Bibles for China Thrift Center

For this entry we decided to go way on to way back when, back to the place that inspired this doomed venture into the outer reaches of secondhand insanity, the Bibles for China thrift store out on Macon Road, in between The Middle Of Nowhere and Who Gives A Shit. Thankfully I didn’t have to venture back into the belly of this particular beast unaccompanied, my friend Mary decided to come along for the ride, and thank god she did because I almost punched an old woman in the face and she restrained me otherwise I’d be in jail right now instead of writing this stupid blog thing.

Okay that didn’t actually happen but it was still nice to have her along

One of the things I enjoy the most about the Bibles for China thrift store is how unapologetically Jesus-y it is. There are pictures of the dude hung up everywhere, just as decor, not even for sale, a whole case of free Christian pamphlets right next to the door when you walk in, and the bulk of the content of the books and records sections is… well, let’s just call it “religiously focused” and leave it at that. Case in point – I spotted this particular gem on the way to the bathroom and well, let’s just say it’s time for


NSFW, “earmuffs,” and every other warning I could think to deliver, but really, let’s talk about this for a moment, shall we? So. I’ve met a great amount of religious people in my relatively short life who are super nice, tolerant, open minded and encouraging of anyone’s life or actions as long as it doesn’t fuck up anyone else’s business. That I can get behind, as can anyone with a reasonable head on their shoulders. BUT. But. For every one of them, there are probably three or nine or however many others who are SO MAD about whatever the hell it is the gays are doing and the people who use birth control are doing and the people who like to be choked by a complete stranger wearing an elephant mask while their partner makes outrageously high bids on furniture on eBay just to drive the price up even though they have no intention of paying for anything they bid on are doing (even though I guess I just spelled that one out, my bad) that they feel like they have to band together and publish books and print bumper stickers (my favorite of all time still being “RU486 = WORSE THAN HITLER”) and do all kind of other specious nonsense because they can’t sleep at night because of what the queers are doing to the soil. Is this book for… them? Who is it for? Is it for the godforsaken (IRONY) people out there who are struggling to reconcile their sexuality with their religious beliefs and have few places to turn? For fuck’s sake, are THESE their options? Okay, let me just say conclusively, as an ordained minister, I’ve spoken to God (that’s right, capital G and everything) on several occasions (mushrooms are amazing) and the definitive word is no, God does not give the slightest fraction of a shit about who you bone or how you bone them or get boned BY them as long as you’re both into it. Just relax. In all our conversations it never came up once. God was more concerned with the philosophical implications of the relation between the matter that was cast away by exploding stars and the instantaneous realization of a presence outside of your field of vision before you actually perceived it as a large scale game of astropsychological pinball than about anything about anyone who wanted to screw anyone else however they wanted to do it, anywhere.

Also, apparently I’m supposed to tell you to listen to every note Otis Redding ever recorded, because it’s the One True Religion. Who’d have thought?

Mary scared up a record that apparently defines a new genre of music. This is what we call “Pirate Gospel.” Check it out.

“Rejoice In The Lord.” Before I Board Your Ship And Shanghai Your Entire Crew And Burn Your Village To The Ground. Look into that(those) eye(s). Do you doubt his devotion to the cause? Also his teeth look like they could bite through a tree trunk

Basically Bibles for China is still holding it down, still the same ramshackle assortment of roughshod junk, weird Christian nonsense, and sweet finds that it’s always been, and honestly as the apparently ceaseless incessant progression of thrift stores closing down and reopening out east continues over the years, I have to give them credit for not shutting down and reopening in fucking Henderson or some such place, because apparently the city center of Memphis is anathema to successful business operations. Except for, wait, every single successful business that operates in and around the heart of this fucking city. Why in God’s name are THRIFT STORES the ones who are running away? What kind of business model is THAT?

Sorry, got stuck on the Rant Plant. Moving on.

I don’t know what to say about this but BAWWWWWWWWWWWW. Puppies!

I used to have a full-on Thermos boner, just the idea of transportable consumable liquid substances in adorably packaged plastic and metal containers that usually look like someone’s skirt amused me to no end, and every time I see them I still feel the itch, but then there’s a part of me that recognizes that casual obsession can turn into flat out “plate-and-spoon musicale” weirdness if you don’t screw a lid on it, and so I did. Anyway 3 bucks is way too much.

You know, charging 75 cents for VHS tapes in the first place is a pretty bold proposition, but including the specification that they’re “NOT ON SALE” as well is just borderline insulting. We KNOW they’re not on sale. They’re fucking VCR TAPES. There will NEVER EVER be a reason to put them on sale EVER. Just charge whatever you charge and be done with it. Listen to God, BFC people. God wants you to sell them for a quarter a pop. Everything must go.

