Strolling around Green Lake’s annual citywide garage sale on Saturday morning, something occurred to me:

Most of this stuff is doomed for the curb.

Then — right after darkness falls — all the cheapskates like me will suddenly reappear and start pawing through the heaps like starving raccoons.

Nobody wanted this stuff when it was priced at $2, but once it’s free ...


Broken VCRs and 1970s lampshades magically become priceless artifacts.

With that, it’s time for the Commonwealth’s third-annual “Awards for Outstanding Achievement” in the Green Lake garage sales.

Award 1: Most likely to tempt Eve in the Garden of Eden

This goes to Green Lake resident Jim Seaman (making a return appearance at this year’s award show).

It’s a toy snake, perhaps 15 feet long. Five bucks.

This reporter tried the plush serpent on for size, prompting Seaman to declare:

“If you touch it, you buy it.”

Seaman then quipped he couldn’t tell who was better looking — the news columnist or the snake.

Award 2: Best example of a ‘Whale of a good deal’

Everyone fondly remembers watching thousands of pounds of blubber soar through the air in “Free Willy.”

But perhaps not everyone saw the sequels “Free Willy 2” and “Free Willy 3.”

Now’s your chance.

Carla Goode was selling the complete series on VHS — all for only $9.

Next stop: SeaWorld.

See all eight Green Lake awards — including this year’s Grand Prize — in the May 12 Ripon Commonwealth Press.

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