Turning Shit into Gold since 2006
Don’t go to the Flea Market, they sell bootleg VHS tapes there! That’s not American! – an overbearing mom
As a small child the allure of visiting a flea market meant that there was the possibility of procuring a set of Chinese throwing stars, a machete, maybe a switch blade comb or even a pair of Patrick Ewing high top knock offs. Chunky NFL helmets with telephones built inside inspired Christmas morning fantasies and XXXL thug life t-shirts flapped above each booth with the vigor of a fat dad on a Doritos binge.
If one wanders beyond the tables of the sad looking religious relics that dominate the center of most flea markets there is a designated area of animal heads and extravagant hunting knives. Past the antique baby cribs and dusty comic book collections lies a land of beheaded butchery. The gruff guy behind the counter peddling his goods looks like a hardened Nam vet, but further inquiries reveal that he and his wife simply operate a paint ball course on the outskirts of town.
The locked glass cases are filled with an array of Bowie knives that rest in their customized leather cases, each one gently placed on a tiny blanket for display. The knife sizes range from pocket knives with toothpicks hidden at the base to hand-to-bear-claw combat tools. Blades with jagged edges for gutting and spikes for stabbing hang on racks of intimidation next to life-sized samurai swords. Utterly mouth-watering stuff.
Above the weaponry are upwards of ten mammal heads screwed into wooden blocks, watching the shoppers with muted aggression. Tigers with sharp protruding teeth, deer with thick tangled antlers, and a mountain lion in a claws exposed vicious pose. The once frolicking beasts reduced to eye candy among the discount goods is not the definition of classy, but hey, no one is perfect.
Once at a bus stop a loud and round woman yelled to her teenage son, “Don’t go to the flea market, they sell bootleg VHS tapes there! It’s not American!” If bootleg copies of Striptease is the worst thing her son might get his hands on at a flea market then she definitely needs a wake-up call. He could easily walk out of the place with a very sharp weapon for under $50, or a very furry mantle piece.
Here’s the deal, flea markets try to trick you into believing that all they have to sell is either really jazzy Tejano dancing outfits or out of date action figures, but the reality is that they also offer an endless supply of metal weapons and skinned animal faces. For those of you who enjoy professionally wielding a 17” sword in your living room, or rely on the company of a 12X35 Polar Bear head in the family room then stroll deep into the belly of any flea market and ask for Cross-eyed Charlie. Tell him I sent you.