Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Just Another Day at the Farmer's Market

Last week, I blogged about the now-infamous "Licking the Baggie" incident, noting how the witnessing of someone else's sheer patheticism can be a tremendous boost to one's own self-esteem. Well, if you combine said Ziploc-tonguing with my trip to Zern's on Saturday, you too can take solace in saying, "Wow...I'm not them."

Zern's is a Farmer's Market in Gilbertsville, PA (a/k/a Hickville, USA). Mike and I generally make a pilgrimage to the Big Z at least a few times a year. I can't directly pinpoint exactly why we go; maybe we just need good blog material. This time around, Mike's girlfriend Natalie came along for the ride, immediately filling Zern's daily quota of women with a full set of teeth.

Our first stop at Zern's always is at what has come to be known as "The Stuff Store"...

Don't let the word "Hardware" fool you; this store literally has everything. I don't mean literally in the "it has practically everything" sense. If you can dream it, it's there. Ever have a nightmare about Noid Finger Puppets?

You could put five pairs of latex gloves on my hands, spray them with a full can of Lysol, and sterilize the inside of the puppet with two matchbooks...I still wouldn't stick my hands in that thing.

The Stuff Store is also seemingly under the impression that Thanksgiving was founded by a group of Leprechauns...

Now before I continue, you may be asking yourself, "Why would you drive all the way to Gilbertsfreakingville to take pictures of crap in a Stuff Store?" Funny you (hypothetically) ask, considering I overheard the cashier ask her "colleague" the same exact question. Now most people overhearing such a thing may decide that continuing to snap photographs probably is not the smartest idea. I just turned my flash off.

Ensuring that we didn't leave El Store de Stuff with nothing but memories and used-up space on a memory stick, Mike actually purchased a (somewhat dented) Superman trash can. While he waited in line, the customer in front of him said seven words I never ever ever thought could possibly be even uttered in such a place...

"I want to put this on layaway."


I then watched in awe as the man began negotiating a payment plan for "this" item. Now, before I reveal what "this" is, please note the following:
1.) I'm not making this up.
2.) I couldn't make this up if I tried.
3.) Seriously, I'm not making this up.

With that all said, I hereby present "this"...

I then proceeded to put my hood over my head, leave the store, and laugh for about five minutes straight. And the saddest part of the whole thing? The day had just begun.

With Superman recepticle (and some shreds of dignity) in tow, the three of us finally exited the Stuff Store and made our way through the rest of the market. Along the way, Mike and Natalie came across some stuff to buy for their new townhouse. There were two "cashiers" working in this section: a really old dude and some chick with red hair that redefined the word "poofy." Apparently, the old dude was much more with it than his considerably younger counterpart:

Mike: Hi, I was just wondering if you took debit cards here.
Old Dude: Sorry, cash only. There is an ATM not too far from here.
Mike: Ok, cool. Thanks.
Seven seconds later...
Poofy Redhead: Sorry, cash only.

Now before we ventured off to find the ATM machine, I came across a coffee mug featuring everyone's favorite redheaded stepchild, Little Orphan Annie. This cup was a whole ten feet away from Ms. Delayed Reaction 2007 over there. Fortunately, the proverbial angel on my shoulder told me, "Dan, it would be incredibly wrong to take a picture of the mug and this woman for the sake of your own amusement." Unfortunately, the proverbial devil on the other shoulder reached over and kicked the angel's ass...

After firmly cementing our places in Hell, we searched far and wide for the elusive ATM machine. Eventually, we did find it...with absolutely no help at all from the directionally-challenged signage...

We returned to Oldie and Poofy's area so Mike could finally make his long-awaited purchase (and by long-awaited, I mean 20 minutes). A couple of Mike's items were glass, so Oldie was kind enough to wrap them up for him...in paper towels. We thought we had seen new levels of ghettocity until Oldie grabbed Mike's change out of his cash register...a Ziploc bag.

On a related note, I never want to see another plastic zip-up bag for as long as I live.

Finally, we made our way to the computer/book/old film reel/whatever-the-hell-else-you-can-think-of store. From the outset, we could clearly see that the owner of the store had quite the inferority complex...

In addition to the aforementioned computers and books, the store apparently was also in the business of selling security cameras...even their own...

Now maybe my previous crack about the owner's insecurity (no pun intended) was somewhat unfounded. After all, they seemingly had no problem advertising products for other stores...

Either there is a superfluous zero after the decimal point, or that is one expensive-ass typewriter.

And that concluded our fun-filled day of absolute redneckery. Before I sign off though, allow me to give you an idea of other fantabulous merchandise you can buy at Zern's:

A rusted election button...complete with bullethole!

A royally pissed off sun

A Park Ranger/Lumberjack/Explorer/Overgrown Boy Scout Action Figure

A Toy Truck From Everyone's Favorite Dollar Store

A Rare Precious Moments Figurine: The Special Bond Between a Boy and His Duck

A perfect way to make sure that beans don't ssain your precious cutlery.

A sign that truly transcends Tim

A haircut from a place that's not only a barbershop, but also a Boolean Expression

A sign remembering your generic loved one (you know...What's His Name)

And with that, I bid adieu.

Until next time...


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