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A Long and Storied History of the Most Interesting Secondhand Items I've Ever Bought

Testament to the virtue of frequenting the likes of charity shops, secondhand bookstores, and car boot sales, this is a small selection of some of the random, nifty, and most of all, 𝘵𝘩𝘳𝘪𝘧𝘵𝘺 purchases that I've acquired over the years...

By Jack Anderson KeanePublished 3 years ago 20 min read
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A Long and Storied History of the Most Interesting Secondhand Items I've Ever Bought
Photo by Prudence Earl on Unsplash

For as long as I can remember, I have been enormously enamoured with the act of visiting charity shops, and other establishments of the secondhand-selling persuasion, whenever it was possible for me to do so.

Even in those times when I've not had any money, if I've nonetheless ever had enough time permitting me the window of opportunity before I had to go do something else, I've inevitably been drawn towards whatever charity shops were in my immediate vicinity, or those whose locations I knew I could get to within a few minutes' worth of walking.

Clothing. Books. Board games. Computer games. Vinyl records. Toys. Furniture. Kitchenware. CD's. DVD's. Occasionally Blu-rays. Sometimes you even get really lucky, and find stuff like typewriters, musical instrumentals, Polaroid cameras, Super 8mm cameras... stuff that might cost an arm and an leg on eBay, but here can cost considerably less, and has your money go towards a good cause.

It's a real Forrest Gump type situation when it comes to perusing shops like these. You never know what you're gonna get.

(And from my experience of volunteering in a charity shop, this is especially true of the donations people make before the staff sifts through everything behind the scenes, processing and picking out what can be sold, and what definitely cannot. True story: there was this one day late last year, not long before Christmas, where I came into work, and found before me on one of the sorting tables - and I say this with hand on heart, swearing up and down on an imaginary stack of Bibles - there was a dumbfounding donation of a large, bright pink, anatomically-correct rubber dildo. Veins, balls, and all. Circumcised, evidently. Covered in dust, fluff, and hairs of indeterminate origin. Just sitting there, sticking out like a sore thumb, or a sore-- actually, let's not finish that thought...)

What follows is a trawl through the trove of treasures I have had the good fortune to find, and snag before they were gone, from an assortment of secondhand sources. Charity shops, used books stores, car-boot sales, eBay, Facebook Marketplace, and even places like the secondhand goods company Complete Entertainment eXchange, a.k.a. CeX (which yes, really is pronounced "sex", and which I also just found out was co-founded in the 90's by none other than actual literal Charlie Brooker, back before Black Mirror, Screen Wipe, or even his days writing for The Guardian!).

The accompanying photos that happen to include my face will betray the half-decade passage of time these photographic chronicles simultaneously captured. Upon being given a smartphone in 2014, and the subsequent creation of my Instagram account, posts regarding my numerous secondhand discoveries became such a frequent occurrence, I started grouping them all together under a single hashtag: #TodayInCharityShopPurchases.

Knowing all that... shall we begin?

•••

• Wannabe Thrift Shop Fashionista

On the occasions where I've gone to pop some tags with only 20 dollars (well, pounds) in my pocket, when I'm hunting and looking for a come-up that will indubitably be frickin' awesome, I've managed to find the odd few bits of hand-me-down fashion that have served various functional, or at the very least, aesthetic purposes for me. (Though I suppose serving an aesthetic is its own kind of function in itself, so hey-ho.)

In 2015, I happened upon these £1 sunglasses, their plastic frames coated in a wood-pattern effect. This is somewhat relevant to the circumstances behind why I completely shaved my head for the first time that year...

...because at this time, a couple of friends of mine were planning to make a post-apocalyptic comedy web-series, and I was told they had me in mind for the large, lumberjack-looking character of an escaped convict with a heart of gold. Taking the (in retrospect admittedly overeager) initiative upon learning of this, I grew out my beard, sheared all my hair off, and topped off the lumberjack mood with these wooden-looking shades. Granted, they weren't prescription, so the act of wearing these sunglasses was to deliberately render my vision hopelessly out of focus for the duration of donning them, but still... I was nothing if not committed.

In the end, though, the project never came to fruition, due to a laundry list of the usual life-related reasons you'd expect, and so with that, I grew my hair back. Though not before I got to rock that lumberjack chic, wood sunglasses and all (as pictured below), for a small part I played in a short sketch put together by several others within that selfsame friend circle:

(The guns are fake, btw. Also, I wish I still had that shirt. More's the pity.)

