Fast, cheap and out of control


Had some wonderful shopping experiences the other day, the kind where things are going so well you have that gnawing feeling that you may actually be dead and in heaven.

Maybe it was because I revisited the Salvation Army store of my youth in Hempstead and had fun catching up with jazz player Reilly, who was minding the furniture department, where I fell in love at first sight with an amazing ’70s acid-green, crushed-velvet sofa and loveseat—paired with a gold velvet chair and matching footstool—all for $349. More than 25 vintage dresses—from very Brady Bunch to Dynasty disasters—were racked among contempo casuals from the mall closest to you. Prices for most frocks ranged from $6.99-$12.99. I had to pinch myself—the store was so stocked!

Then I tooled around town while listening to Arthur Schwartz on the radio chat about upscale chow and polishing off my econo lunch from that little niche-marketing drive-through joint Checkers at the corner of Hempstead Turnpike and Peninsula Boulevard.

Flyers in the window of the Super Dollar store advertised specials on film, batteries, candles and Cover Girl make-up—pretty entry-level as dollar stores go. But don’t let that fool you. Inside, there are many interesting items—all for one bill. Black Radiance makeup, created for dark skin tones, has some fab lipstick and nail enamel colors for gothic chicks—deep browns and cranberry. And for Halloween festivities, check out the long black fake-hair hanks, commonly used for hair-weaves, that would make either ’50s ponytails for gals or tails for My Friend Flicka. Got a kinky pal with an equestrian fetish? Would work there, too.

Go to the MTV bash as Flea or Anthony Kiedis from the Red Hot Chili Peppers. Your costume will cost just a buck: Pony Sox are colorful stretchy fabric tubes that would cover your massive johnson—just like the tube sox in the famous Rolling Stone cover of the Peps. While we’re talking golden oldies: You can pick up CDs of Gang of Four and one-hit wonder Ugly Kid Joe. And Star Wars spiral notebooks, too.

My happy outing crashed and burned at the gyno’s office, when the doc said my hair looked like I was “ready for Halloween.” I would have corrected her, except that even I know better than to exchange sharp words with someone who’s got sharp tools inside me.

SALVATION ARMY 194 Front St, Hempstead, 516-481-7600. CHECKERS 461 Fulton St, Hempstead, 516-565-2906. SUPER DOLLAR 468 Peninsula Blvd, Hempstead, 516-481-8000.