There are a few places where I think reality doesn't exist in the same way as the rest of the world. And one of those places is a thrift store. It's basically the one place in town where people dump all their old stuff before they move, go through a bad breakup, or are out of a questionable fashion phase. The products that these stores receives are always so random — it's really a hit or miss if I can find anything useful when I'm there. Sometimes I can find some really cool stuff that I was looking for, but most of the time I'm just sifting through piles of junk that's worth 25-cents a piece.
In the mountains of unnecessary items, there is usually something particularly unusual that pops up. It's not like that thing is particularly useful or it's something I would be interested, but it catches my eye in one way or another. There are some really strange things being sold out there, and it really makes me think about the people who threw those things out in the first place. Sometimes someone else's trash can be someone else's treasure, or it can just be a mystery for everyone to wonder about.
20 Spreading The Word Of Anime
Back in the day when anime wasn't readily available on the Internet (or at least not as easily accessible as it is now), young anime nerds had to rely on the anime DVDs that showed up at the public library, the remaining Blockbusters that were still open, or hope for the best at a garage sale and secondhand store. Sure there was the option of buying some DVDs online or at a video store, but as a seventh-grader back in the day, there just weren't enough funds to buy that stuff new. Because of this, there were a lot of shows that I would just watch the episodes out of order, or just in the middle of a season because that's all I could get.
What is so amazing about this Goodwill donation, though, is the sheer amount of DVD copies of episodes 71-74 of Yu Yu Hakusho. This mysterious donation happened just a few weeks ago, but this show is very old and I'm very confused on why there was a donation of so many copies of these few episodes all at once. Just having, like, 10-15 copies would be excessive, but 2,400? That is so many. I wonder what the story behind the person with all of these DVDs is and why it took so long for all of these copies to surface at the local Goodwill.
19 It's Called Fashion, Sweetie
One of my favorite things about looking through the clothes in a thrift store is looking at all of the choices that people had made over time about what they thought would be cool clothes to wear. Take this Harambe shirt, for example. A few years ago when the meme was still hot off the press, someone either took to making this shirt or buying it off the Internet and thought it was cool. That was a choice that they had made and it seems that after a little bit of time and self-reflection, they realized that was a bad choice and packed it up to send it off to a secondhand store, hoping that someone else would make the choice to take it home again.
The other piece that is shown in this post is also made up of many choices. The original clothing piece is actually pretty cute. From the angle the picture was taken, it could be either a long shirt or a dress but either way I would maybe consider wearing it. Except for the fact that there's just a picture of Jessica Rabbit sewn right on the chest. I just want to know why this person had a silky, screen-printed Jessica Rabbit and why they just sewed a rectangle onto a totally normal piece of clothing.
18 Time Doesn't Matter
If I were to get an analog clock ever again, I would love to have one just like this one because really, time doesn't matter. We think that time matters because we put value on it, but does it really?
Time is more of just a construct, a way that people keep track of things, but it's not like time exists on its own: it's a complete human invention.
Without caring about time, the world itself will still go on even if modern society might have some problems going forward without the construct of time.
Whenever you show up to work or to a meeting late, just remind everyone of this fact. It might not be the best move, and your boss won't be happy about your disregard for other people's time, but stay strong in your beliefs. When you inevitably get fired from your job for being late, then time will really not matter and the days, weeks, and months will fly by and you will never know what day it is. Once your life gets to that point, this clock will be perfect for you. I mean, nobody really knows how to read analog clocks anymore anyways so this clock really is pretty useless.
17 They Know Their Audience
I guess there was a panic in the 1990s that teenagers weren't really one with the faith anymore, and it seems as though some faith groups tried to do some targeted marketing to try and get the youth excited again. This is the end result of that: their book Extreme Faith, which is literally just a Bible but the cover has some cool teens doing some extreme sports. This is honestly one of the most '90s things I have ever seen and I kind of love it — even though I also think it's really lame.
Out of all the ways that adults were trying to get kids excited about going to church again, this is probably one of the most effective ways they could go about it, even though it's highly ineffective.
I just love how they thought they could just put some pictures of kids doing cool rollerblading tricks to convince kids to pick this book up and become enlightened. It's too bad for their marketing team, the Venn diagram of kids in the 1990s who liked reading and the kids who enjoyed extreme sports are two separate circles that never touch. It may not have worked, but it is a great relic of that time, found at a thrift store.
16 Secondhand Pepperoni?
Thrift stores can be a treasure trove of great finds, but it can also be a place where you find a lot of questionable items that should probably not be for sale. One of those things that shouldn't be sold at a thrift store is food. The thing about thrift stores is that they sell old and used products, and those are two words that I do not want to associate with any kind of food.
