The Best Worst Stuff People Tried to Sell at the Junk Shop

by Libby Alexander

I work in a junk shop in a far northside neighborhood in Chicago. We buy, sell, trade … the whole nine. The “buy” part means we get plenty of characters looking to unload stuff for cash. Sometimes itʼs awesome stuff like antique silver, World War II memorabilia, or vintage furniture, but other times itʼs a trash bag full of empty DVD cases and an open package of Kotex Overnight Ultra Thin With Wings.

Weʼll also buy things in lots because there might be a valuable necklace, vintage toy, or first edition book in the box, but outside of that one thing weʼre left with a bunch of crap. And so Iʼve chosen some of the best extras we’ve declined just for you Hairpinners. So here. Enjoy “The Best Worst Stuff People Tried to Sell at the Junk Shop.”

1. “Secrets” VHS Tape: Something called “Mellow Mail” featuring lingerie all flaccid on a bed, or lingerie on a lady? Either way some Dad labeled it “Secrets.”

2. Peace Sign Personal Massager: This thing isnʼt for your lats. Six inches max and the fingers donʼt vibrate? Frustrating.

3. Slogan Buttons: Ask me about… ALOE. Aloe.

4. Slogan Rock: What kind of business slips you a slogan rock?

5. “The Nanny” Talking Doll: No words, really.

6. Helpful Book, What Is A WIFE: “A wife is a girl whose dolls are wrapped in tissue and packed away…a fragile link with girlhood, so treasured and so forgotten.”

7. Funny Answer Machine Messages Cassette: “Phone thing. You made my phone ring. Now tell me everything. Talk to my phone thing. Phone thing, I think I love yah.” Phone thing!

8. Inflatable Lava Larry: 40 inches of lava lamp, or it is an inflatable College Roommate, Coat Rack, Body Guard, Fun Date…

9. Novelty Watch: Look at this watch. Look again! At the face part! It’s a Pepperidge Farm Gravy watch! So special. Meat gravy.

Libby Alexander also runs a pop-up flea market in Chicago.