Tuesday, January 05, 2010

DCoE field trip: Adventures in Building 19

Q: How do two people with nothing to on a Tuesday afternoon entertain themselves?
A. By having a scavenger hunt at Building 19, of course.

For those of you non-Massholes, Building 19 is a chain of discount warehouse stores that sell a large and often bizarre assortment of items, including clothing and furniture, most of which is severely outdated or looks like it fell off the back of a truck. Their slogan is "good stuff cheap" and although their items are definitely cheap, "good" is subjective. My strongest memory of Building 19 comes from a time I went there with my mom when I was a kid. It was winter and my mom was wearing an old pair of boots. She took them off to try on a pair of shoes and then walked down the aisle a bit to test out the shoes. When we returned, the boots had vanished. An employee had stuck a price tag on them and placed them on the shelf! So that basically sums up Building 19.

Timm and I headed to Building 19 (and 1/2, a.k.a. the Burlington store- each location is known by a fraction) and each of us had composed a list of three items that the other person would be tasked with finding. When we reached the destination, we exchanged lists and spent a long time surveying the goods to find objects that best met the description.

Timm's Assigned List:
1. Home decor for a villain's lair.
2. Something with feathers.
3. Something that could be used as a disguise.

He did quite well hunting for artifacts to fit into these categories. I mean, what villain wouldn't want an oversized leopard print ottoman?

And here are items #2 and #3:

That purse also comes in green, for the record.

As for my list, Timm wrote the following descriptions on individual slips of paper.

1. I wish no one knew I owned this:

Totally Taylor! A book about Hanson's heartthrob. Whose hairstyle is disturbingly similar to mine.

2. I went to a rave last night, and all I got was:

Some shimmery decorations and a bottle of E.

and last, but not least

3. I use this when it gets too moist:

Oh wow.

We found lots of other treasures in Building 19. In addition to sock's, they also sell toy's and baby doll's (and these signs nearly made my head explode).

Lastly, we purchased a present for Ern. Oh yes...The Scarlet Letter, by Nathaniel Hawthorne. Not the original, mind you, it's the comic book version. Jeez! I mean, I could see turning Huck Finn into a comic book, but the Scarlet Letter? Note the flaming cartoon A soaring through the sky on the cover.

The price? Ten cents. Good stuff cheap, indeed.


Kris said...

I HAVE TOTALLY READ THE COMIC BOOK SCARLET LETTER. I'm serious! In 6th grade, our teacher had a series of "comics of the classics" or something like that. And I definitely read The Scarlet Letter. It didn't have that cover though, and the drawings were different. There must be more than one company doing this.

tobeannounced said...

This is one of my favorite posts!

When I got to "sock's," I thought, "That's totally unlike Eileen to misplace an apostrophe like that" until I saw the picture ... hilarious! :)

Liz said...

This post and the accompanying photo series define why I love you guys.

eileen said...

We spent over two hours in Building 19 1/2- it may be a new record.

RT, I can't believe you read the comic book Scarlet Letter! If I hadn't seen it myself, I wouldn't have even believed in its existence- Hester Prynne ain't exactly Lois Lane. I don't know how Nathaniel Hawthorne managed to make a story about an affair between a young woman and a minister so boring, but he did.

Caity- the grocers' apostrophe is perhaps my least favorite of all typos!! Aaaah!

Eri said...

I love how you can always count on Buidling 19 for hours of entertainment, typos, and thermal underwear.

Underoo Elf said...

Having never set foot in Building 19, I am now inspired to have some sort of theme party where all costumes, entertainment, and snacks come from there.

timm said...

costumes and entertainment- yes. but snacks... no. if this post was about the food that was for sale at building 19, it would depress readers of a war crimes blog. in fact, let's not talk about this anymore.

eileen said...

I didn't even mention the food section in the post because it was too sad to photograph. Let's just say those the tamper-proof seals indicated tampering on the majority of items. Ew.

timm said...

some of the items for sale included those table talk mini pies, only from 1987, and a bottle of white grape juice that was only 3/4 full. what's utterly mind-bottling (you know, when things are so crazy it gets your thoughts all trapped, like in a bottle?) is the drugs/medicine/supplement section. if you look closely at eileen's rave picture, on the right are bins and bins of boxes of medicine. my favorite was the open, crushed box of children's maalox.

Liz said...

So are you saying if you had a child Maalox could be really cheap? like 10 cents? (disregarding that it might maim them or at the very least give them a sugar high)

mj said...

When I lived in Boston, the guy I was dating forbid me to go into Building 19. Now I know why!

me: what's in that store?
him: you don't want to know
me: let's go in, it looks interesting.
him: no

Jeff said...

There's a Building 19 (and a 1/2 I think) with a big yellow sign across from my office. I never knew what it was. Someone give me three things to find - I'm going in.

timm said...

Ok, first thing is something in a frame. Trust me, there are plenty of candidates.

I think the hidden genius of this post is that now, if you put quotes around "oversized leopard print ottoman" and google it, there is now one search result.

eileen said...

another item to find:

2. a beauty product

Kevin said...

I can't believe I missed this classic post a year ago, so I'm glad it was the most popular for the year so you linked it up. I love the story about your mom's shoes. The bros and I bought roller skates for $10 at Building 19. The front wheels of mine fell off while I was using them after, oh, 20 minutes. I was lucky I wasn't seriously injured. Thanks Building 19!