4/5/2008 - Amvets Presley Blvd

[technical note - i finally just gave up on trying to get photobucket and blogger to play nice when it came to pictures and have found iPhoto and google's nifty answer to photobucket/imageshack/flickr/whatever, picasa, prove to be a much more elegant and efficient combination, not that you asked. the upshot of it, what i'm blathering about is, that now the pictures actually function as clickable links to larger images in my picasa album, if you're interested in seeing the fine filigreed detail on that hummel figurine up close and personal, click away. IT'S NOT PORN I PROMISE. NONE OF THIS IS PORN OKAY SO STOP ASKING. okay, on with the show.]

amvets. SO bangin'.

SO chill.

SO worth the drive.

i LOVE this place, if that's not coming through enough already. world's largest thrift store? perhaps not, but after the borderline spelunking, indiana jones m*therf*cking swashbuckling adventure we had at the shadows of treasuries, it certainly struck me as more than a little...how should i say it...elysian. super late hours that they actually seem to adhere to, so you can make it out there if you actually happen to work a normal job with normal hours...

great specials

a friggin' snack bar - okay really just a couple of vending machines and a few chairs, but still. they also have a little arcade featuring old fave ms. pac man, along with primal rage (IT'S LIKE MORTAL KOMBAT WITH DINOSAURS OMG) and a playchoice-10 machine, just like imperial lanes. have you been to imperial lanes yet? you should go. let's go, i'll go. you wanna go?

i digress.

have i already mentioned that this place is bangin'? i have, haven't i. amusingly enough i kind of found myself at a loss for words, and am having the same issue now. my notebook page for this store is only about halfway full, as opposed to shadow of treasuries taking up a page and a half, and not in a good way. so perhaps i'll just let some of these pictures speak for themselves, for the most part. what do you think of that idea, dear?

she seems amenable to it. me shutting up for even just a few seconds always = a minor miracle in my wife's eyes. and yes...she bought the hat.

the quintessential dumb, unnecessary board game that will only serve as an amusing relic of our era for future generations to look back on with mildly bemused contempt. notice, though, if it comes through in the detail, the disclaimer at the bottom "no computer required to play!" and be, perhaps, as baffled as i was. if you don't have a computer, what possible interest would you have in an ebay-based game in the first place? or, alternately, picture the guy angrily returning the game to the store the day after he bought it because it doesn't have a USB port for him to hook up his laptop to it and therefore, can not actually buy anything on ebay through the game itself. i don't know, just speculating.

love this, though. these pop up a lot and i always want to get them, but feel like it would almost be an invasion to buy and take home something so personal, such a fragment or snippet or whatever of someone's life, their past experience contained in a little object like that. my slide carousel idea notwithstanding, i find myself being oddly sensitive about invading other people's privacy or pasts or emotional space or whatever. i mean, there's a world of difference between 400 pictures of some overweight middle age couple trucking around outer mongolia and this almost heartbreakingly intimate picture of this woman on her wedding day. so many questions, so much backstory that your mind can't help but fill in. how does this get here? this is one of the many reasons i love what i do, so so much. this is where your shit ends up when it gets cast to the four winds, assuming it's not in a landfill somewhere. at some point in the past, this woman is sharing a special moment with a lady who i can only imagine is her mother/grandmother/whatever, on her wedding day, and someone's taking a picture. now i'm taking a picture of that picture, and you're all looking at it, and somehow we're all in that same moment together. unfuckingbelievable.

anyway, as a refreshingly silly counterpoint to all this, you know, "emotional depth" and rambling pseudoliterary piffle, here's the requisite huge pile of crutches that is at every thrift store, ever, always, along with the near-requisite accompaniment of old golf clubs. almost makes me want to hit the links but obviously, i'm not a golfer. let's put our heads together and come up with something fun to do with all these crutches, if for no other reason than to see the look on the cashier's face when we bring up fourteen pairs of crutches and set them on the counter. you in?

and, from the "unbelievable randomosity" department, a whirlpool tub! just hangin' out, pretending like it's not blowing your mind, all nonchalant like "hey, if you've got $500 lyin' around burnin' a hole in your pocket you can take me home right now! back up the truck and let's go!" and you're like BARF in my own mouth that is amazing!

and, right next to the tub, these bad boys. i don't know if the picture really gives you an indicator of their size but they're really big, totally sturdy if not exactly pristine, and at $40 each not a bad deal if not exactly a steal. was i tempted? you bet i was. did i pass? i sure did. do i regret it? maybe a little. do i love talking like robert evans?

you bet your ass i do.

anyway i guess i was supposed to be talking about books or something? their selection wasn't too bad, nothing to REALLY write home about, but priced totally fairly at 79 cents per hardback, 49 cents per paperback, and 29 cents for kids' books. found some cool stuff, which i'll get to in a second, but not without mentioning the INSANE

amount of 8 track tapes (at least in comparison to the other thrift stores i've been to)

and cassettes, also a huge book case full of vhs tapes that just wasn't looking suitably photogenic or something, so if you're into mildly outdated media formats, this is the place for you! i didn't look through them too much though as i was too busy assembling my purchases:

that's 8, count 'em eight vintagey serialized romance novels, and i feel this would be a good moment for me to pause, and, as future proprietor of the bitter end of bittersweet books and coffee, LLC, assure you, my potential book-buying public that at no point do i have any plans or intentions of selling serialized romance novels or other assorted trash of that nature in my store. a brief smattering of amusing vintage items will be available for purchase or perusal AS A TRIFLING AMUSEMENT ONLY but will never, and i will stand firm by this assertion even if it puts me in the poor house, NEVER occupy a place of prominence on my shelves. not to get too high and mighty but i regard serialized romance as possibly the lowest form of literature (if the word "literature"'s even appropriate to use in the first place), rivaled only in my disdain by the latest spate of completely fictionalized memoirs by middle class white people pretending to have had interesting lives. i take that back, i'd rather read a hundred pages of james frey describing unanesthetized root canals, or even actually HAVE one myself, than wade through that garbage for even a minute. camp has its place and the vintage serials are wonderfully fun to read with tongue firmly implanted in cheek, even the most mirthless asshole in the world (a title i could claim to be a contender for) can appreciate that, but i gotta come down firm on this: no romance novels. ever. new ones, anyway. we clear?

