Saturday, January 31, 2009

The Endless Nightmare

Exploring thrift stores may look exciting and glamorous, but the reality is that it requires persistence and patience. It can be a lot of fun, but for the most part consists of this:

Look at all of this worthless crap. In this picture alone, there's a broken inkjet printer, a crappy portable TV from the 80's, salad shooter, an answering machine with a missing power adapter, a VHS rewinder, a broken night light, a cassette-only boom box with a broken antenna and a damaged power cord, a "Texas Hold 'Em" TV Poker with the contents of the box strewn around the shelf, and a box of light bulbs from the 70's. This is only a minor preview of all of the shit you have to sift through to find a thrift store nightmare.

Usually though, the best items almost literally jump out at you, so in the grand scheme of things it all balances out.


[EDIT: I think I got a disease from this thrift store.]

Friday, January 30, 2009



Need I say more?


I can't tell if this is supposed to be something from H. R. Geiger's nightmares or the deformed fetus from Eraserhead.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Let's see here...

If M&M Bowling was actually a sport, I'm sure that this would be the craptastic championship trophy... My god, why on earth is this stupid thing wearing those shoes exactly?


I'm not sure exactly what's wrong with this...

But I think it's agreed that there is, in fact, something wrong with it.

Maybe this picture is completely innocent, but my god, who the hell would hang this anywhere in their house? And why? Perhaps a better question is "why does every portrayal of a male from the 70's feature that horrible three dimensional side-part and a mustache?"


Pretty In Pink?

This folks, is what we call a fashion nightmare. We've all seen one outfit or another throughout our lives where we just have to sit back, pause, and take it in. Who in their right mind would have EVER found something like this fashionable!? Even in the 80s, though it was a horrifying decade for any type of apparel, I find endless amounts of disbelief in acknowledging the fact that someone, somewhere, wore this. My guess is that a psychotic bride forced her brides maids to wear dresses like these after hours of Chinese water torture... I try to convince myself that it was something a little more rational, like some blind chick going to the prom... But I know somehow that someone once adored this dress, and that in itself makes me cringe uncontrollably. I think it's best to just walk away from this one...


Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Its only use is a bookend for D&D manuals...

And you know it's been sitting there sine 1987.


For the love of god...

Look at this latest monstrosity that turned up in a relatively seedy thrift store in the next town over. I'm guessing that when faced with a failing career as a fat annoying loudmouth, ol' Rosie figured she'd cash in on her last shreds of popularity and create this unholy likeness. It's not even a very good likeness; they forgot to add about 300 pounds. And yes, you're reading that right, it's a talking Rosie doll. Thankfully, the voice box was broken, but when I hit the switch it emitted a tormented, digitized groan, something I'd compare to a lion choking on a bowling shoe or a demon with asthma.

As an added bonus, I found this obsolete piece of trash:

Gee, I wonder if the that thing can get the internet!!!1 Seriously, though, I don't know if it's more sad that this thing is taking up space in the store or that they want $20 for it.


Here's an idea...

Next time you have a party, make sure you break this bad boy out!

Not only will you have guaranteed endless amounts of fun, but you'll also have an assortment of hairpiece game pieces to choose from! Screw Monopoly! How can any household exist without owning this awesome game?

Introducing... Tard Barbie!

Now coming from a meth house near you!
If this had a pull string, it would say "duhhhhhhh..."

They say Barbie makes a great role model for growing girls. When it comes to this one, I think it's best to keep growing girls away unless you want your kid to have a growing addiction problem. Yikes...


Tuesday, January 27, 2009

First Record Roundup

Most audio aficionados will agree that there is something special about vinyl. Its warm analog timbre has colored some of the greatest music of yesterday's generations. There are of course timeless masterpieces that nearly everyone has owned, thousands of copies of which end up in thrift stores across the country.

Then there are these.

Any fan of vinyl knows that as well as classics there are some comically awful records out there. It's appalling just how many records have been made with album art that has absolutely no regard to taste, decency, or a sense of respect for humankind. It's disturbing how easy it is to find everything from sexual innuendos to rediculous fashon to straight up unintended hilarity in album art. If it's a vinyl record, odds are it's not safe from our watchful eyes.

This first gem was found in amongst a stack of Ferrante and Teicher, Lawrence Welk, and Mario Lanza records that have been sitting in a local thrift store for the better part of two years, very seldom touched:

These guys are flying high, all right, but it's not on love. There must be a pharmaceutical explanation for hair this great. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think I see Mr. T in his pre-gold chain days, Jimi Hendrix, Tito Jackson, Rick James, and Jesus (in the back with the handlebar mustache and the flat-ironed hair). What an amazing super-group!