For a while the hair remained, until a simmering years-long brew of genes-deep heredity, major life stresses, and a longstanding skin condition (seborrhoeic dermatitis) that I've struggled with for over a decade, resulted in my overall hair loss being too substantial to salvage. Hence why a few years later in 2018, I cut my losses, and decided to keep my head shaved indefinitely.

You'll see this fluctuation in hairful- and hairlessness happen a lot as we go on, so take that as your preemptive explanation as to why this is.

Moving on:

From a day sometime in mid-2016, we have here this grey suit jacket I bought for about £5 from the charity shop whose changing room I took this mirror selfie in before buying it.

The jacket fit the bill for my day's plans nicely enough, fulfilling multiple functions: looking vaguely of a piece with the rest of my outfit; concealing the size of my belly; keeping me just warm enough should it get colder, but also being light enough to not encumber me with added heat should the sun come out to play; and concealing any sweat that could potentially seep through the shirt's material.

Unfortunately, my day's plan swiftly fell apart after that, as when I boarded my intended bus to Cardiff, I was hit by the realisation I'd left my umbrella in the changing room, so I was forced to abandon the bus, retrieve my umbrella-ella-eh-eh, and wait for the next bus, and long story short, I didn't see any movies that day, and it was basically all a failure and a waste of time, thanks to my insufferable insecurities, and piddling time-management skills.

But hey, at least the shop would later grant me an upgrade in the coat department, with this grey woollen trenchcoat I got later that year for somewhere between £10 and £12:

I don't know what precisely inspired the fixation that lead to me seeking out this kind of coat - (I suspect it could have been David Tennant's 10th Doctor coat, or John Barrowman's Captain Jack coat, though who knows?) - but I remember that once the fixation took hold, I was quite keen on the notion of owning a long coat that could billow in the breeze behind me while I walked... ideally in slow motion for maximum impact.

Indelibly, however, a big part of it - besides wanting a coat that looked nice - was the desire for a coat that went some way towards covering up my body's shape and size, and which was long enough to cover my bottom so I didn't have to worry about having my shirts hitch up, or trousers hitch down, and consequently having people behind me see my butt crack.

(I wish I could jokingly minimise the actual fear I have of this happening by saying "I just don't want to be a victim of Community's Ass-Crack Bandit!", but it's always been a thing I've done my utmost to avoid, stemming from my overarching fears of being seen in any way as gross, unseemly, slovenly, or irredeemably disgusting. So it goes.)

After many a month of searching through multiple shops, this coat finally materialised sometime in late 2016, and I still have it to this day.

As for the possible influence of Doctor Who and/or Torchwood on this purchase, it all came full circle when I wore said coat to my first (and last) visit to the Doctor Who Experience in Cardiff Bay, during its final week of business before it shut up shop in September 2017.

QUICKFIRE ROUND!

From a then-local community shop I went into as many times as I could before I moved homes in 2018, here's a ridiculous(ly cool?) leather jacket I got in 2017 that was about £5:

From the same community shop, here's another suit jacket - dark blue/navy this time - that was between £2 and £5:

Plus three different ties, 50p each:

Red textured pattern tie.

Different red tie, different pattern.

Mickey Mouse patterned tie.

From that same haul - or maybe from a different day's - we have this spoopy Halloween skull ski-mask that looks like it was pillaged from the set of The Purge, and was maybe 50p or £1:

And sticking with the Halloween theme, here below is an extra-large beige trenchcoat, that I can't for the life of me remember if it was a lucky charity shop find, or a specifically sought-out eBay purchase, as depending on which it was, the coat was anywhere in the region of £2 to £12, but seeing as I'm not certain, take that with as many grains of salt as you deem appropriate.

Wherever I got it from, it was the last crucial piece I needed to complete my amateur cosplay of Agent Cooper from Twin Peaks (the original 90's era), which I publicly wore in its entirety for the first time by wearing it out to Cardiff on Halloween Night of 2017.

I didn't go to any parties, or meet up with anybody or anything; I just attended an Apple Genius Bar appointment, then went and saw the nearby Cineworld's screening of The Shining, before travelling home by train. (The fake FBI badge did raise a few eyebrows, with one woman even asking me who I was in costume as, in order to ascertain if I really was a Fed or not.)

