Skip to main content

About bARTer Sauce

Barter Sauce began as an experiment in trading on Monday, February 20th 2006 when I decided I wanted to get rid of an old "laptop"  The idea was that I would trade the "laptop" for an item, then trade that item for something else, over and over for one year. Also, each person I traded with had to submit a story: It could be about the item:  how they got it, why did they make it, something funny that happened to them because of it, etc. or it could be about anything else at all. True or false. Short or long. Just a story of some kind.

I wanted to examine was the transitory nature of objects that come into our lives. I've made the mistake in the past of actually attaching value to material possessions and then ended up with a bunch of crap I didn't want or need. With Barter Sauce, I would be able to enjoy something for a week tops and then it would move on to a new home and a new owner and I would get something else to enjoy for a week.

Here's what I've learned so far:

  • Trying to do a trade a week is just too aggressive of a schedule. I do them when they come up now. No pressure.
  • Objects require a lot of maintenance. Granted, with Barter Sauce, I don't have to perform maintenance on the object, but they do require me to perform maintenance on a website, craigslist, gmail, etc. etc. etc.
  • I haven't been overly sad to see anything go. I've had items worth lots of money and items that are completely worthless. Both are without value in my mind, because I know they are leaving,.
  • The show Becker, starring Ted Danson, has nothing on The Sauce. We beat you fair and square Ted.
  • I hate event planning.
  • You can't trade anyone an old microwave.

Then, on April 18th, 2006, terror struck.

Sort of.

You see, that's when I found out about my arch-nemesis "The Stupid Red Paperclip Guy." I had started the Barter Sauce project and within a couple of months, I received a billion emails from people telling me about "The Stupid Red Paperclip Guy." I was sad. I was upset. He thought of MY idea before I did. What an ass.

This, also coincided with the period of time when I traded myself in to a Barter Sauce corner by trading from a PARAGLIDER to an OLD MICROWAVE in four trades. No one wanted the old microwave. No one. Not even me. So I decided to take the advice of a really smart friend and turn it into a diorama.

I took a deep, calming breath, and decided...fine, I'll come up with a different slant. You see, "The Stupid Red Paperclip Guy" was trying to trade from a paperclip to a house. Because he's selfish. On the inside (okay, I know nothing about "The Stupid Red Paperclip Guy" -- I'm sure he's very nice, but humor requires me to pretend to hate him). I decided I would trade only for art and odd objects and my project would now be named bARTer Sauce.

So on April 18th, 2006, bARTer Sauce was born. It was the same general idea, with one additional catch: at the end of the project I would have an art show and invite back everyone who traded with me to hang out and tell funny stories. However, something else I learned about myself is that  I just happen to really hate event planning. I mean, really. 

Then, on June 11, 2006, terror struck.

Sort of.

You see, that's when Jason (frequently referred to as "The Jason Who Ruined Christmas 2003") accepted in trade a dvd of my friend Blaine's movie: Whatever, Idiot and then never mailed the Tok, Alaska truck stop sign that he promised me.

I thought bARTer Sauce was dead.

But then I stopped by my friend Killorn's yard sale and found some items to restock The Sauce. Now, you might consider this cheating. But then you don't have the ability to make rules for The Sauce. Only I do. Yes, just me. And I say it's just fine.

I reinvigorated The Sauce with:

  • A conquistador diorama
  • A Jackelope diorama
  • A velvet Elvis
  • A Day of the Dead Skeleton
  • and Creepy Baby (which Killorn had marked UP from the Value Village price she paid for it -- and then forgot to take the sticker off. Shame.)

Since then, things have pretty much just trucked along. Jason never has sent the sign. Rats! It was a cool sign.