Tuesday, October 23, 2007


Welcome kiddies, to the latest edition of Thrift Horror Adventures. Enter if you dare the dark and mysterious aisles of the severed-hand, er... second-hand shops. You know, your Ghoul-will's and Damnation Army's and what have you. Be forewarned, this crap may scare the crap out of you!

This was actually one of the first pictures I took trying to document the thrift store ability to shock and awe. I like to think this chair was either owned by the Troll King or the King of the Mole People. Maybe at least one of the Fraggles.

World's scariest fast food selection? No, not a thrift store item, but within walking distance of an excellent Goodwill.

Not so much scary as pitiable. I'm assuming the box says something like "Sad, debased Japanese business man doll." Anyone read Japanese?

I call this horrible masterpiece Black Hole Sun or maybe Los Angeles 2017 or Riverside: The Land of Dust, Smog and Meth. Hey, I can bag on the IE because I sucked it up there for three years. Now that is scary.

Scariest possible Saturday night activity. Like a low-rent Twilight Zone. You know, the one where the tape gets stuck in the VCR, and just keeps playing and replaying. What's more frightening is that somebody out there studies the history of salmon fishing.

You thought it was dead but, no, it's there, it's PIT! Oh my God it's the DELUXE EDITION! Noooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo! (cough) Ooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!

The one with the METAL BELL! Nooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!

Second scariest board game. Pyramid Power V. From the people who brought you dirty hippies, yoga, bean sprouts, and mushroom emblazoned kitchenware. Now, crystal power, that s**t's real. My friend said Jimmy Chu and his friends were totally using crystals and Ouija boards in his attic and they totally summoned this dead spirit of a murderer guy and suddenly all the electric fans came on... and they weren't even plugged in! [real conversation overheard on the school bus, circa 1986].

Do old ladies scare you? How about black and white photographs? Then don't stare too long at this giant framed black and white old lady portrait or else she'll come to life and visit you. Too late! She's gonna totally be there at the foot of your bed tonight. Or maybe when you get up to use the bathroom at 3 AM she'll be behind you in the mirror. Super sorry 'bout that. My bad.

Here's a trip down memory lane. I don't really remember the Mystery of the Green Ghost but I do remember reading it. Well, actually I remember my dad reading it to me at bedtime. Right before bed. And the dark. And the skeleton in the top hat in the basement and the sasquatch that lived on our roof (don't ask). Thanks, Dad.

Scariest abnormal cloud formation that totally looked like an H-bomb just went off. I took this a couple of years ago (on a thrift store run, of course) in some extremely humid weather in the IE. What surprised me more is that I seemed to be the only person who cared about the mushroom cloud of Armageddon. I guess radiation just isn't where it's at anymore.

Scariest threat-of-eternal-damnation-for-shoplifting-from-a-thrift-store sign. Why don't they just used video camera like everyone else. Doesn't the Almighty have better things to do? Might have been more effective if it read "GOD is listening... and so is SATAN!"

So instead of the deity of your choice ("ZEUS is watching!") privately eying your every move, how about some scary corporate big-brother outfit? And doesn't such an operation deserve a limited edition paperweight? I'd say it does. I love how Kyle (the seated guy in the maroon and blue polo shirt, of course) is pointing at some dark figure doing a dark deed on the video monitor. And Trish (cuz that's her name), is like "Code Red, someone just stuffed a Bonanza mug down the front of their pants!"

What the hell kind of party is this? is this like an Eyes Wide Shut thing? Eerier still, is that it was all like Liberace-esque versions of Glenn Miller music. Our grandparents were some seriously messed-up people.

AHHH!!! Scary stick doll!! RUN!!! Well at least you can shuffle away in a quick-like manner.

Scariest Stepford Wife hiding in the flowers on the cover of a organ player's record sleeve. Guaranteed.

Scariest juxtaposition ever? If I had a restaurant, I'd buy both of these pictures, fake their signatures, and put 'em up on the wall, by the fish tank, and the giant Buddha.

Scary 70s graphics. If I remember correctly (not always a sure bet) I think this was from 70's a back issue of Westways about the dangers of pot. Now, which one of these guys is smoking the pot I just can't remember. I gotta stop smoking the pot.

And what's more creepy than a large clown with a teddy bear, lollipop, and that look that says "You're next." Nothing.

I didn't take this in a thrift store, but at my couch, some weeks ago. Am I the only one that sees a death face in the folds of the curtain? No Photoshopping, scouts honor. Sometimes i think I'd like to live in a haunted house, but now when I've got to go to the bathroom an 3 Am. I've got to stopping watching the Ghost Hunters.

Happy Halloween, y'all.

