All a Buck & More

This post is about a store.

Back fourteen centuries ago when I was in Utah at the beginning of the month, my sister’s car broke down when she came to pick me up from my sex conferenceThen a couple of days later, we were driving the same car which had miraculously begun working again. The plan was to pick up In-N-Out and go to Grandma Weed’s so I could see her one last time before she died. (Side note: I did not actually know she would die several days later at this time. I know it now because this is me from the future talking. Which is why blogs are like time machines.)

While sitting in the drive through at In-N-Out, the car died again. And this time, it did not start up again miraculously.

So basically we were stranded at the mall.

Now, I don’t know what laws of economics are in play in Salt Lake City, but for whatever reason, Valley Fair Mall is perhaps the strangest mall I’ve ever seen. Where most malls have a string of predictable common stores selling popular goods (I can’t name these stores–I don’t really go to malls very much), Valley Fair Mall has really odd wannabe versions of those stores with catchy names like “Bedazzled” and “Eyebrow Miracle”. The most awkward of those stores is the lingerie store called “Husband and Wife”.

I’m not kidding you.

So, there we were, Jenni, Justin and I (and their two kids Alice and Parley) wandering around, waiting for our ride. We wanted to find a place where we could let Alice roam and we soon found ourselves in a randomly chosen store.

So what you’re saying is that everything IN this store is either a dollar or not a dollar. That makes it entirely different than every other store!

Jenni and were standing there talking in an aisle. Suddenly, we became aware of what we were standing next to.

As seen on TV!  In 1987!
We kind of couldn’t believe what we were looking at. It was a Waist Trimmer that appeared to be from an infomercial in the 80’s. And it was priced at $6.95 and $14.95. (For those unfamiliar with business and sales, that’s a little trick to distract you from the fact that the implication of the store title is that everything should be around a dollar.)
It was at this point that Jenni and I realized that this store was amazing.
Our time waiting for a ride suddenly became a contest to see who could find the most ridiculous merchandise. The following is some of the best of what we found, documented by photo because if it wasn’t, it would be too ludicrous to believe.
Let’s start with the underwear section.
First off, we have these:

I don’t know about you, but when I buy over-sized granny
panties, I definitely favor the ones that have little green bears on the
back. It makes taking a dump WAY cuter!

Fittingly, I think the middle bear is actually squatting to defecate (while the other two watch?).

Oh, and one more in the front. Plus a little green bow. SEXY.
But if you think those bear panties were a dream, wait till you get a load of this G-string!
 It’s possible somebody needs a lesson in what “G-string” means. 

Soon, we were done looking at intimates and we moved on to other things. 
Jenni found a purse. Made of glass.
“The thing I’m most interested in in a hand bag is finding one that will literally shatter to pieces at the slightest jostle.”
I stumbled upon a a “dog collar”.

Where when I say “dog” I actually mean “T-rex”
Soon, Justin was helping too. The hits just kept coming.
We found a double glue pack!
Yes, on the left you have your glue, and on the right you have your glue stick. Strangely I had always thought of a glue stick as a stick of glue. Silly me!
Somebody made a mistake here. 
I just don’t understand why these aren’t selling like hot cakes? Who DOESN’T need exterior palm support?
Some masterpieces go totally unappreciated.
What’s that? You want to read the back flap of “Growing Pains?” Sure!
  I’m biting my nails just THINKING about how Sandra might have learned her big lesson about popularity not being everything! (I think it might have something to do with her broken foot.)

 Hey, girl with the Neck Rest. 1988 called and they want their feathered hair back. Oh, and they also want their Neck Rest back. Oh screw it. Does anybody have a time machine so we can take this thing back home? (Also, what better place to read a magazine than in the driver’s seat of your vehicle. While wearing a neck brace.)

We were winding down because Allison and Spencer, our ride, were about to get there. However, before we left, we found one more awesome gem… perhaps my favorite find of the evening.
 Wow, this hardware set sounds really fancy! I can’t wait to utilize their variety, credible, quality broad purpose. Let’s turn it over and see what hardware we get in thi…
 Wait. I don’t understand. These are… glue sticks. Not hardware.

“Caution: Extremely Sharp Blades–Handle With Care.”

Yes. One should always be careful when handling room-temperature hot glue. Because of the sharp blades.

At about this point, Alli and Spencer arrived, and it was time to go.

But I will always remember. I’ll always, always remember that if I need an infomercial product from the 80’s, or if I need a glue stick that’s actually a bottle, or a glass purse, or a g-string, I can find it at All a Buck & More!

It might be my favorite store ever.

Also HEADS UP! my friend Wendel is planning to do a publicity stunt for me this weekend. It’s probably going to knock your socks off. (Hint: it involves his truck and his move to Arizona.) So, get ready for that! There may or may not be live-tweeting involved.

