When Shopping Siren heard the Auburn Goodwill was moving to a new, mega-size building near the Auburn Mall, she can honestly say her reaction boiled down to one word.
Yes, with the extra Os. It was a breathy-with-awe-and-delight sort of a exaltation.
The new Goodwill Store has more than 10,000 square feet of retail space stuffed with clothes, toys, books, housewares and miscellany. Some things are new, others gently used. All are priced to move. (And move they did. On one recent early afternoon, the checkout lines stretched well into the store.)
Granted, some of the items are a little … unusual. Think ceramic hedgehogs, 1980s VHS tapes and a kit to make giant cupcakes. But isn’t that the fun of Goodwill shopping? You never know what you’re going to find.
* Gourmet Trends giant cupcake kit, $9.98
According to the box, the kit contains three baking dishes that create a giant cupcake “over a foot tall!” In case you can’t envision a foot-tall cupcake, the package helpfully shows the picture of a normal-sized cupcake for comparison. It looks like a speck. Half a speck. Hardly worth eating. Not like that large one next to it …
* Magellan Triton 400 handheld GPS, $99.99
Never get lost again. Unless you want to. Because he’s handsome, you’re single and you’re only youngish once, right?
* Green hamster ball, $1.99
For all your hamster ball needs. No, really. All of them.
* Pet booster seat, $14.98
New-in-package seat for cats and dogs up to 20 pounds. Or very small children who like to bark.
* Videos, 99 cents — $1.99
Choose from such classics as “Fletch Lives” and “Sweatin’ to the Oldies 2.” Also, “Young Guns 2,” in which you can watch Emilio Estevez, the Sheen son not currently of tiger blood or Adonis DNA.
* Kids’ clothes, $1.99 and up
Cute, gently used clothes at what are probably amazing prices, but it was hard to tell. Many of the items I spotted didn’t have price tags. Frustrating! (Note to Goodwill: Price tags are your friends.) Luckily, one of my favorite finds was priced: a Baby Gap long-sleeved, toddler-size T-shirt, gray with blue “Rookie of the Year” emblazoned across the front. $2.99. Start ‘em young and in just 18 short years the Red Sox could be signing your kid to a multimillion-dollar contract.
* Ceramic hedgehog, 99 cents
Little guy with brown painted body and a tiny black nose. More adorable than a basket of baby bunnies. And that’s pretty freakin’ adorable.
* Paperback books, 99 cents
Sci-fi, mysteries, thrillers and good old-fashioned trashy romance novels, with a few biographies and self-help books thrown in. With the demise of used-book stores, this might be the only place to stumble on an early Dean Koontz novel or a copy of that Harlequin you loaned to your college roommate and never got back. You know you want it.
* Nantucket Home indoor/outdoor string light set, $1.99
Set of 10 Hawaiian-themed lights. Gazing at those little lighted surf boards and Hawaiian shirts, I had the sudden urge to throw a luau. In March. Which means these are either really attractive lights or winter has been way too long.
Best find: Snuggie, $4.99
Box was open, but the blue Snuggie appeared to still be wrapped in plastic. An unwanted Christmas gift? A donation from someone who decided they had too many Snuggies already? This one-size-fits-all novelty didn’t really fit all? With all the intrigue, it ought to cost at least a buck more.
Think twice: “Alf” baseball cap, price unknown
Though this was in a “$1.99 and up” bin, it didn’t have a price of its own. Dark hat featured a picture of furry alien sitcom star Alf and the phrase “Here Kitty! Kitty!” Yeah. When they say the ’80s are back in fashion, I don’t think this is what they mean. At least I hope this isn’t what they mean. That would not be cooooool. Or even cool.
Bag Lady: Still beachy keen
Bag Lady purposefully missed her Caribbean flight home, mumbled something about having left her favorite sunglasses under the bed and was spotted darting in the direction of soft white sand, rainbow sarong floating behind her.
So, Bag Lady won’t be back next week.
Or likely the week after. She’s taking an extended break but promises dispatches from away.
Shopping Siren’s true identity is protected by a pair of stylish, sweater-wearing Doberman pinschers (who would like to visit Alf’s home planet for a snack) and the Customer Service counter at the Sun Journal. You can reach her at email@example.com.