Live to thrift.
Thrift to live.
Ladies and gentlemen it’s good to be back. Copious apologies for the prolonged absence but I had oh wait that’s right you don’t give a fuck and neither do I. Let’s get down to business. This gloomy Sunday found your humble narrator lost in the wilderness of the greater Bartlett, TN area (because you have to drive that god damn far out just to touch someone else’s discarded pants in this town any more… what the hell) and perusing the wares of the recently renovated Goodwill at the corner of Stage and Summer.
They really fancied the place up nice style, with walls and a ceiling and everything, which, while perhaps more aesthetically pleasing, lacks the airplane-hangar-esque charm of the previous setup, with the vaulted ceiling and pegboard walls that you could peek over and see giant bales of compacted clothing waiting to be unpacked and sorted in the back. Observe:
Ah, well. Time marches on. The renovated store is not without its charms.
Like this adorable miniature Vespa, perfect for… well actually I have no idea who the fuck would need this, but it is kind of cute. Some old lady threw it in her cart about 4 seconds after I took this picture, which leads me to the inevitable conclusion that she was following me, and may still be at this very moment. Wait, what was that noise? OH GOD SHE’S HERE
I really think this guy might be dead. It was all I could do not to poke him with a stick. Of course it’s usually all I can do to not poke most people with sticks, so perhaps that’s not saying quite so much, after all.
I found this thing, which aside from its cryptic exhortation to “PEEL OFF LABEL BEFORE USE” provided no indication as to its actual function or content. This is what I like to refer to as a “mystery item,” and I think the crafty bastards in the back room at the Goodwill only slapped the 4 dollar price tag on it because they knew some dumb sap like me wouldn’t be able to resist the urge to plunk down his hard earned currency just to take it home and determine what in the name of sweet stinking Jesus it actually did. But alas and fuck, I was too clever this time out, and passed on it. Obvious ruse is obvious.
I will say the revelation that “This device complies with Part 15 of the FCC rules” did give me pause to reconsider. Again, if only to find out what Part 15 of the FCC rules actually commands. Am I in compliance? Are you, dear reader? These are questions we all have to live with. Also, here is the video for “99 Red Balloons” by Nena:
Okay, so while I won’t go so far as to say that EVERY children’s toy I come across at thrift stores these days is universally terrifying and not fit for human consumption, I’ll definitely avow that the overwhelming majority of them disturb even me, an ostensibly grown adult (burly) man. It’s little wonder that we seem to be raising generation upon generation of twisted, broken, principal-murdering freaks when these are the kind of “fun objects” we leave them alone with for hours on end. We seem so hell-bent as a society on “protecting” our young with cabinet locks and foam padded playground equipment, yet no one raises even the slightest fraction of a stink when someone manufactures, distributes, and charges honest to goodness money for a god damn PSYCHOTICALLY MURDEROUS PIANO FROM THE NINTH CIRCLE OF HELL.
On behalf of the entire Secondhand Underground organization I ask you, I urge you, I implore you… think of the children. Kill this thing. Kill it with fire. Kill it before it kills you. Kill it before someone’s kid kills you before you can kill it. Wait, I lost track of what I was saying.
In other “I am an old man” news, when in the hell did super soakers get so complicated? My memories from childhood are relatively distant and obscure by this point, but I seem to remember these squirt cannons (calling them “guns” would be a blatant insult) being fairly simple operations. Tank + pump = fun, no? Hell, I had one with a double sized tank you could strap to your back like a god damned Ghostbuster and annihilate your neighbors without even leaving your own back yard. This thing, on the other hand, looks like it fell out of the movie “Skyline”‘s butt. It looks like it could do your taxes. And tweet about it while it was doing so. And probably Sudoku factors in somehow.
What I’m saying is it’s complicated looking.
From the “still kicking myself” department, when am I going to bite the bullet and just buy one of these swank-ass valet chairs already? I love them, I want them, I’ve seen them in every possible configuration (low set, high back) construction (wood, metal, plastic) and finish (this one appears to be suede? “Pimp-ass motherfucker, party of one…”) and yet I still haven’t made the investment. I suppose that means I am not yet a man. Does this mean my bar mitzvah was a sham? Only my rabbi will know for sure.
I am not immune to the charms of a relic from a different era, and this TV stand is, to me, like catnip in that regard. I can’t help but look at it and wonder whose home it lived in, and try to picture the massive, spine crushing television that probably stood upon it. Was it one of those ancient ones that had the push-button channel switcher that was connected to the damn cable box with a long crusty cord? I briefly became enraptured with this outdated piece of home furnishing, and even considered bringing it home with me, until I read this dispiriting disclaimer:
And so considering I possessed neither models EU391, EU392EN, EU396, EU396R, EA391, EA393, EA395, EA398R, EB393, EB395, EB398R, EB391, FU443, FU441, FX465, FX430, FA433, FA441, FU445, FU446EN, FU450, FU450R, FU425EN, FU454, FU458, FA445, FA450, FU476EN, FU475, FU478R, FA465, FA472EN, FA475, FA478R, FX466, FU490, FU492EN, FU498DA, FA482EN, FA485, FA488R, FA492EN, FA495, FA498DA, FX485, FX495, FB443, FB445, FB442, FB441, FU505, FU510EN, FA505, nor FA510EN, and I did not want to create a situation that could lead to instability causing possible injury, I was forced to pass on it. Safety first.
