Bargain Bin Shopping

I grew up in Peterborough, Ontario, Canada. Despite the location of a liberal arts university on the outskirts of town, those born and raised in the small city are afforded few cultural advantages.

The local cinema only plays Hollywood blockbusters and WWE pay per views. The local radio station, honouring its Canadian content commitments, blares a steady stream of The Tragically Hip, Great Big Sea and The Tea Party. And the local visual arts community is determined to attribute far more importance than is deserving to aboriginal carvings. So deep. So mystical.

During my formative years, the one oasis for those seeking a pop cultural education came in the form of a little place on the main drag called Bluestreak Records. It was here where I learned that Genesis was lame, Iggy Pop was cool and Lou Reed was both.

Between the ages of 14 and 19, I spent a sizeable chunk of whatever income I came by on records and compact discs from Bluestreak. Of course, the earning potential of a sixteen year old boy growing up in a small town isn’t enormous, and so, more often than not, I’d end up flipping through the bargain bins after looking at the records that I really wanted.

I bought a ton of stuff from there. Some of it good: REM’s New Adventures In Hi-Fi. Most of it awful: Very by The Pet Shop Boys. Some of it, really awful:┬áThe Official Soundtrack to Naked In New York. Nonetheless, I’d continue to go back to the inexpensive well, hoping to draw something awesome and undiscovered. Occasionally, it would happen. But more often than not it wouldn’t.

That might seem as though it would be disappointing, but it wasn’t.

Because of the bargain bin source and the low cost, my expectations were never that high. It was a lottery, and if the results went in my favour, then I had reason to celebrate. If the results didn’t end up going my way, then no harm, no foul. It was as simple as that.

Yesterday, it was announced that the Toronto Blue Jays had acquired middle infielder Luis Valbuena from the Cleveland Indians for cash considerations, after the 26 year old was designated for assignment.