I found these when looking for something else in the Consumerist Flickr pool, and they bothered me to the point that I had to share them with all of my Twitter followers. BECAUSE THAT’S WHAT YOU DO.
When I was eight or nine years old, my parents were setting up a home office for their side businesses, and we attended a furniture-and-fixtures auction at a closed Sears store.
They bought pretty mundane things, like nice office chairs, a wonderful old oak desk and chairs, and a much less awesome metal and fake wood desk that we used for the typewriter, and later for our first computer. I didn’t care about office furniture, though. I was a child, and what I saw at the auction broke the spell of perfectly arranged retail displays. There were empty racks and shelves, toy displays from the old McKids line, everything that had once displayed merchandise in this now-empty store. An empty store was sad and weird in itself.
I assume there were displays. I remember the McKids train, I vaguely remember some metal racks, and I remember the auctiongoers standing around in this cavernous, dirty space that used to be a Sears. Those memories are fuzzy, and I probably wouldn’t remember the auction at all except for one thing.
Dozens of them. Male, female, children, missing arms and heads, pulled out of storage with damaged bodies. All races and even some strange colors. Nude, lined up in a single row as if they were facing a firing squad.
I haven’t been comfortable around mannequins since. I still half-believed at that point that my dolls and stuffed animals would come to life and play with each other when I was out of the room or sleeping, so what were dozens of human-sized dolls doing when everyone left Sears at night? What did they say about the people who ran the store once everyone went home? How would they handle being separated?
This is what happens when you give a nine-year-old too much time to think.