Sunday, December 28, 2008

I Heart Thrift Shopping

Not only is MacGyver a top-notch carpenter, but he is a genius at operating on a budget. The other day he needed doors for our bathroom, so he took me to the Habitat for Humanity ReStore, the Goodwill of home improvement shops. I had never been there, and marveled at the buckets of doorknobs, the $3000 widescreen TV for $600, the $45 washing machines, and the crap. I tried to take pictures of everything that awed me, but the employees were giving me disapproving looks. Here's a taste of the appalling treasures I found.

Note the illustration of a gloved hand. Is this supposed to imply that sophisticated ladies use this product, or is it a warning to never touch a mercury switch with your naked flesh? And it's only five cents! Has it ever been so cheap to poison yourself?

Among the mugs and chotchkies I found an old, old bottle of cologne. I couldn't wrap my head around this thing. I mean, it just screams mammy doll, and yet it is celebrated kitsch. Avon Small World Perfume...the smell of racism.

This would be just darling in the parlor. I was really hoping it was a chair with a periscope, but it turned out to have air-conditioning controls, so I guess it's from a hair salon. Or maybe it's really an evil robot from the future. I think we're safe as long as no one plugs it in.

It's a vinyl record! For your car! That caption reads Take a super adventure with "Kid James" through a very special book...the KID JAMES VERSION of the Bible! Discover the stories of Bible Characters who traveled...God's Super Travelers! When I was a kid we listened to our Bill Cosby: Himself cassette tape on road trips, not Christian propaganda. We would have considered this aural punishment. I hope whoever buys this burns it.


rockygrace said...

Wow.... even I'm not old enough to remember when there were record players in cars .... WTF?

And when I read "Kid James", I thought of "Kid Rock" - which I'm guessing would make a more interesting record.

Kragen Javier Sitaker said...

For what it's worth, mercury switches aren't dangerous, and they're still widely used. They contain less mercury than a thermometer, and as in a thermometer, it's sealed inside a glass capsule, and it's metallic mercury rather than mercury salts (somewhat poisonous) or organic mercury compounds (very very poisonous). You could probably break the thing open and swallow the mercury with no ill effects.

Not that I recommend this.

Don't know if you remember me — I'm a friend of Joe's that you met a long time ago in Indiana, living in Argentina now. It's cool to read about what you and MacGyver are up to! It sounds like you're having a pretty rough year, a lot like most people in the US. I hope things get better soon!