That's not a proper environment to be selling any groceries of any kind, but yet this Goodwill is still trying to sell some pepperoni in the kitchen wares.
It doesn't matter that this product is sealed for freshness, it's a meat product that's being sold in an unrefrigerated environment next to a gently used cheese grater. I don't know much about the rules of what you can sell at a thrift store, but I'm pretty sure that you can't just sell a packet of pepperoni. There are like, codes and stuff that grocery stores have to follow and I'm pretty sure this store is following none of those rules at all. Also, this is turkey pepperoni which is a food tragedy on its own. I hope nobody bought this because this was just a bad idea.
15 Creature Of Nightmares
The more I look at this thing, the less of an ability I have to describe it. It's something like a used broom attached to another used broom with some eyes attached. In other words, it's extremely horrifying. Those eyes are trying to stare straight into my soul, but the more I try to look away from them the more I can't. I don't know why this thing was created, and I don't really want to because whoever thought that making something like this to put in their home was a good idea has very bad taste and some potential issues.
With creepy things like this, you know this has to be handmade because there's no way that there was ever a store that would sell something like this. I can also smell this thing through the screen and there's no way that online shopping was really a thing when this thing came to exist, so someone had to plan this creature's existence. I feel like whoever made this thing gave it a name which just makes all of this even worse. Whoever found this in the donation box should have just set it on fire because this thing should not exist in the first place.
14 The Biden Family Christmas Card
Sometimes you find really weird things in the furniture you bought at a thrift store, but sometimes you find something in the drawer of a used dresser you just bought, and it's a legit Biden family Christmas card. That's right, this person just found a card from the actual Bidens, just stuffed in an old dresser drawer.
If you think this is a fake, just look at the guy in the middle of the raft. There's nobody who rocks sunglasses like that other than good ol' Joe.
Seeing this card from 2014 reminds me of how simpler times were back then. I was still in school, doing nothing but hanging out with my friends... The whole Biden family was whitewater rafting and having a jolly good time. In four years you really realize how much has changed and if that's a good or a bad thing. Now that Joe is happily unemployed, he can take the family out to do even more fun things and he doesn't have to worry about going back to work all the time. He may not be the second most important man in the world anymore, but he's still the most important man to my heart.
13 There Needs To Be More Context
What I've come to learn over the years is that if you think that a shirt of something doesn't exist, you're wrong and it definitely does exist. Take for example this shirt: I don't know why anyone would want to wear or design a shirt that has two young children involved in an archery game where one is shooting flaming arrows at the other, but somebody did want that and thus, this shirt exists.
I feel like owning a T-shirt store may seem pretty mundane, but every screen-printer out there has probably come across at least a few off-kilter shirt designs in their lives.
In college, for example, there was a student group who made their formal tank design of Nixon on a horse, and there was no rhyme or reason to do so. This archery shirt is a little more shocking, and whoever was responsible for making it was probably very confused by the design. What I want to know is how many shirts like this one are out there, and what the intention of this initial design was. I'm very intrigued by the background of this shirt and I honestly want one for myself because it's pretty cool.
12 Uptown Bill And His Smooth Sax Sounds
I understand that I wasn't even born yet when Bill made his first saxophone appearance—sunglasses indoors and all—but Saxophone Bill is one of the cultural moments in the world that have influenced my life the most.
Of course I had to look up the old footage on YouTube to experience Bill playing the saxophone, but once I saw it, something in me had changed.
There's something about seeing a president go on late-night television to play the saxophone that truly tells me that we are living in the right reality.
If this were me at this thrift store, I would have bought this Uptown Bill doll in a second. It's basically like all I've ever dreamed of owning. I mean that's a lie, I pretty much have never thought about owning my own saxophone-playing Bill, but now that I know that there is one out there, I want it so badly. There's nothing I want more in life than to have a little Bill on my shelf that I can watch move and groove to the soulful sounds of his sax. I'm about to spend a good amount of time on eBay to try and find me one of these things now.
11 It's A Nose
Whenever I come across some strange knickknack at a thrift store, I have to wonder about who the person that donated the thing was. Secondhand shops are full of untold stories that we won't really know about, but it sure is fun to guess. Like, I look at this nose and wonder how long the person had it and how it ended up on the shelves of a thrift store. Did they hate it? Was it a memento of a past fling? Was it a gag gift? If they had it for a long time in their home, what was the reason of parting ways with it?
The biggest question of all is why this person had a shelf decoration of a nose in the first place?
