Thrifting is a real word

Someone who gets it, explaining it all.  I’ve attempted to spell it out myself before, but this is perhaps an even better explanation.  Read and be educated.

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Nostalgia World

Hello and welcome dear friends, we’re here to shine a light on a (relatively) little-known spot in the greater Memphis environs, while not TECHNICALLY a “thrift store” per se, we are here today to show you the amazingness of a wonderful little place called “Nostalgia World.”

A bit of backstory: I’ve lived in Memphis about 4 years as of this writing, haunted the junk shops and back alleys in a very public and well-documented way, but for all of my tooling up and down Summer Avenue in the course of said pursuits, I never once managed to set foot in the rough diamond that is Nostalgia World. Reason being? It’s only open ONE DAY A WEEK. OK the basic idea is: old guy has a shit ton of junk. Rent on tiny storefront is cheaper than storage unit, monthly. Would you rather have a fun little shop full of stuff that you like and make a few bucks off it or pay money to stash it all in a gross darkened room that probably has bugs and disease? So add it all up and what do you get

You get this. THIIIIIIIIIIIS. My brain exploded the minute I set foot in the door. Okay, you want to find the real freaks in Memphis? The vinyl junkies, the book sniffers, the weirdos? They come HERE. They come here between 9 and 5 on Saturdays because this is the ONLY PLACE they can go. Also those are the only hours that it is open. Which explains why I’ve never managed to set foot in this venerable establishment prior to the recent visit documented here. Saturday mornings and afternoons I’m sad to report are usually reserved in my adult life for sleeping, rolling around in bed clutching my temples and cursing god, taking 45 minute showers, or some combination of the three. But now I have a new thing to do. I’ve found my church and it is called Nostalgia World and I need to go every week to attend services.

Before I forget I just want to thank my good friend April Novak for not only informing me of this place’s existence, but also bothering me to go there, and being a wonderful adventuring companion to boot. We probably spent over two hours digging through a store that was about the size of my apartment (small) and the consensus upon leaving was that we had barely scratched the surface. But enough empty promises, let’s get our hands dirty, shall we?

There’s no way to organize this like a traditional (god, does that mean there are actual established traditions in this giant pile of nonsense I’ve been doing for years?) thrift store assessment, so we’re going to associate even a little more freely than we normally would. Bear.

Case in: for those of you not hip to the bottom shelf whiskey scene, “Lord Calvert” is a particularly nasty brand of filth that I am unlucky enough to have regular contact with (thankfully not as a consumer) which is disgusting enough on its own, but the very idea of a Country/Western (both kinds of music) mixtape sponsored by a bottom shelf brand of Canadian Whiskey (seriously, it’s awful) just makes my head spin in about 8 different directions. Consider this the first of a long series of WTF moments that basically constituted the entirety of my time spent in the whirlwind topsy turvy blender of weirdness that is Nostalgia World. Oh also note the Robyn Hitchcock and the Egyptians tape IMMEDIATELY under it. I hesitate to point to any one object or picture or moment as an epitome of this place “in a nutshell,” but this one comes awful close.

This is awesome, and I’d explain why, but Andrew Earles did it better than I ever could, so just go and read what he wrote on the subject. It’ll take like 3 minutes. I think you can spare the time.

There were a bunch of comics which, like books, I’m not allowed to buy any more, but I still sweated over pretty hardcore. We’re gonna venture into some pretty thick nerd territory here, but fuck me if it wasn’t a huge deal for you when DC decided to KILL FUCKING SUPERMAN back in the day. Granted, it turned out to be a complete waste of everyone’s time, and we have the regrettable Shaquille O’Neal vehicle “Steel” to show for it (even though John Henry Irons might be one of my favorite people in comic history (which is maybe only because the story of John Henry is still one of the most insanely inspiring pieces of folklore that exists, ever), right behind Irwin Schwab) but still. I think the whole point of a store called “Nostalgia World” is nostalgia, and seeing this sealed pack of comics (or even just remembering a time when there was a point to selling comics all sealed together in a package) featuring the ostensible death of Superman definitely triggered that.

This place… it was just unbelievably thick with records and toys and all kinds of weird shit. You got your Star Wars, Stargate, f*cking Gene Pitney records and all the other mess, just laid out there in a huge pile. If you don’t like to dig for things, don’t ever set foot in Nostalgia World but for god’s sake if you do, just GO TO THIS PLACE because, well…

For the uninitiated, here’s how I can best describe the process of… whatever the fuck it is I do, I call it “thrifting” but that’s not really applicable here. If I were a DJ it’d be “crate digging,” if I were a financially well-off older person it’d be “antiquing” and if I were my father trying to find things to use for still life in his art class it’d be “just going through other people’s garbage.” But whatever you call it, here’s how it breaks down:

-The whole point of digging is to dig
-You never know WHAT you’re going to find, and if you did, what would be the point
-Anything you find while digging is exponentially multiplied in value, because you had to dig to find it
-The experiences you have while digging (whether hilarious, uncomfortable, bizarre, or some combination of all of those things) are just as valid and wonderful if not moreso than anything you happen to find
-But beware. Once you start digging it’s hard to stop

I also loved the way certain things were behind glass, as if 15 copies of a Star Trek book were worth protecting while some vintage Elvis record that would probably fetch a freaking fortune on eBay is just sitting out for anyone to grab. I’m sure there’s a weird logic behind the structure and organization of Nostalgia World that would explain this random pile of Star Trek Collectible books stored in a locked case, but I’m a little afraid that if I start to understand it I’ll start to agree with it and next thing you know I’m a 70 year old dude just sitting smoking cigarettes in a tiny museum to my own obsessions, listening to basketball on the radio and trying to fish out fallen 45s from in between my many cabinets with a coat hanger. Those were all things I saw btw

This is supposed to be Madonna apparently but really just looks like a Ken doll in drag

Ok have you ever had the experience of walking into a thrift store, or a yard sale or an antique shop or just any place that might have some secondhand things in it, and seeing a toy you had when you were little (since we all were, at one point)? Well Nostalgia World basically beat me over the head with that sensation until I collapsed in a heap on the floor. I had this EXACT microscope when I was little. Chemical samples, slides and all. Science isn’t that far away from magic in my head and having a little set like this made me feel like a f*cking wizard and still would. Harry Potter ain’t got nothing on Harry Microscope.

Thats doesn’t make any sense. Moving on

I’m not sure I could provide any explanation or context for this photograph that would in any way enhance or mitigate its existence, so I’ll just leave it alone.

This was legit awesome though. I didn’t even mind paying 8 bucks for it because what it is, more or less, is kind of what my entire blogging thrifting internetting process would have been if I was a well off woman living in New York City in the early 90s. This lady wrote this whole book about things that she and ostensibly her friends and stuff found in little junk shops and estate sales and whatnot throughout the downstate NY region, and she took all the pictures herself and while it’s not THE most entertaining or insightful thing I’ve ever read (some of it just comes off like bragging, to be perfectly honest – “can you believe I got this old oil can for just five dollars?!?” (not an actual quote)), it still struck a chord with me, and I’ll probably keep it forever, if for no other reason than to have a testament to what it was like in the early 90s before secondhand shit became “cool” to have around, and also to delude myself into thinking that someone could actually front me a publishing advance to make a book out of all this nonsense myself someday because I NEED TO THINK THAT.

When I say that Nostalgia World specializes in a lot of real weird specific nerdy shit, this is basically what I’m talking about. I’ve eaten a fair amount of Pez in my life, but at no point did I ever consider collecting the god damn things or their dispensers or whatever, let alone creating an entire BOOK to document their collection and history and whatnots. And I paged through this thing after taking this picture, trust me, that’s EXACTLY what this is. Kind of baller? Kind of insane? Kind of like what the fuck am I looking at? You be the judge, audience. You decide. Kids Court.

“Super Slab Hits” is not, as you might assume at first glance, the name of some super weird porn, but rather an album of music about truckers. Just songs about truckin’, about what it’s like to live the truckin’ life, about drivin’ a big ole truck all day, and it has a unique appeal to me because even from my earliest days I was always fascinated by the very notion of driving a big rig back and forth across the USA, chatting on the CB radio, taking a shower at a gas station, etc. Very few things seem more… what’s the term I’m looking for here? Patriotic? Nah. Unique and specific to the experience of what it is to be an American? Nah. Oh wait this is what I’m trying to say

ROCK FLAG AND EAGLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLE

Thank you Charlie. Anyway back to Nostalgia World, underneath the giant boxes of LPs were stacks upon stacks of 78s, which, if I hadn’t been so stupid as to get rid of the record player I scoured out of my parents’ attic when I was in college and refinished by hand over the course of one long and particularly excruciating summer, I would still be able to listen to. Unfortunately very few record players these days accommodate these gems. Fortunately most music released on 78 RPM record format sucks hard ass. Unfortunately, I just checked and the Crosley turntable I bought last year actually does play 78s. Moral of the story: I’m an idiot.

