Your Crap Archivist brings you the finest in forgotten and bewildering crap culled from thrift stores, estate sales, and flea markets.
Patrons on Safari sweater pattern magazine
Discovered at: Salvation Army, Nanaimo, BC
The Cover Promises: Here is what happens when an everyday sort of Canadian kid gets bitten by a radioactive Mario Lopez.
Your Crap Archivist was recently fortunate enough to visit Canada, America's largest and cleanest national park. Our northern neighbor is a deceptively reasonable country, one populated by cheery, healthy people enjoying socialized medicine and proximity to bears and still having a queen for some reason. (As my wife pointed out, the Canadian nickel boasts the queen on one side and a fat ol' beaver on the other, a combination that could work down here in San Francisco, too.)
But the astute traveler will recognize that Canada remains a prodigious generator of bewildering crap: Just turn on the radio, where a high-minded government mandate dictating stations must play 40 per cent Canadian music means twice an hour you have to suffer through the beardy stink-pop of the Barenaked Ladies. Or visit any Canadian thrift store, where between copies of Cold Sassy Tree you will almost certainly find this book, originally archived in one of the first-ever Studies in Crap:Five years later, and I still don't understand: Why do parents let Howie Meeker call that kid Butt? Anyway, another prize found in every Canadian thrift store: Stacks of hilarious old craft magazines, which suggest that some Canadians still make clothes rather than just gather them from beneath the local Wal-Mart's sweat-pants spigot. This gives them something to do indoors during the inhospitable months of June through May. Anyway, let's gape at some of what they made! While mink and fox are increasingly unpopular, the stylish Canadian turns to ever-more exotic animals. Hence the world's first giraffe stole. If your boy acts like a monkey, why not embrace it? That would be a clever way to confuse grocers and zookeepers while your boy shoplifts bananas. This next kid also resembles the animal on his sweater. I checked -- the instructions for that one do not call for "your child's own curly hair." This next one reminds us: An elephant never forgets the day she got her ass kicked at pre-school. Of course, it's not just Canadian kids who were the victims of Canadian sweater-crimes. So, here's one more troubling pattern book, this time for the ladies! Designer Sweaters Date: 1984 Publisher: Heather of Vancouver The Cover Promises: You can wear a homemade sweater to a Bowie party! Vancouver being all cosmopolitan and everything, the photographers at Heather commanded their models to look at all times as if they utterly hated being in a sweater pattern book. My guess is that this wasn't much of a stretch. After all, how happy would you be if your youthful beauty were being tasked with selling this silvery eyesore? She can't quite bring herself to believe that the barnacled armpit inset truly sets off the half-Zorro skidmark. Next, we see that the fashionable beekeeper prefers a sweater dress so heavy it italicizes its wearer: For some Canadians, it just isn't enough to cover every inch of non-face, non-hands flesh in clownish patterns. These people also employ props to cover the troubling crotch and/or fannypack region. Finally, here's the answer to a question every woman at some point asks: What's the ideal outfit for a vaudeville-era ventriloquist and her dummy to wear while sneering at the less-stylish clothes of some gauche passerby? Vaudevillian A: "She wore that?" Vaudevillian B: "I wouldn't even do that ... and I'm as dumb as a block of wood!" -- Hey, you could do worse than following @studiesincrap or @ExhibitionistSF on the Twitter thing.