1. A Worrisome Find!

    I KNOW HOW YOU KNOW how much I like dollar stores – not just the 99¢ Only store (admittedly, a favorite!) and Dollar Tree (a close second!), but also your filthy, rundown, Mom and Pop (or around this neighborhood, Mama y Papi), independently-owned, non-chain, one-off dollar stores.

    By the way, I hate that stupid phrase “one-off.” Never use that around me. It disgusts me almost as much as “spot-on.”

    Any chance I get to wander into a dollar store I hadn’t visited before to see what cheap trinkets, unlicensed toy knockoffs and expired food they might have, all tainted with melamine, probably, and imported from China, well, brother, I’m there! Hoo boy, I’m there! Can’t keep me away! Sure. Also, these places usually have good deals on baby clams and condensed milk. Often in the same can.

    Recently I found one such store called “Dollar J” or “J Dollar” or something like that. It had a letter of the alphabet in the name, that much I remember. In fact, now that I think about it, the entire name was comprised of letters of the alphabet.

    Anyway, they had these! For a buck!

    Above: The thing I got at the dollar store. I have put a Toolie Bird by it for scale.

    In case you can’t quite make out what it is, I’ll tell you! It’s a “Universal Lock Out Tool.” A slim jim!  The kind you use to break into cars, not the kind you nab from the counter at 7-11 when the cashier’s momentarily distracted printing out your weekly $60 wad of quick picks in an increasingly desperate attempt to win the lottery and get out of this disgusting city before the last of your money finally runs out.

    Where was I?

    Ah, yes – the slim jim! For a buck! Christ, at that price, you almost can’t afford to not start robbing cars!

    Hm, is that right…? ‘Almost can’t afford to not start robbing cars’…  Yes. Yes, that’s what I wanted to say.

    Now, you know the sort of people who shop at dollar stores (aside from me). You know what I’m getting at.  You know the type. Eh? Ehhh…?  Mm-hmmmmm.

    Poor people! I’m talking about poor people!

    Seriously, do we really want to give poor people – who have much more reason (and propensity!) to rob and steal than you or I – such easy, ridiculously inexpensive access to a device like this that has such a potential for misuse?


    So I bought them all and I’ll be selling them for two bucks a piece this Saturday on that little strip of lawn in front of the Food 4 Less parking lot in Winnetka.

    Posted by on September 1, 2011, 9:00 AM.

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