These close-up shots don’t do it justice, but take it from me it was wall to wall insanity in there, this is underneath another humongous shelf of records, there were MORE records just sitting basically undisturbed in boxes 2 deep, pushed up against random milk crates full of miscellaneous detritus. So brilliant.

Wait, didn’t Miscellaneous Detritus play backup center for the Denver Nuggets back in the day? Sports joke! ZOOM

Folks…

Okay so when I talk about Miscellaneous Detritus (who is now a completely real person in my head btw, who actually existed and played basketball and had a career and everything, I think I still have his rookie card stashed in a box somewhere) this is precisely what I mean – this is a box that contains nothing but wacky marshmallow puff totem pole candles, fake plastic clamshells, and eyeliner pencils. That’s all we got going on here.

Catwoman party hats, for of course the next time you feel like having a Catwoman party

And on that note, about three dozen sealed boxes of trading cards from the first Tim Burton Batman film. There was a ponderous amount of this kind of stuff, things that made me wonder almost audibly “Who would be interested in this, in this kind of quantity” but I think part of the logic that went into the merchandise selection of Nostalgia World was a sort of willful disregard for that exact thought, a willingness to snatch up stuff with no clear inclination of a potential audience or market, because you never know WHAT people are going to be interested in, you, as one person, cannot possibly anticipate the wide-ranging, eclectic spectrum of everyone’s interests and how deeply they feel compelled to indulge them, so by that logic a person could exist who would walk in and say “Wait, you mean you only have TWELVE boxes of Batman: The Movie trading cards?!?!? What the hell?!?” and as a former book-buyer for the hypothetical store I never ended up opening, I can completely respect that. Wow, we just took a ride on the logic train! Toot toot!

Records upon records upon records upon records. And then some more records. And mostly staggeringly cheap. The picture doesn’t show it well enough but I think most of the 45s were under a buck. If you don’t think you could see yourself paying a quantity of money that is less than a dollar to have “Mr. Roboto” on vinyl at your disposal then GOOD DAY TO YOU SIR.

I SAID GOOD DAY!

domo

Also there were some legitimately old things too, like this copy of Memphis State University’s (before it was the U of M) newspaper from freaking 1950. This thing is nearly 62 years old. Geologically speaking I know that’s not much, but when you look at it through the lens of the history of this city it’s pretty impressive.

More randomness. Just combs. Big milk crate full of huge-toothed combs, for people with VERY thick hair. As in like each strand is about as thick as my arm. Does anyone have hair like that? Picture it for a second. Anyway now these people know where to get their combs

Smut cards! Collectible Smut Trading Cards! That whole “I know it when I see it” approach to pornography gets completely inverted in a situation like this I think – let me see if I can explain: so as most of you may know or remember from congressional hearings back in the day, the basic “know it when I see it” argument was devised as a response to people who were making porns and trying to pass them off as something else, whether it was art or whatever, and also a way for fucked up conservative idiots to try and crack down on art they didn’t like but that’s another conversation entirely, but the basic logic was “if it seems like it was designed to arouse me and it DOES arouse me, that makes it a porn” but in a situation like this, something that’s supposed to be openly and almost ostentatiously pornographic, basically only designed for titillation, is actually just hilarious and kind of stupid and in no way arousing whatsoever, so it becomes kind of a reverse porn object, to where I would show these to just about anybody without worrying about the risk of offending them (this is perhaps one way in which I am naive and probably end up unintentionally offending people a lot) because I just think they’re funny. Two lipstick chicks pretending to have at it for the purposes of packaging it as a set of TRADING CARDS? That is an anti-porn. “Every man’s fantasy” indeed. Getting turned on by that, to me, is just as weird as getting turned on by a potato. Although this is the internet, I’m sure there’s a website or two out there that address that particular fetish. STOP DON’T GOOGLE IT WAIT

Well f*ck me, I HAD to buy this. I mean now when I get the inevitable prank phone call asking “Do you have Prince Albert in a can?” I can say “YESSSSS” and wave this thing at my phone in ultimate victory.

Because I live in a world that is some combination of old school Looney Tunes and Mad Magazine from about 35 years ago, where people still do things like that, and carry flowers that squirt water out of their lapel, and fall in manholes, and run off cliffs but don’t realize they’re running in midair until they look down (NEVER LOOK DOWN) so I remain prepared for ALL of these eventualities.

7 huge boxes of candy. Because why not?

April snagged this little jean person. Hilarious and great find. I gotta give her tons of credit, she was in this to win this, when I talk about “getting your hands dirty” in the process of finding great shit, sometimes I literally mean it and this was a great example

I don’t know if that picture quite does it justice but we were both coated in a fine layer of filth by the time we left Nostalgia World this cloudy Saturday afternoon, but we both made out like bandits, in addition to the book and the Prince Albert can I also picked up

This pack of Nancy Kerrigan’s Diary trading cards, which if there isn’t at least one card in which the diary entry is just “WHYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY” I’m going to be sorely disappointed and

This BADASS old movie poster for a film I’ve never actually heard of or even seen, but you get to see Dick Clark go on a killing rampage so I think it was worth a dollar. I’m discovering now as I write this that it’s on Netflix streaming so I think I know what I’m watching next time I want to sit down and look at a thing.

And that’ll just about do it for our little detour into Nostalgia World. Thank you all for coming along and special thanks again to April for finding this wonderful little place and dragging me out there even though I probably bitched and moaned about getting up and doing something before I had to go to work, it was totally worth it and I’ll be going back again soon and you all should as well. Get up early on a Saturday (anathema, I know) and truck down Summer and poke your head in, you’ll be glad you did. When you see the porns theater, you’ll know you’re close.

Oh also one formal note, we’re sad to announce a new policy here at the Secondhand Underground Blogging Thrifting Writing Operation Society. We’ve had so many issues with this that we’ve had to institute an official stance on the subject. As follows:

Until next time

love

d

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Amvets… again?

Sorry for the delay in posting… We now return you to your irregularly scheduled transmission.

Normally we here at the Secondhand Underground don’t repeat our tricks this quickly, but when your number one superfan from back in the day picks up the phone, you better answer that call.

That’s right, we rolled up into Amvets late in the day on a quiet Thursday evening in beautiful Memphis Tennessee with no one other than Miss Holly Woods herself, after a basically chance encounter led to an “oh hey you’re the guy who got that black velvet painting for me that one time” which led to “we should go to a thrift store sometime” which led to “why are you writing down everything I say, that’s really creepy.”

Nonetheless we persevered and were rewarded for our efforts by I have to say a flatly stellar outing to the Amvets store on Elvis Presley Blvd, far surpassing last month’s underwhelming trip. I don’t know if it was just luck or an example of keeping the right company. I prefer to think the latter. Case in point: the first thing spotted through the door (by Holly, who all credit due made most of the really choice discoveries this time out) was this pair of… cork shoes? The picture’s a little wobbly but take it from me, that’s either cork (which, no, that can’t be, right?) or a faux-cork finish, which can’t be a real thing either, can it? So is this a double paradox? Is it an impossible impossibility? Did reality just fold in on itself? Are YOU writing this now, and I’M reading it? …Where am I?

Since there was a fancy lady with me, I had an excuse to inspect the women’s shoe section without looking like a complete creep, so I thought I’d take advantage of it and I found these marginally hideous things, really only worth remarking on because there appears to be more sash attached to each shoe than there is shoe itself, which is probably a sign that something has gone wrong with your choice in footwear, when the sash (or whatever the fuck that thing is called, forgive me for not knowing the name of every component of articles of clothing I’ll never purchase or wear is called) to shoe ratio begins to tip in that direction. Just a word to the wise.

Guys’ shoes (and clothes in general) have pretty bland label names, your basic Docker and Stetson and Karl Kani (requisite dated reference) so it’s always fun to check out the chicks’ shoe section for brand names like “WHAT’SWHAT” which is so priceless, and looks so handmade, that I didn’t even mind the increasingly dirty looks I was starting to get from the people behind the counter as I continued to inspect the women’s shoe section of mind you, a very urban thrift store, late in the day on a weeknight. Just so you have a picture of that moment.

At the risk of sounding like I’m turning into Bruce Vilanch right in front of your eyes, this kind of sweet legitimately vintage Gucci wallet clutch thing popped up, back from before Gucci was all tacky and gross, and I was really impressed at how… smart? it was? I don’t know if that’s the right word because again, just to reaffirm my basically boring straight dude status, I know fuckall about “couture” and “fashion” and “style” in “general,” I’m more than happy going through life as the monochromatic weirdo I’ve become, but I’d like to think I can appreciate a well-made and/or well-designed thing, even if it IS an accessory for a lady who probably died a long time ago of some unpleasant disease. Sorry I guess that was probably an unnecessary detail to include

…okay I promise there are some pictures of power tools later. This is just the stuff I stumbled across in more or less the order in which I stumbled across it. I realize this isn’t exactly making me look like a lumberjack but then again who knows what they get up to, really. Anyway this is one of those video game things you can plug straight into your TV and play right with the built in buttons and joystick and whatnot, which is a kind of brilliant innovation just made in the last decade or so, they have versions of this for a lot of major old arcade games, your basic Galaga, Pac-And-Ms-Pac-Man, so on, but this one is for some custom designed game that apparently includes Cinderella, Barbie, Pocohontas, and the like, although I’m not gonna lie to you folks, to me, this more or less looks like a sex toy that fell out of Tinkerbell’s ass. Just a first impression.

