Jason Cochran

Stuff you never knew you never knew

Jason Cochran at the World's Longest Yard Sale

Me with the jackalope in its only natural habitat

I traveled to rural Tennessee to cover a uniquely American shopping experience: a yard sale, annually held over the first weekend in early August, that spans some 675 miles of one highway. It’s called, not undeservedly, the World’s Longest Yard Sale.

We can feel comfortable that the Chinese are unlikely to covet this world record and swipe it from us, partly because they made most of the junk for sale at this one.

These funny short segments star the Tennessee locals, me, and one of the loudest jungle shirts known to mankind.

No, I did not pick it up at the yard sale. Yes, I think I risk turning into Al Roker.

Three videos emerged from the mayhem. The first one’s a panorama of the scene. What I say at 1:29 of that one sums up how I feel about this phenomenon.

The second focuses on smart tips for every rummage sale shopper. The woman who ran the booth I’m shooting in at 1:06 got really hacked off about what I said. She overheard me and thought I was talking about her (I wasn’t) and came in for the kill right as I finished my line. My videographer and I high-tailed it out of there — much like a jackalope might, I surmise, when a careless price tag-bearing granny unboxes it — as soon as the take was done.

I especially love the gag at :44. Thank the talented editor Matt Crum for the punch of that one. His collaborator in this silliness was videographer James Houk — hire him, because he caught a lot of brilliant shots and did it in extremely trying, sweat-soaked circumstances. (Love the dinosaur peeking out of the box!)

Finally comes the third one. I particularly like the part where I sell the guy his own knives and the geezer, at :40, who seemed to relish his on-camera debut. Also loved my weird use of the word “ire” in conversation with a game bric-a-brac vendor. And his witty touché about being pretty or being nice.

Jason Cochran at the World's Longest Yard sale

Cheapskate camouflage: Can you distinguish my wardrobe from the other tacky crap?

Yes, I had a total blast. Can’t you tell? I mean, the shirt pretty much screams “are we having fun yet?”

Screams in the bloodcurdling sense.

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