Monday, October 28, 2013

Thrift Store Adventures

                Since childhood I have always loved going to thrift stores.  My reasons have changed over the years- When I was small my favorite thing was to empty the box of second hand toys in the creepy back room of the Salvation Army and play with all of them for what seemed like hours, only interrupted when Mom came back to pull me away into a changing room to try on all the clothes she’d picked out while I was occupied.  When I was a teenager my focus shifted to the music and literature sections for cheap 45 rpm records and paperbacks.  Later still, I found that thrift stores were a great resource for trench coats.
                These days I’m drawn to thrift stores for the more adult reasons of filling gaps in my wardrobe for cheap, but also just for the sheer fun of seeing what I can find.  Jess and I are fortunate to live near several thrift stores but our favorite is AmVets, which has by far the lowest prices and the best selection of obscure stuff you could ever hope to find.  It’s the only thrift store I’ve ever been to that’s had an antique arc welder available, and oh hey, who needs a motorcycle seat? 

 It's for exactly this reason that I’ve wanted to document one of our AmVets excursions for some time now, and I finally did earlier this week when we went out with my sister Anna.  There were of course the usual shenanigans; Anna briefly entertained the notion of dressing up as Bill Cosby for Halloween,  Jess fanned herself with sophistication, and I found something sharp and heavy which I wasn’t sure what to do with. 

Jess kept telling me to put it back.  Killjoy.
                Then I paid a visit to the place where they keep all the figurines.  I always like visiting this section because sometimes you can pose or head-swap them, which entertains my childish side to no end.  I found some soulless ice skaters and some weird looking elves.  Unsettling, sure, but unfortunately not really anything I could mess with.

I also found the back half of an elephant, though, so there's that. 

                We did find a couple of treasures, too.  Sitting among several knick knacks, I found a three-deck Canasta set, which I snapped up quickly.  I don’t know how to play Canasta, but I have vivid memories of card boxes very similar to this at my grandma’s house, and it sort of called to me (anyone who is familiar with my obsession with clocks will understand why).  Plus, it was only ninety nine cents!  
[Insert Macklemore soundclip here]

                The other treasure we found tucked way in the back, past all the obsolete computer parts and the miscellaneous power tools:  
  Know what that is?  It’s a centrifuge, complete with biohazard warning on the front!  I’m tempted to ask where they find this stuff, and though I’m certain the answer has something to do with the surrounding college, hospital, and combinations of the two, it still doesn’t really explain who would donate a piece of lab equipment like this, nor why they would price it at just under seven dollars.  So, does anybody need a cheap centrifuge?  Because I know where you can find one.

(NOTE: At the time of this posting, these events took place almost exactly a week ago.  We have another AmVets excursion planned for this Tuesday.  Hopefully the next post won’t take me so long to finish.)


  1. Wow. I need to drag my butt out of the sweater section and spend some time in the figurine section. I'm missing out on some classic soulless elves action.