March 15, 2012

Thrifting For Speculums


 You can buy anything second hand in this town.  Anything.  The last few times I went to some of the antique and collectibles stores in my new neck of the woods, I was looking for two things.   My quest was for a desk to put my computer on, and something I could put my TV on that was a little less college dorm than a foot locker.  I managed to come back with a lamp, a new drag queen friend, and the realization that there are no limits to the things that people are willing to make a buck on selling.  


The living room lamp boudoir.
A real red light district.
 Here’s the lamp.  I think it’s absolutely perfect for the boudoir.  It's hard to see on the small version of the photo, but it even has the little crystal drops on it around where the lampshade ends.  Plus, it's red, the shade is unusual, and it has naked cherubs embracing.  How awesome is that?  (Omaha Natives would recognize this as something that belongs in the now-defunct Mister C's restaurant.)  

From the moment I spotted it from across the store, I instantly knew it had to be mine.  It's huge, and gaudy, and straight out of a waiting area in a brothel.   Now, we can really call my new place a red light district.  What the lamp is not, however, is a desk, or something I can put a television on.  So, I put the fixture on the counter in a designated "This stuff goes home with me" pile, and continued looking.  

Vintage Vibrator.  Note the lightbulb plug.
That's when from the other side of the same store, I hear this uncontrollable giggling.  It's the friend I came in with.  She's trying to stifle her laugh by covering her mouth with one hand, and beckoning me over with the other.  She points at an old case propped open on a card table and lets me discover this wonder for myself.  

 Once I read the instruction book cover, I realize what it is.  A wide, demented grin spread over my face as too began to giggle.  All I could do was stare.  Here, gape  with me.  My friend had spied perhaps the most interesting picker find in the history of the world. It is, no joke, a vintage massager.  You know, the kind that was used by the medical profession to cure "female hysteria".  This thing is of the age where, instead of the familiar pronged wall outlet we have now, you plugged the thing into the wall using a screw in lightbulb outlet.  So, not only are you jacked right into the house power, you can't just kick it out of the wall if something goes wrong.  

The idea to give this vintage sex toy a new home pops into my head.  This goes right along with my plan to eventually replace all of my stemware and fancy Peggy Karr plates in my curio cabinet with artistic and erotic toys.  Have you seen some of the glass dildos out there?  They're beautiful!  Sadly, I didn't have the spare $100 it would take to make this mine.  So, in the store it stayed.
I feel for the guy's girlfriend
who had to explain this wasn't a
two pronged shoehorn.

However, later in the afternoon, we made a trip to Back In The Day.   There is where I discovered that if you know where to look, there's nothing you can't get secondhand.  They had an old exam table complete with stirrups and more than one speculum for sale.  Apparently, they bought out an old doctor's office and they got more than they were expecting.  I'm not entirely sure which is worse, that there's a web site called rent a dildo, (It's a farce, but still!) or that you can actually get one of these second hand.  Part of me wants one just to add to some of the other toys I have, only because it would be funny to play on the fears of the uninitiated.  "Um, honey.  What were you planning on doing with this?"  *latex glove snap*  "No, really.  What are you planning. . .   Oh god!"  

I'll save you the trouble. 
*ahem*  Bang! 
(Photo by Steve Gray)
 Slightly related: several days later, when I was at a Samurai of Spoken Word event, I met a local photographer by the name of Steve Gray.  He was there to take promotional photos of the group.  Somehow, the topic turned to things you could find at a thrift store.  You know, like it does.  I think he asked what the weirdest thing you'd seen was.  I, of course, said a used speculum.  To which, he pulled one out of his pocket and said "You mean, like this?".  Somewhere, a stray neuron fired and gave me an idea.  I asked if I could hold it.  When he handed it to me, I did my very best impression of that most infamous facial expression.  I give you, Duck Face 3000, voluptuous, vapid, and vaginal!


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