When storage units are abandoned… these yahoos get to dig through them, finding coin collections, antique toys, and at least one dildo stuffed into an old purse, which gets blurred out for the viewing audience. Our friends at A&E have gifted us with a single episode to get everyone tuned in for the new season of Breakout Kings. I’m not sure if a new season of Storage Wars is beginning or not. But I’m stoked to see the crap-miners I love and love to hate! They’re in Highland, California, near a ritzy neighborhood where everyone has a landscaper.
Drive time. First to comment is the tank-top-loving, hairy shouldered Darrell Sheets, owner of shades for every occasion and father of young Brandon, who talks the least but is right a higher percentage of the time. Their game has been raised and Darrell has eaten his Wheaties with carrots so he can spot a good deal… or something. Can’t fault him for trying I guess. He often makes me laugh for spouting sheer nonsense in dead earnest.
Dave Hester has been a piss-poor villain lately. He pulls up in his Yuuup Mobile, tries to look menacing, and fails.
Not scared o’ you, short stuff. Nooooope!
Husband-wife team Jarrod Schulz and Brandi Passante. He promises to agree with everything she says as long as she says what he wants. Why did he drag her out to this faraway burg? So he could use the carpool lane, of course!
Barry Weiss, the fashion-sideways old dude who likes to buy the crappiest units and break everything in them but one wacky antique. He doesn’t admit this, but you could fill a nice bachelor pad with the furniture he’s destroyed. He often brings people with him, who are nothing if not circus-y, but none of them seem to be able to help him drag a dining table from the top of a pile of mattresses when it counts. Today he’s alone and his wallet is thin. Well, stop buying steak dinners for the entire bridge club, or whatever you do with your episode pay, dude. Or, you know, sell more than one thing out of each unit you buy.
I’m sure this car doesn’t have a bad Blue Book value either.
Dan and Laura Dotson, our intrepid auctioneers, go over the rules. You can’t go in the unit, you can’t touch anything, whoever has the highest bid gets the unit. Whatever they don’t haul away gets cleaned up by production. (Probably. They don’t say that part.) There’s a good crowd in Highland.
cell unit with some wooden shelving units, mismatched crutches and the usual basement garbage. Dave the Authority pronounces it low-end and 70s (which, let’s face it, things were ugly then, by design I guess. I don’t know. I was crapping my pants and playing with Weebles and Matchbox cars.) Dave adds that something is Spanish Mediterranean and shines his little flashlight around like Dr. Garage Sale. Barry takes issue with this, because I guess the 70s were beautiful and high-class for him. He says something in there is formica, which I don’t see. Possibly he is just trying to piss off Dave, who is pretty irritable, which is a winning combo with the know-it-all attitude. “If it brings over $200, it’s too much,” he says, and that’s the last word on that. Well, Barry adds more words, but no pertinent info. Jarrod and Brandi give the unit a thumbs-down and a raspberry. As a viewer, I appreciate their directness, understandability, and knowledge of exactly how much info I actually need.
Now come Darrell and Brandon with their flashlight, which stops on a shiny white orb between a crate and a garbage bag. That’s enough to get Darrell to bid.
Brandon, however, is unconvinced
HereWeGoHereWeGoWhadayaGonnaPayWhadayaGonnaPay? Barry starts the bidding at $20. A bunch of people are piled into this narrow hallway and Laura has to walk up and down to find the bidders. Dan calls one bidder a chicken. Dave’s smug ass lets out his trademark “Yuuup!” just for fun when the bidding gets over $100. Barry counters. Darrel is behind him with his bidding hand on his beard, wiggling his fingers in a way that only makes sense to auctioneers whenever Barry bids. I get that he doesn’t want to look too excited, or even let Barry know it’s him bidding, but man, he’s making sure Laura’s got her work cut out for her. I’d be a crappy auctioneer, ‘cause it looks to me like he’s just rubbing this morning’s McMuffin off his chin. He wins and notes that it’s a cheap gamble, which was, to my mind, an oxymoron until this moment. Brandon continues to openly cringe with his face.
