3/18/2008 - Goodwill Stage Rd
it was with some mild relief that we reached the final store on my itinerary for the day. this goodwill (which i swear to god is in bartlett even though googmaps is telling me it's in memphis - is bartlett really just a glorified neighborhood? that would be funny) is HUGUNGOUS (aka ginormous) and i felt pretty confident taylor would leave with a table, i'd get some great pictures and we'd call it a day. have i mentioned our general level of wrongness about this stuff yet?
this place is really funny and weird and worth a day's inspection on its own, being the only thrift store i've ever seen with an honest to goodness "Human Resources Department" (with its own little separate office and everything - so cute!) and a picture of Herman J. Goodwill or whatever the hell the guy's name is who started the whole thing. looks like a nice chappie.
anyway for sheer square footage this has got to take the cake, biggest thrift store i've ever been in, ever, but whereas the salvo's from earlier on in this trip was all available to wander around in and get lost in thrifty goodness, this goodwill had roughly the area of a good-sized airplane hangar blocked off with the trademark particle board walls and swinging door, all devoted to processing their donations. they had a HUGE donation drop off center outside, so it's understandable, but still...mister goodwill, tear down this wall! reagan smash!
that is what it looked like. it sounded like...well, if you can figure out how to stick your head inside a dishwasher while it's running, do that. then you will know what it sounded like.
SO huge though, SO much cool sh*t just everywhere, like the half-trumpeting elephant bookend and of course the requisite wolf picture, AUGMENTED in coolness by its proximity to the framed, embroidered fish thing
although i have to pause in my elation for just a second and air a pet peeve/private beef thing i've always had with this fucking thing. no one, that's i've ever known, has enjoyed receiving one of these things. in real life, zen gardens are a byproduct of a legitimate spiritual, psychological, philosophical endeavor by some of the most dedicated people on the planet earth to pierce the veil of illusion that causes most of us so much suffering and illuminate the world, so that we might all be free. but in stupid dollar store f*ck around la la land, it's a way for bored executives to waste a few minutes every day while they wait for an email back about their next golf vacation. forgive me if this seems like a little bit of a sudden detour into bitter town (i have a summer home there) but i imagine you christians, you muslims, you whatever you are, have had that moment where you see something you love and take seriously completely trivialized and made into another stupid useless commodity clogging up our collective consciousness, and maybe you feel the same way. maybe. otherwise i am just a complete lunatic. i'm not saying that ironic gifts don't have their place, and maybe this all seems kind of dour and humorless, but don't you have to draw a line somewhere, and isn't it just as arbitrary for everyone else who does it? i don't know.
on a slightly less hysterical note, this really cracked me up. these pretty nice bamboo mats were around $5 a piece i think, which by itself is more or less unremarkable, but for the fact that they had OVER TWENTY price stickers on them - fourteen i think visible in this picture, and then like maybe ten more on the other side. i stared at this for a good five minutes trying to make sense of it...did some angry clerks just use the pricing gun to vent their frustration one day? just beating the shit out of these poor bamboo mats with the little sticker gun, hitting "$4.99" just over and over again until they were pulled off by concerned coworkers...i never really did get my head around it. three or four stickers, okay, that's kind of standard procedure to keep jackasses like me from pulling them off and substituting another, cheaper sticker (ANOTHER PRACTICE I DO NOT AND HAVE NEVER ADVOCATED PEOPLE), but twenty? especially on something that costs five dollars
okay wrapping it up you've got silly david lee roth record, check
TONS of books although by this point i was kind of too wiped out to really look through them all, i did see this however
three solid shelves of serialized romance novels, notable for their organization and the fact that they're so wonderfully undisturbed by anyone, you know, BUYING them. the next time someone asks me "why don't you want to sell romance novels in your book store?" (which actually happens a lot) i'm just going to show them this picture. and then silently, slowly shake my head. and then walk away into the sunset. with my dog. my dog will be named montavius.
i DID snag these AMAZING pictures though, $6 a piece, really well framed and without any cosmetic damage at all, just a miracle find and a perfect example of how you can never stop looking around, even at (what you foolishly think is) the end of a long day's thrifting. i was actually giggling with delight as i carried these bad boys up to the front.
two pictures , plus tax: $13.09
plus prior $28.54 equals
$41.63 all told. not a bad day, considering all the random stuff i brought home and the number of stores i visited.
6899 Stage Rd
Memphis, TN 38133
there might have been a little radio playing somewhere, but really the ambient volume of the room and all the forklifts (not an exaggeration, there were multiple forklifts) just drowned everything out. insane.
before we leave this goodwill i just want to pause and point out a book that i see available everywhere, by an author i really like. i have a few copies of both of her books that i've seen, so i can't really justify buying any more for the store, but if you see this or her other book "the lovely bones" do yourself a favor and pick it up. tough subject matter, but really well written and rewarding, i thought anyway. just a recommendation.
so. there we were. my day's work was done but surprise surprise, the goodwill had let us down. no kitchen table. what now? we had some decisions to make. read on.