Next, from one of the local village table-top sales I attended in mid-2018, I dropped 30-to-50p on this straw hat from one of the adjoining sellers' tables, as we were all sitting out in the scorching morning sun, trying to sell stuff to an audience of mostly thin air.

Maybe it was heat-induced temporary madness that influenced me into thinking this hat was a good idea. For one thing, it's about two sizes too small for my big melon head; for another, I just make it look naff.

The two most recent additions to this fashion-based sub-category come from late 2020. Both entries bring us back to the micro-budget cosplay mould.

One of them was this old Ghostbusters jumpsuit costume I found for £4, which I have to hold in my gut and play Houdini-with-a-straightjacket to get in and out of, but that I like regardless:

But the biggest draw for me was finding - in the very charity shop where I was working, no less! - a large luxury leather-and-wool coat that, while not completely film-accurate or identical, massively resembled the coat Bane famously wore in The Dark Knight Rises, and which was only £11.

Thus did this bring me one step closer to putting together a half-decent Bane cosplay that I could feasibly employ for future Halloweens and Comic-Cons (post-pandemic, of course).

I guess I really am wearing your granddad's clothes, and I look incredible, because I'm in this big-ass coat, from that thrift shop down the road...

(Pictured mask is not real. Real mask to be acquired, eventually...)

• Fixing for Furnishings

When it came time for me to move into my single-bedroom flat where I've lived since October of 2018, there was a need for an upgrade in living room furniture. The only seating I yet had was this chocolate brown sofa/fold-out bed thing I inherited from my mother, but it wasn't - and isn't - suitable for longterm sitting for me. For context, I'm 6 foot 1, and when this sofa-bed is folded up into sofa mode, it provides no neck support, lower back support, or leg support. Plus, you can feel the metal of its structural skeleton pressing on your butt bone when you sit on it, which isn't exactly optimal for comfort.

So, several weeks before my moving-in day, I took a gander through the various charity shops local to my flat's area (specifically the ones that sold chairs and sofas and such), and in one of them finally happened upon this deep red two-seater sofa, which while not tall enough on the back for head or neck support, did at least offer plenty of leg room to cushion my creaky knees. Plus, it was super comfy. Plus plus, it was the cheapest option at £20 (not including the £10 delivery).

And so it was that I officially got my new flat's first piece of new(ish) furniture.

September 2018, a few weeks before moving day.

A couple of months later, I realised I was in need of a chair I could use to sit at the computer desk I'd put in my bedroom. Obviously, a fully cushioned gaming chair was an out-of-the-question luxury, no matter how many times PewDiePie brought up the perks of his £399 chair.

But thankfully, the same shop where I'd gotten the red sofa also stocked chairs that would work for sitting at my desk whenever called upon, so I shelled out £5 for this natty-but-sturdy chair seen below, and I carried it all the way back to my flat so I wouldn't have to pay the extra tenner for delivery. This meant carrying it out of the shop, carrying it through the bus station, carrying it onto the bus home (wherein the bus driver jovially quipped: "We've already got seats free, mate!"), and carrying it up the two flights of stairs to my residence.

(At least the chair was relatively lightweight. I'd have to be the Hulk to lift that bloody sofa by hand, let me tell you.)

Then lastly, an unplanned spur-of-the-moment purchase I made from another charity shop around that time was this big circular rotatable swivel sofa that was about... £65, I think?

To be honest, this was not one of my wisest decisions. Looking back, I cringe at myself for having squandered that much money that could've gone towards food or whatever. But at the time I first laid eyes on it, I was possessed with this absurd, romantic notion that maybe one day, if ever I had a girlfriend, we could curl up together on this sofa, blanket wrapped around us as we drank tea, and watched TV or something. Or if not that, then at least I'd have an extra seat available should multiple friends ever come visit.

But neither of those things have happened, and the chair is too large and unwieldy to sit in or get up from, and the spinniness of it makes it unstable, and it just takes up too much space while serving little-to-no purpose.

At best, I can say it might make an excellent dog bed one day, but that's about it.

• A Veritable Cornucopia of Booky Discoveries

Me like books.

Me like books a lot.

