The problem is not that I don't know where it's been. The problem is that I do know where it's been.
On the other side of the door, I could hear footsteps. "I hope you guys er ready!" A click, and the door rumbled upwards, a spreading sea of light silhouetting our sex-captor. "Bam! Mouth-Punch!" I said, doing just that as I ran past the villain. He fell to the ground, and I stopped a few yards away. It felt a bit too easy. Although I've often told people that I have "the eyes of a Van Damme" I can't say the same for my arms or chest or any other parts of me. How did I escape from this sex dungeon so easily? "Ow! That really hurt!" my prospective rapist said from the ground, rubbing his jaw. He was the owner of the storage complex, a sweaty man, with the name Daryl stenciled across the breast of his shirt. "Then I did it right." "I don't understand," Daryl said, looking hurt. "I tried to explain things to him," Ed said, emerging from the locker, his ball gag hanging around his neck. He shook his head. "Fucking newbs." "Get the hell out of here you fucking newb," Daryl said, standing up. "It's all money, money, money with you, isn't it, never sex, no, its never dirty clutching sex. We got no need for your ivory-tower sorts 'round these here storage facilities." "How about the police? You got need for the police round here?" Daryl looked worried. "You wouldn't." He was right, I wouldn't. I went through a bit of a crying wolf spell a few years earlier, claiming outlandish crimes were occurring and seeing what happened. Regicide, that kind of thing. Now I need my parents permission to call the police. Wordlessly, I left the strange storage folk, letting them stew in fear for awhile, before they got around to stewing in other, worse things. Auction Lesson #5: Even When You Win, You Lose The next day I was visiting a pawn shop, trying to offload a crate of the green shorts by claiming they were part of the Munchkin costumes from the Wizard of Oz. The owner looked at me disdainfully over the rim of his glasses, before slowly sweeping the entire mess off his counter and on to the floor. "I take it that's a no?" "Fucking newb." I turned to go, reaching the door when I heard him say, "Wait, what's this?" I watched him extract the ball gag from the heap of shorts, where I had evidently dropped it after my narrow escape. "It's not mine." "Are you sure? Because it was with your stuff." He winked at me, and picked it up to examine it closer. He let out a low whistle. "What is it?" "Well newb, based on this stamp here on the underside, I can see that this is a 1918-model Oral Humiliation Restraint, from the Edison workshop." "As in Thomas Edison?" "He freaked with the best of them it is said." The pawn shop owner shook his head. "Very few of these have survived to this day." "Wow. Is it worth anything?" "Oh my yes. I imagine a collector would be willing to spend $5,000 for something like this." My eyes barfed tears. Collecting my breath, I gasped, "You've got yourself a deal." "I'm sorry?" "A deal. I'll sell it to you for $5,000." "I'm afraid you misunderstand me. I don't collect these. I don't want anything to do with the people who collect these." And that turned out to be the biggest catch of all. At the end of those auction shows, when the value of the goods is tallied up on screen, that's all just estimates. No-one's given them any money for that stuff yet. This isn't a video game, where every store is willing to buy all your shit off you at a fair price.
"Yes of course I keep $50,000 on hand in case someone comes in here looking to offload two tons of herbs and forty Druish staves."
The auction hunters on these shows all own their own pawn shops, and can sit on the mundane goods for months until they sell. As for the exotics, the people willing to pay a fortune for them are often as rare as the object itself. With my vintage Edison ball-gag, I was stuck with something possibly very valuable, but with no way to capitalize on it. I tried putting it on eBay, hoping that word would spread amongst the freaks that it was out there. But the bidding stopped at $18, and the emails I got concerning the auction were the worst things I've ever seen on the Internet. Trawling around sex shops and the back end of Craigslist looking for parties interested in vintage ball gags felt like a good way to actually meet parties interested in a vintage ball gag, which no sane man should ever want to do. I don't want to throw it away, but don't want it anywhere near me, because if seen, it will cause problems in my community. So I'm going to put it in storage until I can figure out what to do with it, along with several cases of green shorts which can't go anywhere but up in value. This will mean going back in to storage land, so if no-one sees me in a couple days, please, please come looking for me, with your most sympathetic, least judgmental eyes. _____________________________________________