Bear with me as we get marginally straighter with at least pictures of some basically utilitarian stuff, even if they are sewing tables. I only really took this picture as a counterpoint to our previous trip to Amvets, where all the furniture and things of that nature was either broken or so filthy as to be beyond the point of any use to anyone at all, even if you owned a professional “getting unbelievable amounts of filth off of things” business.

There has to be a better term for that. Moving on.

I saw this and got the proverbial wild hare up my ass (no offense Addison!) to try and do my taxes this year using nothing but my wits, wherewithal, and a 1.98 printing calculator that has a reasonable shot at actually being older than I am (which these days is kind of saying something), and so I gave it a go. Here’s what I came up with:

Earned Income: $44444443 (I hit the 4 key by mistake and it got stuck, apparently hitting 3 is the only way to fix that)
Tax Rate: /.01
N
999
_m###*00 (apparently pressing 1 makes it go crazy)

so according to my calculations the government owes me π≈√®®® dollars. I’ve already sent my request in to the IRS and they assured me someone would be coming by to deal with my claim personally in very short order. In unrelated news, every time I flush the toilet my nose starts bleeding, and I’m convinced there are tiny cameras implanted in my toenails that record everything I think. Does anyone have any extra tinfoil I can borrow? They won’t let me back into the supermarket

OH SHIT BUTTER GUN. Wait, let me be more specific. It’s not a shit butter gun. I don’t even know what that would be, that sounds disgusting. That should have read “Oh shit, Butter Gun.” I mean I know I could go back and change it but I’m kind of getting into this thing of preserving the purity of my words, you know what I mean? Kind of a first draft, Natalie Goldberg “Writing Down the Bones” kind of thing, so I just gotta roll with it, right? Because that whole concept of writing without simultaneously editing on some level isn’t ludicrous and more or less designed to make people who have no ability to connect with their thoughts churn out a bunch of poorly crafted nonsense, right? No, it’s totally valid, it’s a wonderfully valid way to encourage people to think, and is in no way responsible for the mostly piss-poor state of modern literature, in any way, right? Jesus what the fuck was I talking about. Oh right, Shit Butter Gun.

The basic idea I think (ignore how gross this looks please, it’s actually rather brilliant) is to take your basic entire stick of butter, just throw it right in that metal trough, plug this bad boy in, snap on the attached lid with dispenser, wait for it to heat up real good on the inside and melt the crap out of all that butter, and then just have at whatever food item is unfortunate enough to cross your path, be it popcorn, broccoli, ham, MORE butter (have you ever even IMAGINED buttering butter?!?), whatever it is you like, until the inside contents are spent, and then if you’re me you probably throw another stick in there and start the whole wicked carousel right back up again, damn the consequences. Because what’s the worst thing that could happen? Things will end up with butter all over them. Explain to me how that is a bad thing in any way.

Rather unremarkable picture, I wish I’d thought to find another object to place next to this massive, unbelievably giant crock pot just for point of comparison, because it was no shit, damn near 3 feet long and probably 2 feet wide, and looked like it could fit a whole horse in there. If it was dismantled in the appropriate way. Hell, at first glance I thought “I could probably fit in there, if someone detached my limbs and head and piled the whole thing in there like a bundle of firewood.”

Please no one actually do that

It’s been a long time since my adventures tending to the garden of busted electronics I used to run roughshod over at the MIFA Store with my partner in crime Ladyboss, but a tableau like this just makes all the memories come running back to me. I didn’t get to write about it very much at the time because I was too knee-deep in it to really be able to make head or tail of what I was seeing or doing but for a few months I was lucky enough to get to go in the back of a thrift store and sort and price and test electronics and all sorts of other shit and basically conduct things as I saw fit, and it was hands down the happiest, craziest, most stressful and most rewarding time of my life. I may never get an opportunity like that again but if you have any appreciation of what I do here and what I write about, then on some level you can understand how beautiful and amazing it was to just be able to walk behind the curtain and start pulling strings and pressing buttons myself, after spending years wondering “what’s it like back there?” Well now I know. Maybe I’ll get the chance again someday.

I would love to travel with this vintage Norelco shaver, something about it makes it seem so vintage and rugged, like something Don Draper from Mad Men would have taken around with him, but then I look at it closer and it’s also kind of wicked heavy and impractical, so maybe it’s something that Don Draper from Mad Men would have taken around with him if he had some kind of brain injury and forgotten that it was easier to travel with a plain razor and a brush and some soap (which is what I use at home anyway, Old Fashioned Man Brag).

Here is the aforepromised picture of power tools. This kind of hardware is sort of rare at secondhand stores, and especially all at once and especially all laid out in a row like that. I normally think most things are a trap but I especially thought there was something up with all of these. Come to find out, pull off the battery cases… they’re all full of maggots. Giant steaming piles of maggots.

Ok not really. But there had to be something wrong with them! Regardless, I don’t need a new drill at this point anyway (because I am a super butch dude with tons of power tools, bro) but I imagine this would have been a sweet find for anyone who does. Grab a power adapter and a couple of new bits from your local hardware store and bam, you’re in business. This is the definition of “a bargain” and also “why you should go to thrift stores” and also “if you need me to explain this to you why the fuck have you already been reading for this long because you should probably know this by now.”

Oh crap my electric wind organ from last time has found a buddy! I missed a golden opportunity by not firing up both of these at once and making some sort of bizarre video wherein I tried to play the same song on both of them at once and had my brain melted out my ears by the subtle differences in tuning and intonation that have naturally evolved between the two instruments, like playing two slightly out of tune pianos against each other at once. Why didn’t I do that? Oh right, because I was sober. Relatively so, anyway.

There was actually some rather baller furniture this time out, and somewhat clean as well, like this loveseat that looks like Big Bird and Snuffleupagus had a threeway with your grandmother’s divan (consensual).

Or this sweet pleather couch with a bunch of cushions from a completely different couch on top of it, ignore those cushions, pay no attention to the cushions on the couch, they belong to a completely different couch, what you see underneath them is a rather sexy well designed pleather couch, even if the color’s not perfect it’s still a wonderful couch, just dispose of the cushions unceremoniously and keep the couch couch.

One of my favorite parts of Amvets, and most thrift stores in general, is the toy/puzzle/stuffed animal section. I rarely ever buy anything from it for reasons that I hope would be startlingly obvious, but it’s always a lot of fun to peek through, more for nostalgia’s sake than anything else. Case in point – did anyone NOT have one of these things as a kid? If you didn’t then I’m sorry to inform you that you didn’t have a fucking childhood and you’re officially being granted a free pass by the good people here at Secondhand Underground Enterprises to go back in time and do it all over again, except with the inclusion of this hilarious adorable xylophone on wheels BUT, I feel compelled to point out, this “LITTLE TIKES” version is a sad knockoff of the original Playskool hotness, in that it’s made out of plastic and not wood AND is missing the most awesome component of the 80’s model, and I’ll never forget this sound for as long as I live: the old fashioned Playskool one with actual functioning wheels would hit the tone bars AS YOU PULLED IT AROUND, so you could make noise with the thing just getting it from place to place, even if you had no idea how to play it, even if you lost the little plastic beater that came with it, even if you just pushed it down a hill, it would still raise a racket. God, being a kid was sort of cool.

Another underexamined (if you ask me) part of our wonderful thrift emporium down on Presley is the bedsheet/linen/tablecloth/what the hell else ever section, which can be kind of a pain in the ass to sort through, considering Amvets and most other stores don’t really make any distinction between pillowcases and drapes and fitted sheets and just kind of throw them all together into a big mishmash, but in addition to the six racks pictured here, there were at least 3 more big circular racks all full of placemats, bathmats, duvet covers and the like. It’s sort of the epitome of the whole “you have to get your hands dirty to find anything interesting” philosophy I bring to thrifting (and life in general), but it’s usually totally worth it. I wish I’d had the wherewithal to take a few pictures of the interesting random bits of fabric we came across, but I’ll confess that my dear friend Holly was rather tough to keep up with. My approach is usually more akin to drifting from one end of the store to the other like a poorly dressed jellyfish with a camera, but she was straight up tearing through the racks like a secondhand Tasmanian Devil with cute shoes, so it was my onus to try and keep up, which was assuredly a delightful change of pace, in the most literal sense of the word.