okay now it's time to talk about judy.

oh, judy judy judy...why you gotta play a man like that? i just got done ranting and raving about how i wasn't gonna sell trashy shit like the stuff you crank out and then there you are, with the book that changed my life.

she always plays me like that.

explanation: right at the beginning of the whole book buying, store opening, shit-getting together process that started a couple of years ago in beautiful sunny galveston texas, i happened across a copy of the book you see here, "Scruples", in the salvation army, and, drawn by a force that i still can't put my finger on to this day, i decided to pick it up and page through it even though it obviously belongs in the class of books that i usually do my damndest to avoid. i happened on the only dog-eared page in the whole book and read the PORNIEST, raunchiest sex scene i had ever seen, outside of "Christina's Treasure," which i'll tell you about someday when you're older. it was love at first sight. i still can't claim to have waded all the way through any of her works although i've made a damn good effort on more than one occasion, but i can claim to proudly own at least one copy of everything the dear woman has ever written. danielle steel? you can go to hell. jackie collins? yawn.

judy's the only girl for me.

okay, moving on. made my book purchases, dropped them in the car and came back in to wander around for a while while amy finished up, just because i was having so much fun. happened to check the end of the tigers game - dorsey just ABUSES people in the low post, it's almost too embarrassing for their sakes for me to watch.

snagged this neat little purse/bento carrier thing for super happy wife time - all the ladies go "awwww that's so sweet he finds stuff for his wife!" all the guys are going either "whipped" or "homo." say whatever you want, if being in love makes me a fag then let's bust out the madonna dvds and whip up some mimosas. i also encouraged her to buy that pair of pink converse that are all the way on the far left side of the top shelf in this picture. that's right, i'm VERY secure.

also found (but didn't buy) this, and i wish i had thought to take a picture of the back, because it had this HILARIOUS inscription/disclaimer thing that said something like "plate not for food use. plate may poison food." or something really ominous and cryptic like that, but i can't remember exactly what it was now. still kind of sweet, and only like 50 cents or so i think, but remember - it may poison your food.

the following is a short one-act play i've written based on the conversation that i had with my wife after i saw the steam buggy, entitled "steam buggy."
me: "steam buggy! $8.98!"

the wife: "what?"

me: "steam buggy!...$8.98!"

wife: "steam...buggy?

me: "steam buggy! $8.98!"


i try to keep the covert photography of other people to a minimum at all times, mainly because it's REALLY hard to get decent candid shots of anyone in the first place, let alone like over your shoulder while you're pretending to tie your shoes. also, while TECHNICALLY not illegal, it definitely skeeves people out, and i try to keep the skeeve factor pretty low most of the time if i can, seeing as i'm starting with a baseline level of "big, weird looking white dude in a beat up old suit," but i had to make an exception because these kids were so god damned cute. i know the picture doesn't do it justice at all but they were acting out like a little game show and asking each other questions off this trivial pursuit card they found and singing songs that they wrote with their imaginary boyfriend chris brown and it was just like the icing on the coolness cake that was amvets presley blvd. go on, girls.

anyway that just about does it i think, just one more observation before we go - several of the clothing items that mrs. dave ended up buying had discounted prices on the tag, the "discounting" method amounting to basically crossing out the old price and writing in a new one with a charcoal pencil, and i was tempted to suggest (not that it would have amounted to much, probably) to the guys behind the counter that they may want to devise a different method for adjusting prices that isn't so...how can i say this...easy to abuse for personal gain? i mean charcoal pencils are like a dollar from any art supply store on the planet, if you walk in with one in your pocket (and a little eraser if you want to remove any evidence of a previous price) you can basically decide how much you want to pay for a lot of stuff. again FOR THE RECORD I DO NOT AND HAVE NEVER ADVOCATED STEALING, SCAMMING OR OTHERWISE SCREWING OVER GREAT LITTLE STORES AND/OR CHARITABLE ORGANIZATIONS, i'm just making an observation. what you do with it is up to you.

okay spending: like $7 in books for me, don't remember how much amy's clothes were. no one cares how much we spend anyway, i'm just going to start skipping this i think unless it seems especially relevant.

Amvets Thrift Center
2526 Elvis Presley Blvd
Memphis, TN 38106
(901) 775-5010

m-sat 9-9
sun 12-6

music: quiet, unobtrusive soul music from some radio station. perfect.

sales: 25% off for seniors every monday, 99 cent sweaters, 25% off coats, jackets, shorts, t-shirts, blouses and kids clothes - they're practically givin' the shit away folks

that'll just about do it for this week people. my work schedule is going to be thrown into mild to moderate disarray this week (and perhaps longer) but you needn't concern yourselves with that. i will find the time, i will MAKE the time god dammit, neither rain not sleet nor snow nor hail nor whatever else is in the mailman's oath will delay me from my appointed rounds. or, in the words of one of my personal heroes, mr. george nada:

"i have come here to chew bubblegum and kick ass...and i'm all out of bubblegum."

thrift on


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