Back in October the stinky (probably) cardi that Kurt Cobain famously wore on his Unplugged session sold for $137,500 (that’s roughly £91,000) and while our contributors haven’t gone quite that far, we still think you can read this and feel pretty good about yourselves.
I bought a stuffed goat’s head on eBay and had to collect it from the guy. He showed me through to his caravan of curiosities and gave me a tour of all the odd taxidermy he’d been making. “This is my princess,” he declared as he waved a hand towards a rabbit – or its head at least. He’d sewn its head to the body of a pigeon that he’d spray-painted silver. I made my excuses and left before I ended up being made into a lampshade.
I bought a fake Burberry check bikini when I was 19 for a girls’ holiday. Turns out that no matter how taut the tum or how toned the thighs (oh, I remember the smooth days), a Burberry check still looks hideous. Especially when you wear said bikini with fake Ugg boots. Clotrimazole became my friend post-holiday…
My husband got pissed at an auction for the NSPCC and spent £300 on a football signed by that year’s Arsenal team. He’s a rabid Man City supporter.
“I picked Rusty Red paint for the outside and Creamy Yellow for the inside. I was so happy, I clicked yes on the P&P charges without even looking at them.”
Twelve years ago, smitten, I bought my then-brand-new boyfriend an ‘official’ Seattle Seahawks helmet for only $30. BARGAIN. When it arrived, it was only a tiny miniature helmet. But we joked that it would only fit a baby. And I thought, “Oooh we talked about babies. Maybe I’ll have his baby one day!”
Then we split up, very nastily and definitively, for years, and had whole other relationships and lives. Then four years ago, we got back together again and we just had a baby, an actual, small-to-average-sized baby. The helmet is still too tiny, even for the baby. So what could have been a really romantic story about a present from an online auction and a long drawn-out love affair has its denouement RUINED by human babies having meatheads.
I bought (for £25) a cast-iron range cooker not realising how heavy it would be. I travelled 150 miles with a diminutive friend to collect it. The guy looked crestfallen when we turned up. He had been expecting a proper removal team. His wife screamed at us to get the fucking thing out of her house while we shifted it, inch by inch for about 20 minutes across her new floor, leaving terrible marks in its wake. I will never sweat that much again, even if I wanted to.
I bought a kitsch, marble-based clock with a soaring bronze bird attached. When I went to collect it the bloke asked where my car was. I said I didn’t have one and he explained it was very heavy because of its size and marble base. I insisted I’d be fine and carried it away, claiming it was totally manageable while quietly in agony. It took me hours just to carry it to a bus stop, then I dragged it across Liverpool Street floor.
“‘This is my princess,’ he declared as he waved a hand towards a rabbit – or its head at least.”
I was once kind of addicted to eBay… to the point where the maddest thing I bought was a mystery item. Yes, I paid for them to send me any old rubbish at all. I did this a few times (the shame) and I once got a very odd beaded necklace/collar/poncho thing and another time a hardback copy of Pride and Prejudice.
I wanted a spice-rack for the kitchen. I’d just bought a house and was learning to cook. The ones in shops weren’t right. They were spinny and you needed to decant your spices into THEIR JARS – a) I have jars already, of all shapes and sizes that the spices and herbs were bought in and b) who has time to fucking decant anything?
I suppose what I wanted was a tiny bookshelf for my jars. So, at the end of my shop-tether, I turned to Etsy, where I found a man who made tiny spice shelves exactly like I wanted. You could even pick the colours and he’d paint it. It sounded perfect and all for slightly over £30; about the same price as the John Lewis spinny ones. There was no decanting, just shelves that would house big bay leaves and little paprika and square and round jars. I ordered it. I picked Rusty Red paint for the outside and Creamy Yellow for the inside. I was so happy, I clicked yes on the P&P charges without even looking at them.
It took a while. He was MAKING IT so I could hardly mind. But then it got stuck at customs and I had to pay a bit extra. CUSTOMS? Someone (me) forgot the internet was the world and not just Bristol or Sheffield or somewhere. I had a proper look at what I’d ordered and the price. The spice-rack plus P&P plus customs charge took it to £100. It was coming from Honolulu, which until then had been flower garlands, grass skirts and Elvis. But now I know it to be a place where a (probably) nice man made my brown and yellow spice shelves. It was a crazy price in the end but look at it: it’s lush. And no decanting!
Some of Standard Issue's brilliant women's carefully crafted words for your reading pleasure.