Things can get kind of abstract at the good old Amvets, here’s the best case in point I could ever imagine: I promise this tableau was stumbled across more or less undisturbled in the form it appears here. I call it “Still Life With Heart Shaped Tree Trunk, Swim Fins, and Tahitian Treat.” Full size prints are available from my Etsy store for 14.95 plus shipping, allow 6-8 weeks for delivery.

You know, I was completely kidding when I wrote that, but that’s actually not a terrible idea. Perhaps I should consult one of my dear friends who’s already all over that Etsy business. Hmmmm….

You know you’ve been in this thrift game for way too long when the phrase “I was borderline captivated by these trivets” just flows freely from your brain without any questioning or self-censorship, but just like the racist, wooden-toothed, pot-growing sociopath who served as the first president of this great nation once apocryphally proclaimed (although it’s never actually been proven that he said this or anything even like it): “I cannot tell a lie,” I was borderline captivated by these trivets when I first saw them, even though they were in these silly metal frame things and the paint was kind of flaking on one of them, I found them fascinating, they look like 3d snapshots from some weird Mexican knockoff of Oregon Trail (not to be confused with Organ Trail, which if you’ve never played this game you need to stop reading this digressive bullshit and go play it now) and on some level, I loved them and still do. Please don’t judge, I refrain from judging you based upon what you love so try to extend me the same courtesy if you can manage.

MYSTERY ITEM. I still cannot make head or tail of this freaking thing. I’ve been mulling it over and the only solid conclusions I can draw about it (and this is based on a fairly lengthy examination, I assure you) are that your foot is probably supposed to go in it? and it’s red. That’s all I got. Any further suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

I never realized how awesome God was until 5 discarded license plate frames I found in a dingy thrift store down the street from Graceland drilled the point home. Is this the one true gospel? It certainly cuts out most of the bs about the bible that turns a lot of people off. You listening, Vatican? Let’s think outside the box.

No price on this, because how can you put a price on a half-empty (or is it half-full? MIND = BLOWN) bottle of spray tan? Oh right you can’t because the very notion of charging money for it is patently ridiculous.

I still kind of wanted to buy it and use it though. What is wrong with me? I just thought there was some kind of ironic comedy potential there, but even I can’t make sense of what an “ironic spray tan” would even be or mean.

I love the warnings on the outside of this old VHS tape case. In case you can’t read it (I mean because of the picture quality of course, if you couldn’t actually read the words themselves then I don’t imagine you would have gotten this far into my blog, unless someone was actually reading this to you which would be amazing and unbelievable, and just on the off chance there’s someone out there actually doing that…

“I am a complete dildo.”

sorry, I couldn’t resist making you read that out loud. The notion just tickled me too much.) it says “Sammie Tapes Keep Out” on one side and on the other side in even bigger letters just “KEEP OUT” which amuses me to no end, that Sammie would be that fiercely protective of his Tapes. It reminds me (not to disappear into reverie here TOO awful much) of one of my best friends growing up who had his collection of weird stitched together scenes from various porns that he recorded off of his dad’s cable descrambler on a VHS tape labeled “HOCKEY FIGHTS” because he knew no one else would ever want to look at it. You see Sammie, that’s how you do it. Stealth, man. Stealth.

Words cannot express how badly I wanted to grab a golf club or a crutch or some such other large metal object from the pile of them that was immediately adjacent to this dilapidated santa claus piñata and just start whaling away on it, cackling like a madman the entire time. I resisted the urge. Is that a victory for me in the long run, or a failure? Who could say.

This floating dead fish fake snowglobe box thing fairly accurately sums up my feelings about florida. It was 50 cents so I bought it. How often do you get your feelings summed up so succinctly, you know?

Didn’t get this, although I like Hawaii a great deal more than florida. I guess because I just kept picturing trying to do shots out of it and having the fake wicker hula skirt create some sort of alcohol related face problem. Which is also coincidentally the name of my new punk band. Alcohol Related Face Problem. Come see us at Murphy’s next week, won’t you?

I couldn’t have put it any better myself.

I hope this picture could even begin to convey exactly how icky this weird extruded plastic pineapple thing was, but I fear it can’t. It was kind of… flexy? And spongy? But also firm enough that if you hit someone with it it would seriously hurt. And the outside surface of it felt like… god, I don’t know, like… hardened latex or something? (I want to type the words “like a dried out condom” here but even I have my limits as to how disgusting I want to get. Oops I guess I did it anyway) It just felt like someone had done something bad with it or to it in the past, or potentially was going to in the future. I don’t know, there was just a wrongness there that I’m afraid I can’t quite get at with words or a photograph. Just imagine something gross that makes you uncomfortable to even be next to in an already sort of ramshackle thrift store and then apply all of those feelings to this thing. I even picked it up. What is my DAMAGE

New visit, new box of fake hair. The same one was there from last time as well by the way. I thought the fake flower was a nice piece of fake icing on the fake cake that was this fake box of fake hair fake fake fake

Ok for those of you who aren’t hip yet, I’m starting a new fashion trend. This picture is just a placeholder to remind me to bring it up. You’ve heard of skinny ties and skinny jeans, yes? Well check this new hotness:

THE SKINNY SCARF. Look silly to you? Well just give it a couple months, I guarantee you’re going to see hipsters around midtown six deep at the Lamplighter practically choking each other to death wearing these god damned things around. With the help of my dear friend Courtney we are getting this movement off the GROUND you heard it here first: 2012 is the year of The Skinny Scarf. You have been warned.

I kind of wanted to snatch all 4 of these tapes up and have a 90’s movie night, until I remembered

1. I don’t have a VCR any more
2. “Romeo Must Die” is actually pretty lousy, as much fun as it is to watch Jet Li whip indescribable amounts of ass (also Wikipedia is telling me it actually came out in 2000, as did “The Cell”) and “Stigmata” is just unwatchably bad and finally
3. I actually hated the 90s. So there you go

AWWW YEAH

I don’t think this picture quite captures it but the cover illustration on this book was just delightful. The book’s called “How Things Work” (Volume 2 I believe) and it’s just a little picture of a guy sitting in a chair staring into the lens of this massive intricate machine that is ostensibly supposed to help him figure out How Things Work. Hang on, I’m going to put up a massive version of the above picture, just for detail’s sake. Bear with me.

Isn’t that cool? I guess I just see some weird analogue between that little guy on the cover of the book staring into the eye of this impossibly intricate machine that is supposed to explain how everything works, and me sitting here staring at the monitor of my laptop. I’ll refrain from beating the comparison to death, hopefully you get my point. OK home stretch time people, stay with me

This, as far as I can tell, is a phonetic transcription of “La Donna E Mobile” from “Rigoletto” which if I’m not mistaken, and any of my wonderful opera/singing friends feel free to correct me on this, people use when they’re singing opera in foreign languages so they don’t have to learn the entire language themselves, just the relevant portions for the performance. I may have just made that up, but Karen? Annabeth? Am I just imagining that that’s a thing?

Also I got to look up “Transliteration” as opposed to transcription or translation when I was trying to figure out which one this is. Short answer: it’s transcription. Transliteration isn’t phonetic. It just converts letters. And now you know! +1 knowledge upgrade

One of my favorite things, all time, about going to thrift stores, and this is honestly in the almost 20 years I’ve been rocking these damn places, is finding people’s donated mixtapes. I SO bought this and I’m gonna spare you the youtube bombing and just show you the track list and describe it:

“Life Goes On” is basically a breakup mix for someone who had apparently just been dumped, but it’s all hilarious early 80’s electro r&b, featuring “Shannon” pretty prominently, along with some latter-day Bar-Kays, etc. Just type in any of the song titles on youtube and hilarity will ensue. Did I rock this in the car on the way home? You bet your hiney I did.

AAAAH GOD PIRATE GOSPEL AGAIN! Recent readers will remember a trip to the Bibles for China store with my friend Mary where this exact record popped up – between this and discovering Eric Nies exercise videos on two consecutive trips out a few weeks ago, I’m starting to feel like the universe is trying to tell me something. Pull out one of my eyes and start aerobicising to En Vogue? Assuredly that can’t be God’s Plan for me. Maybe it is.

Almost there, hold tight. I don’t have a ton to say about this record except that Xavier Cugat was the MAN (his birth name? Francisco d’Asís Xavier Cugat Mingall de Bru i Deulofeu. That is a mouthful of name. That is a gallon of name.) and tuxedo guy just totally got cut in on and he’s just gonna have to stand there like a goon while old Xavier has this dance. SO money.

How do I know I’ve been living in Memphis too long? I read the words “Take Me To The Rock” and the first thing that flashed in my mind was not Gospel music, but rather the crackhead I had to shoo away one night who was scampering up the side of my building like a fucking squirrel to try to crash this party the kids who lived above me were having after they offered him five dollars to let them pour some beer on his head.

I went to college, did you know that?

