Written by Helen Linehan



Equally well-stocked with wonders and weirdos, the local car boot sale holds no fear for intrepid bargain hunter Helen Linehan. This episode’s got gimcrack and bumcrack.

It’s Wednesday. Let’s go… Arminghall Car Boot Sale, Norfolk.

There’s always a horrible doubt in my head that it’s been cancelled. That did happen once during the flash floods at Easter. I realised I had a problem when I dashed up to the field in gale force wind and rain only to find this sucker punch tied to the fence.

booty 1

I checked the gate just to be absolutely sure.

It was touch and go for a few days. I displayed classic car boot sale withdrawal symptoms. Sudden increase in appetite. Insomnia. Diarrhoea. Bouts of anger. Trembles. Sweats. Hallucinations.

Today, the weather is glorious.

My brother’s birthday is coming up. He is a) The most annoying person: 34 years ago he sat on my head and farted making me actually vomit, and b) The most annoying person to buy for. He is also a generous gift giver, making him even more annoying. Let’s see if I can find him the perfect prezzie!

Let’s start at the bottom and work our way up…

booty 2

The dolls in their home knits smelling somewhat Benson & Hedgy today.




G-strings. Hmm no thanks. That’s where I draw the line.


Perhaps this punter could use them?


A nudey piley-on of Barbies.




And thimbles. Lovingly displayed on the gravel. £8 ono. These remind me of one of the funniest sketches from Mr. Show…


The perfect birthday gift. Sorry? Who framed this? Was it kept hanging on a wall for years? A daily disappointment except on your actual birthday.

But, wait, I may have just spotted the perfect present…


Another fact about my bro is that he is my favourite actor. And sitting on this trestle table is the Lego head of Darth Maul from The Phantom Menace, who was voiced by . . . my brother. Yes! That’s my brother!

When I tell the seller this he seems to not believe me.

“Well, it’s true. How Much?” Eighty, he says.

“Eighty pounds?” I knew he didn’t mean ‘pence’ but my brain made me say it.

“Took me seven hours, that did”. It is very detailed. My haggling skills kick in: “Will you take £79?”

Moments later he is precariously placing it into a greasy Safeway supermarket bag-for-life. I remember Safeway’s closing down about 10 years ago. (Mental note: destroy 10-year-old Safeway’s bag-for-life later.)

As I, victorious, take my leave from Lego man and head back to the sea of cars to find my own, I see the guy on the next stall laughing kind of at me and saying “Seventy nine pounds?!”

Yes. Alright, I guess that was a lot to spend, but imagine how delighted my brother is going to be when he receives this unique birthday present from his favourite (only) sister.

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Written by Helen Linehan

I am Helen Linehan. I am forty years old. Mother & wife. No journalistic experience whatsoever. Four more words...DONE!