Monday, November 9, 2009
Oldsmar Flea Market: White Trash Paradise
As a young émigré who moved to the United States from the former Soviet Union during Reagan's first term, rest assured that I caught shit for just about every ethnic stereotype the Rocky trilogy and that prick Yakov Smirnoff threw at you lazy Americans. I'll never forget what my classmate Nick Vourlias wrote in my elementary school scrapbook: "When I write this, don't go running to your mommy: you big fat-headed commie." Jerk.
Because of such formative events, I soon began longing to assimilate and subsequently developed a deep fascination with true Americana, especially anything Southeastern—particularly our nation's third craziest state, Texas—in all of its deep-fried, subtly racist, War of Northern Aggression-acknowledging glory.
So when I got to central Florida (the west coast, yo) for a mini vacation this past weekend, I knew I wanted to get in on some cheap redneck thrills. And at the suggestion of my gracious hosts, Jimmy Palmiotti and Amanda Conner, I was promptly sent to the Oldsmar Flea Market to peruse my way through a mix of artifacts, antique treasures and fashions that seemed to universally date back to the early '90s.
The semi-outdoor market was easily the length of a football field and its many friendly, leathery vendors hawked an incredible variety of wares, from 25-lb. bags of peanuts to Coby cassette Walkmen, hats worn by Marilyn Monroe and live birds; porn sold by a geriatric redhead and what seemed like thousands of used VHS cassettes. It was like finding white trash nirvana strolling down those long aisles, all the while taking an anthropological survey of this sleepy town's interests and hobbies: shooting things, kayaking, golfing, reclining in spa tubs and handcrafted Adirondack chairs.
Below are some of the finds I came across at Oldsmar, make of them what you will. As for my purchases, I walked away with a backup Gonzo* Pez dispenser, the rare and elusive Wheelchair Guy Homie figurine and a $2.50 copy of The Fountainhead.
What a country!
Angel Toilet Paper Dispenser
Anti-Northern Sentiment Sticker
Festive & Unique Visors
Ed Hardy Coozys
Equine Salt & Pepper Shakers
More photos can be found here.
*Gonzo was so misunderstood.