The sleeves were toast but both records still played. Gotta love Tribe on 12 inch. Indulge a couple youtube clips

Jesus, Hip Hop used to be amazing. Busta Rhymes in this video just makes my head explode. And of course there’s Domino

I swore up and down to Holly that she’d heard this before, but I played it for her later and everything and she had no idea what the fuck it was. I just assumed this damn song was as ubiquitous for everyone else back in the day as it was for me? Maybe I just watched too much MTV growing up. I’m starting to think that’s a real possibility.

Puff n’ Toot!

Candy Corn.

Holly, walking up behind me as I was taking this picture:

“Why you taking pictures of kids toilets, perv”

And finally, this rabbit has its red wings. And if you don’t know what that means, I am not going to be the person to tell you.

Sincere and honest thanks to Holly Woods for helping me renew my faith in Amvets as one of the last true thrift spots in this city. You’re the best, sweetie. I’m glad you remembered I was the black velvet guy. And thanks to anyone who actually read through the entirety of what is easily the longest blog entry (and possibly the longest thing at all) I’ve ever written. Readers, whoever you are, you are dear to me, know that. Tune in next time, I promise I’ll try not to keep you waiting.

love

d

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Park Avenue Thrift

We heard a rather unpleasant rumor that the Park Avenue Thrift Store was going out of business, so on a recent sunny Sunday we decided to trek down and gather some evidence ourselves. Herein is what we found.

At first glance Park Avenue Thrift seems more or less unchanged, just rows upon rows of cheap clothes, kids’ toys scattered about all over the everywhere, the same general ramshackle vibe that has permeated the establishment since the first time I set foot in the place. But upon further examination:

Shit. The cupboards are looking rather bare. I should just say conclusively at the moment that I have no idea whether or not they’re shutting down (or “shitting down,” as I typed at first), I just want to report what I saw and offer my opinions. If you want the real scoop, just call them and ask (why didn’t I think to do that? oh right because I’m not a real journalist, just an asshole with a camera in his pocket and way too much wine), but for the time being I still found a bunch of amazing shit when I was there and I’d wholeheartedly encourage you to go down and do the same, regardless of whether or not the store is going to be there in a month or six months or whatever. Here’s what I snagged:

RAW CHOCOLATE CITY THREADS. I’ll be honest with you, I had no idea what the fuck “Go-Go” music was before I chanced across this album, and I only picked it up because it had an amazing cover, and a back cover that seemed somehow morbidly obsessed with friends and family of the band who’d succumbed to accident or disease:

(“the use of his vital organs” indeed) but it ended up being chock full of jams, and I have to say Trouble Funk is now one of my favorite bands, not only because they seem to be the overwhelming champions of a musical sub-sub-genre that I would otherwise know nothing about, but also because one of their greatest songs

is derived from one of my favorite comedy albums of all time, Steve Martin’s “Let’s Get Small”

and I promise that is the final youtube clip I will embed in this entry. Moving on

I’m not a classical music nerd or anything but there’s a place for guys like Bartok and Stravinsky and Varese and Stockhausen and Schoenberg and Berg and Messiaen in your consciousness if you give a shit about modern music at all, because even if their works aren’t necessarily your cup of tea, you’d be an idiot if you didn’t admit that they influenced everyone from the jazz composers of the early-to-mid 20th century (Ellington, Basie, Kenton) to the latter day carriers of the torch (Zappa, Phillip Glass, Moondog, Steve Reich, John Fahey, Terry Riley) to the bands that they influenced (Tortoise, Don Caballero, The Mercury Program, Boards of Canada, Mr. Bungle, Aphex Twin, Squarepusher, Tool, Meshuggah, Dirty Projectors, St. Vincent, more or less every band that’s ever used an odd time signature or harmony) and the way that influence has trickled down into the music you hear on the radio (everything currently happening). Either appreciate your place in history or try to keep your mouth shut so you don’t reveal your ignorance too fucking thoroughly. Ok I have to break my promise about embedding clips immediately after I made it to share this piece with you so you can get a sense of what I’m yelling about. It’ll take 20 minutes of your life to listen to but I promise it’s 20 minutes you can spare. Just consider it the average length of a television sitcom, but instead of making you existentially depressed and frustrated with humanity, it’ll bend your brain inside out and change the way you think about music as a whole:

Is anyone still reading? I think I’ve finally lost the last fraction of an interested audience I ever possessed. Oh well, so be it. There are worse ways to lose people’s attention than by bothering them away with a timeless piece of music. Let’s see if I can crank out some dick jokes or something about whatever my next picture is. What does any of this have to do with thrift stores?

Oh right I’m writing about pictures I took at thrift stores. So here’s a George Clinton album from 1986, well after the glory days of Parliament and/or Funkadelic and/or the Star Children and/or the Clones of Dr. Funkenstein, but here the man who once wielded the almighty Bop Gun is, asking us what question exactly?

(ok forget that promise I made a minute ago about not embedding any more youtube clips, you people really need to hear and see this shit to be able to appreciate it like I do)

just to be clear: the man responsible for “America Eats Its Young” and mother fucking “Maggot Brain” felt that it was okay to create and record a song and a video based around the concept of fried potatoes accompanying a mother fucking blended milk beverage. How far we have fallen, children of the funky church. Perhaps we can reclaim the truth of our heritage with this next record:

Ok maybe not. I did honestly want to buy this but only because Betty White is so HOT right now! She’s a cultural trending topic and I bet I could sell this record for an astronomical profit on eBay but as I’ve told several people who’ve suggested the idea (of reselling) to me over the years, I’m not in this thrift game for the profit, the glory, the fame, or the gain. I’m in it for the love. I’ll probably never make more than a (relative) dime off of my endeavors in this regard, but (second)hand to (second)god, I’ll be writing and searching and blogging and publishing til the day I expire, which will probably be with a soiled pair of obese women’s undergarments in my cold dead hands, because this is what I’m about. This is what I do. This is who I am. If you find that amusing then god love you, and if you don’t then I understand but at least respect someone who gives enough of a shit about something to waste this much time on it. I dare you to be even half this passionate about something. Fucking anything.

I already own this record but I wanted to take a picture of it because Bill Withers is an unjustly neglected figure in 20th century popular music, both for his preternatural songwriting skill and also for his uniquely intelligent relation to his own fame, matched only by a Zappa type, or perhaps a Mothersbaugh or a Clooney or some such. Watch this and tell me what you think:

“Well I thought, I got this good job makin’ these toilets, I don’t need you cats…”

WIN

I found this mixed in with the rest of the mostly garbage vinyl (it was scratched to hell as well) that clogs the Park Avenue Thrift store just like it clogs all the rest, but I actually literally yelped when I saw it because “Planet Rock” by Afrika Bambaataa and the Soul Sonic Force is (another) one of the seminal records in modern music, bridging the gap between the P-Funk era of the 70’s, with the theatrical bent and the group input, and the burgeoning hip-hop/electro culture of the 80’s, heavy on the synth and rhymthic verses. Fucking just skip the youtube clips if you don’t want to see it but I promise you if you watch this video you will literally see funk transforming into hip hop and electro right in front of your eyes:

Almost done with the records, I promise. Just have to document this. It’s a shitty digital remaster of a great old recording of one of Miles’s classic groups (’61) but it’s still Miles Davis on vinyl and as such worth having.

And of course Bean Bag Fun

Can anyone explain to me the particular strain of masochism that it takes to inspire someone to run a marathon in the first place, let alone something as uniquely insane and self-annihilating as an “ultra-marathon?” Apparently these are races up to and including 100 miles in length, which, unless you’re being chased by a pack of especially determined wolves, or you happen to be Eddie Izzard, makes no sense to participate in whatsoever. Don’t get me wrong. I love to run. Outside of basketball (which I suck at but still love), it’s the only athletic activity I get a kick out of engaging in on any kind of semi-regular basis. I think I could do a 5k. Maybe even a half-marathon, if I was raising money for a charity that was treating a terminal disease from which I was currently suffering. But good lord, just getting out there and running (not jogging mind you, but full out running your ass off) for upwards of 25 or 26 or 75 or 100 miles at a go is just fucked. I have all respect for people who could even come close to imagining doing something that boldly insane in public in front of a bunch of people, most of whom are showing up probably just on the off chance that they’ll get to see you puke or fail or break your leg. That’d probably be the only reason I’d go.

I’ve lost any grasp on brevity whatsoever btw people, just roll with it if you want to live. Here’s a callback to a recent entry. I still find these books fascinating.

What the fuck is “Longbeard Madness?” And how have there been seven of them? And what exactly is “HARDCORE INFO”? The front of this box raises far more questions than it answers. Time to Flip ‘n’ Find (I just made that term up)

If you can zoom in on this picture I strongly advise you to do so, but for the benefit of those who can’t, here are some choice selections from the text on the back of this box which contains a video of people doing things, none of which I understand on any level:

“FULL OF EXCITING, IN YOUR FACE, TURKEY HUNTING ACTION”

“The trees are blooming, the temperature is rising, and the turkeys are gobbling.”