I will probably never get around to reading every book I own, but that doesn't mean I won't give it a damn good try.

It's just that I can't help myself in compounding the problem by always finding more and more books in charity shops that I've either been searching for for years, or they just sound interesting judging by the blurbs' synopses in and of themselves.

A booky charity shop haul, back in the pre-bald days. (Circa 2014.)

This weakness for book buying is only further exacerbated whenever the charity shops I've visited hold sales to shift as many books as possible because the stock room is overflowing.

The point is, when there are books involved, and they're within a price range that won't break my limited bank, I'm basically Kylo Ren:

With that said, here is a mere smattering of the piles and piles of books that charity shops have graced me with, highlighting only the most notable among them, otherwise we'd be here all week.

For a start, there's the books I've found that contained signatures from the authors:

This just so happened to be bought only a few months before Ronnie Corbett passed away in 2016.

(Makes you wonder what the story was behind this personalised signature.)

This was part of a huge haul of Peter F. Hamilton books that were on sale for £1 each on a random day in 2019, these being the only hardbacks.

I started reading Darren Shan's Demonata series in the mid-2000's, but my progress halted around the time of the release of Book 4, Bec; so when I found all of the rest of the series in hardback form for a quid each in 2019, I jumped at the chance to finally see how it all concluded. (Also, one can again only imagine what exchange lead to this signature's presumably personalised nature.)

Then we have a recurring trend of books about The Simpsons, whose 90's golden age - and even some of its less revered 2000's era - still holds a special place in my heart, despite it having disappointingly devolved over the last decade-and-change into a hollow, soulless shell of its former self as it's been endlessly renewed year after year, like a repeatedly revivified zombie not being allowed to die, shuffling aimlessly, brainlessly, and heartlessly.

A neat little art book breaking down the processes of drawing all the characters.

A mammoth 1200 page episode-by-episode breakdown of seasons 1 to 20, this is maybe the heaviest book I own... or at least in the top 5 for sure.

The next four honkingly huge hardbacks - Umberto Eco's The Name of the Rose, Jeff VanderMeer's Southern Reach Trilogy, George R.R. Martin's Fire and Blood, and Arthur Conan Doyle's The Complete Sherlock Holmes - were all bought for £1 each, during the same day's haul as the Peter F. Hamilton novels mentioned earlier:

They say not to judge a book by its cover... and I didn't entirely, as I know of this book's esteemed reputation, and the screen adaptations that have been made of it, including the one with Sean Connery and Christian Slater... but even so, LOOK AT THIS BOOK'S COVER, THOUGH.

Alex Garland's 2018 adaptation of Annihilation brought me here.

For what it's worth, I don't think season 8 of Game Of Thrones was that bad. Needlessly rushed, sure, but it worked (for me) all the same. Trust me, after the final episodes of the likes of Dexter and True Blood, everything else looks like a masterpiece by comparison.

Except the final episode of Sherlock. That pissed me off to the back teeth about as much as Dexter's finale did. (I'm not still bitter about it or anything...)

Now, what's up with me having bought this novel by Miranda July (for £1, this time from that aforementioned community shop)?

Well, at first I only took a look at the book out of curiosity, undecided on if it was something I truly wanted.

But then I opened it up to the page that had been bookmarked by the dust jacket's back flap, and right there on the awaiting page, literally circled by pen, was a passage that mentioned my name.

wth?

Of course, this is just a congregation of coincidences that lead to this. July just happened to write a character named Jack into her novel; "Jack" just happens to be a ginormously common name that I just happen to share; this book just happened to once belong to someone who just happened to bookmark a page in such a way that you almost couldn't help but open it onto that page automatically, and that someone just happened to circle a piece of text that just happened to include the name I just happen to have, and that book just happened to be in that shop on the day I just happened to be there to find it.

That's one of those rare magical things about life sometimes, is the moments where there are a cacophony of coincidences that have no causal link between them, but which nonetheless happen to happen in such a way as to correlate and conspire to create moments of sheer synchronicity, where all those disparate moving parts suddenly click into singular place.

It's the kind of thing that can leave you... wonderstruck.

(Look, I had to segue here somehow.)

Another series of books I started reading as a kid in the early 2000's, before life and circumstance interrupted my continuation to series completion, was Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events.

