There was a town-wide yard sale and bulk pickup over the weekend. I’m not the mayor so why am I telling you this? Well, just in case you want to bring up the idea at your next town council meeting. Nah, seriously, if you collect junk, this event is libel to send you into a mouth foaming frenzy. If the thought of throwing a mostly warped chest of drawers from the late ’70s into the back of your pickup drives you wild, the chance of scooping up a devastatingly decrepit Barbie Dream House will drive you crazy. Partial credit: KISS.
Let me set the scene. Here we are in suburbia and all over town people were simultaneously trying to sell their old crap to make room for their new crap. In the same weekend, whatever doesn’t sell goes out to the curb for the garbage men to haul it away to its final resting place (most likely a nearby landfill, we have plenty.)
Miss Sexy Armpit thought this was the perfect opportunity to clean out her garage. Mind you, this is not one of those garages that was transformed into a guest room, it doesn’t feature an elaborate train set display, and hell, it doesn’t even house an actual car! This is your good old junk garage, filled to the brim with the lingering possibility of finding amazing shit that would entice my dude Barry Weiss to fly into Newark Liberty International just to spend 5 minutes in it. BRB, getting my skeleton gloves…
What was in the garage? Well, here’s what was visible: drawers upon drawers with old papers, letters, coins, magazines, books, clothes, and jewelry from nearly every era from the ’30s to the ’60s. The wall is adorned with shelves and random hooks and there’s stuff hanging out every which way. If for some reason you had to take shelter in there during another cataclysmic polar vortex, there would only be enough room for one person and a 31-inch Batman figure. I knew there was no chance that One Eyed Willie ever passed through there, but still, imagine the rich stuff that was hidden deep within!
That Mouth quote from The Goonies doesn’t exactly apply here since, at first glance, the garage was pretty much a disaster area and sorely in need of some attention.
A text message from Miss Sexy Armpit alerted me to stop over because “she found something she wanted to give me.” That could’ve meant two things: I was in for a knuckle sandwich or she hit pay dirt.
As I drove into the driveway, through my windshield I saw a bunch of garbage and random stuff being shuffled around and thrown into trash bags. I got out of the car and walked over toward the garage while passing giant recycle bins of magazine from the ’60s and ’70s and bins of vinyl records dating back to the ’50s. Basically there was an antique store opening up in Miss Sexy Armpit’s garage.
“Come in here, I want to give you something” she said to me. I was hoping it wasn’t that knuckle sandwich. And let me please say that she never gives me knuckle sands., but I just really love any reference to them. They are my absolute favorite sandwich ever. Slap some Gouda on there, maybe even some pickles, get crazy. Hokey cliches FTW.
She made me close my eyes, but she wouldn’t even have known if I did or not since I was wearing my usual giant black sunglasses. I did indeed glue my eyes shut momentarily. “Hold out your hands…”
Seconds later, what was placed in my hands before me was a glorious and oddly colored Batman Transistor Radio. Dated 1973 National Periodical Publications (later known as DC Comics), the only thing it was missing was the battery cover, but the strap is STILL in tact! Batman’s purple costume is what really makes this radio special. I know that Batman gave up on his multicolored costumes in the late ’50s, but he clearly couldn’t part with his purple bat-costume. Even more amazing is that this was an officially licensed product!
According to The Radio Museum, there was also a Superman radio released at the same time. Click Here to see more photos of this transistor radio in the original box.
After about a half hour, I felt I might have hit a dead end. I was going through so many drawers and only finding old lotto tickets and wigs.
Maybe not gold in the truest sense of the word, but I was still set on finding some sort of treasure. which brings me to:
PIES MEN LIKE.
I desperately wanted the previous title to stand alone as a sentence itself because it easily could be if I was actually under the impression that enough could be said about it. It’s a proven fact that there will NEVER EVVVVEERRRRR be enough that could be said about this wondrous pamphlet from 1953.
It may have the greatest title in the history of all books that have ever been written. If only Thomas Paine could come back to life just for 30 seconds so I could show him this pamphlet, he would feel like all his work paid off. Why is this world great? Because PIES MEN LIKE exists in it. What’s even better is that now…I OWN IT.
Actually, I was sort of let down when I did a Google image search on this booklet. Apparently, it’s not as rare of a gem as I originally thought. There’s a few copies already floating around the Internet, but then again, what isn’t floating around online?
Yeah so there’s pie recipes contained inside. Let me just summarize it with this:
Miss Sexy Armpit’s mom had about 150,000 cook books and most of them were from era that provided endless tips for entertaining in your home and having successful cocktail parties. How to make punch, hors d’oeuvres, and how to please your husband. Keeping the old man happy was of utmost importance at one time. Moreover, it seems that in the modern era there’s less of a concentration on finger foods stuck with toothpicks and how cocktail umbrellas could really spice up your evening. This country needs to really refocus and realize that deviled eggs always get oohs and ahhs from party goers, and tuna casserole is one badass meal that makes mouths happy (sorry Twizzlers.) Don’t mind if I do!
This pamphlet can’t come at a more perfect time. I’ve been meaning to “get down” culinarily so maybe this booklet will be my golden ticket to a baking wonderland. Check that word out! Is it even a real word? Holy shit, I just checked and IT IS!
The quest for cool stuff continued. I doubted there would be anything of consequence after these dazzling items already. How could we surpass the greatness of an early ’70s Batman collectible and the most incredible pamphlet ever created?
Crouched down, inhaling the smell of old paper and dust, and my body sweltering from the heat, I did not surrender. As I dug ferociously through the middle drawer of a large old chest, I really felt like the journey was coming to an end. All I came across was more paperwork and lots of vintage family photos, but it seemed like the chances of finding anything else considered a jackpot was slim.
Mere seconds after I felt like my days as a Jersey picker were over, my hand started feeling a cardboard box. It was a box of checkers. Then I pulled out a chess game. All of a sudden it’s board game central. Underneath those was yet another game turned upside down.
A shock of electricity surged into my hand and up my forearm as my fingers made contact with a Wonder Woman Colorforms Adventure Set from 1976. This set was really magnificent. Although the outside is a bit shabby, the inside is nearly mint and complete except for some dust. Check out more on this Colorforms set over at Wonder Woman Collectors.
In the end, the best kinds of finds are ones you weren’t even remotely expecting at all. A big thanks to Miss Sexy Armpit for the kickass Batman radio (which was actually owned by her sister as a kid.)
I will leave you with this piece of advice:
Remember to bake your man a pie this weekend. Now poontang your ass on outta here.