It's such a large nose, at that. This is one of those things that I'm pretty sure stores don't sell them so either this person bought it through some mystery catalog or someone made this in either seriousness or in jest. It looks kind of normal if you don't look at it too hard, but after noticing that this piece of wood is indeed a nose, there's no way to see anything but a nose. If all else, it was a great conversation starter at parties.
10 Finally, Some Good Music
If you told me in the year 2001 that Shrek will still be incredibly relevant in pop-culture almost two decades later, I would have probably said, "That's awesome!" because I was only seven years old and didn't have a concept of trends. My current self, though, is still very surprised that this movie has remained relevant or even gained relevancy over the years.
If someone bought this CD at the thrift store and played it at a party, there's no doubt that everyone is going to lose their minds in a good way.
At my college, it wasn't a party unless someone played "All Star" by Smash Mouth at least one time in a night. What was probably thought of as just a product of the time has now been able to live on forever.
That's not the case for every nostalgic album out there. I once found a copy of Aaron Carter's Aaron's Party album and it cost me 99-cents. When I played it at a party, everyone immediately told me to turn it off because it was "garbage." I call it a "classic," but whatever I guess. Not everything is able to live forever, but Smash Mouth figured out how to stay relevant for all eternity.
9 What IS This?!
There are some things that I would be fine with never knowing of their existence, and this series called The World of Sid & Marty Krofft is one of those things. You all can see this image here so you can probably understand how I have trouble finding the words to describe something that has so much going on, but there it is. The cover of this VHS tape has some puppet that looks really messed up and to make it even worse it's, like, crying out green felt. Everything about this looks wrong and there's no way that any child watching this could feel enjoyment doing so.
After doing a little bit of digging, I found out that this box-set is based off of some indoor amusement park in Georgia back in the '70s.
From seeing what other entertainment looked like back then, I think that nobody had any idea on what children actually enjoyed looking at and decided to design some monstrous-looking creatures instead. There's no way that any kid who went to this park didn't come out sobbing out of fear and rightfully so. I'm just very glad that this place doesn't exist anymore, even though these tapes still do.
8 Such A Useful Hat
Literally anything that can be sold at a thrift store will be sold or at least be for sale. Are you ever just walking down the street when you suddenly crave a banana, but don't have any on you? For the low price of $2.99, one lucky customer can wear a grandpa-looking hat that also has four bananas included for the buyer's convenience.
Instead of using something more conspicuous and practical, having four bananas attached to a hat with string is the perfect way to always ensure that you can have a banana whenever that hunger strikes.
I did say before that food from a thrift store is a little iffy, but to be honest these bananas don't look too bad. I mean, bananas are meant to sit out in room temperature, unlike cured meats, so as long as they don't have a lot of brown spots on them, it should be fine. I just don't understand why anyone who made the display did this because this is a sure-fire way that this hat will not be sold. Nobody is that desperate for bananas or a hat that looks pretty darn ugly. The bananas should just be a thank you present for whoever rids the store of such a bad-looking hat.
7 He's Making A List
Let's be real, nobody knows what Santa Claus actually looks like. We all have a similar image of him based on what we've pieced together from the Santa Claus lore, but nobody has ever actually seen the real Santa, so there's no real way to know. We all think of him as some jolly old man with a red velvet suit, and a very happy-looking face but we don't know if that's real or not. For all I know, he could look more like this very scary-looking wood decoration of Santa than what we think.
I think people imagine supernatural beings to fit in with human aesthetics, but that's highly unlikely if any of these things exist.
If Santa Claus were to actually be real, what's stopping him from having black eyes that look like they will steal your soul if you look too long in them? I feel like a guy who sees you when you're sleeping, knows when you're awake, knows if you've been bad or good, and has very unfair labor laws for the elves doesn't look like a jolly old man. There's something sinister about Santa, but I'm going to forget about that because I like presents and Christmas.
6 Shelves Can Be Anime Too
One of the things I love about thrift store shopping is seeing all of the old anime merch that's up for sale. It's like everyone just took all of the things that they bought in middle school and shoved it into a trash bag full of regret. At least they can give low-priced options to the new generation of weird middle school kids who are into anime just a little bit too much.
What I've learned from this anime purge is that there are a lot of items that are anime themed out there that shouldn't really have anime branding on it.
Take this shelf for example. A shelf is a pretty regular thing and everyone has one in their home. I would never really think that a shelf is themed one thing or another (besides the color maybe) but here is a Naruto-themed shelf. Why? Why would someone have this? Who loved Naruto so much that they had to get a shelf that had some Naruto stuff on it? I understand a shelf that's full of Naruto-related merchandise but a piece of furniture that's anime merch? That's just going too far. Knowing anime fans, though, this thing will probably find a happy home someday.
