Tuesday, December 28, 2010

The Weather Outside is Frightful. And That’s Not the Only Thing…

In visits to flea markets, garage sales and those beloved thrift stores, we at Let’s Go Thrifting have encountered many a strange find over the years.  And judging by a few specific finds I myself have acquired, I believe it's possible that I’ve discovered a unique ability to successfully scare family and friends.

Children Painting Resized

This oil painting on canvas was found at my favorite secondhand bookstore in Philadelphia. I was at first hesitant to spend $20. But then I wondered if  I would ever again encounter such a vivid depiction of a   multicultural clan of doll-children escaping from some post-apocalyptic wasteland... It's now hanging in my bedroom.

This is, quite possibly, the most inappropriate book in publication. The most frightening thing about this find? Well that's a tie between a title that's straight out of an episode of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit and the author whose sole credentials on the supposed scientific matter of staring at people lie in his self-appointed expertise as a "Chief Watcher." Creepy? Yes. Hilarious? With a hearty guffaw, yes! In a future experiment, I plan to take this book to the nearest Starbucks and occasionally peer above the pages to practice the science of "body watching." My hypothesis? A swift escort off the premises.


In an effort to literally scare my sister, I bought a plastic bag of clown heads. 17 assorted smiling and crying decapitated clowns for .99 cents. What a deal! I lined a row of crying clowns inside the bathroom medicine cabinet. And I left a handful of smiling clowns neatly arranged on her bed. Then I just listened for the reaction. It was priceless. Since the initial scare, I’ve kept the clown heads in a wicker basket displayed in the living room…as a sort of conversation piece. The conversation usually goes: Are those clown heads? Why, yes they are…Followed by an awkward silence.

And in a special contribution to things that go creep at the thrift store, friend and Let’s Go Thrifting fan Angie Schlauch of Langhorne, PA sent us these:

Mummy Mutant
This was described as a “mummified Tony Harrison” due to a striking resemblance of this character from The Mighty Boosh.

It’s uncanny!

Knitting Grandma Chimp
Also, Angie documented a disturbing case of animal cruelty, when this knitting grandma chimp was spotted working at the sweat shop, then retired to the shelves of the Holy Redeemer thrift store.

Thanks for sharing, Angie. Contributions and comments are always welcome!

Funny how we encounter, document and occasionally feel the need to buy these cultural oddities...these hideous, inexplicably strange artifacts of other people's bad taste reflected by our own sick sense of humor.

What strange and horrifying secondhand things have you spotted lately?


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Thursday, December 16, 2010

Donate Now to De-Clutter Your Christmas

Unless your family is this compact, ya better start tidying up for the holidays!

The holiday season is here and so the is all of the chaos that comes with it. Family flying in from out of town, a mountain of boxed and bagged gifts and stuffed stockings will soon be flooding your households with holiday cheer. But before you exchange gifts, bake the fruitcakes and make room for auntie’s sleeping arrangements, why not take the time to tidy up?

Of course you’re likely to dust, run the vacuum cleaner, spray some pine-scented air freshener. But why not confront the ghost of Christmases past and purge some unused goods too?

Chances are you’ll need every inch of space for guests and gifts. So here are a few helpful hints to make room for all that holiday spirit:
  • Go through a few closets and sort out any un-worn or ill-fitting clothes and shoes. Don’t forget those holiday sweaters you’ve acquired over the years!
  • Filter your holiday decorations to the ones you actually use and enjoy. Ask yourself: Do I really need five dancing Santa Clause dolls and 10 tree toppers?
  • Do you still have gifts from last year that just weren’t quite your style? Mint in the box Chia Pets, 1000 piece puzzles you just don’t want to assemble, a Snuggie perhaps?
  • So many clearance sale goers stock-up on holiday decor, gift sets, and more after the holiday, by the time the next Christmas rolls around, they’ve forgotten all about their post-holiday stockpile. And this is exactly how you end up owning 50 rolls of holiday wrapping paper. (No exaggeration. This person, who shall remain unnamed, does exist and at one time owned this much or more).

So don’t put the ho-ho-ho in hoarding this holiday season. Donate all unwanted goods to your local thrift store before your family and friends come caroling at your doorstep.


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Thrift Fail: What NOT To Donate