on the topic of tchotchkes

Exhibit 1: tchotchkes, Goodwill Superstore, SE 6th Ave., Portland

My thrifting pal, Jeff, and I have a running joke in which we compete to spot the most awful secondhand item in the store that day, usually some knickknack, though the other night at the Salvation Army store on 82nd, this pair of Homer Simpson slippers won (i.e., the wearer inserts feet into Homer's mouth and gets stared at by Homer's vacant googly eyes while padding around the house in yellow clown shoes). Inevitably, at least early on in the joke, one of us would ask rhetorically, "What does this reveal about Americans to the Chinese factory worker making assembly-line copies to infinity of this piece of sh-t every day?" Now, we simply pick up or point to the offensive piece, no words needed.

Of course, good taste is relative. The core philosophy of secondhand consumption is that one person's trash is another's treasure, the entire reason the reuse system works. But seriously, view Exhibits 1 and 2. . . . I rest my case.

Exhibit 2: knickknacks, Goodwill Superstore, SE 6th Ave., Portland

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