It contains important fiscal lessons and warnings.
A while ago I decided to sell my offroad trailer. It cost me R27 500 but it is a 1975 model so I advertised it for just R10 000. A guy from gumtree offered me R4000 and I told him, ‘Sack! What you thinking!’
Years later its still parked on the lawn and so when a guy said ‘Hey! What’s that trailer, wanna sell it?’ I said maybe. I’m thinking : It has such character, I’m picturing it on the beach in Mocambique, and it has a fitted stove and a fitted water tank with tap and a grocery cupboard and all crockery and a tent and a ground sheet and . . I’m thinking:
Why was he leaning in and examining it so closely? Was he checking for rust?
‘I can give you R700,’ he said. ‘See, it weighs 640kg and the scrap dealers only give us R2 a kilogram.‘
I told him, ‘Sack! What you thinking?’
sack – short for foosack, English for voertsek, Afrikaans for fuck off!
I mean . . did he even factor in the value of that gorgeous brass tap?
So the old man buys 24 pfeil carving chisels from a fellow woodworker for R500. He already has carving chisels, but this is a bargain he can’t resist. He’s fully aware of the value of pfeils – “the best in the business”. His mate probably wasn’t!?
He makes a box for them, adding value:
They gather dust. Years later, he sees an ad in one of his woodwork magazines:
Whoa! So now they’re on the market. R7500 for 24, and the case is free! It’s a bargain, Koos!
I advertise them on gumtree and get an offer: R6300. R6300? No Way! R8000 like I said and not a penny less! Sigh. You paid R500 and you said R7500 Dad. Yes, but they’re worth R14 000! Don’t you agree?! There was one other query by a keen woodworker, but he didn’t follow up with an offer. So that sales effort died out.
Now it’s five months later, and he’s a seller again. I have offered them – 24 plus the case and a woodcarving book – to the same two enthusiasts who replied last time, contacting them directly. Now at R4500 negotiable. Let’s see what happens first, death or taxes.
Done deal: I have R4500 in my bank account and the chisels have been whisked off to Somerset West by a courier company! I now await the regrets and the what-ifs.