“Mother Nature did not want us out in the field but she was no match for our desire and will.”

“Drury Outdoors is once again on the cutting edge of the industry with exclusive reality based turkey hunting.”

Reality based turkey hunting. I’m going to eat that phrase with my mind like it was a seven course dinner. I encourage you to do the same.

Hey, guess what’s creepy? Going to two separate thrift stores on opposite ends of town two entries in a row and finding two separate workout videos featuring the same cultural relic who somehow haunts you from your own childhood.

Oh wait nevermind that happens all the time. Does that mean Eric Nies is my generation’s Richard Simmons? Probably not, but MAN do I hope that’s so.

Always gotta find some fake hair. It’s a must. Sorry for the poor quality pictures, I started to get a little dizzy after a while, if you’ve ever spent upwards of two hours in a run down thrift store in an economically disadvantaged part of town without much in the way of food or rest, unceasingly focusing your attention on any stray object that you think might yield an interesting thought later on in some sort of half-drunken fugue writing state, then assuredly you’ll understand. That’s a thing that people do, right? Here’s a song I like:

What was I talking about? God, let’s wrap it up

I hate olives but I love coasters and I’m ambivalent towards foam OH FUCK EXISTENTIAL CRISIS

This picture doesn’t do it justice but this original version of “Crossfire” was about 3.5/4ft long, and had nothing to do with the game I grew up playing

and by “grew up playing” I mean “probably played maybe once and proceeded to lose ALL the ball bearings in various places in my house because that’s what a kid will do if you give him a bunch of ball bearings which is why this game is a stupid idea and always has been.”

They do have a lot of leather coats. The next time anyone’s looking to launch a local stage production of “Hellraiser: The Musical”, just tell your costume designer about these junts

AAAAnd requisite picture of beautiful suit that would have fit me perfectly were I like two or three inches taller. Where is the prophet who will sing my song of suffering? Oh wait here he is

“So when I axed her out she said I wasn’t her type.” Skee-Lo, you are our modern day Virgil.

Time to wrap it up. Gold star to anyone who actually managed to slog all the way through this disjointed mess, I’ve been getting a lot of positive feedback lately and I really do appreciate it, it’s a simultaneously enlivening and troubling thought that this army might be GROWING somewhat as I continue to pump this nonsense out into the world, and I suppose all I can ask is if you’re one of the dedicated few who might read this far into my irrational blatherings, try to spread the word, and above and beyond that, please try to venture out on your own and take some pictures and write some things, wherever you are, whether it’s Memphis or the greater environs of this doomed rock we all inhabit, please please feel free to start your own Secondhand Underground wherever you are, and send a transmission back to me and let’s get a fucking DIALOG going, shall we? How’s THAT for an idea?

Or I’ll just keep taking pictures of people’s discarded shoes and making irrationally free-associative poop jokes about them into perpetuity. Don’t fear, that’ll never stop happening. Until next time

love

d

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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

SECONDHAND UNDERGROUND AFTER DARK.

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.

Praydayder.

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.

EEEEEVVVVVIIIIILLLLLL!!!!!

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.

love

d

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…City Thrift?

Wait, where am I?

Last I remembered, I was in the middle of doing laundry and running my fairly tedious Sunday errands, and then I seem to remember something about Kimchi and sewage and the Jean Claude Van Damme movie “Cyborg” and some convoluted card game and next thing I know here I am at City Thrift, way the hell out on Summer Ave, camera in hand, ready to make a go of it? Well, I can think of worse things to do during a blackout. Let’s see what I found.

Looks like business as usual at City Thrift, nice to see they’re still holding it down, apparently I found it extra fascinating today because there are about 8 billion pictures here. Let’s see if I can pare it down a bit

Nice to see Jamie Lee Curtis doing something that doesn’t make me immediately think of pooping or yogurt. Those god damn Activia ads are going to haunt my psyche for decades, apparently. Although I did love the way they prominently displayed the word “HALLOWEEN” in bright lettering next to her face. I know enough design professionals to know that that was assuredly not unintentional. So, to recap, on the list of associations that I get when I look at this image, you have:

1. pooping
2. yogurt
3. running away from being stabbed
4. screaming
5. i guess maybe testicular feminization or something like that. let’s call that a distant 5th
6. she was good in a fish called wanda.

This cracked me up in a way that I can’t exactly put my finger on. I guess I imagined some discerning (presumably rottweiler-owning) consumer standing there deliberating over which edition of this particular book to buy, thinking to themselves, “Well, do I want ‘rottweilers’ or ‘ROTTWEILERS’?” Who could choose? I don’t even own one and I was hornswoggled. Is the larger print version more intense, somehow? Will it bite you? Thankfully these questions remained unanswered.

For the moment.

“Rottweiler” is a really hard word to type correctly btw

This… lord, I don’t even know where to begin. So Al Hirt is the guy who was lucky enough to get famous recording the version of Rimsky-Korsakov’s “Flight of the Bumblebee” that they used as the theme song for “The Green Hornet” tv show back in the 60s, which 3 of you will remember was redone as a poor excuse for a film last year or the year before or who gives a shit. Anyway, so that’s this guy. Now let’s examine this album cover. What exactly about this fat hack and his geeked out picture would actually make anyone want to pay money for this album? It looks like “Sugar Lips (He’s The King)” is leaning over to let out a particularly uncomfortable fart which, granted, would be super impressive if he were concurrently ripping off a blazing trumpet solo, but I can find NO documentation ANYWHERE that that was EVER a part of his stage act, and as such am forced to conclude that all this picture is meant to imply is that Mr. Hirt is SO INTO his OWN TRUMPET PLAYING that he’s forced to stand up on one leg like an overweight, besuited flamingo and strain whichever one of his poor dress shoes was forced to bear that otherworldly burden to the near-breaking point, just in service of a picture that would inform anyone who was unfortunate enough to glance at his album cover exactly how much of an asshole he really was. Perhaps I’ve overthought it a bit.

You see an album cover like that last abomination and you just want to give up, and then you see an album cover like this and you just want to run into the bathroom and rub it all over your private places (don’t worry, I didn’t. It was locked). Look at all the buttons and switches and levers and keys and dials and just general whatnots on this thing. It has foot pedals and I guarantee you it weighs as much as my pickup truck. “Mighty Wurlitzer,” indeed.

It’s weird for me, having been pretty immersed in pop culture my whole life, to come across something like this, that’s ostensibly been around almost my entire lifetime, directed by the guy who did the Pink Panther movies, starring the guy from Cheers and the guy from well, I guess just being Howie Mandel at this point, and referencing a Laurel and Hardy movie in the title, and yet I swear I have no recollection of this film ever existing. The back of the box description almost made me wish I had a functioning VCR still though. An excerpt:

“While making a movie at a race track, lady-crazed actor, con-artist, and all around bungler Spence Holden stumbles on two goofball thugs doping a race horse. Always ready and raring to cash in on a golden opportunity, Spence phones best buddy and rollerskating carhop Dennis Powell for some quick loot. When the two hoods discover Spence’s plan, the chase is on, taking all four guys on a madcap comedy romp that includes hightailing it from the cops… the mob… and the gangster husband of one hot-to-trot wife!”

Is it bad that I would totally watch that?

Dating myself here, but does anyone else remember when the “Jennifer Aniston Haircut” was like a thing? Is this it? Is this nonexistent pile of unremarkable nothing what all the god damn fuss was about? Is it just me or does it seem like we were all like gassed by some second rate villain from the old Batman tv series for most of the 90s? I mean… Dishwalla? Really?

On that note, I found this eminently adorable, and I strongly feel that as the progression of technology moves exponentially faster, the timeframe for us to be able to look back on supposedly “contemporary” forms of entertainment that factor in supposedly “cutting edge” technology and find them laughably quaint will become exponentially shorter. Case in point: the movie “Hackers” now looks as ridiculous as “Lawnmower Man” or “Tron.” There was even a quote about the justifiably forgotten Sandra Bullock vehicle “The Net” on the back of the box.

Give me “War Games” with Matthew Broderick and Ally Sheedy (and yeah I guess Dabney Coleman too) any day. I also love the fact that the quoted review on the cover calls this the best “cyber film” of the year. Because yeah, that’s a real genre. Just keep using that term, guy. It’ll catch on. No, really.

Ok so every thrift store has a buttload of harlequin romance novels, that’s a given, but how many have…

A DING DANG SOLDIER’S MANUAL! YESSSSSSS. Note: the obliterated binding, replaced with what I can only imagine is military grade duct tape. I’m not allowed to buy books any more but I definitely carried this around with me and paged through it the whole time I was shopping, and then returned it to a respectful place on the shelf when I was finished. Ten hut. This was the first page I opened to:

and this was the next:

and this was the back cover:

we just went from “wash your skin” to “these are the component parts of an assault rifle” to “USE THIS VERY BOOK ITSELF AS A TOOL.” I ask you. I earnestly ask you, what other physical, bound, paper printed object is going to provide you with that kind of depth of information, breadth of scope, and variety of usability? I’ve squashed a cockroach or two with a Gideon Bible in my day, but it definitely finishes a distant second behind this particular publication in pretty much every criteria. I salute you, book. At ease.