5 The Freshest Looks
For a few years now, this wig may have been out of style but now that Jersey Shore has made a comeback. I feel like the Pauly D. look is going to be something that everyone wants to achieve. It's pretty amazing watching the reboot of the show since pretty much everyone has changed in appearance in one way or another, but Pauly D. still has that same hairstyle.
If you haven't watched the new season of Jersey Shore yet, it's kind of like an "all grown up" version when they look back and old drama gets reignited. It's pretty great.
I just have to wonder, though, how Pauly D. gets his hair to look like that every day. I've never seen him once with hair that is lower than an inch off of his forehead. I feel like he's put in so much product over the years in his hair that now his hair just looks like that even after he showers or something. His hair is given such a boost, it really is amazing. He must spend so much money on gel every year. It's so shapely. I can't ever imagine, like, trying to find a signature hairstyle and picking that one, but he seems happy and it's now become an iconic enough look to get a wig for it.
4 There Must Be A Story Behind This
There are plenty enough reality shows on television that involve bounty hunting or something of the like, but they play themselves very rough and tough, wearing black and sunglasses indoors and the like. I feel like the group that wore this hat were quite an interesting bunch and I would like to be able to follow their lives with a camera. They at least seem to have an interesting branding being bounty hunters and all.
I don't think that a color scheme like that really screams "vigilante justice," but to each their own I guess.
I would love to be a fly on the wall at one of these meetings. I wonder who they were going after and if they actually got any bounties. Were they tough or was it more of just an ironic inside joke kind of thing? I think if I was a criminal on the run and I ran into a bunch of people wearing this hat of blocky primary colors I wouldn't be able to take them seriously.
Then again, I'm pretty sure this hat was made in the '90s when everything was in color blocks so maybe all those primary colors looked intimidating. Who knows?
3 This Store Is Simply Smashing
I never in my life thought that I'd see a porcelain lizard with a face that looks like Nigel Thornberry on the back of it, but here I am, looking straight into those eyes of that face on the lizard's back. I'm so confused by the existence of this abomination. Who created this? Who thought that this was something that is acceptable to exist on this planet. It's so jarring, so surprising, and so hard to look away no matter how much I want to.
I'm repulsed by it but also so intrigued.
This isn't supposed to be Nigel Thornberry, you know since this guy's got a beard and everything but you have to admit that it looks surprisingly similar to Nigel. I'm just expecting this thing to come to life or something and crawl down the wall to look me in the eye. That face is going to open its mouth and say, "Smashing," in true Nigel Thornberry fashion, and then the mouth will open up even larger and eat me or something. This thing is something you'd see in a horror movie and shouldn't be sold to the general public — there's something sinister about this.
2 'Eat At McDonald's, Friends!'
There are enough reasons to not go to McDonald's and one of those reasons is to just remember how unsettling all the McDonald's mascots were. Look at this face of Ronald McDonald — he's supposed to be the hero of the fast-food world but he looks as much of a villain as anybody else in the group. I mean, he's a clown for crying out loud. If you're trying to get kids excited about your marketing schemes, you should know by now that kids do not like clowns one bit.
Look at that pure white face with that painted smile and dead eyes gaze, that's not something that's fun for the family, it's the new character in a horror movie.
Let's also just think about the other McDonald's mascots for a quick second. There was that weird purple guy, which I had to do a quick bit of research on named Grimace. He was originally given two sets of arms to steal milkshakes, but then decided to make him a good guy, but I still don't trust him. Then there's the Hamburglar who's life purpose was really just to steal hamburgers. The whole mythos of the McDonald's mascots is very strange and I'm just kinda glad that they don't show up in commercials anymore.
1 Sounds Like A Good Idea
If you're going through the dolls at a thrift store and you come across one that says it's haunted, you should just believe it and leave that doll back where it came from so that you don't curse yourself. Sure, this could just be a joke made by some kids who are throwing away some of their childhood toys, but this could also be a very haunted doll. I've seen too many horror movies where the doll is up to no good so I'm not about to take my chances, even if the thing only costs 50-cents. That's 50-cents I can keep to make my life less haunted.
You could argue that this doll isn't old enough to be haunted, but that's something only a fool would say. Just wait for that moment that the doll starts talking even though you insisted you took all of the batteries out. Pretty much every Furby does that already and that is just not right. You gotta do some preventative maintenance to make sure your house doesn't get haunted, so don't buy those weird dolls at the thrift store. It's not even a nice-looking doll anyways so it's really not worth it.