Then this jumped out at me:

I am perplexed by this album. I have searched sex offender databases far and wide for this guy's name, yet I can't find him. Maybe there's a rational explanation, like that he's dead. Regardless, check out the song titles. I can guarantee you that Almost Paradise, Wanting You, Near You and most definitely The High and the Mighty are about 12-year-old boys. "But wait!" you say. "How do you know that this guy isn't just extremely creepy?" Easy! Two reasons. First:

Notice the slightly up-turned uncomfortable grin. This is the equivalent to a giant rotating beacon that says "I like to touch little boys." The other way to tell that his intentions are less-than-noble: just ask yourself if you'd let him be alone with your kids. Thought not.


The Original Nightmare

Behold Joel, the original thrift store nightmare.

Joel was originally found a few years back when my friends and I went to a local thrift store spontaneously looking to kill time. I had wandered around on my own for a bit only to find my two friends quickly approaching me with their faces drained of color, a paleness remaining. To say they looked like they had seen a ghost would be putting it mildly. After getting the low down of the creature they had just discovered, I followed them curiously to the location of said item, insisting on taking a look. I'm not going to lie. Joel made me step back a bit. There he was among a herd of slightly used Pooh bears and enough water babies to drain the Mississippi River. His head barely peered out to all who passed him by. I of course had to see his whole body.

I was left in disbelief. What on earth had I just found? Was this some sort of Amish Voodoo torture doll or some sentimental doll a deranged granny thought worthly of giving her only grandchild? If Little Lord Fauntleroy's corpse went missing, I had surely found it. Jesus. With the horror that surrounded this incredibly creepy piece, what else was I to do?

Buy it of course!

Since then Joel has made himself at home in my living establishment and though through the years he has sent many guests screaming, he's still quite a happy member of our family and will continue to be... After all, with a doll like this, you can't be too careful with how you act around him. Chucky's got nothing on Joel...


Welcome to the Nightmare

Thrift store shopping is an art. It can be a hobby enjoyed by people of all ages as well as a comfort through viewing gateways to long forgotten pasts. Curiously your feet take you on a path through familiar objects, all appropriately aged and some covered with dust. You sift through dozens of items hoping to find that one perfect treasure, while in reality, the back of your mind reminds you that it is unlikely. Sometimes you get lucky and sometimes you go home empty handed, only to venture back another day. Each time you return it's always the same feeling... The air scented with hints of moth ball coated goods mixed with an aged closet smell. Organization hardly exists and it's always up to you to independently find what you're looking for... For you see, there's an independence in shopping at thrift stores. They are all unique in their own special ways and almost always are guaranteed to hold something meaningful at least once in their cluttered existence. Best of all, the price is right.

We've all been there before. An item calls to you from across the room. There's a type of magic in the moment as your feet carry you to its discovery. You feel like that kid in a candy store and you feel rewarded by the thrift store gods for every single high dollar item you've donated to the Good Will. Finally your years of searching high and low for the perfect thrift store treasure are now paying off! The second you find yourself staring down at that particular item, however, is when it all hits you hard... That sinking feeling of disappointment in one certain find starts it all. The disappointment doesn't last long though, as it is quickly replaced by sheer perplexity. You cock your head, rub your eyes, and stare at the object for a second time. And a third. And a forth... You pick it up as if you expect it to be some sort of sick mirage. It's not. It's real. Wonder hits you as to how this specific item came to be, but then you realize that in thrift stores anything goes... You've stumbled upon a thrift store nightmare.

This blog is a chance for all of our thrift store nightmares to be brought into the light of day, shared to the public to experience the same horrors and bafflements we've lived through while doing our routine thrift store shopping. It's a collaborative effort between husband and wife, both of us finding equal amounts of haunting objects and sharing loads of laughs while doing so. The idea to expose these nightmares came to us from experience, living in a town that hosts a variety of these classic thrift stores, all with their own unique possessions. It became a bit of an obsession for the two of us to find something horrible with each visit and most of the time we were never disappointed. And so came this blog.

We welcome anyone to join in on sharing their own thrift store nightmare finds. It's quite easy! Just email us a picture at After all, for every town that holds a thrift store, there are at least a dozen nightmares waiting to be unleashed.

-k8 and j-on