Friends, I've just had the DAMNEDEST shopping experience. I've discovered a land untouched by modern merchandising trends that have shaped shopping for the past half century, where one will under no circumstances fine a motivational phrase on the wall, hear an announcer talk about sales, or be offered a discount card.
Since my desk chair collapsed, I decided to brave a walk in the snow to the nearby thrift store, where I found nothing under $40. On the walk home, however, I noticed an old building with a neon sign reading "OFFICE FU," and decided to walk in. It was an old, three story brick building, and looked as though some time had passed since the inside was last renovated.
After telling the friendly fellow at the front desk what I needed, I was directed to a somewhat stern woman (one who reminded me of my old algebra teacher) who led me behind a couple layers of curtains to a freight elevator. Now, this was not the sort of freight elevator you see in the back of department stores - it was the rickety wooden kind, in a narrow, droopy brick shaft. The kind you always see in gangster movies. I half expected the third floor to be a speakeasy, or, at the very least, a card game.
However, it was, in fact, a veritable graveyard of desk chairs - it was entirely possible that there WAS a card game hidden someplace among it. The walls were bare brick, and there was no particular order to the merchandise. The woman led me around, pointing out various models and saying "this one's 15...this one'll run you 35..." until I noticed just the model for me hiding underneath a couple of other chairs. It was small, with orange cushions. I may not be much of a shopper, but I do know that I like orange, harvest gold, and avocado green in my decor whenever possible.
"How much is this one?" I asked, seeing that it conformed to my ass perfectly when I sat in it.
"That one? That's five dollars," she said.
So I happily took the freight elevator back down, paid, and carried it home.
All shopping should be this exciting.
Edit to add: the sign for the shop is still there, but the building is now vacant.