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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Unknown said...

The painting....wow, no really...wow. It is truly amazing. To take the big eyed children and put them behind a fence. I'd probably hurt someone to get that painting. Not you of course........awkward silence. ANYWAY, love the headless clowns too, you could make a really cool mobile out of them. Maybe make a windchime for your front door with a "go away," doormat.

Vanessa said...

The rabid horror-fan in me loves each of these frightful finds.

The headless clowns would look amazing in a glass container, like a clear vintage jar! Body Watchin' is Fun and the creepy painting...wow...still trying to wrap my brain around those! Love 'em both.

I encounter so much creepiness it would be hard to begin a list... :)

Jackie Jardine said...

Actually, Dhamma, we already have a "go away" doormat, ha ha. Looks like we'll have to make some hanging clown-head decor then!

So glad other thrifters get a kick out of the creepier side of the secondhand experience, Van. When I found the Body Watchin' is Fun book, I made a mad dash across the store to share the hilarity with my boyfriend. Good times!

Laurie said...

I cannot tell you how many times I've been at the thrift store and had to take a step back from the shelves, emitting a little gasp of horror!

Jackie Jardine said...

It's true, Laurie. And it makes you wonder about the previous owner. I mean...what were their original intentions with a bag of clown heads?

Anonymous said...

that picture is VERY interesting, i would love to talk to the person who actually painted it and why?
now one thing i like to do is people watch for sure but the books sounds a little weird too. Please post more on it and let us know some of the weirdness in it. Im sure you heard on the news that weirdo guy that wrote that book about pedafilies and how to love kids or some weird title like that.
freaky guy comes from my home town which is about 30 min away. glad he is arrested but im not sure on the details. the clown trick was funny, your poor sister.
sometimes while I a thrifting I see stuff and hav to wander why they put it on the shelf in the first place. I live in a millatary town with air froce and army so there are always treaures at the thrift stores that people get rid of from all their moves from and to different places. Used to be in the summer you could go once a month on base to the garage sales weekend but since 9/11 its not so easy to get on base so I no longer go to those.

Jackie Jardine said...

Hello there! Thanks for following. I do love that painting. It has a real haunting quality to it. I too would love to talk to the creator and/or original owner about the reasoning behind it. And as for that book, I'm thinking of posting a new page on here, like that of the "Collections" page solely for books...like sort of a virtual library. That book will be one of the first up there, for sure. It's hilarious. It takes people watching to a whole new and creepy level.

I never thought of the level of thrifted finds when it comes to military towns. A lot of moving, I'd imagine, therefore a lot more thrifting to be had. Hmm, interesting.

Thanks again for the "follow." More exciting things are in the making!