It was a staple of my primary school libraries, and a repeat offender - along with The Spiderwick Chronicles - of having new entries in the series appear in the Scholastic Book Fair every year, while I was never in a position to buy any of the books they had on display. (Maybe my adulthood predisposition to buying all these books from charity shops whenever possible has its roots in the annual childhood Book Fair disappointments? I don't know, I'd need a therapist to tell me if that's valid or malarkey.)

It took me a couple of years between 2018 and 2020 to track them all down, but eventually I was able to accrue all 13 volumes of the series via a multitude of the different secondhand sources I was familiar with, so that at long last I may read what happened beyond Book 3, and thereafter get round to watching the three-season Netflix adaptation with Neil Patrick Harris. (I'm still fond of Jim Carrey's Count Olaf, though.)

A different series that passed me by - during my youth spent mostly focused on Harry Potter, Artemis Fowl, Alex Rider, Maximum Ride, and Noughts & Crosses, to name a few - was Rick Riordan's Percy Jackson, which only in recent years have I seen its dearly devoted fanbase grow exponentially in hugely positive terms as a beacon of high-quality YA fantasy fiction, particularly as J.K. Rowling's popularity has (by her own hands) steeply fallen.

So imagine my delight upon finding the complete Percy Jackson collection in the charity shop where I worked, and which was only about £2!

Much like Percy Jackson, Ransom Riggs' Miss Peregrine books were yet another YA fantasy series that got the movie adaptation treatment by 20th Century Fox (pre-Disney acquisition) attempting to spin their own Harry Potter-esque lucrative film franchise out of some popular young-adult books, but which ultimately went nowhere.

I haven't read them yet, but I've long been looking forward to, especially because of the proliferation of fascinating photographs each book is filled to the brim with. So when I found this boxset of the first Miss Peregrine trilogy in a charity shop, all in hardback, with 12 bonus "peculiar" photographs included, for just £10, I was absolutely elated.

As will become abundantly clear as we go on, I'm a teensy bit smitten with physical storytelling media that come with additional ephemera you can rummage through, take out, inspect, observe separately, and all that business. I like that interactive element, that feeling of having bonus materials of art design that extends beyond the art of the primary story.

A pertinent example of what I'm talking about is this intriguing book-within-a-book, New York Collapse (which I got from the same shop I found the Miss Peregrine boxset). This book works on three levels of meta-narrative. First, there's the ostensible post-apocalyptic survival guide written by the fictional author, Warren Merchant (in reality written by science fiction author, and prolific ghostwriter of licensed tie-in books, Alex Irvine); second, there's the story of a woman, April Kelleher, living through the apocalypse the book portended, told through her handwritten notes scrawled in the margins, as well as the ephemeral inserts of maps, cards, booklets, etc; and third, there's its overall function as a tie-in to the narrative of the 2016 video game, Tom Clancy's The Division.

Bear in mind, however, that I bought this book in either late 2019, or very early 2020... so when the blurb on the back cover casually makes mention of "a major pandemic", know that I did not remotely conceive that its contents could, or would, soon hew so unsettlingly close to reality.

QUICKFIRE ROUND!

The script book for Hamilton - £5.

All of these other script books, collected across several years, ranging in price individually from £1 to £4.99.

Unfortunately, Joss Whedon makes an ignoble return here, going from the Cabin In The Woods screenplay (co-written by Drew Goddard, which takes some of the sting out of Joss being involved with it) up above, to this collection of books (each about £1) related to Buffy and Angel, which were both created by him. But hey, screw him! He's not the sole be-all-end-all reason for everything that went into making these shows great, and I choose not to let him desecrate the amazing work everyone else involved brought to the table when putting these shows together.

(Relatedly: on the day I had the pleasure of meeting Anthony Head at Cardiff Comic-Con in 2018, I bought a secondhand copy of Buffy's first season on DVD for a couple of quid, so that I'd have something for him to sign. He was a consummate gentleman as you might expect, adeptly polite in calmly enduring my anxiety-fuelled fanboyishness, and when he signed the DVD set (using the gold Sharpie that I'd brought along, so that his writing would contrast visibly against the dark background of the front cover), he shrewdly slipped the cover out from the plastic slipcase in order to sign the glossy paper itself, before replacing it back to whence it came. Also, he was gracious enough with his time to allow me a second try at the photo with him, after the first attempt was botched by my glasses catching the lights, and ruining the shot. Before the redo at the picture, I said something like, "Now I see why you took your glasses off so many times in Buffy!", and he chuckled politely, though I'm sure I wasn't as funny as I tried to be. So it goes.)

