Dollar Stores are an amazing place. While they’ve been a blessing to many who have struggled based on the economy, they’re also a key source to items worth far, far less than a dollar – items you can’t find anywhere else. In my column, Just A Buck, I’ll be showcasing a few of my favorite finds.
This week’s theme is “The Scary and the Sad”. Unfortunately, a good amount of my typical finds come from these categories, so let me emphasize – these four items are extremely scary and extremely sad. And cheaper than a scary and/or sad movie at the theater, so – bonus!
Item #1: Sad Lighthouse Postcard
I nearly teared up when I saw this at the store. Something about it is just so morbid. I guess I always thought that postcards should be send from – I don’t know – vacations, and fun destinations as opposed to poorly illustrated lighthouses.
If not vacations, postcards serve other purposes: Maybe a “Save The Date” for a wedding, or a reminder from your dentist that your annual appointment is overdue. This postcard serves neither. If I were to receive this in the mail, I’d assume it was from the following:
1. A ghost, whose haunting my apartment.
2. Someone else’s lonely grandmother, who met me once and thought I was nice for not rejecting a strawberry hard candy.
3. A lighthouse museum, who is trying to get me to buy a membership to their weird, non-updated exhibits.
4. Someone who is thinking of murdering me on a bad, sandless beach.
5. An acquaintance who wants to end our semi-friendship indefinitely.
Honestly, I’m at a stage in my life where I’m shocked to receive a postcard in the mail. They were only mandatory during the summer, when my parents forced me to write them to family members and telling me how I “wished they were there”, when I only truly wished I could play skeeball on the beach boardwalk instead. It’s upsetting to think someone might walk into a Dollar Store, see these, and think, “Man. I haven’t seen so-and-so in awhile. Due to these weird postcards, I realized that had no idea how to express that thought prior to.”
Item #2: Reindeer Moss
… What in the world is Reindeer Moss?
According to this website, Reindeer Moss is the following:
Reindeer moss isn’t actually a moss – it is a lichen. Lichens are formed as a result of a symbiotic relationship between a plant (algae) and a fungus. The algae, like all plants, have chlorophyll and are capable of making their own food, but also provide food for the fungus. The fungus, doing its part in the relationship, has spongy threads to support the plant and gives it protection against weather and other environmental threats. This results in the algae having a more stable and constant environment to live in, allowing it to grow better.
Honestly, I don’t think anyone would wander into a Dollar Store in search of Reindeer Moss. Pardon me – I mean Reindeer lichen.
Long story short, you shouldn’t buy a plant, or a fungus, in a bag. Nonetheless, you shouldn’t relate it to reindeer, who are busy enough making sure Christmas runs smoothly.
I apologize in advance to all of the botanists reading this that have a ton of experience and knowledge of Reindeer Moss. Hopefully at least you can agree that finding it in a dollar store is random.
Item #3: Creepy Growing Duck
The Dollar Store I go to most often is very fond of “grow in water” objects – typically of the dinosaur variety. However, most of them start out small, so that when they grow 600% as advertised, they grow to be – well – less than the starting point of this super-possessed duck.
So many things are wrong with this duck. As per usual, let me create a list to better organized my thoughts, which are scattered based on pure fear.
1. This duck has teeth? Straight teeth, at that. While I commend the duck for proper dental hygiene, I question how he earned that smarmy, toothy grin. Instead of being endearing, I feel he’ll grow and possibly bite my hand off.
2. What’s with his eyes? See Point #1. He’ll definitely bite my hand off with the teeth… and that look of pure hysteria.
3. This duck is diseased. Never in my life have I seen a red-spotted duck. This duck will bite me, and kill me.
4. Knowing it’s a “Growing Figure”, instead of a “Growing Animal”, is oddly threatening to me.
5. That duck has something to hide, and I fear that exposing him to water will release some type of Gremlins factor. Thus, I also fear exposing him to light. At least in Gremlins, the Mogwai salesman told the customer of the warnings – the packaging to “Growing Figure” tell you absolutely nothing upfront.
In summary, there are way less creepy things you can put in a cup of water for 48 hours.
And finally! My Item of the Week!
#4: Balding Neon Hair Extensions
Despite silently wishing my hair was the color to the left, these things put a new meaning to hair extensions: for one, what happens to the top of your head? These wouldn’t even be passable for a last-minute Halloween costume.
These are my Item of the Week since – while disturbing – I’d probably buy one for just a buck and wear it around my apartment when nobody else was home. Every girl silently wishes what she’d look like with neon orange hair on the sides only.
Something that got me about these extensions was solely the way they were displayed; not only are they right by the indiscreet doll clothes, but neither the clothes or extensions were in the toy aisle. That means that someone must have taken these extensions seriously. While they could be toys, they also could be used for practical, neon fashion-show-reasons. That, or maybe this Dollar Store had a truly poor layout. Based on the random beeping I heard from a source I couldn’t recognize during the entirety of the visit, that could definitely be it.
Have you had any Dollar Store finds worth mentioning? Have you been silently possessed by Growing Duck, and want to tell authorities but feel more comfortable telling us? Even more- would you be interested in videos detailing the gory aftermath of these dollar store purchases? Let us know in the comments!
Image Credits: one dollar background by Shutterstock, Dollar Store Images by Karen Belz