Thrift Store Adventures Volume 4: Bellevue is Crazy

The first two Thrift Store Adventures took place over several visits to various thrift stores, because frankly, there just wasn’t enough oddity to fit into one occurrence. Recently, I started taking a writing class in Bellevue. There are many Bellevues across the United States and the world, perhaps most commonly, the Bellevue Hospital Center. The Bellevue in my mind is where I received my higher education and met many of my friends, but is also a rich, snotty part of the greater Seattle area. I stopped in at the Bellevue Goodwill twice, and each time found enough content for an article, so here are fourteen – rather than seven – crazy things I came across in those two thrift store adventures:


1. Dart Machine from a Bar?
This is crazy. Especially the Coin Star CRT monitor below the dartboard. I don’t even know what this is doing here. At least it was 50% off.


2. Mystery Box
I am a bit of a language nerd and I’ve never seen this language. I knew it wasn’t Hebrew, and thought at the time that it was Amharic, but after doing research for this occurrence, I’ve come to the conclusion that I just don’t know. My best guess is that it’s a Semitic language like Hebrew or Amharic. Other than that, not sure. Maybe this language was the inspiration for the Voynich Manuscript.

edit: I stand corrected. It is Hebrew.


3. Potential EarthBound Enemies
The EarthBound series has some weird enemies and bosses, like Putrid Moldyman, Great Crested Booka and Tangoo. Where do all of these ideas come from? Maybe your local thrift store.

4. The Saddest Sumo Wrestler in the World
This sumo wrestler needs a hug.


5. Baseball, Buddha, and Broken Bull
It’s really weird, and very unfortunate, that this cool bull statue made its way to Goodwill only to be carelessly broken while put on a shelf. There are display shelves for fragile stuff like this.


6. Zone Eater?
This is a sequel of sorts to the Inception-esque Ball from Thrift Store Adventures Volume 1.


7. Clear Genesis cases
I’ve never seen clear Sega Genesis cases, only seen clear ones. Only in Bellevue.


8. Brass Musicians
Maybe more “neat” than “strange.” Maybe that makes this the strange one in the group.


9. Spiral Turtle Wood Carving
The special effect on this statue is the spiral carving that smoothly moves in and out. It was too fragile to play around with too much.

10. Microsoft Merchandise
The Bellevue Goodwill is very close to the Microsoft campus in Redmond, so it would only make sense that when Microsoft employees move from one mansion to the next that they would donate outdated Microsoft merchandise. ‘Something from 2010? Send that to the Goodwill.’


11. Obscure-O-Company Merchandise
Besides Microsoft, there are a number of technology and game companies around here. Some achieve moderate success, like a game company I once interviewed for called Smith and Tinker whose flagship product I later saw at a random thrift store a while later. These capsules were apparently a card game of some sort called “Platrium.” The only search result I could find came up with a ‘spyware warning’ page from my browser, so I don’t think they were successful.


12. Folding Poker Table
This table is holding not just one baby holder, but two. But what is holding the table?


13. All sorts of crazy stuff
An anthromophic pig, a dude with a Septum Tusk, a cute puppy without eyes, and a kendota statue, all in the same photo? What could be crazier?


14. Iron Dentist?
This thing is strange. It’s made of a heavy cast iron. I forgot to look for any identifying marks on the bottom because it’s action feature is just bizarre. I suppose the guy dressed up in black is a dentist, or maybe a ninja thief, and is probably pulling a tooth out of the guy sitting down. When you press the button, both guys fly back. Odd.


Honorable Mentions
The first time I went to this Goodwill (in years), I came across a small cache of anime VHS tapes, which I collect in part because of obscurity, and also because the likelihood of some crazy 90s anime being released on DVD is possible, but highly unlikely on Bluray. Happy hunting!

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About Zombiepaper

My interests are very specific and sometimes esoteric: writing, videogames (EarthBound), movies (zombie, martial arts, and animated), music (listening and bass guitar), thrift stores, philosophy, and toys. Also, Cowabunga!

Posted on November 19, 2012, in Occurrences, Opinion and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. The mystery box is either Hebrew, or another language that co-opted characters exclusively from the Hebrew alphabet. But almost certainly option A.

    The Genesis case looks like a generic third-party replacement case. Sega never used anything like that, and it looks like it’s designed to hold a wide variety of cartridge shapes.

  2. Came here to say Hebrew as well.
    לוטומטיק

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