Saturday, December 22, 2007


Tis the season. Tis got here too damn fast if you ask me. Then again, if you're poor like me there's really no pressure to buy gifts. At least I have time to update this here pictures of junk blog. (Why does "blog" sound as dated as "groovy"?)

Lot's of great Christmas images -- I looked for Hanukkah and Kwanzaas stuff to, but I guess either the stuff doesn't end up in thrift stores (unlikely, as everything ends up in thrift stores) or the gew-gaws are just not as glaringly garishly what-the-fudge awful as Christmas falderal is.

Now thrifty Xmas exteriors are nice, rather subtle, idyllic even. Almost picture post card perfect, no?
But the closer you get, the more twinkly crap. Some of it even motorized.

Xmas stuff is ubiquitous in thrift stores all year long. It's no problem to find a Santa figurine on a hot July day in your nearest second hand store. But come Christmas time, well, as my wife says, it looks like Santa vomited candy canes all over the store.

Now, some places want to squeeze every dime they can out of their Xmas stash when the time rolls around.

Other places realize, "Sh-t, we'd better unload this crap now or it'll sit here until next July."

Plenty of great gift ideas, beyond the Christmas schwag. Like the world's ugliest lamp. Plenty of world's ugliest lamps if you poke around.

World's most awfully patriotic sweater? You know, f-ck the terrorists. If I have to wear this sweater, the terrorists have won. Perfect gift for a certain presidential candidate from NY, though, huh?

Here's the perfect gift for my wife. I wonder what state fair this was gleaned from? Damn, that's one sexy mustachioed Magnum. Only "69" cents -- heh, heh.

Course, if I only gave her some 80's glass stud, this would probably be my gift. I have to say that Bryant Gumble is rocking that man muu-muu. I bet that mug is full of whiskey or Goldschlager. Why else would he be out on the roof in a dress?

How about an army of plastic wrapped angels? Kind of reminds me of one of those CGI shots of stormtroopers from the last Star Wars epic.

Here's a great gift idea. "Doll Baby" -aka- "Disembodied head of a Cabbage Patch Kid-ripoff in a box." Just imagine the squeals of joy (or screams of sheer terror) of the little girl (or boy) unwrapping this on Christmas morning. Either way, it'd be fun. Tee-hee.

Normally, one creepy doll picture per post is enough. But I can't pass up a trio of doll coffins. Complete with racing stripe!

There's always the gift of music. Or in this case, crappy 70s pop that accidentally gets played on AM radio from time to time. Gosh, someone just never got around to unwrapping their gift from 1975, these John Denver and Perry Como 8-tracks. Let's hope they stay that way.

How about one, lonely, Charlie Brown mitten? Almost as sad as that pitiful little tree of his.

Why not purchase this horrible puking/ spitting cat lotion pump? The less said about this the better.

Nothing quite says crappy Christmas gift like crappy home made clothing. I would say it's an 80s flashback, but who wore this stuff? Silk Flower Sweats sounds like a tropical disease.

I don't know what's more wrong, the sweatshirt or the male model they chose for the cover. It's true, she's a he. Let me just zoom in a bit and you'll see...

See, if you look closely enough you can make out the adam's apple is just slightly big. It's a man, baby!

You could also go with some of the more familiar holiday related baubles. It's nice to see the nutcracker family branching out of the military profession. Is there a Dr. Nutcracker in the house?

Or you could spend the rest of your life unraveling these Christmas lights. Aren't these things like 99 cents a strand at Walgreens?

By the by, that Jack-O-Lantern was perched up on mount fire hazard before I got there, and then suddenly totally pitched forward the moment I took the picture. I could have been killed. Haunted thrift store. True story.

How about bucking tradition and going home with the relatively new mascot, Buster the Christmas Penguin? Nice of Goodwill to give us their suggested in-home display, huh?

Now, I love A Christmas Story and in general I have a soft spot for bobble heads as well. But, sorry, Ralphie makes one horrible bobble. Messy Marvin, on the other hand, would make one fantastic bobble.

But let's get back to basics. Creepy-ass Santas-a-plenty. Like this slightly suspicious St Nick.

He's got shifty eyes, I tell ya.

Or you could go with my most favoritest sad Santa evar. He looks like he's about to be crushed.

But don't you be crushed (nice seg-way, huh?), for Thrift Store Adventures will return in the New Year. Thanks for all of you who have visited, and left comments. There were 25 posts this year. Let's hope 2008 brings at least 26.

Friday, December 14, 2007


I seem to remember back when these crappy plastic photo cubes were ubiquitous on my family's living room coffee tables. Also, how they all turned yellow instantly because of the cheapness of the plastic .

I love the way-too-confusing instructions, the arrows flying every which way, the fact that it apparently takes two people to "operate" the cube (just go ahead and try to get both of your hands into that position) : "Place your left thumb and forefinger exactly 2/3 of the circumference of the square root of pi from the bisecting..." AHHRGHH, math, I hate that stuff!

And look closely, because I don't think that picture is going to fit -- Nope, that picture of Uncle Buddy on a mo-ped is going to get all f-ed up and Mom and Dad are going to get in a huge screaming match, and the babies will start crying, and suddenly "you've ruined Christmas!" Just you watch.

