The Almost X-Rated Garage Sale Reboot

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After a weekend of family holiday time, I thought y’all might appreciate a family story about my grandmother and “The Almost X-Rated Garage Sale.” Since y’all are my posse, I’ll give you all the deets (except the parts that would get me disowned).

It all began with a kitchen table discussion about the “color of the covers” for Harlequin/Silhouette romance novels…

I distinctly remember getting the following information at a writer’s meeting:

The colors on the covers of Harlequin and Silhouette category romances tell you about the amount of sex you will find in the books. (At least they used to.)

  • Pastels such as pink or blue will have no actual sex scenes and will end in marriage.
  • Deep greens, blues, purples will have at least one sex scene and will end in marriage.
  • Red covers will have multiple sex scenes and do NOT have to end in marriage.

Here’s a great post on what Harlequin has to say about their covers.

You know I had to clue my female relatives into the whole Red Covers thing. They love being “in the know.”

Several of the ladies immediately went in together on a monthly subscription. My mom’s best friend got them delivered to her house because she has a covered porch. (Remember this is a small town in Missouri.)

Y’all have heard about my family before. We’ve got creative potty-mouths and gang-banging chickens. There’s even a Bag Whore or two. Very few subjects are sacred.

[Don’t say I didn’t warn you.]

The friend would read them and pass them on until everyone who was interested got a peek. We had a fine time talking about the anatomical impossibility of some of the scenes and, when one of the authors described a hero as “God of Beefcake,” all the ladies in my family nearly peed themselves laughing.

Apparently, my grandmother was into the red covers. Really into them.

When she passed away, there were TONS of Blaze novels and various “red covers” at her house. She never said a word…just somehow made sure she was the final stop  on the “Red-Cover Train.”

And my mom and aunties also found other  things. Things we REALLY didn’t want to know about…

They were cleaning out my grandmother’s bedroom when one auntie opened the drawers of the bedside table. Her jaw dropped and all she could say was: “Oh. My. God.”

My other aunt walked over and peered over the first one’s shoulder before sitting down on the bed and saying, “Oh. My. GOSH” a ton of times.

Apparently, there were some…um…personal massagers in that there drawer.

My mother, being who she was (hilarious), immediately started cracking jokes about “what a big bang the garage sale was gonna be.”

My favorite gems:

  • “Maybe we can curtain a corner off like they do in the video store and sell them in there.” (Everyone wanted to know how she knew about the adult section in the video store.)
  • “We could have PG-13 and X-rated sections – one would just have the Red Covers and the other would have BOTH.”
  • “What if we get some of that raffia like they have at the mall and tie the Red Covers together with the massagers?”
  • “Do you think it would make things more upscale if we included a pretty washcloth like they do at The Body Shop?”

I was over in California, busting a gut laughing about all this. I didn’t get to see any of the items in question (thank you, Jesus), but I heard about them for weeks.

Finally, the garage sale weekend came and I could NOT wait to hear all the details. I called my mom the minute I woke up Sunday, asking “How did it go??? Did you get arrested for porn trafficking?”

“Your aunt wouldn’t let me do it,” she said. “She was afraid we’d end up in the Daily News and she’d have to go into seclusion.”

“Well, what did you do with all of it then?”

“We gave it to Goodwill.”

And the jokes started all over again…

What’s the strangest thing you’ve ever seen at a garage sale? Have you ever sold anything you were embarrassed about later? Ever been written up in the paper for it? Enquiring minds LOVE to know these things here at More Cowbell!


About Jenny Hansen

Avid seeker of "more"...More words, more creativity, More Cowbell! An extrovert who's terribly fond of silliness. Founding blogger at Writers In The Storm ( Write on!
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19 Responses to The Almost X-Rated Garage Sale Reboot

  1. K.B. Owen says:

    ROFL…go grandma!! She went out with a bang. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jenny Hansen says:

      She most certainly did, Kathy. My aunt used to do her laundry and kept having to repair the um…crotch area of the pants. She never knew why until the bedroom clean-out. Evidently Grandmother got more action than most of us.


  2. Piper Bayard says:

    LOL! You know this will be the blog that your grandchild writes some day, right?

    Liked by 2 people

    • Jenny Hansen says:

      Every parent I know has a good friend who knows where the goodies are in the bedroom and has been instructed on how to dispose of them before the kids get there. Apparently my grandmother had no such friend.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. MichaelEdits says:

    Apparently I’ve been going to the wrong garage sales.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Kelly Byrne says:

    “Do you think it would make things more upscale if we included a pretty washcloth like they do at The Body Shop?” Your mother is hilarious, Jenny. This one made me lol. And like Michael above, I have too, apparently, been going to the wrong garage sales. lol Thanks for giving me some giggles today. Muchly needed.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jenny Hansen says:

      My mama was a stitch. I miss her dreadfully. It helps me keep her close by writing about her antics in the blog. Perhaps we should have a WANA group garage sale. I’ll bet we’d completely make the local news. 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

  5. *FLATLINE!!!* Love this!

    My extremely “special” mom would have put EVERYTHING in the sale, then stood off to the side…with a straight face…and a Bible! 😂😂😂

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Too funny! As a Harlequin writer, let me give you a “reverse” story. When my first book was published I nervously awaited my Mom’s reaction. She was a very modest, straight-laced kind of woman and I had a few scenes that I knew would give her palpitations. Her verdict? “I loved it except for a couple of scenes” *sideways glance* “but I know your editor made you put them in there.”
    Can you believe it? She gave me an “out” I hadn’t even thought of! Like a good daughter I nodded quickly and said, “Yes, absolutely . . . the editor made me do it.” bwahaha!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. HAHAHA! The jokes can write themselves with this one! I can just imagine what that shelf at Goodwill looks like right now. Adult Only section!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jenny Hansen says:

      Right? I’m sure the Goodwill in their town had to put up a shower curtain in a strategic spot.

      Great to see your face over here at More Cowbell, Phil!! We missed you to pieces. 🙂 I just sent one of my New York running pals to your blog and social media profiles (Anne R.) – let me know if you two end up hanging out.


  8. yvettecarol says:

    Brilliant, Jenny! I want to know what happened next – what did Goodwill do with them? Ha ha! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

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