fair warning: the pregnant, nursing, elderly, infirm, underage or otherwise soft of mind or constitution, weak-willed, sissy-kneed, lilly-livered, easily shocked or offended or otherwise impressionable should probably skip this week's entry. nsfw. contents under pressure. light fuse and get away. do not taunt happy fun ball. you have been warned.
this week sucked ass.
my first and second choices both closed at 5, so i was kind of roped into going to thrift citi on the corner of summer and national. not a "bad" store so much as it is just uninspiring, which is almost kind of worse in the long run. give me a chewed up crumbling hovel full of raggedy assed junk any day of the week - at least there'll be something to write about.
i guess before i get into the real hardcore bitching and complaining i should pause to congratulate clifton wooley for running his ass off at the french riviera spa's first indoor marathon - i know third place isn't the most heroic finish but you know what cliff, you got out there and you tried, and we're all proud of you for it. i have no idea what an "indoor marathon" exactly comprises but i'm sure i couldn't do any better so from all of us here at the bitter/books organization, hats off to ya
if you'd like to see any of clifton wooley's other awards, or this other random lady's four bowling trophies, they're all proudly on display for your perusal here at thrift citi. didn't see any prices on them and i can't even begin to guess how much you'd charge for someone else's old bowling trophies...sort of begs the question "why in god's name is this shit even out here in the first place? is anyone seriously going to buy it" but i've learned, dear reader, in my travels through the thrift store twilight zone, that sometimes certain questions are best left unasked.
saw a couple books of mild interest - nothing earth shattering and the prices were nothing to write home about. the depths of my brokeitude continue to know no bounds so i've had to put the book acquisition on hold for the moment, and anyway this place is just another in a long line of stores i've visited that grossly overestimates the value of their merchandise, books not being the only department where i had to pause for a second after looking at a price tag and think to myself..."really?"
i only include this picture because while i was thoughtfully meandering down the shelves, lost in my usual literary reverie, i managed to walk straight into the corner of this god damned treadmill, pretty fucking hard actually. damn thing caught me right in the side of the eyebrow, almost raised a welt. certainly didn't do a whole lot to change my already sour opinion of this place - serious claustrophobia issues here, to be sure.
anyway this book caught my eye too, for some reason. maybe it's the baffling cover illustration - i guess it's supposed to be a bunch of stuff that kids might have questions about? egg shells, tiny men on motorcycles, alarm clocks, pocket change and butterflies...ahh, the mysteries of youth. could also be the author's name. not being a parent i certainly can't speak on this with any certainty, but i feel pretty confident in saying that i wouldn't necessarily trust someone named "arkady leokum" to give authoritative answers on anything to children.
finally have some photographic evidence here that judith krantz' trashy romance novels have been mis-filed all these years. despite all my gripes and complaints about this place at least they have the insight to put "scruples two" (top shelf, all the way on the left) in with the non-fiction where it belongs.
okay time for a new game i invented. it's called "famous 20th century author or invitation to vigorous sexual intercourse?" all you have to do is take the name of a writer of great renown from the years 1900-2000 and insert the word "my" after their first name and "baby" after their last, and then decide if you could keep a straight face if the person you were about to engage in athletic coitus with looked deep into your eyes and said it with sincere and honest passion. i'll give you a few examples and you can run with it from there. or not. whatevs.
so, armistead maupin, author of "tales of the city," "the night listener," and several other works of note, becomes, (spoken lustily and in soft focus like one of those shannon tweed skinemax movies from the mid-eighties):
"armistead my maupin, baby"
h.l. my mencken, ernest my hemingway, dorothy my parker...it just gets dirtier and dirtier. try it out on your spouse/significant other/random stranger you meet in an interstate highway rest stop bathroom today!
moving on, i had no idea the kingston trio recorded an album entirely in blackface. how racially insensitive of them. either that or they're being roasted alive in a giant oven. either way they don't seem too perturbed by the whole thing. i guess if chuck woolery (all the way on the left) played the banjo in my band i wouldn't mind either.