Let's assume they do manage to get a picture in there, it seems to me like rather a lot pressure to pick out those 6 perfect snapshots that exactly encapsulate (en-cube?) your domestic bliss.

That's why the geniuses at the photo cube plant in Hong Kong (by way of Sweden, from the look of all these whities) decided to give us some examples of what you should display in the form of pictures of anonymous people.

First, apparently, find an image of yourself or a loved one most likely to inspire a Stepford Wives analogy:

Hi, there! I'm Sally Cubenstein, and gosh darn, isn't life just super-duper great?

Then, find a picture that says:

Hey, there tall, dark and handsome. Wanna have sex in my UFO? The one I've landed somewhere in Siberia? We can do it right here, on this cold, modernist couch that resembles a hospital bed. Let me just finish reading this copy of Rolling Stone with a completely ominous black cover.

Then, of course, insert a Polaroid of your post-coital bliss in which you have also, of course, dropped acid:

Wow, Sally, this quite a UFO you've got here. Say, I like your groovy headband and, gee, your whole space-outfit. Is it just me or could you go for a tall, cold glass of lava lamp right about now? Wanna have raunchy sex again?

Not now, Sven, I'm too f-ed up!

Then slip in an off-center shot of your crappy polka dot rainbow mugs (what no mushroom paraphernalia?) and centerpieces taken on the bluuuuue table in the bluuuuuuuuuuuuuuuue room on the edge of bluuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuue forever.

Hey, how do we get out of here? It's so blue. I think I'm having a bad trip. My eyes are burning.

Just head for that crappy polka dot rainbow gravy bowl. The colors! The COLORS!!

Finally, end with a shot of you at 72 years old, fondly remembering shagging what's-her-name (Cubey? Stacey-Cubist-something?) in her UFO in Siberia, back when you didn't need a fistful of Viagra and hallucinogenics just to get your ass out of bed in the morning.

Oh, I think I'll just rest here until I die... Hey, you'd better not be taking my picture and sticking it in a photo cube, you little m-f-er! At least let me put on a non-1920s prison labor shirt and some pants, fer Chris' sakes!

Too late, grandpa, this Kodak moment has been encubed for posterity.

Ah, the 70s. What would a trip to the thrift store be without them?

Monday, December 03, 2007


Part of my annual family get together, aside from gorging and disposing of vast quantities of cheap beer, is the much anticipated day-after trip to thriftlandia. Any trip that yields a velvety emotional Elvis is a good one.

As my cousin Zach postulated: maybe that's not a microphone but an onion.

Here is the winner of the Shiny Metallic Phallus! (c) Award. At first I thought this was some Big Lebowski reference, but then I saw the kid's expression as his Shiny Metallic Phallus! (c) thrusts into the sky, seeding the heavens, rocketing his payload into the ample bosom of space (eww) I knew better.

"Mixed Denim" sounds either like the name of a jazz fusion band playing in the corner of your hole-in-the-wall coffee shop ("Right, that was Mood Indigo and we're Mixed Denim and I'd like to give a shout out to my mom. And there's a special on banana-pumpkin mocha lattes") or the title of a blue jean magnate's autobiography (Mixed Denim: The Ned Wranglers Story)

Usually, my second hand slumming is a solo affair, but at thriftsgiving it's a family affair. Clearly they didn't know what they were getting in to.

Who knows, you might even run into a celeb on a thrift run. I pity the fool who doesn't buy his man-earrings second hand.

You know, there is an interesting thrift store-liquor store-donut shop nexus that I may explore at a later date.

Lots of liquor references this post. Just like a Hemingway novel, huh? Would you like a shot of Andrew Jackson or Mr. Bagpipes McHalf-head.

Something's not right with these two. It's almost too quiet. Nope, I wouldn't turn your back on this pair.

Now, this guy, Fright Sight Rath, or whatever, he looks like a fine, upstanding mummy. Mummies Alive! is kind of an oxymoron, though huh?

But wait a second! "Push my Leg!" and discover his "Monster Cobra Inside"? Yuck. Lots of phallic references this post, too.

"Honey, what time is it?"
"Well, dear, let me consult the doomsday clock. Looks like it's just about suppertime."
"Jesus, is it that late already?"

JESUS CLOCK a one act play by me.

Okay, lots of God in this post too. But wait, is this Our Lord Jesus Christ? Or...

Or is it...

You be the judge, but judge not lest ye be judged. Fight the power.

One thing this post hasn't had enough of is gay basketball. If you were hoping for some gay basketball, here you go. If you'd like I can turn the gayness up just a bit.

I think there's an album cover in this image somewhere. Like dead center. In the crotchal zone.

Well, eventually we all had to leave thriftlandia, mainly to by more booze. I can't decide which sign was more bizarre at the local grocery store. This one...

Or this. Great. Now I've got that song stuck in my head: "Shaving Cream, shaving cream; shave twice a day and you'll be nice and keen." And now you do too.

But it was not all fun and games and rainbows and scatological innuendos and phalluses (phallusi? phalluxen? A gaggle of phalluses? Eww).

No, my friends there was... MURDER! Murder most foul! Yes, Deborah killed an innocent (if pedestrian) bottle of Pinot Noir and got away scott free. Not pretty. Thriftstoring ain't easy.