'G-Sale': The neverending story

Like a spinoff of "Antiques Roadshow," the film leads us gently up a cozy American byway into the world of garage sales and the habitu├ęs who live for, in and by them. It's a zone of its own, with a "nomenclature" to remind you just what part of the country you're dealing with. In New England, explains estate sales person Vicki Bell (Mary White), they call them "tag sales," whereas "in the Midwest they're more casual, so you have 'yard sales' - things in the yard...." (Speaking of "estate sales," you want to be careful about that, because there's a lot of debate whether you can have an estate sale without someone being dead. Don't get me started.) The uncelebrated "Garage Sale Capital of the U.S.A." is none other than our own Bogwood, Wash. This should come as no surprise when you consider that Bogwood claims more garages per capita than any other town in the country. Also, being built on a bog, it sports a lot of moss, which has given rise in turn to an estimable pharmaceutical industry and at least one obsessive moss collector. That guy recedes into the background, however, when you consider Ed LaSalle (Scott Burns) - that's right, the same Ed LaSalle who designed the infamous fantasy roleplaying boardgame Caves & Beasts, which actually led some of its players to their respec-tive dooms, as well as inflicting "massive paper-cut injuries" on a generation of American children. Then there are BJ Harwood (Robin Douglas) and Helen Ziegler (Tracey Conway), the lesbian couple who can't stop disagreeing, politely, whether the antiques business they run specializes in "retro modern" or "midcentury modern." BJ has this quaint way of feminizing masculine figures of speech, or is it the other way around? In her conversation an especially assertive bull elephant becomes a "she," whereas the couple's most prized acquisition - a toilet seat that once belonged to, and was most certainly used by, Billie Jean King - came from "the master bedroom bathroom." (Billie Jean, BJ ... Coincidence?) Still, I'd bet the milk money that your favorite Bogwoodian will be Dick Nickerson (Ted D'Arms), the towering veteran of the fondly remembered midcentury TV sitcom "Pot o' Gold," on which he played a leprechaun. Leprechaun roles being scarce in the decades since, Dick is now resigned to recording disclaimers for pharmaceutical commercials and chasing garage sales in pursuit of his personal jones, "the tiki phenom," a profound nostalgia for the many out-of-work years he spent drinking in L.A. tiki bars. An addled sweetness is distilled in this man's every Herculean sigh. But credit where credit is due. Deftly as the cast embodies its specific and collective daftness, the film was written, very smartly, by Randy Nargi, who also directed. His partner in crime, co-producer Jesse Badami, also figures prominently onscreen as Angela Cocci, a chow-owning collector still trying to come to terms with her '70s upbringing. "G-Sale" will be shown in the Seattle International Film Festival this Sunday, May 25, at 11:30 a.m. in the Egyptian Theatre. It's a steal. Freelancer Richard T. Jameson, a Queen Anne resident, can be reached via qanews@nwlink.com
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