WARNING: Creepy stuff ahead. But it's also funny, and I'll show you cool stuff along the way, promise.
Two weekends back John and I spent a few hours at the famous Renninger's Antique Extravaganza here in Florida. This thing is HUGE, with tents, tables, and RVs set up as far as the eye can see. All selling old stuff. So, basically heaven.
If I had to sum up the Renninger's experience in a single photo, this would be that photo:
You don't try to understand. You just enjoy the ride.
Obviously I go antiquing for one thing, though. Well, two things. Maybe three. But one of the MAIN things is finding delightfully creepy stuff.
You ever get the impression that people just didn't LIKE their children back in the day?
The frog... is real. I didn't dare ask about the teeth:
Hang on, before you run away screaming, let me show you some COOL stuff:
You, uh, do consider a beer bottle encased in a bowling ball "cool," right?
WAIT DON'T GO.
It gets better:
Junk art owl! His eyes are reflectors, so they glow.
And a self-serve popcorn maker, whaaaaat. (The door on the left holds the popcorn bags.)
Before this next photo I remarked to John that that must have been one heckuva toilet, and the people around us looked at me with a mixture of horror and pity, like I thought it was ACTUALLY a toilet brush, but joke's on them! I have no idea what it actually is.
My tolerance for creepy dolls is pretty high, so you tell me: Cute or creepy?
Ignore the blood stains.
It was a little windy that afternoon, so imagine my adrenaline spike when this enormous lion head started moving:
It was swaying on the base. NO LION.
Dang, something that disturbing is gonna need an EXTREMELY cute chaser. Luckily I have just the thing:
Whoops. Wrong bear.
Here we go!
Fellow children of the 80s, MARVEL WITH ME. This is an original store display, STILL SEALED, and still functioning. When you press the button they sing a few different songs, and Cheer Bear even sways her head to the music! I can't get over how bright their colors are, seriously a time capsule from my childhood. (Although I don't remember Care Bears that moved and sang, do you?)
I feel like you still don't trust me after that first bear incident.
Would a table full of vintage Disney help?
I asked folks to guess which one I bought over on FB & IG, and most were in favor of Jiminy Cricket. He was definitely a strong contender, but I ultimately went with baby Donald on the top right. He's from 1984 (such a good year to us geeks) and super cute, though heinously filthy. Any tips for cleaning soft rubber? The best I've ever found so far is a Magic Eraser.
Here's comes another serious temptation for any Dizgeek:
Is this face ACTUALLY the one from Madame Leota's gravestone?
No, no it's not. But I was super tempted anyway. Fortunately the seller stayed firm at $15, though, and I'm cheap. So no Leota look-a-like for me.
I have more traumatizing stuff to spring on you, but first I'll lull you with gorgeous gramophones:
THIS BOOTH WAS AMAZING. He was playing some of them, too!
My two favorites. Swoony swoon.
Oh! And look at the beautiful graphics on these old store display cases:
The colors were so vivid.
This old playground rocker looks straight out of Battleship Bay in BioShock: Infinite:
Then again, most old Americana stuff reminds me of Columbia now. :D
"DID YOU FORGET THIS IS A POST ABOUT CREEPY STUFF?"
Now, I know what you're thinking. You're thinking it's just the angle that makes her seem creepy.
Nope. It's her face.
(Anyone else getting Michael Keaton vibes?)
(Anyone else getting Michael Keaton vibes?)
And I think she's trying to tell us something...
Probably not this.
I should mention that at this point we'd moved from Renninger's back to my favorite antique shop here in Orlando, because Renninger's vendors are poopy-head morning people who pack up by 3pm, and we weren't done getting our Antiquing on.
Good thing, too, because in two hours at Orange Tree Antique Mall we found more greatness than in 2 days at Renninger's. BEHOLD:
Hmm, perhaps "greatness" was overselling it. Is "enthusiasticness" a word?
(That's my friend & FOE Arielle helping, er, position the Rocket Pop Wienie Warmer. We were trying desperately not to touch it.)
And if dongs dressed as ice pops aren't your thing, then how about a childhood-scarring visual of the most traumatizing thing to happen to cleavage since the chestburster alien?
MISS PIGGY NO.
And where are your nipples?
Of all the horrific things about this, I think it's the eye contact that's the worst part.
Then a few aisles down I found this, so maybe gaping chest cavities were a thing?
It was labeled "pipe holder."
I still have questions.
One cheerful Unicorn Chaser, comin' up!
I love old school Rainbow Brite, it was hard to leave this behind.
This bedspread has the original book illustrations from Wizard of Oz, so cute:
And this pumpkin head has one eyeball in its eye sockets, so hold me:
I just now noticed it appears to be filled with hair, too. That's... that's great.
Back to something cool!
Ok, I completely fell for this: it's a bedside clock with a built-in nightlight; see the soft orange glow in the fireplace? Ermeregersh, the cutest. (But no, I didn't buy it. I AM STRONG.)
And finally, let's go out with a bang. I originally posted this in my Story:
...and then, because it was very late and I was getting punchy, I posted this:
So now one of my most cherished memories will be of hearing John's scream laughter (that's a thing, right?) from across the house as this popped up on his screen.
I'll end with my heartfelt apology and my favorite of the many, MANY responses it garnered:
Hope you had fun shopping with me!