Bed, Bath, and Beyond should really surrender the “beyond” in their name. Have you been there lately? There’s not much beyond. It’s a pretty sad state of affairs.

There is a place that deserves the “beyond” in its title, however. I know because I worked there all weekend. It’s my father-in-law’s amalgamation of a thrift store, meets antiques, meets “BEYOND,” called Phillips’ South Side of the Square in Tipton, IN.

The occasion was the Tipton County Pork festival. Each year, the whole family pitches in to help my in-laws because the crowd is quite large. There are food vendors, carnival rides and games, and live entertainment. The headliner was a Bon Jovi tribute band. Unfortunately, a storm caused the band to cancel, and we didn’t get to see Living on a Prayer performed by a guy who sort of resembles Jon Bon Jovi’s stunt double.

But there was lots of fun to be had before the rain. As I mentioned, this store TRULY has “beyond.” Over the course of Saturday, some of the items we sold included:

  • An aquarium
  • A 100-year-old high school yearbook
  • A ruler
  • A pennant from the grand opening of Dodger Stadium
  • A used puzzle
  • A Howdy Doody doll

It doesn’t get more “Beyond” than that! By the way, the woman who bought the Howdy Doody doll asked if it was haunted. I looked it over and without breaking a smile said, “No. The price says $35. If it was haunted, it would cost $60.” Her boyfriend laughed. She didn’t. But she bought it anyway.

My wife debuted her photography at the festival too. She made her first sale and I’m very proud of her.

There were low points too. Somebody broke a bottle of Avon cologne that probably expired during the Carter administration. I helped my mother-in-law clean it up, but it was all over my shoe and I carried that smell with me wherever I went. However, the foul smell of fifty-year-old Avon cologne was no match for the foot funk of 5,000 festival attendees and it quickly faded from my shoes.

By Sunday, we were all wiped out, resting and watching football. But every time I walk by the garage door, I think I smell really bad cologne. And I can’t get Living on a Prayer out of my head.

Carry on, Citizens!