The Ro-tato Revelation I never miss my parent's church's annual Christmas bazaar. I'll usually help out on the busiest night--Friday--and arrive well before the doors open at 7:00 p.m. so I can can scope out and acquire all the interesting bits and pieces the congregation donates. I scored: some wine glasses. some danish-design aluminum and wood kitchenware (which I'll give as a gift to a designer friend of mine). the entire Amy Vanderbilt "How to" series, which includes titles such as "How to be a More Interesting Woman" and "How to Have a Great Vacation" (they were published in 1965). some inflatable hangers that I originally thought were shower caps. that they are inflatable hangers is a bonus. homemade strawberry jam. various sweets, including some dark chocolate fudge, which I immediately distributed to friends. two ozz franca framed prints. Awesome! various necklaces. a whack of macrame pattern books, which I'm convinced will see a revival soon. There's a price to be paid for gettting first dibs on all this stuff: I have to work behind the "white elephant" table, where everything from CDs to japanese teapots get donated and sold. There's never enough room to put everything that's donated, so more stuff comes out of boxes as other stuff gets sold. Towards the end of the evening, my mother and I looked at a bag full of stuffed animals and started digging through it to see what's sellable. As I sifted through grubby bears and rabbits, my hand brushed something hard and plastic. I pulled it out and discovered that it was a Rotato, a battery-operated potato peeler. No sooner did I put it on the table for sale when a woman came up and said, "You won't believe this, but on my way down here, I found a potato in the street." To prove it, she pulled it out of her hand bag. "It's still perfectly good." And it was. I sold her the Rotato for 50 cents. Now I know the price of divine intervention.

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