Okay seriously, I think this guy is dead. He isn’t moving.
Ah, you can always count on Cameo for comic relief. And for the three of you who aren’t familiar with their brilliance, I simultaneously feel bad for you, and am jealous of you, because you are about to have your brains blown out of your socks, ground into a fine paste and poured into your eyeballs. Check it:
Don’t forget to move.
I’ve seen a billion copies of this record in stores over the years, and it strikes me as the most depressing fucking cover art imaginable. But I thought maybe I was the only one who looked at it that way. Apparently not:
“High Priestess of Agony.” Who knew Edith Piaf was so METAL? She was troo klvt before there WAS a kvlt.
Sometimes I think my critical faculties have been worn down through years of secondhand abuse to the point where I can’t discern whether or not something is adorably kitsch, hopelessly tacky, vintage, priceless, fun, or just fucking stupid. This is a perfect example. Are these cool or dumb? I don’t even know anymore, people. Someone please help me.
All right, lightning round time. THIS is the only acceptable way to organize books any more: by size. And thank god the good people at Goodwill recognize that.
May seem innocuous, but you want to know what the first thing I thought of was?…
Sometimes editorializing these pictures seems redundant. That says “Chateau T-Shirt” btw
Oh god Zach it’s SCIENCE IN A BOX!
Christ, science is expensive.
Wow, thank god someone had the wherewithal to narrow down Michelangelo’s bloated vision to its bare essentials. Really saves time. I picture this visual abortion hanging next to a cropped version of the Mona Lisa that just has the fucking smile, or a copy of Magritte’s “Treachery of Images” with everything cropped out but the fucking pipe. Sometimes I think most people don’t even deserve eyeballs.
Hilarious cover illustration? Check.
Seemingly impossible product guarantee on the side of the box? Check and check. Doesn’t smoke, drip, or smell? Guess what, it’s not a candle.
Pausing for a brief moment here to comment on a phenomenon that I think is somewhat unique: over the years, I’ve become so desensitized to the overwhelming barrage of irrelevant garbage that most thrift stores throw out there for people to peruse that I honestly barely even see it any more. I wish I could explain what it was like… you remember in Robocop where they switch to his point of view for a second and his eyes are just narrowing in on relevant data in his field of vision and cross referencing it against his internal database and processing conclusions based on that information faster than the words can even scroll on the screen? That’s what it’s like for me when I walk into a thrift store. Some of it is intuition, some of it is magic, but most of it is just “I’ve seen this a billion times and it has no relevance or interest, moving on” a hundred times a second until I bump into something that actually catches my attention. This “City Walks!” guide to Boston actually gave me pause just because of how worthless it seemed (who in god’s name is going to buy this, except the most hopeless of hoarders?) but more interestingly than that, made me realize that I didn’t even SEE the entirety of the rest of the contents of that rack. It just wasn’t there. Not relevant. Searching… no results found. Moving on.
What is it?
No, really, what is it? It only has a damn on/off switch, and a “LO” and “HI” setting. Lo and hi what?
And then you stumble across a gem like this. The only thing I actually ended up buying and taking home with me. Ballantine’s, Black and White, something called “VAT 69,” and “Queen Anne.” I will only drink scotch out of this glass. That is my vow.
Haven’t seen a fake produce section in a while.
This book cover broke my brain. I still can’t decide what the funniest two-word combination is on the damn thing. “Zion Covenant”, “Prague Counterpoint”, or “Bodie Thoene.” I defy you to pronounce that name.
Thone. Thow-een. Thoine. Thoweeny.
My god, did Tim LaHaye ever do anything OTHER than write these damn books? Oh yeah that’s right he wrote a Christian sex manual too. Hilarity ensues.
GOD DAMMIT SOMEONE BOUGHT MY DEAD GUY! My Weekend At Bernie’s remake is shot to hell! Lesson learned, kids: always jump on a dead guy. FUCK!
As usual I didn’t look at many clothes (the more things change, the more they stay the same) but I did see this “Head” brand jacket which I found truly frightening. I usually leave the clothes horsing to whichever member of the fairer gender makes the mistake of accompanying me on these doomed voyages. Ladies, represent plz.
Is ANYTHING spelled right on this bag?
Why are they selling one single game piece from a giant sized Monopoly set
SOMEONE MADE A FUCKING BAG HUTCH
And with that, my lovelies, I’ll wrap up this particular installment. I am actually quite sorry for falling off the map for so long, and all I can promise you is that I’ll do my best to get back on this secondhand horse and ride it to glory, with all of you by my side, Satan willing. If you’re new to our little operation, please feel free to start from the beginning and catch up, and in the meantime, I hope to check in with you again soon. Until then…