Thrifting can be dangerous

So I own this pair of shoes. They’re nothing special, they are Cushe, I bought them in T.K.Maxx in the UK. They’re probably not shoes that you see that often in thrift stores in the USA. I’ll come back to the shoes later. Thrift stores in Pennsylvania at least (or charity shops as we call them in the UK), are warehouses full of clothes and other glassware, furniture and other stuff, mainly left behind by the dead and sometimes it’s worth a trawl to find some really cool stuff. I found a Taylor Made Tour Spoon golf club for $3.

Yesterday I was in one of these big warehouses just outside Wilkes-Barre (the only hyphenated city in the US), having a snoop about. Lola and her brother had gone their separate ways to look at t-shirts and pyrex respectively. I wandered through the aisles passing and making eye contact with an elderly gentleman as I went. Soon after there was a tap on my shoulder – it was the old fella and he was indicating that he was deaf – an odd gesture as I hadn’t attempted to communicate with words. He stuck out his hand for me to shake it which I did gladly and went on my way. I turned the corner and shortly felt another tap on my shoulder. It was the old fella again, he was still running with the deaf plan. I was surprised by his next move as he focused on my feet and dropped to the floor and began to prod and stroke them as a concerned mother does as she buys new shoes for her young child.

I clearly had an elderly foot-fetishist on my hands (well feet). I looked all around over the clothes racks to see if I could spot Lola and immediately realized how weird it would be if she walked round the corner right now. I backed away sharply as the toothless toe tickler looked up and gestured for me to wiggle my toes. His deaf ruse was clearly paying off – it would be difficult for me to tell him to get the hell off and I didn’t have the guts to kick an old guy on the floor. A moment of clarity. I took two steps back and looked around me once again. Help was not at hand. I looked back down and foot fondler had disappeared into the racks.

Had that really just happened? I checked to see if I still had my cash and cards. The whole incident had lasted no more than a minute and as if by magic there was Lola browsing through the dusty glassware. I told her and she pissed herself laughing for the rest of the day. I still don’t know whether to feel flattered or dirty but I suspect it’s both.

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2 responses to “Thrifting can be dangerous”

  1. Jo Parker says :

    Reminds me of the guy in Hanley bus station who asked if he could sniff my hair.

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