Cap'n Pepper and Pac-Man

DAY 45 -- We've come to terms with the fact that we, as a family of five, are no longer able to travel comfortably. Rather than get rid of one of the kids, Amy and I decided to buy a car top storage container. The one we chose happened to be from Sears but our local store closed a few years ago. We looked into having it shipped to our house but the cost to do so was more than the cost of the container itself. The only option left was to drive to the nearest Sears location with one in stock which happened to be Peoria.

Amy made plans to take the kids to see Lego Batman. Needing as much car space as possible (i.e. no passengers) to get the storage container home, I headed out solo for Peoria. P-Town, as I hear the cool kids call it, is a short drive from Chillicothe. Chilli, as I hear the cool kids call it, is the home of two of my favorite junk stores.

. . .

First stop -- the "antique store" where I've picked up a few bargain items on previous visits. The last time I was there, Amy and the kids stayed in the car. Apparently, they didn't feel like the "Enter Here" spray-painted on the rusty door was the most inviting.

Now keep in mind that the term "antiques" typically turns me off as it usually means a bunch of old furniture and dishes at ridiculous prices -- none of which interests me. But this kind of antique store is right up my alley!

Thirty minutes and seven dollars later, I left with some treasures I didn't realize I was searching for.

A Fredbird lunch box may seem like an odd purchase for a passionate Cubs fan, but remember that I grew up in Cardinals territory. As much as I was a Cubs fan, there was no escaping the Cardinal Nation and the self-proclaimed best fans in baseball. Images of Fredbird and the old sweat-box Busch Stadium take me back to those days of watching baseball on St. Louis TV stations before we had cable and I was able to tune into the Cubs on WGN.

Despite the well-documented perviness of Bill Cosby, I wasn't leaving without this Fat Albert record.

If you're ever in the market for Christmas junk, cookie jars, or soda bottles, this place is your gold mine. Although I hardly ever drink soda anymore, when I do it's usually some Ski I've picked up on a trip back home. Today I left with a few old Ski bottles -- the one on the left is a current bottle I already had.

I've developed quite an eye for Fisher Price Little People items in places like this. I can glance along a shelf from across the room or sift quickly through a dusty box and typically pick this stuff up with ease. It was no problem today for me to spot this bathtub accessory at the bottom of a box filled with blocks and baby toys.

More on Cap'n Pepper in a bit.

For a couple bucks, I found this Pac-Man card game -- surprisingly complete with all 42 cards -- which reminded me of the Pac-Man board game I had when I was a kid.

. . .

At the other place in Chillicothe, I didn't find much. Just a Hardy Boys book and a Sherlock Hemlock puzzle that I was drawn to for some reason. Both for a buck total.


. . .

At this point, I called Susan -- an old friend of mine from college who lives in the area. If you ever have the chance to meet Susan, ask her about Full House. She loves that show.

Check out these youngsters from 20+ years ago.

Yeah, that's me with the stupid half-grown mutton chops.

Anyway, having not seen each other in a while, we met up for lunch and a conversation mostly about our mutual appreciation for buying cheap junk we don't need. (Maybe you remember when I drove to Peoria early one cold Saturday morning just to pick up a Fisher Price Little People castle set from a friend? That was Susan.)

Food-wise, I intended to eat healthy as I've been doing a lot of this summer. This intention went out the window when I read the menu and saw "Peoria's Best Breakfast."
Eggs your style, bacon or sausage, hash browns, white cheddar biscuits & gravy.
Oh, good lord. Just take my money and fill my stomach with that breakfasty goodness.

Conversation-wise, here's what I learned from Susan today:
  1. Her kids are super cute.
  2. Her sister has an Instagram account called @ADollarWillDoYa where she posts things she finds for a dollar to show what a dollar can still buy these days.
  3. There are four junk stores within a five mile radius of where we were eating just waiting for me to come buy stuff.
Two things were for certain -- I'd be going to those stores and I would be starting an Instagram account called @TwoDollarsWillDoYa.

In all seriousness, some of my dearest friends come from my college days and I wish I could cross paths with them all more often. It was great seeing Susan and her kids today.

She loves Full House.

. . .

Heading out to start my afternoon of junking, I passed my new favorite road sign.

Call me juvenile, but I laughed about this for a longer than appropriate amount of time.

Whatever happened to speed bumps?

. . .

Stop number one of four -- a place where I was told I'd find a Little People A-frame house. Sure enough, I found it -- but it was missing the main piece on the hinge that closes off the house. No thanks.

But I did find something that I knew Mason would love -- an Adventure People van like the one I had as a kid (the one he plays with at my dad's house when we visit).

Here's a look at my brother and me with ours on a back-in-the-day Christmas.

. . .

The second stop was a total bust as it seemed like more of a pawn shop than a thrift store. The only thing in the place that caught my eye was a jewelry box exactly like the ones that my parents bought for my brother and me when we were young.

Super cool to see but absolutely not even in my ballpark with a $35 price tag. At this point, I'll settle for my memories of using the jewelry box as a secret hide-out for my G.I. Joe figures.

. . .

The next stop was a store that was clearly a non-profit mission-type thrift store. Lots of furniture, appliances, and clothes. Not much in the way of stuff I like. I was just about to leave empty-handed when I decided to look through the box on the front stoop.

Remember that Pac-Man board game I mentioned earlier? Yeah, this one.

It really is a stupid concept for a board game -- a plastic Pac-Man that gobbles up marble pellets much like the structure of the actual video game.

Stupid? Yes.

Stupid enough that I wasn't interested? Nope.

I carried the game back inside and was informed by the woman working that everything outside was free.

Wait. What?


I felt guilty so I made her take two dollars. Then on the way out, I took two more items off the table -- Cap'n Pepper who you met earlier and a CD that looked intriguing.

Cap'n Pepper is clearly related to Dr. Pepper and works with Cap'n Crunch.

He was free. I had to.

. . .

The last stop added one more item to my haul for the day -- a documentary about the 1989 Chicago Cubs.

Looking forward to firing up the VCR for this one.

. . .

Anyway, after taking care of the main purpose of this trip and picking up the car topper, it was time to head back to reality and I headed home with a little bit of time to spare before Anna's last softball game for the year.

We'll see what adventures await us tomorrow...

1 comment:

the sandwich life said...

I know I say this all the time, but, I love you Tim.