My closet is crammed with clothing that other people used to own. The kind of stuff that people probably hadn’t worn in years. Oversized cardigans, sweaters that shed, and t-shirts that I hope I’ll fit into by summer. In Nanaimo, Value Village has the largest selection of previously owned pearls and prizes you can give one more chance at life before their fate of decomposing in a dump.
Like most people, I wash my hands after browsing at Value Village. I treat it the same way I treat going to the casino, but instead of handling coins and chips, I’m handling the bacteria of every nearly-broke soul browsing for a great find. The jackpot is bringing home bird flu.
Have you ever heard a story about someone getting crabs from the clothes at a Value Village? I know a girl who even claims she got scabies after combing the racks searching for a halloween costume. I mean, I’m sure it’s possible. I have no real reason not to believe her other than her general promiscuity and the fact that the costume she picked out ended up being a slutty Q-tip or something.
Anyway, during one of my bargain hunts, I stopped by their bathroom to check out what kind of deals they have for when it’s time to defecate.
The only books I judge by their cover are second -hand ones. Generally, I don’t want to curl up into bed with a softcover novel that was previously a hardcover one. In the restroom world, sometimes it’s safe to apply this same philosophy with what appears on the door.
Here, we have some ink jet colour printer paper signage, presumably slapped on by Sloth from The Goonies. I’m intrigued by the curious combination of scotch and packing tape. It also looks like there’s some mustard wiped on there. Please god let it be mustard.
It’s also interesting how these guys have a greasy little gold doorbell on the lower right hand side, for those more urgent moments. Completely ignoring my better judgment, I press the mystery button. A few times, actually. Why the hell not?
I don’t really know what I’m expecting. Part of me wants Handel’s Messiah to start chiming loudly as the Value Village Valet greets me at the door and asks to take my coat. Another part of me is frightened I’ll be electrocuted.
Sadly, I’m neither shocked nor awed by the doorbell of disappointment. And now my finger probably smells like fish heads.
And it couldn’t be a worse time to think of seafood, because upon stepping through the door, there’s definitely the scent of something ripe in here.
You know those wilderness gurus who can smell animal droppings and decipher whether or not the animal is still alive? I’m willing to bet that if the animals who used this restroom are still alive, they’re probably at least dead on the inside.
**Okay, so it turns out that wilderness people don’t actually do that. I just saw it in that John Leguizamo movie The Pest and took it as being factual. Sorry. **
Anyway, even the vandals don’t want to claim this territory. Instead, they’ve etched some sort of SOS. I guess this one-word plea is all they could muster up in the midst of the mustard gas.
The look of torment on that little frowny face says it all. Imagine having to exist here, of all places. Your creator was a cruel one, mister frowny face.
Fortunately, there are some pleasant distractions. I am a real sucker for original artwork. Especially beach-house bathroom artwork. I admit, They’ve set the scene nicely. I still probably wouldn’t buy my swim-trunks here, though.
It’s cool that Value Village let someone use their paint in a productive way. Looking down to my right, I see Clifford the Big Black Dog about to maul a hobbit or a wizard or …something.
Actually, it kind of looks like the silhouette of Disney’s Robin Hood when he dressed up in gypsy drag,
which was strangely arousing to me as a child.
And the trash can. Well, I don’t want to sound like I’ve gotten sand anywhere it shouldn’t be, but I think we’re gonna need a bigger bin to keep this beach safe.
Earlier, I overheard two associates arguing over Level 300 RPG Wizards (or some shit) while they pretended to stock broken clock-radios.
There’s no way someone can’t find the time to keep on top of this. Maybe they ran out of latex gloves while they were hanging underwear.
Nothing pisses me off more than leaving a restroom feeling like I need to dunk my hands in a bucket of bleach afterwards.
After “washing up” in this sink, it looks like it’s going to be a Javex kind of evening for me.
I’m pretty sure they could have implemented a more sophisticated system than plunking a roll on it’s side and letting you dip your fingers into the disgusting tube of terror. Only after discovering that the soap is empty, of course.
After wiping my hands on my jeans, I head for the door, and I notice a sanitizer station placed right next to the light switch. I guess this is their idea of compensation for the paper-towel petri dish.
Considering the circumstances, I probably shouldn’t risk palming this pathogen pump, but hey: this is my duty as a restroom reviewer.
And of course, it’s fucking empty. The regret burns into my soul like a faulty vintage toaster. And seriously, that light switch. I think I’d rather lose an actual limb than save these guys some electricity.
I’m walking out of here thankful that I didn’t have to use any toilet paper. I’ve had enough second-hand surprises for one day. And while I doubt I picked up any pubic lice, I probably still wouldn’t recommend dropping your pants. At least not in this part of the store.
Most people are ungrateful to be alive. Not me. Not anymore.
Toilet Paper Rating: 1/5