Me and two friends from the barracks were bored today and decided to take a field trip to one of the 3 amazing flea markets here in Pensacola. I should clarify that I judge whether a flea market is amazing or not solely based on how many pit bull fights I see in between booths of fake Jordans and throwing stars.
Anytime I go to a flea market, I play a game. I call it the "let's see how much goofy shit we can buy for under $3". I should probably shorten that name if I want the game to get popular. Nonetheless, I spent a grand total of 50 US cents today, and bought two great items.
The first one isn't that goofy, actually. It was a copy of The Federalist Papers. Because when I think of Florida swamp-swimmin' rednecks renting booths in a dirt lot to sell things they think their peers will enjoy, I usually expect to walk out with at least one classic of political theory. At the very least.
So that was one quarter down. We walked around for a while. Some guy tried to sell me a homemade paddle for $2, telling me "trust me man it works", which to me implies that you're tryin' to sell me somethin' that touched your ass. No thanks.
The next booth that caught our eyes was owned by a guy who kinda looked like Newman from Seinfeld, if he was even fatter and wrapped in an indian blanket. He was basically selling comic books, but many other things were up for grabs as well, ranging from samurai swords to homemade aloe vera to decades-old trading cards. We're talkin' Alf cards, Garbage Pail Kids, etc. While the date on some of these cards alone would have been enough to make me throw down some change, I was lookin' for something a little more...........rare. And ridiculously cheesy. Didn't take long for me to find that. My next quarter went to these bad boys, circa 1990...............
Where to start. I'd like to think these were unpopular cards even for their time, but who knows the level of douchbaggery the culture was allowing to thrive 20 years ago. I was only 5, and not a very rad 5 year old at that, so you can't blame me. The cards are structured similar to Garbage Pail Kids, with only a fraction of the artistic value and none of the humor. Each one features a different "totally gnarly" character with a rhyming and/or alliterated name, usually performing some extreme sport or anti-social behavior, ie: radness. There's Messy Marty, the Bicep Brothers, and of course everyone's favorite..........Piggin' Out Owen. They didn't even try with that one.
Here's my favorite two, though, starting with..............
At first glance, it looks like two excited crackheads flaming up in a TigerMart bathroom. But no.........these are the "Cherry Bomb Dudes", and they're about to blow up a toilet. You'd think they would get tired of doing the same thing everyday, but when you name your gang after such a specific activity, your options are kinda limited. Little known fact: the guy on the right later became known as Congressman Ron Paul.
Without further ado, my favorite one by far.............Teasin' Toby.
Now, there's really only two possible scenarios here. Either some marketing guys at Pacific Trading Cards Inc thought, in their pursuit of radical activities with the most mass appeal, that kids loved teasing babies almost as much as half-pipe skateboarding. Or scenario two, possibly even more disturbing..............kids in 1990 really were teasin' the fuck outta babies, often enough for it to enter the world of stereotype. I have no idea which one is true, but I can't stop laughing everytime I look at Toby's face. Kids of all ages could just walk in and buy this over the counter with their blowpops and big league chew. I doubt they they were mentally equipped or prepared at all to understand even the more normal run-of-the-mill sexual fetishes, much less baby teasing. No wonder they all grew up and filmed themselves wearing diapers on "Porntube".
All in all, the day was a huge success. One of the guys who came with me found a comic book called "Red Son", which apparently is the story of what would happen if baby Superman had landed in Russia instead of America. On the cover, the S on his chest is replaced by a hammer and sickle. He paid $1 for this, mint condition. I was pretty jealous. The other guy didn't buy anything, and mostly was just confused at why we would "waste good money on bad things".
Yeah.............he has no idea what life is all about.