Amvets/Salvo Danny Thomas (Special I Love Memphis Edition!)

interjecting my goodwill bonanza with a special trip i took the other day with my close personal friend Kerry who runs the I Love Memphis blog for the convention and visitors bureau, along with various and sundry other internet points of interest.

before we hit the stores though we hit another one of my favorite things about memphis - the lunch buffet at pho binh on madison ave, right in the heart of midtown.

5.19 for all the lemongrass tofu, egg rolls and fried chicken you can eat. noms.

oh, and here was my fortune. would it turn out to be true? LET'S FIND OUT!

then it was off to the races, with the requisite enlivening jaunt down elvis presley blvd to the amvets store, one of the brightest jewels in the sparkling crown of awesome that is the memphis thrift store scene.

i wasn't really in the market for much of anything, shopping-wise, so i was pretty much free to wander around with my camera and gawk at shit, which is of course my favorite thing to do in the world, with pants on anyway. take, for example, this GIGANTIC old tower computer, had to be at least 2 1/2 feet tall. the phrase "old clock tower" kept popping into my head when i was looking at this particular arrangement, and it made me think of back to the future and giggle to a degree that is perhaps unbecoming of a gentleman, but whatevs. i think the shit is funny.

my best friend's mom had one of these when i was a little kid, and i always thought it was the coolest thing. odd, to think they're basically useless now that network tv only broadcasts in digital. it makes me want to buy one even more now, just as an art object or some kind of memorial. strange to stop and notice how much the world's changed, just in my lifetime. i've mentioned this elsewhere before, but i mean we had a rotary phone in the house i grew up in. my best friend's phone number ended in zero and i remember thinking it was such a pain in the ass to wait for the thing to go all the way back around after you dialed the zero, and now i can send him a text message from my phone while i browse the internet and listen to podcasts in my car. a kid who's born today is never going to be able to imagine what the world was like even 20 years ago. when phonebooks actually mattered, when there were like thirty channels on the tv and you were just BLOWN AWAY by the variety of things that were available to watch, when the phrase "Be kind, rewind" wasn't just a delightful anachronism or the title of a movie. god, i sound like such a codger.

i'm not a hundred percent positive what this thing is, exactly, or what it's supposed to do, but look!

there are two! his and hers, a matched pair! [nerd]i kind of like them because they look like r2d2 a little bit and he's my favorite droid. what's YOUR favorite droid?[/nerd]

something so poignant about a big pack of off-brand adult diapers ending up at a thrift store. this is by far NOT the first pack of adult diapers i've ever seen in my secondhand journeys, but something about the fact that they're a knockoff of Depends, and the fact that the package is open, and the way there were just kind of sitting there... i don't know. touching. and, gross.

poop is gross.

okay so i was walking home from work the other night and i was about halfway up the block on auburndale when i saw this cat kind of slowly stalking across the street - it's about 11:15 pm - and it looked kind of weird, that it was moving that slow, and when i got closer i could see that it was haranguing this tiny little mouse that was terrified and running for its life, and i used to have a pet mouse when i was a kid (Luis Bonfa was his name. eccentric child, i was.) so that shit was not EVEN going to fly so i yell "HEY!" at this cat and it kind of stops and looks over its shoulder at me but then goes right back to batting at this poor little mouse so i take off at a dead run, stomping my feet and growling at this cat, who sees me coming and (rightly so) bolts back to the other side of the street. i wasn't going to hit it or anything, mind you, just trying to shoo it away. so it eventually gets the picture and takes off, meanwhile this teensy little gray mouse with the BIGGEST eyes you have ever seen in your life is still running full tilt, understandably just as scared of me as it was of the cat, maybe even moreso, so i start following it, kind of trying to herd it along the back side of the midtown pharmacy building into some bushes or something, somewhere where the cat wouldn't just be able to come back and find it as soon as i left, when it occurs to me that i might rather fancy a little pet to take care of and keep me company again, but i wasn't about to grab at it and run the risk of contracting mouse aids or whatever it would give me when it inevitably bit my hand, and all i had to snare it with was a small brown paper bag from work, and i couldn't get close enough to get the bag in front of it, so i had to settle for shepherding (mousherding i guess) it into the bushes of the next building over, and calling it a night. anyway i saw this cage and it made me think of that. my almost rescue mouse.

that's right, you're seeing that correctly. that, me hearties, is a vase cozy. no further comment.

the detail picture of the plaque didn't come out (cameras are hard, durr) but this is a CONTEST RUNNER UP THE CRYSTAL PALACE trophy which my partner in crime for the day informed me is a skating rink on south 3rd street (did i mention she's in the roller derby too? lady problems, woot!), and it occurred to me that i would like to go to that place, as they say. the last time i put on a pair of roller skates i got SEVERELY injured (without even falling down, at that!) but one never really loses one's enthusiasm, once you come down with skate fever. ask anyone.

also saw these MURDEROUS doc martens steel toed boots of death and killing and rrrraaaahhhhh!!!! they were kind of my size but you have to murder people when you put them on and that's just not my style, people. wow, i think i just wrote a steven king novel. "boots that make you kill people." 8000 pages of bullshit later, and you've got yourself a bestseller, baby!

these, on the other hand, are SO my style, but unfortunately not my size. what is it with people and their tiny feet? i mean, come on!

i even glanced at a few books, although i fear the gods will strike me down if i chanced to purchase one and introduced it into the burbling cauldron of nightmares that is my apartment right now. un example:

much love to the extremely talented amie vanderford for that portrait, by the way.

i'm was all set to laugh scornfully at this tape and its proletarian ambitions, and then i suddenly remembered that when i was a little kid i wanted to be a truck driver too. i think i just liked CB radios. and meth.