Another raggedy-looking unit. Dave notes that the vacuum cleaner has a $3 price tag on it, which wouldn’t bode well for anyone, I guess. Barry actually agrees with him and observes that the apparent garage sale was more like a garage fail. Is he paid by the joke? He and Laura riff on “loaded,” whether a person needs to be so to buy such a unit. Jarrod and Brandi notice some serviceable bar stools in one corner. “We’re interested,” says Jarrod. Brandi corrects this in an interview, it’s really Jarrod alone who has the interest. In other news, she informs us, Jarrod is an idiot. Oh, these kids. I swear they only bicker for the cameras.
Yeah, I would have walked on by this one.
Everyone stays out of this one except Jarrod and some uncredited, unseen bidders. Dave reprises his nickname for Jarrod, “Pooper Scooper,” and says this locker is perfect for him. Because all of the lockers Dave buys are in pristine, mint, sparkly condition? Shut up, Dave, ya fireplug. Jarrod wins it for $200 and Brandi tells the camera he’ll be sleeping on the couch. I wonder if their couch is from a storage unit, not that there’s anything wrong with that.
Darrell and Brandon return to their unit to determine whether it’s got a helmet in it. Darrell tricks Brandon into getting his finger pinched in some tin box by asking him to feel the edge. And… wow factor? The guy has either a great eye or an inside man, because it is indeed a helmet, a big spaceman-lookin’ thing with a breathing tube. It’s got a smaller little hair-guard inside it, which Brandon puts on, and Darrell references Baby Huey. They dig out a bag with an accompanying flight suit made of some neato material.
“Danger Zone” does not play, but it would if Kenny Loggins didn’t have his own bills to pay.
The next unit is loaded ceiling high. An enterprising bidder gets up on a stepladder, which Barry then borrows. Not as cool as that time he had the guy come in with stilts, but cool only gets you so far. Dave is disappointed, and Darrell remarks that the unit must have been cheaper than going to the dump. Barry starts the bidding at $100 because he’s a crazy man. He’s pretty excited about this unit and has a bad poker face, jumping the bidding up to $500. So Dave gets into the action in order to waste Barry’s money. Barry takes it for $700 as Dave mumbles and grumbles his way back to his Yuuup Truck empty handed.
Poor little bitch boy
Jarrod and Brandi go to excavate their locker. I just appreciate that these guys have a rooter-to-the-tooter attitude about the units they buy. They will sell everything (in theory), and it often adds up. There’s a DVD player, a microwave, some framed kitchy sayings, and a radio. And a gaudy Coach bag with a broken zipper (and no dildo this time). These lockers seem to have a lot busted Coach bags.
Brandi finds this small brown ceramic pitcher with some painted relief faces on it, which starts Jarrod on the first of several “jugs” jokes. She’s dismayed by this, but I maintain that Jarrod’s humor is better than Barry’s, smarter than Darrell’s, and less mean-spirited than Dave’s, so she protests too much. It says Royal Dalton on the bottom, which she’s heard of, probably in her internet auction travels. The bar stools and table that they bring out next, I might pay a few-ten dollars for, if my basement was for entertaining and not for looking exactly like one of these storage lockers with a litter box in the corner.
Here comes Mark, the muscle of Now and Then Thrift. He, too, is optimistic about the Royal Dalton brand. And then Brandi walks away, and I don’t know if she trips over something off-camera, or if she’s just swinging her arm in triumph, or what, but she bangs the pitcher against the door of another unit, or an unexpected corner, or the fire extinguisher thing that’s sticking out. We will never know. The hell? Jarrod examines it and finds that now it’s got a crack. Brandi denies this.
Should have bubble-wrapped that thing immediately
Barry’s unit. “This is the part that never gets old,” he proclaims. I bet it would get old pretty quickly if he actually emptied his units fully. I don’t know why it gets under my skin that he wastes castoffs and disrespects garbage, but it does. He puts on his skeleton gloves, which I do enjoy, and opens it up. He again references his need for money and explains he bought this locker ‘cause it had a lot of stuff in it. Which includes two mattresses, at least one of which is old enough to fold “like a taco.” He finds a plunger, makes a flush joke (noting “down the toilet” for the slow viewers he wishes he had) and suctions it to the floor beside him. Hey, that’s a good plunger. It runs about $10 at the Home Depot, at least where I live. Not sure how well a used one would sell though.
