Monday, February 2, 2009

Lonesome, Even With All That Red Hair

As I mentioned in a post yesterday, I took a quick trip to Ventura on Saturday with the intention of seeing something different. Ventura’s Main Street has more than its fair share of stores selling old things, and a lot of them are worth looking at, if only for reasons contrary to how the shopkeepers would have planned. Below is a visual catalogue of notable things I didn’t buy, for obvious reasons.

First up, a little number I like to call “horrifying doll.”

horrifying doll

I don’t know if it’s the arms frozen in a modified version of the standard zombie pose, the expression of trace-induced murderousness, or the fact that the whole thing looks a great deal like Lucille Ball gone horribly wrong. The diablo-red statue in the matador hat — Devil Imp Ricky, if you will — isn’t helping.


Antique stores are great for exposing me to bits of bygone pop culture that I have never before had any reason to know. Apparently inhabitants of the Sid and Marty Krofft universe — of which I should admit I know fairly little — Kaptain Kool and the Kongs allowed me to say with complete honesty “I have no fucking idea who this band is.” And I don’t get to say that a lot, much less about anything famous enough to merit having its image placed on a jigsaw puzzle.

Something must also be said for the tendency to replace the letter “C” with the letter “K.” For added coolness? Instant edginess? Automatic anti-authoritarian cred? “We don’t need your cold, dead rules, man. We spell how we want… though we clearly do follow the rules of letters making the sounds they’re supposed to. “Qaptain Qool and the Qongs” would have been better, if only that “Paptain Pool and the Pongs” would have been a marketing nightmare.



Two jokes here, the first being the inherent awesomeness in a pricetag reading “old tool” and the second being the fact that the antique store owners also apparently didn’t know what the hell this thing was or what it did. Seriously, if anyone reading this can identify this implement, I can give you the phone number of this store.


Creepy Kitty has a lever in back that, when twiddled, causes his tongue to loll back and forth. That’s it. Thus, this object is a toy only in a sense that it can’t really be anything else save something with which to scare children. And no one wants to buy something called a “scarechild,” so “toy” it is. I’d like to say that Creepy Kitty evidences some progression from olden times as far as what children consider worth their time, but I feel like even old-timey children would have been perplexed by this thing, perhaps only finding solace in using it for a game of How Far Will This Fly If I Throw It?


And then we have the Kappa Doll. And by that I don’t mean to mock the lovely ladies of Kappa Kappa Gamma — who do have brains, regardless of whether they use them — but the mythical Kappa, who does in fact suffer from a giant hole in his head. I’m not a doll guy — thank God — so I have to wonder what advantage a doll might find in lacking a skull cap. Anyone?


I ultimately opted not to buy this painting of Dana Scully, re-imaged by an artist who apparently learned to paint by looking at art in Mexican restaurants.


Based on the title of this album, I am reminded of the beloved children’s game How Far Will This Fly If I Throw It?


I think I actually saw the movie that this is the soundtrack to. But I don’t remember any hearing any organ music in it, at least not in the literal sense.


I have no idea what the name of this Maxine Sellers album is referring, but I really hope it’s the title track. And I really hope the song appears on the track listing in its untruncated form, “Life Is Short, But It’s Wide (Talkin’ ’Bout Choads).”

Previous catalogues of things I did not buy at the thrift store:


  1. The "old tool" looks a bit like an old fashioned ice pick. The kind one might use for the Ice Box business.

  2. What store was the Kaptain Kool and the Kongs in?? I must have it!!

  3. Nicholby antique mall, Main Street, in Ventura.

  4. i cant believe you skipped over the mexican scully painting. that is epic.

  5. I don't know how you managed to contain yourself and not drops loads of cash at that antique store. I'm really digging that "scarechild."

  6. Bri: I didn't say I didn't buy some things. I bought two: an miniature die wunderkammer that hangs on the wall and a soap dish shaped like a bird. They are both orange and they both make me very happy.