moving on again - quickly this time. one of the things that bugged the hell out of me about this place, aside from the poor organization, randomly overpriced junk and constant surveillance and scrutiny by the staff, was the way they combined secondhand stuff with new stuff and antiques, just all lumped in together. i don't mind if you have some slightly more valuable shit that you don't want to leave out on the killing floor for plebes like me to rub my grubby little hands all over, but devoting an entire half of your store to overpriced stereo equipment ($200/300 a pair for these speakers, no lie)
offensively overpriced watches, jewelry, personal electronics
knives (what is it with the knives? really? can someone please fucking tell me what it is with the god damned knives already?)
and "novelty" zippos (although i did think the slot machine ones were kind of cool) just leaves a bad taste in my mouth. make up your mind. thrift store, antique store, "boutique" clothing shop, flea market, scratch and dent appliance store...make up your mind.
and what the hell are you laughing at, fat boy? oh, right. everything.
maybe i'd better take a page from ol' gautama's book and chill the hell out. it's just a store, dude. calm down. look at the cables. look at the pretty pile of jumbly dirty old cables. isn't that nice?
look at the old beat up adding machine. isn't that great?
look at that! an old pram! can't you just picture mary poppins pushing some drooling little baby around in that thing? doesn't that just tickle you right where it counts?
okay, i think i'm chilled now. can you tell that i'm writing this week's entry in the morning, chugging coffee, instead of in the middle of the night, swilling wine? i can. this chair was totally beautiful, pretty reasonably priced (like $25 i think), in fairly good shape, and in with the rest of the furniture, where you'd hope it would be. perhaps all is not lost.
recipe for a rollicking friday night:
1 pot of Swiss Miss™ brand cocoa w/ calcium (diet)
2 pat boone lps (your choice)
1 happy god fearing family
i probably could not answer one f*cking question in this box, to no one's great surprise.
there was a whole bushel basket of these things. so classy. almost makes me want to pick up some of the ubiquitous discarded golf clubs that are at EVERY THRIFT STORE EVER ANYWHERE and head over to overton park for a few holes...almost. and by "holes" i mean "of golf." i've recently been informed that there are several other varieties of "holes" available for your perusal in overton park if you know where to look but i assure you, i'm referring to the golf variety.
quick note on clothes - there's a sign up in the window advertising their perpetual "50% off" sale on clothes. sounds exciting right? well once you get inside and look on the ends of the racks you'll find that a good chunk of the available product (in the men's department anyway) is exempt from said sale - sport coats, jeans, and this AMAZING collection of cosby sweaters:
very frustrating. if you're thinking of looking up further examples of this particular fashion phenomenon, i would advise against googling the phrase "cosby sweater" because you might end up seeing photographic depictions of this:
"1. Cosby Sweater:
The sexual act of eating Fruit Loops, Fruity Pebbles, Trix, and Boo Berry- or any other 'bright, colorful' breakfast cereals- and then vomiting the tacky, dazzling mixture onto your partner's chest. The result should look similar to the incredible sweaters that Bill Cosby wore during his highly successful 1980's sitcom "The Cosby Show"."
there you go. learned something new this week. as always if nothing else i hope that this blog is informative and educational, even if it's about things that you'd rather not know.
so yeah this week was a bit of a bust, dear reader, and i apologize. i've tried to compensate with gratuitous vulgarity and hideous sweater pictures but i imagine you can tell i didn't have a great time at thrift citi. i would advise anyone cruising summer ave to stop in and judge for themselves, but ONLY after hitting up the far superior stores outlined in the previous few weeks' entries.
before we scamper off i'd like to remind everyone that there are still six (6) days left to vote in the "mama so fat" poll in the right hand column of your screen, and to feel free to post your favorite snap in the comments if you don't see anything appropriately cold-blooded on the list. also since i haven't mentioned it in a while, feel free to leave a comment if you have any suggestions for future stores i should visit (once the summer of summer project comes to a close of course) or particular stuff you want me to keep an eye peeled for, etc etc and i'll try to accommodate your request.
3382 Summer Ave
Memphis, TN 38122
like i said earlier, 50% off clothes, except anything you'd actually want to buy
one last thing. all this talk of cosbys...
until next time