Sunday, October 07, 2007


The first time I went in a thrift store as an adult (23 counts, right?) I was desperately looking for a ship captain's hat for a stupid Halloween costume (U-Boat commander... yeah, no one else got it either). Anyhow, I ran in this tiny little store, looked around at all the "crap," and of course I didn't find what I was looking for, so I left, disappointed. I didn't yet understand that thrift stores don't work like regular stores.

The second time I went in a thrift store was probably a few months later. This time I just browsed around at whatever they had there, and I remember finding a GAP sweater for $2.00. It didn't fit, but I was so shocked you could find a $40 sweater for two bucks I just had to buy it.

A few years later, the first thing I ever bought at a thrift store and then later sold (yes, I'm one of those eBay hucksters) was a railroad mug. I payed 49 cents for it and unloaded it for a whopping $4.

By that time I had realized there were goodies in every nook and cranny of the thrift store and I had better investigate it from all angles. The good stuff, of course, is interspersed between a lot of crap, some of it funny and some of it disturbing.

In the kitchenware section there's always plenty of stuff that makes you cringe or wonder if it will ever get purchased. Especially since our feeling of food and comfort are so closely linked.

Getting your picture taken on a city balcony and having it put on a plate probably seemed like a great idea that one time you went to Hong Kong with your seniors group, but here are the results. Can you imagine eating a Salisbury steak while staring down at an unflattering picture of yourself? Me neither. Apparently she came to her sense and sent this off to Goodwill for our viewing pleasure.

Okay, this is far cuter, to be sure, but what is exactly going on here? First of all, are we supposed to "eat your honey" while slurping it out of this juice glass? Or, if you're drinking apple juice out this glass, wouldn't it just confuse your taste buds? And what's with these bees? One looks confused and angry and the other is smiling while he falls over. How does that imply honey is healthy? Is honey healthy or just sweet bee snot?

This cup says to me: "I re-upped for your crummy war and all I got was the crummy coffee mug." Hope they at least got a nice tote bag or t-shirt to go with it.

Only slightly better than staring at yourself while you eat is staring at Lorne Greene and Michael Landon while you chug your hot cocoa out of a rusty mug. Yum. But, oh that Dan Blocker, he's so dreamy! I could stare at him all day. Hey, where the heck is Pernell Roberts? No love for Adam Cartwright?

I'm not a fan of mushrooms. Something about eating fungus. I can't really understand why images of mushrooms were so prevalent on kitchenware in the 70s. There is no way in hell I would ever drink from this pitcher. Can you imagine it filled with milk or orange juice? Excuse me while I upchuck a little.

"Miracle Kitchen Clamp." Yeah, right. Calling Dr. Mengele, Dr. Joseph Mengele. The only question I have is "Is it safe?"

What could be more patriotic than a bowl full of Cap'n Crunch and the pallid, glassy faces of the founding fathers with their cold, dead zombie eyes regarding the signing of the Declaration of Independence? How about not reducing your country's foundational moment to a Corningware pattern. Don't even get me started about the historical inaccuracies.

More patriotism on a plate. First of all, is this Lincoln's tombstone? Secondly, I realize a child made this (or perhaps a psych ward inmate), so I can excuse the coloring outside the lines, but it makes Honest Abe, the Rail-Splitter, the Great Emancipator look like a dirty hippie, maybe even Charles Manson-like. Not so good for the digestion.

What I love about this is tub for grease is how boldly it's labeled and that apparently every good 1950s kitchen needed a huge bucket of grease. Mmmmmm, just like Grandma used to make.

Some might say these mustachioed and decapitated chefs' heads are delightfully whimsical. I think you know by now how I feel about whimsy. I don't really trust their faces, either.

I will admit that these sake cups are cooler, but there's something creepy looking about ugly, grumpy, hairy old-men wrapped up like babies scowling back at you. I'm sure there's a traditional Japanese folk tale that explains everything, but I think I'd rather have the DTs.

Not a piece of demented kitchenware, but it does involve indigestion of a kind. I just love that both books were right next to each other. I wonder if the original owner found what they needed. Just a drop or two in Bob's coffee. That will teach him to mock my kitchenware. Maybe the cops are getting wise. The books said it was untraceable poison, right? Can they hear that incessant heart-beat from under the floorboards? It's Deafening!!!

These would be great on a coffee table, though, huh? Just to keep your significant-other in line.

Finally, what can only be described as a big , nasty, brown poop jar. Perfect for your Oreo cookies, Baby Ruth candy bars and Tootsie Rolls. Bon app├ętit!

Monday, October 01, 2007


This one's for Roxanne over at Cheetah Velour who is asking about one's favorite celebrity endorsements, preferably of the D-list, "I guess they really needed that paycheck" variety.

Upon finding this box, I remember being amused that she would being selling wigs, gray ones at that. Then I thought, maybe I should put that on eBay. Then I kept walking.

Thanks, Roxanne, for giving me a reason to post this picture again.