July 24, 2009

For our third day of Comic Con prop-shopping Meggie and I hit up Hollwood Boulevard for the dirtier items on our list. I parallel park my car and am proud of the job I do. We hop out onto a street of tattoo parlors and the whole block has a college town record store smell.

I can’t tell if it’s because I’m so tired but the first place we go, a junk shop I feel like I would usually love, creeps me out beyond measure. One of the ladies behind the counter rushes up to us to inform us that they sell salvia, the “legal drug” that makes you babble and drool for a little while your friends tape you and laugh. We decline her offer and turn back to the sales floor, where everything we see seems horrible and perfect. Old gay porn, “Critters” on VHS, Deep Space Nine collectible plates. It feels like America’s collective unconscious if it were staffed by two aging Indian ladies. We leave without buying anything.

Somehow a huge wig-and-costume shop is more wholesome. Along with wigs and costumes they also have lots of bric-a-brac, including a stack of “Star Wars: Episode 1” action figures in their original red packaging, which I recognize instantly because before the movie came out I would walk down to the drugstore every day after school to see if they’d gotten the new “Episode 1” figures in. After I had collected them all and after the movie was a profound disappointment those red packages became a symbol of hope completely fucked. Appropriately enough, none of the toys on display are the actual figures, they’re just packages of weapons labeled things like “Naboo Accessory Kit.”

We point to several fake mustaches on display and a large Arab employee brings them down for us. Later, as I’m browsing through neat old sci-fi pulp novels, he and I will both start absentmindedly half-singing “Because The Night” simultaneously along with the radio.

Later in the trip we are looking for a DVD player and we are headed into a store that isn’t guaranteed to have it when I see another giant store, the side of which reads ELECTRONICS, which I think maybe we should try first, and then I realize the store is completely shuttered, and then my eyes track across to a giant concrete monolith and I realize that this used to be a Circuit City that was boarded up and stripped of all its red decoration when the company went under. I wonder what will go in that building next. Stores you can tell used to be other stores are a weird delight.

We are walking back to our car after getting some stuff at an office supply store and I realize I’ve left my GPS AND my headlights on. This is probably the fifth or sixth time today I’ve left something in my car on and glowing. I treat the power in my car battery like cash in a rap video, except when I waste it in a flagrant, careless fashion, no one desperate blows me in a VIP room while all of my friends stand around.

Posted by DC at July 24, 2009 01:32 AM

i feel like you should probably see this website: http://www.notfoolinganybody.com/

Posted by: erin

Good pass on the salvia.
That shit is for middle schoolers.

Posted by: trevor

I love stores you can tell used to be other things!
There's this northeast chain called Friendly's, and they went bankrupt about 5 years ago and closed the vast majority of them on Long Island (where I'm from). http://www.naidileobram.com/recentImages/friendlys%20rt%2034.jpg That is what they look like. So whenever I see something else
(a pizza place, a chinese restaurant, a landscaping machinery store) in that facade, I'm always all "You can paint this whatever color you want, we know it used to be a Friendly's."

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