Ah, nothing like a good old fashioned mystery object to invigorate the brain. Tuning fork? Naah, wrong shape, size, and composition. What’s with the threaded tips? Something was supposed to screw onto this thing? Good lord, what? It doesn’t look sturdy enough to support attachments of any considerable size or heft, so maybe they were sort of ambiguous… things… you were kind of supposed to wave around? With a handle? I have no fucking idea. I rather liked that shade of red though. So it’s a Red Thing with Threaded Tips Possibly for Waving. BOOM. Mystery solved. I am the secondhand Sherlock Holmes of Making Shit Up.

Shoutout to Ladyboss, my dear friend and business partner who collects these ridiculous things, I would have bought this for you but I wasn’t exactly in my right mind, at least I thought to take a picture, that’s something, right? Try to not get bitten by any dogs while you read this

I LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE Tejano music, not in the sense that I would want to listen to it all day (or really for any longer than it would take you to have lunch at your average Mexican restaurant) but it amuses me so much just as a point of cultural weirdness, let me see if I can sum this up briefly. From the wiki:

“Central to the evolution of early Tejano music was the blend of traditional forms such as the Corrido and Mariachi, and Continental European styles, such as Polka, introduced by German and Czech settlers in the late 19th century. In particular, the accordion was adopted by Tejano folk musicians at the turn of the 20th century, and it became a popular instrument for amateur musicians in Texas and Northern Mexico. Small bands known as orquestas, featuring amateur musicians, became a staple at community dances.”

See also: Norteño. I’m not going to bore you (further) by splitting hairs between the two genres but the key word to take from that excerpt is “Polka.” Try to imagine Mariachi Polka. That’s more or less what a lot of Tejano and Norteño sounds like. Now try to imagine it BLASTING out of a beat up Cutlass Supreme with custom rims and HUGE subwoofers that rattle the entire car and physically bounce it off the ground while threatening to blow the damn doors off and probably waking up everyone in a two mile radius. That was my introduction to living in Texas. And people wonder why I miss it.

Also hilarious, and on the subject of “Travel Mugs” – this picture doesn’t do it justice but I swear this thing had to be a solid gallon. It made the last cup look like a fucking thimble. These things amuse me so much – at my first restaurant job there was one dishwasher who would bring in a travel mug this size and fill it up to the brim with Pepsi and demolish the whole thing, and probably refill it and do it all again at least once more during his shift. That’s always what I think of when I see these god damn things. He also used to eat ketchup straight out of the packet for lunch. Interesting job.

Forgive me for “talking shop” for a minute but I saw several of these things scattered throughout the store, most of them not actually placed on the top shelf of whatever particular unit they were actually attached to, and I suppose it’s some kind of a liability thing or something, but let me break it down for you: I’m six feet tall, and the tallest shelf they had in this store was about eye level on me. And this cautionary sign was placed in front of what you can clearly see are wicker baskets, notorious for their light weight and relative flexibility. Is there any scenario you can imagine wherein someone sustains an injury so heinous that the presence (or lack thereof) of a disclaimer on the shelf becomes somehow relevant? When it comes to the framed paintings behind glass, or if they were bowling balls somehow inexplicably displayed on a high teetering shelf I would perhaps understand, but these are BASKETS. WICKER BASKETS. Is there a person out there to whom they are a potential threat? Is there a potential victim of decapitation by wicker basket alive in the world at this moment? If so, what is their phone number, because we probably have a lot to talk about

Moral of this picture: whenever three clones of “Thing” from the Addams Family pop out of a vat of boiling urine and try to steal his gigantic holographic Africa pendant, Malcolm X gets so angry he almost becomes violently ill.

But not quite.

Clock around the Cock

I LOVE crap like this. This ancient VCR/TV receiver combo was bigger than my phone, computer, and television all combined, looked like Johnny 5 from Short Circuit, and probably weighed more than I do (I didn’t try to pick it up. Sorry). I could say some more “funny” things about it but I don’t know, I mean, just look at it. Isn’t it great? Yeah.

This is two entries in a row I’ve brought this up but I love pugs. Pugs not drugs. And here’s the answer to the age old question “What’s cuter than a pug?” well I guess a freaking STUFFED ONE IS

Even its hysterectomy scar is adorable

Apparently Dr. Seuss wants you to know that this grill is unsafe. For a mouse. And in a house. Nor here or there. Or anywhere.

SO WHY THE FUCK ARE YOU SELLING IT IN A STORE THEN

“Careful! Wheel broken!
Hazard, will fall,
May just tip over,
And splatter you all!

With doozles and boozles,
And binkle-fink-dankles,
This thing will collapse,
And break all your ankles!”

Oh thank god a cooler for my cheese

Joking aside (yeah right) this is hands down the most impressive lineup of walkers I’ve ever seen in a thrift store or anywhere else for that matter, period. But, one qualm. Referencing my earlier comment about the “ASK FOR HELP FROM THE TOP SHELF MURGA BURGA” signs… why the fuck are they on the top shelf? The people who may actually NEED these things (and even the people who may need to get them FOR them, presumably) are going to have a WAY harder time getting their hands on them when you’ve got them suspended five feet off the floor, which sort of defeats the purpose of using a walker in the first place! And also where are the “ASK FOR ASSISTANCE” signs here? Doesn’t this seem like the most relevant and useful place in the entire fucking store for them to be? Gah!

Speaking of “Gah,” here’s a little glimpse into the lens through which I view something like this gross but relatively innocuous framed caricature-type visual atrocity. Here’s my thought process:

“Wow, that’s ugly. Even for a caricature, that’s bad. I wonder if they had that done at some sort of street fair or something. Wow, it’s framed. Wow, it’s framed really well. My god, imagine what it must have cost to have that professionally framed relative to the cost of having some hack street artist bang it out on some sweaty August afternoon. Who would spend that kind of money? Well, a kid, or rather their parents, and along the way someone must have become so invested in the picture or the moment or something like that that they spent all this money to have it framed and preserved… and then at some point it lost its luster and probably got stashed in a basement or garage for months or maybe even years until it was time to clean out all the junk and send it to the secondhand store, and now it’s here, priced at 9.75, completely forgotten by everyone who ever laid hands or eyes on it, from the artist who made it to the person who framed it to the parents who paid for it to its subject itself, and now it’s here in front of me. And I’m taking a picture of it. And the picture and this act of preservation provides it, this useless disposable object, with a depth and value and meaning and significance that it was somehow lacking before, and the lights reflecting off its glass surface as I take the photo show the depth of the space it inhabits and hopefully show the depth of its history and highlight the fact that even though it’s basically garbage on whatever level, maybe it still has some kind of intrinsic value and/or worth. Or maybe I have no idea what I’m talking about.”

And that all happened in my head in the span of about a second and a half. That’s in no way an attempt to brag, I know we all think that fast, it’s just nice to spell it out every once in a while, as a reminder. This is how I look at everything. This is the way in which I am ill.

ANYWAY. Attention all thrift store owners and basically just everyone everywhere: stop selling used underwear. Unless you are a hot lady (or dude) or even a gross lady (or dude) making money selling them to perverts on the internet, secondhand underwear has NO place on the common market. It’s just… no. There is no rationale, no amount of washing, no price you can set that will make me think this is a reasonable idea. Bras MAYBE. MAYBE, but even that’s a stretch, and but the underthings? For the lower half? Are we just expected to pretend like we don’t all KNOW what goes on down there, for men AND for ladies? I’m no prude (I hope that’s evident by now) but for queen and country can we please just band together and collectively say “NO” as a people? Would YOU want to put that on?

Things start to get a little hazy here. I guess this is Baby Business Casual? I know they’re interviewing them younger and younger but boy is that a stretch

And then next thing I knew I was looking at Pepto-Bismol colored prom dresses. Or bridesmaid dresses. Or just a dress. How the hell am I supposed to know?

I was stumbling to the door when I saw this sign about beads

BEES?

Beads.

BEADS?

I bought a string and left.

I’d call that a success.

love

d

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Goodwill Southaven

We struck out across state lines on a beautiful sunny Sunday afternoon to check out the Goodwill just over the border in Southaven, and this time, we weren’t traveling alone. We had the company of our good friend Addison, who in addition to being a supremely talented photographer and connoisseur of kitsch, also knows a thing or two about clothes. Her friends Natalie and Evangeline were game enough to come along and join in the fun. No one died, so I guess I’d have to call it a success.

