be THAT successful and well-stocked."

ANSWER: No consignment sale organizer will EVER say that.

And while I can't exactly pinpoint the amount of money that can be made because we haven't actually done it yet ... you could easily say that a $100 investment over the course of two months could result in at least $1,000 in profit.

I'm just wondering ... I can't possibly be the first person to ever come up with this idea.

But I AM the guy that came up with the idea of "toothpaint" ... the liquid paper-like application that would paint your teeth white ... in the late 70s.

And today, you can bleach your teeth through a variety of applications.

So ... when I have a money-making idea ... people tend to listen.

...And then take that idea, modify it a bit, and make millions of dollars off it.

While I work three jobs to pay the mortgage.

Please keep the people of New Orleans in your thoughts today.

According to projections, there could be close to 1,000,000 new people join the ranks of the homeless in the next 24 hours due to this hurricane.

And those are the lucky ones.

It's the 100,000 people that have no cars and had no way to flee the area that are hunkered down in their homes right now that I feel for the most.

Because their homes are about to be underwater.

Twenty feet of water.

Twenty feet of contaminated, dangerous water.

Twenty feet of contaminated, dangerous water full of downed live power lines.

Twenty feet of contaminated, dangerous water full of downed live power lines that will be standing for days ... even weeks.

Over 20,000 people have found shelter inside the New Orleans Superdome right now.

The Superdome has already lost power ... and ventilation.

And those people are about to be under 20 feet of water and won't be able to leave for several days.

I don't even need to say it ... that ain't pretty, kids.

We've been told that we're going to lose power sometime today.

And for once ... I'm glad that's all I'm going to have to deal with.

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