thrift store days


Figure 1. Perfectly Good White Boy, on sale October 1, 2014

Figure 1. Perfectly Good White Boy, on sale October 1, 2014


Four Fun Facts about Perfectly Good White Boy!

1) Yes, the title is a reference to Better Off Dead. Which if you haven’t seen it, then what are you sitting here for? Get on that shit.


Figure 2. John Cusack kills it in this thing


2) I have never ever been deer hunting. That’s probably not going to change. Venison tastes gross to me. Also, I can’t blink one of my eyes so shooting things is never gonna happen. Also, I’m not interested in shooting things.

However, I have shot a shot-gun, though. Holy shit, that was uncomfortable for me. Guns are super LOUD! Even with ear plugs in! Also, some of them are HEAVY. And forget about hitting the target. I could barely figure out how to work the apparatus. I was scared the whole time, actually.


Figure 2: Shotguns. Those bastards are HEAVY.

Figure 3: Shotguns. Those bastards are HEAVY. And my muscles are far from Dixon-esque.


3) Actual Real People often inspire Fake People. I based Layne in Sex & Violence and Kerry in Perfectly Good White Boy on these two guys who used to run the baler at the thrift store job I had. Yes: one had KICK ASS! tattooed on his knuckles; they both had little kids, but none of them are named Harry. I still have fond memories of both of them.


Figure 3. Kinda badass, right?

Figure 4. Kinda badass, right?


4) Post-Break-Up Sex: Icky Yet Irresistible. The idea of not understanding when a relationship is over yet being compelled to continue seeing each other sexually? That was on my mind when I started Perfectly Good White Boy. THEN I heard this Kenny Chesney song. You’d think Kenny Chesney is some kind of closet-case Jimmy Buffett, but man, think there are so many undertones of secret obsessions in this song. Also, the video is horrible. Don’t watch that unless you want to have gross feelings.

Also, here are my country-music-free thoughts on the matter. 


Figure 5. Well. Not really. But you get the idea.

Figure 5. Well. Not really. But you get the idea.





My Thrift Store Days, Part IV

More Thrift Store Haikus!

Rude Customer
Counterfeit coupons?
It’s cheap enough already!
You should be ashamed

A Good Idea
Cream-colored china
with pretty green leaf edging
Future tea party

Donation Sorter
Spode dinnerware, yes.
But in the same donation
Used underpants. No.

Housewares Department
Most people would die
if they only knew how many
fucking coffee mugs there are

My Thrift Store Days, Part III


Book Department
I throw out bibles
that other people donate
I don’t bat an eye

Vintage tees are high
holy relics I collect.
Thrift store is my church

Take A Shower, Please
This one lady makes
the store reek horribly of
sweaty, rancid crotch

On the shelf I spy
hobnail milk glass collection
Out of the way, bitch

The Unsold
Logo denim shirt
Freebie from your company
No one wants it, man

Granny’s Gotta Have It
Nice old lady shops
every Friday evening
Flirts with boy cashiers

My Thrift Store Days, Part II


  • shit-stained underwear
  • urine-stained underwear
  • blood-stained underwear 
  • clothing you painted the house in
  • used address books
  • pictures of your mullety girlfriend standing in front of your trailer, either naked or in an aqua bikini
  • dentures
  • sex toys
  • dirty diapers
  • loaded hand guns
  • microwave cook books
  • stuffed pets (STUFFED = TAXIDERMIED)
  • little kids’ art work (HAVE YOU NO HEART?)
  • used syringes
  • used Bacon Waves
  • window blinds
  • bowling bowls with initials on them
  • family photo albums
  • guest book from mother’s funeral
  • dot matrix printers
  • sofas that reek of cat piss
  • floppy disks that are actually floppy
  • VHS tapes of old episodes of Wheel of Fortune
  • VHS tapes of high school hockey tournaments 
  • tea bags from 1972
  • children’s play kitchen covered with cigarette burns
  • retainers, rubber bands, head gear or other orthodontic devices
  • used enema kit (WE DON’T KNOW YOU THAT WELL, SORRY)
*yes, these are all real examples of donations we saw and yes, they all went into the trash. Except the gun – we had the cops come pick that up.

Next up: Thrift Store Haikus

My Thrift Store Days, Part I

I kind of miss working at the thrift store. It was probably the most enjoyable job I’ve ever had.

When I quit my Real Adult Teaching Job to ‘be a writer’ – what a lark, huh? – I decided to get a regular part-time job. Meaning, something I could brainlessly do and easily leave at work when I punched out. Something with an actual time clock, too. Something that I could organize all my free time around. So I started working at Nameless Thrift Store. And found I really loved it. The stuff I dug through was insane and riveting and the people I worked with were lovely and amusing.

I was pregnant with Matilda while I worked there and one day, I pulled aside a Boppy pillow to buy, but seconds later, one of the guys working the donation door came over and chucked it in the trash.

“Hey! I was going to buy that!” I yelled.

“No, you’re not,” he said. “I saw the tweakers who donated it. You don’t want your baby anywhere near that shit.”

It boggled the mind the kinds of things people would drag all the way to the thrift store to get the tax receipt, when most of their stuff was no better than trash. Given the mental state of some of these people, you had to wonder how they managed to bag and box up their junk and actually make it to the store in one piece. They didn’t exactly look like the kind of people who saved their receipts for itemized deductions. Or even filed their taxes in the first place.

The next few posts will be excerpted from Secondhand Nation, a zine my sister and I once created, and will be devoted to our thrift store experiences (of course, my sister worked at Nameless Thrift Store! we do everything together!)

Next up: a list of things you never need to donate to a thrift store, in case you are brainless…