SALVATION ARMY

FEBRUARY 2007

by Kelly

What could be filled with more absurdities than a Salvation Army store? This is the store where all of the items once considered "special" to someone go to die. A trip to The Salvation Army can be either a hit or a miss. You can walk out with that rare mint condition KISS album or merely the scent of a thousand mothballs clinging to your hair. On February 10, 2007 we decided to take a trip to our local thrift store and try to find Salvation of our own...

First we hit the record rack. No disappointments here!

Just look at that cover! I've never seen so many 1970s-era lawn chairs in one place in my life! We used to have a few of these when I was growing up. I can still remember vividly the pain of one of those pieces of weaved plastic peeling away from itself and stabbing me in the back of the thigh! And, oh how those chairs would tip over if you leaned just a wee bit too far to the left or right. Good times. This album contains timeless fiddling classics such as, "Whiskey Before Breakfast" and "Skillet Licking Breakdown." Makes me yearn for Volumes I and II!

This next one actually took me by surprise when I did some research...

It turns out "The Lord's Prayer" was actually quite the hit for Sister Janet Mead, an Australian nun who hit #4 on the U.S. pop charts with this song in 1974. She was even nominated for a grammy in 1975, but was beaten by Elvis' version of "How Great Thou Art." This album, however, is NOT Sister Janet Mead's version. If you don't look closely, you will be summarily tricked. No, this a "NEW Exciting Arrangement" performed by the Sisters and Brothers. Whoever they are. But don't worry, the back of the album is quick to inform us that Sisters and Brothers follows Sister Janet's arrangement religiously. Phew! Now lets talk about the cover shall we? Who among us doesn't have fond memories of sitting in the woods in daft shirts solemnly watching The Flying Nun "rock out?"

Moving on to the VHS tape section...

This is another item that took me by surprise with some research. On the surface it looks like a silly video in which an old guy teaches us how to tap dance. I am ashamed to admit that even with a background of dance appreciation I was not familiar with the name Donald O'Connor. Turns out he was a very accomplished dancer who had one of the leads in the film "Singin' In The Rain." Likewise, Buddy Ebsen, whom most only know as Jed Clampett on The Beverly Hillbillies was quite an accomplished dancer himself! I knew Debbie Reynolds was a dancer, but naturally it turns out all of the stars of this video are accomplished dancers. We could all learn a lot from them. Clearly, this tap dancing video is not as absurd as it seemed on the surface.

However, I am sure this Golf Clubfitting video is as absurd as it seems. Clubfitting is not even a word. This video was supposed to come with a "Special Pocket Reference Card." We did not check to make sure it was there. The back of the box explains that this video is "An explanation and demonstration of the Golfsmith Practical Clubbing Program, as taught to the Golfsmith Advance Clubmaker Traveling Programs." I'd tell you more but I want you to remain awake.

Moving over to the dolls and stuffed animals area, I found this:

I'm not sure what it was. I just know it had something strange and mechanical under it's shirt/dress thingie. And the doll was rather heavy. And then, there was this:

I was shocked and awed when I saw it sprawled on the shelf, limbs all akimbo and sitting on a defenseless Spongebob. The orange Beanie Baby looks as if it's begging me for help. Just what in the...why in the...how in the hell did this get made? This Mr. T-looking mofo (as if T would wear shocking blue overalls and such a daft plaid shirt!) could cause nightmares to the unprepared child. This baby with a beard is truly, truly disturbing. Without a doubt it was the most disturbing thing in the store that day (and that includes some pretty horrifying customers). I pity the fool who made this doll!

Moving on, Chris was always the least popular (and oldest - he was in his late 40s, right?) member of 'N Sync, so it's no surprise to find he is the sole representation of the group in the Salvation Army this week. I'm thinking he was unpopular because he apparently didn't wear pants and was kinda dirty...

While I was being horrified by T-baby and Friends, Ham was still looking at LPs and found this old elementary school test (a ditto!) with a lovely rendition of life in Holland on the back stuck between some records:

I found this tiki-type thing stuck in with the dishes. I almost bought it - it's actually kind of cool, inasmuch as I like monkeys...

Where there's a thrift store, there is always Bad Art, not the least of which includes framed latch-hook rugs, such as this...

...and this...

...not to be outdone, an oil painting had it's say...

This one they had left outside the box, it obviously being the Best Of The Bunch...

Investigating the stuffed animals again, Ham found this peculiar and abnormal blue bear...what's with the teeth?!

...and then there was this baby doing a headstand...(look ma - no hands!)...

I have to admit, after looking at all this stuff I was jonesing to buy something. I carried around a Mr. Potatohead Massager for awhile, but decided against purchasing it. Then I saw they has these bags just stuffed with small stuffed animals selling for $2-$5 a bag. I picked up the $2 one and immediately noticed a Froot Loops premium Toucan Sam doll. I am such a sucker for premiums. There was also a penguin (I love penguins) and other items. More than worth $2. I had to buy it. When I got home I sorted out the loot. Here's a front and back view of the bag:

The bag was zipped closed but was wrapped in the biggest length of packing tape I've ever seen on a single item. It took me 10 minutes to remove it. The cat was intrigued:

The bag was packed with 21 stuffed animals. Here's a selection of the coolest items in the bag - more than making it worth the $2 I spent:

Yep, the Toucan Sam, a US Postal Service bear with tags (originally $10), The Cutest Stuffed Cat Ever, Clifford, McNugget The Bear (I collect McDonalds premiums), retired Beanie Roarie The Lion, another beanie, Doctor Winnie The Pooh (with tags from The Disney Store indicating it's price was originally $8), and a Yogi Bear series doll. Yay! But then, there were some pretty strange items, too...like the Squashed Head Bunch...

...and those with abnormal sizes or shapes...

All in all, I'd say our trip to The Salvation Army provided for a solid afternoon's worth of entertainment. We will hopefully be going  periodically to thrift stores around the area to bring you all the items that are fit to be left unsold!

(Posted 02/2007)

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