Thrifty Thursday [April 30]

Welcome to Thrifty Thursdays!

The rules are simple and are as follows:

1. Each week’s link-up will be posted on Thursday.

2. Post or talk about a book you found used (preferably in a book store or thrift shop).

3. The book must cost less than $5.

4. Be sure to return for the link-up! Weird or strange books are preferred.

Ideally, we all would be exploring authors, books, and genres that we never would have considered otherwise. Some of us may find new favorites. Others may just find some laughs. Either way, we’d be supporting independent booksellers who are the backbone of what we do as bloggers. Of course, these books cost money, and posting each week isn’t required, though you’re certainly welcome to do so. An interesting possibility down the line may be picking a subject or genre and trying to find the oddest possible title.

  My pick for this week?

Letters to Wendy’s by Joe Wenderoth


Cost: $7.00

I know, I broke my own rule. Still, I saw this one on the shelf, and a Professor said it was a really interesting, humorous read.  I spent $3.50 in week one and $4.50 last week, so it averages out!

Total saved thus far compared to new prices: $24.

From Amazon:

Letters to Wendy’s is an outrageous, tragic, genre-bending novel written over the course of a year on comment cards from the fast-food chain restaurant Wendy’s. Through the letters, the book traces a year in the life and thoughts of an unnamed narrator obsessed not only by Biggies and Frosties, but also by consumerism, pornography, and mortality.

Sounds a bit crazy, no?  The best I had ever seen was a trip to Five Guys’ Burgers and Fries.  They had a cork board could draw or write on index cards and post them.  There were praises for the burgers, drawings of children with fries in their hands, and then, sticking out like a sore thumb, was a mostly-empty index card with child-like writing in crayon.  It read–“I had Five Guys and it hurt.”

Anyway, Wenderoth has a bit more going on here.

Let’s take a look at some excerpts.

Today I was thinking that it might be nice to be able, in one’s last days to move into a Wendy’s. Perhaps a Wendy’s life-support system could even be created and given a Wendy’s slant; liquid fries, for instance, and burgers and Frosties continually dripped into one’s vegetable dream locus. It would intensify the visits of the well, too, to see that such care is being taken for their destiny. (August 19, 1996)

Very consumerist in thought, isn’t it?  Not only does the speaker want to break down the “simulation” of reality and commercials, but he wants to be one with “reality”–that is, the restaurant and its food.  Interestingly, this taste (heh heh…) of the real comes in one’s last days–the food penetrates into the center of dreaming, a version of the hyperreal broken down by death and being all-consumed by Wendy’s, but, even so, healthy customers see that they’ll be well cared for.  Ah, consumerism!

Now for something different:

Today I bought a small Frosty. This may not seem significant, but the fact is: I’m lactose intolerant. Purchasing a small Frosty, then, is no different than hiring someone to beat me. No different in essence. The only difference, which may or may not be essential, is that, during my torture, I am gazing upon your beautiful employees. (July 3, 1996)

So…lactose intolerance.  He’s buying into the consumerism despite the pain it causes, and looking at the employees (and being “in” the restaurant) gives him a sense of happiness despite the inevitable pain he will come to feel.  Talk about a strong marketing campaign.

Yet another example of how the weird and strange could actually be quite powerful.

What did you pick up on the cheap this week?


3 thoughts on “Thrifty Thursday [April 30]

  1. This book looks great! It seems like a really bizarre, off-kilter idea, but as you said, quite often the weird can strange can be powerful (case in point, In The Aeroplane Over The Sea). The way it deals with the issue of consumerism sounds really original so this looks like a pretty great find for such a decent price.


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