Much like famous McDonalds hot coffee lawsuit (I’m not going to bother linking to it because if you don’t even know about that by now then why in the sweet name of fuck are you reading this blog, in what century do you live, you foul stinking abomination on the face of existence itself) I have to wonder if this disclaimer was posted as the result of someone grievously injuring themselves by attempting to experiment with the power cord of a big screen television, or, failing that, just trying to change the channel on a particularly old-fashioned model and somehow dislocating a bone as a result. That, or perhaps the last time someone tried to mess with the power supply or channel setting of any TV in the Bibles for China thrift store, a ninja popped up out of nowhere and chopped off their fucking hand. I think that’s the scenario I’d rather imagine.

Mary found this mystery item. Blowtorch? Butter dispenser? Ham Botherer(?)? Whatever it is, it costs 25 dollars but let me ask you this, people who are questioning its worth (hopefully all of you)? What if you REALLY NEEDED this thing, whatever in the name of sweet stinking fuck it is, and you DIDN’T have it? How much would you pay for it then? A dollar? Money? A foal? Your face? There isn’t an amount. So just buy it already. And keep it. I’ll buy it off you later. Promise.

Ok my casual guest is threatening to hijack my internet blogging reading endeavor thinging time with offhand comments and observations and finds but let me just say that I find these little mini-jewelry chest cabinet things endlessly fascinating, and upon examination, Mary was like “you could put a bunch of different gross sex shit in there. like each drawer would have a different flavored condom, or this drawer would be full of lube, or that one would be full of nipple clamps or whatever” and I said “okay well I’m stealing that joke about this thing for the blog” and she was like “whatevs.”

Paraphrasing, but you get the idea

Here’s a mystery…

What is a “Change Kit,” why would a secretary need one, and what exactly inside this weird little box would help the potential secretary we’re discussing accomplish any type of “change” in anything whatsoever? I’m deeply confused, because it just looks like scissors and tape and bullshit to me. One dollar.

Okay so logically one ice bucket implies at least three classy cocktail parties going on at once, so three ice buckets would only function as an exponential order of magnitude above that (27) and then my taking a picture of it only squares it again through observation (729) and your reading of it and seeing the picture only squares it again twice which gives us a grand total of 282,429,536,481 parties happening concurrently, potentially in the same space, all at the same moment. Just from these three ice buckets, and my stupid camera, and that one moment, and your beautiful face reading it and looking at it right now. God, I’m tripping so hard. Give me a hug.

Jk. Now it’s time for Child Safety Corner. Do you have kids? Are you aware of their existence? Do they like small things to swallow? Well if so, do I have a toy for you! It’s a bunch of tiny furniture, which your child will NEVER be able to resist putting in their mouth! Buy it now, and… wait, fuck. Apparently according to the outside of this package, these are “SMALL PARTS NOT RECOMMENDED FOR CHILDREN UNDER 5 YEARS.” Ok so let’s redefine the terms of this equation. Forget the kids, fuck em, this isn’t for them. Now you just have a LOT of tiny furniture. But don’t leave it around the kids, it’s not for them, it’s a choking hazard. So you have to do something with the tiny, tiny, furniture, that’s presumably for a doll house. But it’s not for kids, because it’s not safe. So now you’re a grown adult, again, presumably with a bunch of kids or some shit or else why would you have all this tiny tiny furniture, but you can’t have it around your kids or they could choke on it and die, so now you have to figure out something to do with it that somehow involves playing with tiny furniture as a grown adult in a way that’s not creepy or weird or gross. What do you do?

This has been Child Safety Corner.

Everyone loves a Barbie Bucket

Mary snagged this one too. Everyone loves the Science of the Sky and Weather and Space, and all the Billions and Billions of I forgot what the fuck I was talking about. Just go listen to this if Science or Space or Carl Sagan or Paul F Tompkins or Superego or anything amusing in any way whatsoever amuses you. That has nothing to do with this picture but just go do it anyway.


OK! Fell down a bit of a wormhole there! Thank god the board game that succinctly encapsulates my life is here to come to the rescue! Thank god for this game, because thank god the experience of shopping has finally been commented on in a metatextually amusing fashion through some sort of bizarre, only tangentially valid artistic medium! I literally cannot believe no one has thought to express themselves in that fashion before! If only I were smart enough to appreciate the irony of something like this, perhaps I would be able to express it to people through the written word! Alas, I’m left to stumble around in the dark, failing to capitalize on such a brilliant idea in a monetizable fashion! Damn my utter lack of awareness of the opportunities that lie all around me!

That just means I am an utter Quizztard and I am Out Of Time. So, perhaps we should finish up. To wit:

Nice to know there are still some freaky big eyed kid portraits in heinously inappropriate outfits floating around out there. I guess “Angelic Clown Royalty” was the look they were going for here? All I see is some weird mixture of a dentist’s office and rape.

