A few weeks ago, my best friend and I were running some errands before our weekly scheduled power walk when we decided to stop in to a nearby Goodwill. Browsing the aisles, amusing ourselves with the oddball assortment of coffee mugs and knick-knacks, I spotted a hobo clown on the top shelf. He had ragged clothing, a knapsack and –like many clowns often do—an expression that evoked nothing short of terror.
After returning him to the shelf and turning to walk away, I was startled by a crash as the hobo clown teetered off the edge and plummeted to the floor. His ceramic clown head shattered into a million clown head pieces on the floor. And I was mortified. To this day, I cannot recall ever dropping, damaging or breaking an item in any store, let alone a thrift store. Again, mortified.
An older gentleman swooshed out the double doors from the back room and came bustling down the back aisle. I couldn’t apologize enough as he swept the busted clown doll that was once creepy, but now rather pathetic.
After a few moments of red-faced browsing, my friend and I proceeded to the register to purchase a few found odd and ends. I asked the Goodwill employee if they had a box for monetary donations. He said that they had at one point, but now couldn’t seem to locate it. I quickly handed him $4 and simply said. “Well, here you go. I accidentally broke a clown.” He tried handing the money back to me and said that it wasn’t necessary. But I just couldn’t take the money back. And I briefly tried explaining my theory on Karma.
Me: “No, No. Please take the donation. I busted that clown and I don’t feel right not paying for it.”
Goodwill Employee: “Are you sure? You really don’t have to pay for the clown.”
Me: “I do. Because I know if I don’t donate the money for the clown I’ll always be haunted with Bad Thrift Karma and never find anything awesome ever again.”
And the employee accepted the donation and simply said “O….k...ay…” with the kind of bewilderment that my theory often invokes from certain people.
I’m sorry. But I am under the belief that if you do something wrong without apologizing and rectifying the situation, that swift payback will surely befall you. And the thrift store is no different. So donate your unused goods, pay the cost without altering the price tag and for God’s sake, pay for broken clown heads.
In retrospect, I think the clown may have gotten his revenge, still. I have been thrifting a few times since, with friends and while alone and found a number of great, useful items. And as you’ve likely read from my previous post on my quest for better health, I’ve also been on quite a few scheduled power walks.
For five days a week I would take a stroll around the neighborhood, go to the gym for resistance training and count my Weight Watchers points. I estimated walking between 2-3.5 miles everyday, before going to work where I likely walk a few more.
Well apparently I’ve been just a little too motivated for exercise. After days of inexplicable pain in my right foot, I finally was able to see a doctor. And the x-ray reveals, with all of the repeated pressure to the area I have given myself a stress fracture in the metatarsal area and inflamed some previous tendinitis in my ankle.
So now I have to wear an unwieldy, uncomfortable and decidedly unfashionable support boot for the next 4-6 weeks. This means no power walks and no solo thrifting for a while, as I can’t drive with this…thing…this apparatus that can only be described as something straight of Dr. Frankenstein’s laboratory.
At the very least I have some time to commit to photographing old finds, brainstorming new ideas for the blog and adding items to my Thrift Wish List. But this also means I will be temporarily out of work, out of traditional exercise and out of the driver’s seat.
I guess it could always be worse. I could’ve been stuck with a cast and crutches. Those aren’t pleasant in the least, especially as we’re approaching a summer heat wave. At least I can kick off this boot for sleeping and showering. That is a major plus.
Well, I suppose it always pays to be more careful. No one likes being broken, even if only temporary. And thrift store finds sure don't like being mishandled. For now, dear readers, I am mostly house-bound. But of course I still fear any future wrath of that busted thrift store clown.