Unless you’re against social recycling or think goods which were previously OPP are icky-poo, then thrift stores are AWESOME!!! Where else can you purchase an entire wardrobe for a fraction of retail price? But, buyer beware, regardless of how “used” a donation is, they still put’ em on the racks. So be sure to check items thoroughly and wash before you wear! Aside from that, you can find jeans, pants, t-shirts, dress shirts, jackets, jammies, active wear, inactive wear, but never underwear. Yeah, they have that too, but there’s something sketchy about knowing someone else’s junk has been in your trunk.

Though most thrift’s mainstay is clothing, the plethora of items and crap you don’t need doesn’t stop there. You can find furniture, vintage media — DVDs, VHS, books, cassettes, records, as well as electronics, bedding (junk in the trunk?), cookware, sports-gear, appliances, electronics and that weird thing…you’re not quite sure what it is but it would look bangin’ in your living room.

The trick to successful thrifting is to look at it like fishing. You may go to the same hole a dozen times and come back empty-handed. But on that baker’s dozen you might land the big one. Finding something you were looking for, a lightly used item you needed or didn’t even know you wanted.

Even if you don’t land a strike, you can still come home with a fish story or two. Like the one that got away… because somebody beat you to it… and caught you trying to sneak it out of their buggy. Or maybe a lady who decides to test a toaster oven, using a plug, in the toys stuffed animal section. FYI it wasn’t working properly…so she just left it there….plugged in (that’s oddly specific). Maybe you could tell folks about that guy who fired up an electric chainsaw in the middle of the store… but you probably weren’t paying attention, were you?


Yes, you can find just about anything at the thrift, including chainsaws. In mine own thrifty adventures I’ve discovered a few and bought just as many. However, my most recent acquisition really got me to thinking.

When buying anything used, especially electronics, it’s best to make sure they’re working. Unlike the lady with the toaster oven, I was mindful of safety and asked a clerk if we could check the saw. Expecting to be taken in the back or asked to hand the saw over for them to try behind the counter and was shocked when they simply directed me to the electronics section and told, “There are plugs back there you can use.”

OK, so let’s just go back there, fire this puppy up and… no one’s coming with me? No store manager to make sure I’m not some psychopath embarking on the Goodwill Chainsaw Massacre (he had the best intentions)? Given an electric chainsaw only has a 6 inch cord so it would have to be an inappropriately social distanced massacre. But what if I’d found a 50ft drop-cord in electronics? What if I’d brought one with me? What if, per chance, I carried one around all the time? Just in the random, off chance I’d find an electric chainsaw? In a thrift store and been allowed to test it unsupervised? A bit of a stretch…but still. You could kill or at least mangle everyone within a 50ft radius or more… cord length pending.

So that’s weirdo but hey… if they trust me… the fools, muahahaha… well then. So plug ‘n play and suddenly the store is filled with a beautifully deafening whine. It was that moment that really got me to thinking because no one reacted. Nobody popped their head around the corner with a WTF? Zero response… aside from one kid coming out of the bathroom who glanced over unconcerned.

Now the point isn’t that I was attention seeking and didn’t get it, because I wasn’t. But the fact that no one reacted concerned me direly. There could have very well been someone with ill-intent on the other end of that saw and then what?

Images of slaughterhouse cattle and wolves among sheep spring to mind. Has our society reached such a point of self-centered confidence that it’s numb to the basic instincts that put us at the top of the food chain? Considering the direction our world is heading, that’s probably not a good thing.

I welcome almost all questions, comments via FOCUS, or E-mail me at [email protected].

Hope to hear from ya, until then try and stay focused! See ya.