1. A Disturbing New Trend At Thrift Stores! Or At One Thrift Store, Anyway!

    FOR YEARS NOW, you and I have been frustrated and annoyed by this:

    The abhorrent practice thrift stores have adopted of tossing a preposterous hodgepodge of various small toys into bags, stapling said bags shut, and pricing each monstrous mishmash outrageously.  And then if all you want is, say, the Sandworm/Beetlejuice-as-Snake-Charmer toy from the 1990 Burger King Kids Club meal to finally complete your set, you have to wander around the store endlessly with the bag and then, when no one’s looking, lean into a rack of clothes with it, tear the damn thing open, make sure you grab the right one and let the rest of the contents  fall to the floor – and then you’ve got to sneak it into your pocket without Socorro (who’s always eyeing you suspiciously over her half-glasses from the front register like you’re some kind of thief) seeing what you’re doing.

    Or if you’re a real jackass, you actually pay the $4.99 for the whole bag. And then what are you going to do with a dog-slobbered tennis ball, a half-pound of loose Legos with either food or human waste caked into the bottoms of a third of them, five small generic My Little Pony knockoffs, a couple of chewed-on Nerf darts, thirteen checkers (from two different sets yet), three absurd, unswallowable Fisher-Price Little People, a few soap-scum encrusted bath toys (with filthy bathwater still sloshing around in them), a bent View-Master reel, a bald Barbie head, five miniature Troll dolls with matted, knotted hair, a Yoda Pez dispenser, Woody’s cowboy hat, a ratty, nicotine-stained Beanie Baby cat (that somehow escaped the fate of being sent to the glass case up front and priced $19.95), a handful of plastic dinosaurs and whatever this worthless thing is?

    Thrift stores have been bagging up little toys for years, so we’re used to it by now. And really, despite our complaining – yours and mine – despite our complaining, who can really blame them? Sure, it would make sense in a perfect world to just dump all these little toys in a big bin, allow us root around and charge us a quarter a piece for whichever ones we want, but we don’t live in a perfect world.

    Because besides you and me, who shops at thrift stores?  That’s right – poor people. And what do poor people all seem to have too many of?  Right again – poor children. And poor children are notoriously sticky-fingered when it comes to toys. They’d think nothing of taking these toys – playing with them, openly, right there in the store!, and then taking them home with them – without paying for them! Oh, and don’t give me any nonsense about the innocence of babes – the youngest ones are the most crooked of all! Plus you just know they can’t possibly appreciate a 2001 Diva Starz “Talk-Diva” McDonald’s Happy Meal toy on the same level as would, say, a middle-aged man who collects such things. (I don’t, but I know my, what, six readers!)

    My point is, just as we’ve all made peace with the stupid custom of thrift stores amassing a couple dozen little toys and selling them in bulk, they figure since they’ve got us trained there, they’ll try to get us to accept it in other areas of our lives, or, rather, in their stores.  To wit:

    No, your eyes do not deceive you! At my local Salvation Army, they’re now gathering dissimilar coffee mugs, lashing them together with cheap packing tape, and trying to get us to buy them in lots!

    Does that above grouping make any sense to anyone, anywhere?  A yellow mug that reads “Fat Daddy,” a blue mug with two godawful 3-D owls on that would disgust even those idiot owl collectors, and an Area 51 pencil cup that’s not even a mug?!

    And then they have the nerve to charge us $2.95 for all three, and if there’s someone who would specifically want all three of these things – and I doubt there is, but if there is – I don’t want to meet him!

    Now look at this grouping!

    Renoir’s Dance at Bougival and…

    Dr. Teddy Bear!

    Or these two:

    Awful minimalist cartoon drawings of food by someone who has no artistic talent whatsoever but still evidently carved art a career as a graphic artist…and the Union Jack!

    What’s next – Different articles of clothing all tied together in a Chickahominy knot, and if we want any of them, we have to buy the whole wad?  I sincerely hope not.

    The day Salvation Army makes me buy eight random pairs of boxers, boxer briefs, briefs, and bikinis when all I want is that one 2Xist Sculpted Lifting MaXimizer thong is the day that the lost & found box in the men’s locker room at the gym starts getting all my used underwear business again.

    Posted by on May 5, 2012, 1:04 AM.

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