Charity shops are magical places. You literally have no idea what treasure you may find after stepping through their doors. It might be a copy of Jack Frost on VHS or even somebody’s old dildo!
One of the best jobs I ever had was working in charity shop when I was doing my A-levels. Part of the deal was that we got to have first claim on anything that was donated. For a nominal fee, somewhere between a pound or nothing, we were free to take home pretty much anything we wanted. Bin bags of donations would arrive and one of us would be given the task of going out the back and sorting through them all. I found some incredible stuff in my time there, rare vinyl, some choice books, a few items of designer clothing. There was always the risk however that you could find something unpleasant too. Soiled underwear was the nightmare scenario, a scenario that unfolded with depressing regularity. I learnt not to judge people by appearance alone after falling foul to a succession of seemingly well to do, balanced individuals pulling up in expensive cars, chatting about how they’d had a huge clear out and wanted their discarded bric a brac to go to good use, only to find they’ve thoughtfully donated a couple of pairs a beskidded Y-fronts into the bargain. They were the main hazard but I discovered a new one the day I found a mysterious black and gold cylinder that looked like a breath freshener. Trying to get it to work I gave it a bash. Instantly it emitted an eardrum tearing screech and sprayed some sort of mist into my face. I fell back into a pile of clothes, my eyes suddenly burning. I was blind and couldn’t see. Someone had kindly donated a rape alarm complete with a single usage of Mace. My colleague at the time found me thrashing around on the floor, choking, crying and thoroughly disorientated. I managed to gasp “Mace! Rape!” but she just laughed and told me that it was my turn on the till.
Spotted by Jennifer Wilson