one of those things... if you need a tape to tell you how to do it, you probably shouldn't do it. for the love of god, who bought this? who MADE it?

requisite picture of piles of moldy 8 track tapes. i kind of tune this stuff out most of the time, partially because i see it at every store i go to, and also because i tried to get into 8 tracks once back in the day because they're everywhere and they're so cheap, and i discovered a problem - the magnetic tape they used back in the day is about one molecule thick and prone to breaking at the slightest provocation, in addition to the fact that they sound like shit. so no 8 tracks for me, thanks. for some reason i noticed them today though. there's some rockin' good stuff in this pile! boston, barry manilow, bette midler... that's what i'm talkin about.

this i was tempted by, though. i like a little piaf every now and again. who doesn't?

perhaps a little schmilsson to go with your piaf?

or maybe you're more of a loggins and messina type. i'm not. in fact i'm probably more of a "murder loggins and messina with a hatchet and burn all their music so i never have to listen to any of it ever again" type. i love that this is a live tape, too. "man, their studio stuff is okay, but the live show's where it's at. they totally jam out "listen to a country song" for like 20 minutes! yeah!"

this picture doesn't do it justice but these are all videotapes of church services. except "the making of star wars," of course. although i suppose that's kind of a religious experience for some people. nerds, that is. big ole nerdy nerd nerds.

this is just creepy, on so many levels.

remember these damn troll things? god, they were everywhere back in the day! keychains, stuck to the windows of people's cars... there was no escape. now, not so much. this one apparently loves the buffalo bills. go figure.

then it was off to the salvation army on danny thomas blvd, another local favorite of mine, even if getting in and out of the parking lot can be kind of a nightmare sometimes.

we found mark and scott, residing comfortably on the shelf in domestic bliss, or whatever the closest equivalent would be for personalized coffee cups. but all is not as it seems, in coffee cup land. suddenly, a knock at the door.

IT'S ANN! "Mark, Scott, I have some news. I'm pregnant. It's yours."

Mark: Gasp!
Scott: You bitch! How could you?
Mark: [faints]
Scott: Wait, is it mine, or his?
Ann: ...both!

DUNT DUN DUNNNN..... Join us next time for the shocking conclusion of PERSONALIZED COFFEE CUP LOVE TRIANGLE THEATER!

i could see the ebay listing as soon as i picked this thing up: L@@K VINTAGE SLAP CHOP VINCE SHLOMI BILLY MAYS ANTIQUE NO RESERVE BID NOW!!!!!!!! I was tempted, not gonna lie.

kerry and i both remarked on how delightfully color coded all the dishes and kitchen ware always are at the salvation army - one of the nice touches you find in the bigger stores in town (goodwills, etc) is that added degree of organization. of course you lose a little bit of the haphazard, "just throw it anywhere" kind of charm that is essential to the thrifting experience, but trust me when i say a little bit of that goes a long way after a while, if that makes any sense.

i mean they even arranged these neat little too-big-to-be-a-shotglass, too-small-to-be-a-cocktail-glass, not-the-right-shape-for-a-cordial-glass glasses in a neat little row! there were 11 of them and they were a buck a piece and that is great.

this was a totally sweet vintage pepsi clock for FOUR BUCKS that admittedly needed a little bit of repair (loose hands, don'tcha know) but was eminently fixable and i seriously considered it, but for the fact that all the walls in my apartment are plaster and i'm too lazy to bother with anchors to hang stuff so it kind of looks like a crazy person lives there and i've become strangely comfortable with that so i don't want to mess up my design scheme. also i don't need a clock.

since i just recently ranted about my freakishly large head in my last post i'll give it a pass here and just say that i had one of these silhouette things done for me when i was a kid too and it was a lot bigger than this. that is all.

black jesus does not want you to be afraid. no problem!

i bet these boots would help you not to be afraid.

and then it was time to try on hats. who could resist?

we probably looked like a couple of idiots standing all the way at the back of the store photographing a shelf full of hats like we were howard carter in tutankhamun's crypt or something, but i mean come on. these were just too perfect.

i could tell kerry really wanted this one, but i told her she looked like balloon boy and i think that put her off it a little bit. my bad, homey.

i picked this little french number up for a special someone

and kerry ended up with this snazzy little leopard skin pillbox thing, which i think suits her to a t.

and that'll just about do it for this special I Love Memphis themed edition of bitter/books. much thanks to kerry for giving me the impetus to get up off my ass again and start going out and writing and stuff, and make sure and check out the I Love Memphis Blog, become a fan on facebook, get your picture taken with the sign, hell, go nuts, get a tattoo or something. have fun with it. i'll talk to you next time, lovelies.

your pal


p.s. this week's post was written by David and edited (sort of) by David, who, upon completing it, had a cup of coffee, walked to the post office, then went to work.


Tracy` said...

Oh my goodness, you didn't buy Black Jesus did you? Because I need to run down there and get it to be friends with my mom's white Jesus on velvet.

Bob Hazlett said...

Awesome post, so many amazing things you passed up. That trophy would be sitting on my desk about now if I had went.

I had this idea a while back about a web TV show revolving around thrift store shopping, we should chat sometime.


Jenny said...

This made me laugh freakin out loud. Your blog is made of awesome sauce.

Del said...

FYI Home Spa is exactly what you probably thought it was. A device for making any bathtub into a whirlpool tub. Or any small body of water I suppose. Kitchen sink jacuzzi? No problem.

I am a trifle upset by your harsh dismissal of Loggins & Messina. I could make a little sad face emoticon thing but that's so 2003.

Dead on about the pillbox though. Button cute as she is, the foil saucer was a bit much.