(Anthony Head's inscription was in no way intended to prophecise any future actual real-world badness, I'm sure...)

Two very old Twin Peaks tie-in books, with the left one currently out of print - bought on eBay, for a combined price that I cannot definitively recall, but which may have been about £15.

Rik Mayall's raucously ridiculous anti-autobiography, complete with dust jacket containing perhaps the most hilariously narcissistic reimagining of The Last Supper ever - £1.

The gargle-blastingly gigantic Illustrated Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy, which fits on literally none of my bookshelves - about £11.

(That's Douglas Adams himself on the right there.)

And that'll more than do for the books, as it would be frankly unconscionable to detail every single book I've ever gotten from charity shops and elsewhere, because... well...

...I think you can see why.

• Movies Are Groovy

It’s not just books I’m into collecting to an overwhelming degree.

DVD’s and Blu-rays are likewise right within my wheelhouse. Especially if they’re rare, uniquely packaged, and/or are simply cheaper to get from secondhand places, where their appearances are a welcome surprise.

Take, for instance, this mahoosive boxset of Blade Runner’s Director’s Cut DVD release, containing a poster, lobby art cards, a 35mm frame of a moment from the film, and a copy of an early draft of the screenplay, which (SPOILER ALERT) certainly cements the writers’ opinion of whether Deckard was a replicant or not, before the film’s ultimately wiser decision to leave it ambiguous.

In a similar vein, there are these Collector’s Edition DVD sets of the two best Monty Python movies (sorry to The Meaning of Life), both of which likewise contain screenplays, art cards, and 35mm film stills.

(No møøses though...)

(This one was just 30p from the charity shop I got it from!)

(This was slightly more biggus in price, at a whopping £1.50 from CeX.)

There’s this copy of the original BBC miniseries of Dennis Potter’s throughly extraordinary The Singing Detective, which I had been looking for for ages, until I unexpectedly found it last year, tucked away near the bottom of a stack of DVD’s in a charity shop, for just 30p.

In a voluminous stroke of luck, in the charity shop where I work, I stumbled across the super rare 2006 DVD set of the original Star Wars trilogy that contain the only (legally official) home video releases of each film’s theatrical cuts, from before George Lucas tinkered and tampered with them, slathering them all in unwelcome CGI with his Special Edition versions.

Granted, the theatrical cuts (included as bonus discs secondary to Lucas’s preferred Special Editions) weren’t restored or remastered properly for this mid-2000’s release, as Lucas had basically no interest in doing so, which is what lead to fan-made restorations like Harmy’s Despecialized Editions, 4K77, and other such projects.

Really, the main boon of now owning this DVD set (which altogether cost me £1.50) alongside the 2011 Complete Saga Blu-ray collection, was that it completed the trifecta of essential Original Trilogy sets to own, at least for those that care about Star Wars to a hearty-but-healthy, non-toxic degree.

I won’t detail every find I’ve ever had at CeX, as this list has gone on long enough, but I did want to highlight this one instance where I randomly went into the Cardiff store one day last year, and caught this Arrow Video limited edition Blu-ray of Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas for only £2! Now that’s a steal if ever I saw one!

Suffice it to say, I was quite glad to expand my burgeoning Arrow Video collection just that little bit more.

That’ll do for this section, because again, if I went granular with the details of every charity shop (and CeX, and wherever else) purchase, we’d never leave...

• Going Postal for Posters

Bought through Facebook Marketplace for £5 from a local seller who hand-delivered it, this was a poster they only gave out at ODEON Cinemas at the midnight premiere of the first 𝙄𝙩. (Let’s not speak of 𝙄𝙩: 𝘾𝙝𝙖𝙥𝙩𝙚𝙧 𝙏𝙬𝙤.)

These posters (illustrated by Dan Mumford) were also an ODEON-only exclusive for certain opening screenings of 𝙏𝙝𝙚 𝙇𝙖𝙨𝙩 𝙅𝙚𝙙𝙞. (No, I am not one of the haters of that film, cos it is awesome; it’s 𝙍𝙞𝙨𝙚 𝙊𝙛 𝙎𝙠𝙮𝙬𝙖𝙡𝙠𝙚𝙧 that sucks...)

