Posted by: Jack | September 30, 2008

REI Used Gear Sale #2

Taking place at the slightly smaller REI in Clackamas, this sale was not nearly as lucritive as the previous; despite having taken the initiative to camp out over night. We were among the first 50 into the sale but the selection of gear was just not as extensive.

We snagged a few wanted, but not particularly exciting, items:

  • Air matress – with built in foot pump so no batteries/outlet needed.
  • Compact camping stove (big car camping kind, not backpacking)
  • Socks
  • Spare cycling cleats
  • Klean Kanteen bottle
  • Camp pillow

All practical stuff. The highlight of the event however, came around 8:30 am — 30 minutes before the sale opened. At this time, an REI “Outdoors Specialist” comes through the line giving numbered tickets to the first 50 people to ensure that those who have waited the longest get in first. At least half of this first group had camped and the rest were here well before 5 am. Just before we get our tickets, a middle-aged woman eases her way into the line with her two ~10 year old children. As a result, they each received a ticket. Everyone else exchanges glances of frustration and disgust. A sharp ear could catch whispers of, “It was a long night for some of us” and “Well aren’t we the stupid ones; camping all night when we could have just shown up now.” All comments were of course kept relatively private as fear of confrontation has become extremely pervasive in our culture.

Getting back to why this was the highlight of the event. Knowing it would bother me all day if I didn’t do anything, I politely turned to the woman and asked where she had camped, implying that if she was in line right behind us we obviously would have seen her earlier. She ruined any chance of me letting her off the hook when she replied, “Oh…we actually just got here…and I saw this big gap in the line…so I figured it was ok…to…”. Precisely the sort of response I was hoping for. I proceeded to call her out on her attempt to cloak herself in innocene and described how any ethical individual would proceed to the end of the line, knowing damn well that that is their rightful place.

She attempted to recover briefly, explaining how she already has tickets and wouldn’t know what to do with them if she got out of line. Again, this was an obvious display of feigning ignorance. I explained the obvious solution and she conceeded.

I’m going to revise my earlier statement. The highlight of the event was walking out of the sale around 9:30 and catching the eye of the same woman who was still at the back of the line and would probably remain there for the next two hours.



  1. Eh she deserved it cheaters never win

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