And finally, Happy Thanksgiving!!!


  1. So I just realized that I never actually read over this after seminary this morning. My bad. Oh well, it came out fine even with it's lack of my editorial advice. I only have a few suggestions.

    First, don't make fun of that woman's hair, it's only like that because she's been driving with the window down. That's exactly what mine looks like when I do that too. So don't be judgin'.

    Second, you have no idea if that Hardware Tool set was sharp or not since you never even opened it up. I'm surprised they don't slice right through the packaging just sitting on the shelf like that.

  2. Brilliant post. You've captured the essence of the nightmare that is the dollar store and its ilk. It'd be even funnier if I didn't spend a lot of my time trying to convince my elderly mother that it's not a good idea to do her grocery shopping at the dollar store near her home. I kid you not.

  3. That Growing Pains book would have come in handy when I was in school. I remember being a *typical* teenager – pretty with lots of friends and only dating the popular boys…

  4. I love it! Now, you had me at the bear panties. I really need to get some of those…for myself AND as wicked Christmas gifts to all the special girls in my life.

    The palm support? Probably invented by Ernie, who Sandra wasn't aware of.

    Just sayin'. 😉

    Happy Thanksgiving!!!

  5. This is a brilliant post. I think I only went to Valley Fair once when I lived in Utah, and I remember thinking the same thing about the "wannabe" stores. If only our Atlanta stores were this amusing!

  6. I live 15 minutes away from Valley Fair yet I've not visited in several years. I may have to stop in…that store is FANTASTIC! I think I want to work there…wonder if I'd get a discount on all those fab items.

  7. I hope you grabbed a bunch of these things for white elephant fun later this month! Now you have some seriuos "The Weed" merchandise competition. Oh and I htink I have been to that store. 🙂

  8. @sdtransier–Yeah, I handled the package with utmost care once I read the warning. You never know how sharp glue-sticks can get, you know.

    @Michael–Oh wow. I didn't have time to take a gander at the foodstuffs in All a Buck & More, but based on their other products, I have the feeling you have every right to be concerned. Yikes!

    @Emily–Yeah, what a helpful guide for all those typical teens, huh? So many youth get so lost in the traumas of popularity and being really beautiful…

    @musingsfromaworkaholic–You, my friend, are probably exactly right. It was def. Ernie. Man… Sandra was so silly. She had NO IDEA what was right in front of her the whole time…

    @Lauren T–Ha! I love that you've been there. It was actually the closest mall to my house growing up, but I don't remember it being this freaking odd.

    @Annette–Oh, you should definitely drop in for a peek. And yeah, pick up an application. The Asian lady who barely spoke English would probably love to have your help, and that way you could get some fancy undergarments at half price!! Win win. For sure.

    @Anonymous–I didn't even THINK to buy anything! That would have been a great idea. Next time in Utah though, I'll probably have to drop in for some shopping…

    @erica–Haha, right? Not sure I would want to be the one to break the news. "So… your 'g-string' is actually a pair of granny panties…" That would be an awkward meeting…

    @Heidi–Thanks! And I'm not sure if you told me but I saw it on facebook. Congratulations!!!

  9. Okay Weed. That's what you get for visiting the GHETTO-ist mall in WVC!! (hmmm, or is it the ONLY mall in WVC??) I love how they put all those fancy stores in what used to be the parking lot, just to trick you into thinking there's anything worth going inside for! I lived in Magna and shopped at VFM for 13 years, until it became a sure-fired way to get shived or have a cap poped into your ass. My husband then forbid me to go there. We drove by last Christmas when we were in Hunter (what is really just west-West Valley, but people who live there don't want to admit they need a passport to get into their own neighborhood now, so they call it Hunter to make themselves feel better) and I was just cracked up by the "transformation" of the VFM area. Whatever! You proved I was right. Great post!!

  10. I love how the G-string panties are Notti brand and how the "hardware glue sticks" are handsome and dam proof. Whatever that means. I always wanted handsome glue sticks/hardware

  11. @Dayna–Haha, it is definitely the ghetto-est! I love that you know the area. I grew up in Kearns, so this was my old stomping grounds. And I'm glad your husband forbade you to go there. Nobody wants to have Dayna get a shiv to the back at the VFM.

    @Katie–So sorry to disappoint. To give you an idea, it was the most modest lingerie imaginable.

    @AJ–Thanks man!

    @Taren–Haha, I know. So classic! I always know to trust a product when it's described as "handsome".

  12. Oh my god. I have one of those "purses". I think it's supposed to be a vase…?? It was a Christmas present from my high school boyfriend's mom, and it's blue. She got one for each of her sisters, too. I accepted it as graciously as I possibly could, but still…really? A glass purse?

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