I’ll be peppering this entry with selections from the photos that Addison was kind enough to take alongside my own, and might I say it’s a refreshing breath of freshingly fresh air that refreshes me to get a look at someone’s else’s take on this endless squall of discarded junk through which I storm ceaselessly like an uncaged beast, in a neverending quest to handle every single piece of castoff cookery and mildly soiled children’s bathingware, until I die from the effort or contract rickets. Whichever comes first. What was I saying? Oh, right, Addison’s pictures are great and I’m glad she came along. UPGRAAAAAADE

I think not every pair of sunglasses are for me. These, though, I strongly felt belonged on my face. Like, permanently, attached by bolts. The overwhelming chorus of female disapproval I heard at the assertion of this notion, however, convinced me otherwise. Thank god for the intermittent voice of reason, I suppose.

Ok, this is going to get a little obscure, but I used to tangentially keep up with a website called somethingawful.com that had a thread about this picture:

that turned into this:

that still makes me laugh so hard I almost wettem every time I look at it. I strongly recommend reading through that thread if you have a few minutes to kill and want to laugh so hard you may rupture something. Anyway, that’s the rapid fire series of associations I had from looking at this relatively innocuous dog door package thing. I just wanted to take you through them with me. There you have it.

Meanwhile, Addison found the counterpart to the psychotically murderous toy piano I chanced across in a recent entry, except, is that a barbecue grill? That’s what that is, right? It’s… a grill? I understand that times have changed and children play with different shit now than they did when I was young, but if memory serves we had tanks and guns and steam shovels and princess castles and makeup sets and fucking magic wands and the like… we dreamt big. This is what we’re giving our children to aspire to now? Throwing a few shrimp on the barby? Come on, people. We can do better. In the words of Whitney Houston, I believe the children are our future. Also in the words of Whitney Houston, crack is cheap.

I scared up this sweet looking croquet set, and after a bit of debate amongst the posse about if anyone had an actual grass-covered yard in which it could be used, and some pondering of the logistics of taking it to the park and setting it up there, regretfully put it back. All I want to do is reenact this scene:

IS THAT SO WRONG?!?!?

I thought the whole point of a bare floor is that it was clean

Crib with attached mobile. I’m curious who the first person was to decide that hanging a bunch of shit over an infant’s head while it tried to go to sleep was a good idea, and how it caught on. Granted, I can only speak for myself as an adult, but when I lay in bed at night, the swirling miasma of disjointed images and sounds and associations that dangles above MY head doesn’t help me sleep in the SLIGHTEST. So who thought that would be a good thing to inflict on tiny tiny children? Oh, right. People who weren’t incessantly haunted by the demons of their past. That’s right. Well, for any pre-k readers of this blog (a surprisingly large amount of my reader base, actually… I guess that speaks more to my own level of emotional maturity and disposition than anything else), let me just assure you, the frightening things that your parents have chosen to leave suspended over your head to haunt you at night pale in comparison to the things that you will someday come to leave suspended over your own head, so perhaps attempt to take some semblance of solace or comfort in that?

This is why I don’t get left alone with children very often.

In other news, Addison found this t-shirt for PUUUUUGS!!!! I LOVE pugs, secondly only to Boston Terriers and of course my dear Charles Smith the Lazer Bean Dog:

But I LOVE this shirt, and the whole idea! That you could play golf to help out one of the cutest animals on god’s greenearth?!? Where do I sign up? Hugs for pugs. Pugs not drugs.

Did they really have a problem with people trying to sit or stand on “Shelf Wood?” What kind of mutated freaks are they gestating down there in the extreme northern environs of Mississippi? Wait, never mind. Forget I asked.

Addison came across this truly frightening bear, which I wish I’d had a chance to examine in detail, because it invites so many questions. Dead-mouthed Eyeless Bear with Hole in Crudely Drawn Heart and Red Nose? That’s either the featured entree at the most amazing Asian restaurant ever, or a thrift store mystery that deserves to be cracked. Next time, Watson, please let me know.

Fortune Cookie Jar

DOUBLE RAINDROPS, WOWWWW!

Charley Pride, also (perhaps) unintentionally representing Gay Pride

Ok jukebox time

So here’s Addison’s friend Natalie, not afraid to ham it up, considering purchasing a pair of Starburst colored jeans…

putting on a wig OH GOD YOU PUT ON A USED WIG OH ICK THERE IS NO WAY THAT DIDN’T HAVE BUGS IN IT (Photo by Addison)

and shamelessly breaking into a dressing room (Photo also by Addison). It was good to know I was traveling with a pack of similarly shameless degenerates, even if the average age range of my companions was somewhere in the neighborhood of a decade below my own. I don’t care, they were still good company. On that note though

I saw this 80’s themed edition of Trivial Pursuit and couldn’t help but chuckle at the notion that were I to get the people I was shopping with that day together for a game somewhere down the line, I’d assuredly wipe the floor with them, considering two of them weren’t even ALIVE during that particular decade. I laughed, then I got kind of sad. Then I laughed again, but I couldn’t remember what I was laughing about, but I laughed anyway. Getting older is awesome.

Not really sure what this means. Damn those Nigerians and their inscrutable proverbs. “Hold a true friend with both your hands because otherwise they may be eaten by a cheetah or succumb to malaria or some type of genocide or just basic starvation?”

Addy didn’t buy these boots, but she should’ve bought these boots… Steel tipped shit kickers? Yes.

Insert requisite “Prostitute Robot From The Future” joke here.

Recumbent Magnetic Bike! Have there ever been three less appealing words combined in the history of human language? Have you ever seen one of those douchebags riding around town on a ridiculous seated bicycle and thought “I want to be just like that, but in the comfort and privacy of my own home, where I can hide my shame from the world at large, and also I want magnets to be involved on some level”? BOOM! Here we go! We have a solution for you! Buy now, while it still seems like a good idea!

Ok so my previous “Please do not sit or stand on merchandise” question was about who would ever WANT to perform either of said activities on the object in question, but now it becomes more of an issue of “How do you ever expect to sell this fucking chair if you’re actively discouraging people from even SITTING on it to try it out?” Because I ask you, dear readers, would you buy a chair you’d never even had the chance to SIT on? It’d be like buying a car you’d never driven, or marrying someone you’d never slept with. These are things we moved past as a species when we decided to climb down out of the trees and move into caves. Although if someone had confronted us with the idea of office furniture and automobiles and lifelong monogamy back then, perhaps we wouldn’t have reacted so well to those things either. Evolution, ZOW

Words of note here: “Reality Tour Live.” I swear I stood there for 5 minutes trying to wrap my mind around that. How does one take Reality on Tour? How does one package Reality and make it mobile, available to show people in a mid-sized local arena of their choosing, for a predetermined ticket price? WE’RE SELLING REALITY TO EACH OTHER, PEOPLE. Something has gone fundamentally wrong in human society.

I will say the Live version of Reality is head and shoulders above the studio version. If there’s one thing I hate, it’s artificial Reality created in a studio. I think we can all agree that shit is wack.

Ok, so things seem kind of dire, but when all else fails…

Send chocolate. Ok here’s a bunch of random shit-

Natalie covered in purses and rainbow colored jeans. Speaking of rainbows…

Addison’s picture of a rainbow rack of dress shirts

Evangeline trying to figure out the proper way to wear a church hat

I think this is it

Addison’s badass picture of a plastic facsimile of an old fashioned alarm clock. I totally didn’t notice this at all. This is the advantage of a second pair of eyes. Especially one who’s sharp with a camera. Case in point, quick photo-off…

Mine

Hers. I gotta give it up to the lady from Instagr.am, that’s a much better shot.

Of course, she didn’t spot this particular trifecta of literary insanity. That’s Barney, Montel, and Staubach, all on the same shelf. I can’t even imagine wiping my ass with any of these books, but I still found it laughably insane that you could probably get all of them for less than seven bucks, after tax.

Ok time to wrap it up. Let’s see, here’s a digital scale branded by an unfortunately titled reality tv show, and what does it tell us?

It tells us this object I placed on it (toothbrush holder? rat container? mother?) weighs in at 143.

143 what?

Evangeline is mildly delighted with string art

I am confounded by a wide-eyed toy, and narrowly avoid bumping into my future self, skulking blurrily in the background of the left side of the frame (Addison)

This looks like a nightmare, this is probably what it’s like for vegetables to become salsa when you throw them in a food processor. VEGANS TAKE NOTE

Hip-hop Nirvana. Why I didn’t buy this is beyond me. And also beyond The Veil of Hip-hop Maya RELIGIOUS REFERENCE

Advice we could all use, I’m sure…

I always knew Colonel Sanders was a pedophile

3-D Bikebell! Yeah!

…anyone want to explain to me what that means? Ok let me finish off with a few more pictures from Addison because I really did enjoy the company, and the eye for composition, and all of it. You rule, Addie. Take it away.

DURR HEY. Until next time, keep your lamp lights trimmed and burning, my dearies.

love

d

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