I wonder if Barry gets a bonus every time crap falls on him. It happens an awful lot. There’s a round rubber bin full of cleaning implements perched atop some wooden planks and things that’s just quivering to be overturned. Barry slides a crate toward him and runs out of the way. And down goes the bin with a mighty clatter. That stuff is what never gets old. Barry is pleased.
Barry, just before he “sets it off”
He throws some stuff out, unceremoniously. See? Table, rug, and wedged in the back, some metal signs. There ya go. A stop sign with reflectors on the letters. Perfect for his dorm room. But it’s got a vintage Auto Club logo on it, so it shows promise. Then we’ve got a Tobacco-Free School one, and finally a pretty awesome Death Rides with the Drinking Driver sign, with a rendering of the Grim Reaper straddling a car.
Darrell and Brandon bring their flight suit to Oxman’s Surplus in Santa Fe Springs. I love how there is always a store that has walls lined with whatever it is they dug out of their unit, without fail. It is this serendipity that has Mr. Tube wanting to do this as his avocation. I don’t know. I have enough to deal with having one basement full of crap.
So their item is, in fact, a Russian-made, high-altitude pilot suit made for Chinese pilots during the Cold War. If it was 2001, when these suits were rare, it could have brought in $4,000. But Russia’s been ever more open, we have hotter wars to fight, and the market is apparently now flooded with flight suits – who knew – and the kindly white haired gentleman at the store would only pay $400 for it now. Wow, that’s some depreciation. Sucks, says Darrell to the camera.
No thousand-dollar-bill for ya this time. But that fact kinda made you go “wow” anyway, no?
Jarrod and Brandi go to Burbank, to the somebody’s Whimsy store. Somebody is so whimsical, they have the letters all jumbled and lying on their sides and I can’t read the name. Peter? Virginia is the jug mistress, who explains that it’s Thee Charles Dickens on the spout, and his characters around the jug, which was used for water or whiskey in a British pub around 1910-1930. It’s in good condition, save for a hairline crack, perhaps from being slammed on a bar? Brandi looks guilty but stays mum. Like Jarrod, Virginia would prefer a pair of jugs, but she places a value of $350 on it, which is pretty nice for a ceramic pitcher. It would have been worth $600 if it hadn’t had the crack. Jarrod says he should have left Brandi at home, but I doubt the pitcher would have even gotten noticed in that case, and he might have ended up getting $10 for it over in his housewares section. Hopefully from an English major who later appreciates selling it for extra cash when the online company he works for cuts the content writing team’s pay in half to prep for the IPO. Ahem.
If we sell the damn cup, shut the hell up.
Dave is back at Off the Wall in Hollywood. If I were Dennis the proprietor, I would have banned that dude from my store after he busted up a glass case with… was it an Elvis lamp? But Dennis is a glutton for punishment, and I guess he appreciates that Barry himself is something of an oddity, and he’s into those. The Tobacco-Free sign is worthless. The stop sign is from the early days of stop signs being red cross-country – they used to be all different colors and shapes until the American Auto Association standardized them around 1928. Thank goodness – I would roll right through a yellow stop sign. Dennis is really impressed with the Death sign, and he explains that it’s the work of the Temperance Union from the same era. Dave makes a “dry” pun. The sign is worth three grand! Well played, Barry! Of course Dennis can’t pay all that, since he has to sell it himself. They haggle, with Barry spinning the wheel of fortune, betting on odds, and eventually earning himself $1,700 for all three signs.
PSAs before PSAs got stupid
Final score: Barry: $1,000 profit, Jarrod & Brandi: $550, Darrell: $235, and Dave, the big goose egg he deserves, and money in his man-purse. The show ends with outtakes from Barry, yelling about whether the cops are going to pull him over for driving with a camera in his car (and heaven knows what else).
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