A 3D lenticular poster for 𝙏𝙝𝙚 𝘿𝙖𝙧𝙠 𝙆𝙣𝙞𝙜𝙝𝙩 𝙍𝙞𝙨𝙚𝙨 that I happened upon in a charity shop for £10 (sold to me at a reducement to £7 for having been the first to ask about buying it). Now Bats and Bane sit beside Agent Cooper, and the Unus Annus hourglass of doom on the wall above my bed. Memento mori.)

• Thrift Shops Are Instrumental In Finding Instruments

£20 from that community shop I've talked of. It only had two strings, sure, but I wasn't looking to be Andre Rieu or anything. Primarily I was interested in the bow, and using that with my electric guitar to see if I could reproduce that Sigur Rós kind of sound. (Wish I had learnt earlier about the absolute necessity for rosin for the bow. That would've helped...)

Ukulele, but with steel strings. £2-£5.

Old tambourine. Bought in 2019, long before the PewDiePie tambourine meme would've made it more relevant. Oh well.

Acoustic guitar with nylon strings, plus denim strap, plus all those unique painted-on doodlings: £10 to £12. (This was the very last thing I bought from the charity shop where I'd gotten the red sofa, the wood chair, the hardback haul, and the tambourine (among many other things), before the pandemic brought about the March lockdowns in 2020, leading to this particular shop's permanent closure. Now it exists only in my memories.)

• A Miscellany of Assorted Bits, Bobs, and Whatnots

Both of these were bought on eBay, but my intended focus here is on the tape recorder (approx. £20), which is almost exactly the same as the one used by Agent Cooper in Twin Peaks. (FUN FACT: Remember those Cooper cosplay pics from before? This tape recorder was on the inside pocket of the suit jacket all along.)

From the short-lived era when I had a DSLR camera, I became invested in trying to replicate for my shots the kind of bokeh oval effect that anamorphic lenses create. My studious research lead me to these old lenses, which I then tracked down on eBay for a price somewhere in the region of £20 to £40 combined. The bad news was that they did not, in fact, create the anamorphic effect I was looking for; the good news was that they were very good replacement lens I could manually use in a jiffy.

"Oh, what a lovely tea party!" (This tea set was bought at the same time as the ill-advised straw hat from earlier, for around £2-£5. What can I say? I felt like feeling fancy.)

A cassette player/radio: £2. (Now I can finally harken back to my childhood Walkman days, and listen to my cassette copy of the Guardians of the Galaxy soundtrack!)

John Murphy's incredible, influential, much-imitated score to Danny Boyle's 28 Days Later, on CD, with bonus comic strip insert: 50p. (Real life pandemic parallels unintended.)

Fancy pocket watch collection, bought across two separate occasions over a five year period: about £5 each. (Remember Bernard's Watch? I wish one of these had Bernard's Watch powers...)

Foldable fan for fancy dramatic fan-waving? 50p-£1.

30p was more than this garbage deserved to have spent on it, but still I got it just so I could laugh at it...

...and also because I'm mightily curious about these writings in the margins of L. Ron Hubbard's lunatic tome, as I'm trying to figure out if this person was agreeing with LRH's ramblings, or if he was mocking them. It's a mystery one may never solve...

• And Then Just Things I Looked At, But Never Bought

The coats I tried on on the right, neither of which I got. ESPECIALLY NOT THAT THUNDEROUSLY DUMB LEATHER JACKET WITH THE PUFFY SLEEVES, I MEAN, MY GOD.

And last, but most certainly not least, there was... THIS.

(It just made me think of Black Books.)

•••

And that's all, folks!

Thank you for joining me on this adventure through my erstwhile history of secondhand treasure hunting. May you all go forth and find your own charity shop curiosities and keepsakes, just waiting for you to discover them anew.

As a good Doctor once said:

ALLONS-Y!

vintage
5

About the Creator

Jack Anderson Keane

An idiot pretending not to be an idiot.

You can also find me on Twitter (for memes), Instagram (for the pictures), Letterboxd (for film reviews), Medium (for a Vocal alternative), Goodreads (for book reviews), and Spotify (for my music).

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