Oh btw I’m not immune to the idea that your online presence follows you everywhere for the rest of your life unless you kill it with fire, so here’s a brief statement from me to any potential future employers, friends, romantic partners, or anyone else:

You’ve read far enough into this shit to read these words, which makes you just as bad as me, by association if nothing else. Grant me the courtesy of refraining from judgement in the same way that I would refrain from judging you, were you brave enough to expose yourself to me in this way. Just put yourself in my shoes. Not literally though, because they are not clean. We all have disgusting shit in our heads, and the ability to laugh at it is what separates us from the dumb beasts of the field which we slaughter and eat with some pernicious sense of moral superiority, all of it as specious as the day is pointlessly long. And if you don’t find that funny than why the fuck are you still reading. Speaking of pointlessly long…

These are drapes. They’re fucking drapes. These two women cut down the drapes (and potentially stripped off the table cloths) to make their clothes. To make skirts. You know when you do that? IN AN APOCALYPSE. There are almost NO other functional situations where that makes sense. I HATE drapes. Also I hate grapes.

Requisite baskets of wires and other weird crap. Is it wrong that I somehow find this shit comforting, even though it’s just a huge morass of plastic and metal and useless garbage? Either I’m turning into Tetsuo the Iron Man, or I’ve been doing this thrift store bullshit for way too long. Either way, no stopping now. On that note…

Living Japanese I think I’m living Japanese

I really think so

Ok now I’m just free associating. On that note…

I actually don’t know what to say about this. God dammit this is just turning into a bunch of youtube clips, but I can’t help it… Here’s what “BODYLOVE” made me think of:

Is that wrong, somehow? Mr. Body Massage Machine… Go!

On some level I think Eric Nies was the proto Jersey Shore emo meathead type that launched a thousand unnecessarily toned, roided out, overly emotional ships that have since sailed over our collective cultural landscape, but take it from me, at the time, no one, and I mean NO ONE knew what to do with his weird, arbitrarially manufactured conglomeration of Van Damme, Garth Brooks, and Dan Cortese. “The Grind” was my generation’s weird mashup of “Soul Train” and “Body by Jake” and like many other members of my age group, I found it simultaneously arousing and disgusting at the same time. So discovering this video tape in a random thrift store over a decade later inspired feelings of both nausea and nostalgia at the same time. If you haven’t had that experience yet, trust me… you will. Just give it time.

Oh my god this is turning into a novella. Let’s wrap it up for fuck’s sake shall we. Here’s “Freejack” on Laserdisc. Hilarious, no?

Here’s the bucket of Laserdiscs from which it came, all very cheap. Featuring prominently the “Vanishing” remake, with Jeff Bridges sporting my favorite movie haircut ever[Ed: I MAY be referencing the wrong movie with this picture, but my point still stands]:

Which I am well on my way towards emulating:

Although that is perhaps not the best example ever thereof. But I think my point stands. What the hell was it again? My god, I’ve digressed from my own digression. FINISH HIM

I almost bought this damn hat, because I am assuredly a Scotch Man myself, even if I’m not a Scotchman per se, but I instinctively knew there was no way it would fit on my Melon Head (I refer you to the previous picture for proof) and anyway the picture was funnier than owning the actual hat would be. These are the things you learn.

My favorite thing about the Bibles for China store is their notoriously spacious aisles

I practically had to hold a gun to Mary’s head to get her to buy this amazing shirt, but to her credit she did, practical gun notwithstanding. She swore she’d wear it later that day, don’t know if she actually did.

The used underwear section. I honestly feel as if I’ve said enough on this issue by now. I refer you to the last 4 years of my blogging efforts for further statements on the subject.


And that’ll do it for this venture, assuming anyone was brave enough to follow through for the full balance. Thanks to Mary for traipsing along, and to anyone who may happen to work at a local daily newspaper periodical of note and has happened to feel inclined to pass around my twisted blatherings to whoever might find them worth their time. Muchas gracias all around. See you again soon, my lovelies. Soon enough.



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8 Responses to Bibles for China Thrift Center

  1. Pingback: Amvets… again? | Secondhand Underground

  2. mary says:

    i did wear the shirt later that day

  3. Fancycwabs says:

    Freejack was filmed in Atlanta when I was in college. I seem to recall Estevez having a motorcycle wreck, either on his own or in conjunction with the production.

  4. Andy says:

    Thanks for entering the phrase “full-on Thermos boner” into my vocabulary. I hope a zany morning show some day makes it into the Phrase That Pays.

    • It’s Pee Wee’s Secret Word

      • Andy says:

        That was actually my first thought, but then I was held back by the fact that it’s a phrase and not a word and my English Major education stopped me dead in my tracks. Damn the man and his American university brainwashing.

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