Mooned in the Parking Lot

Olé Tacos restaurant in Grand Rapids,
Michigan, now defunct.
We sat in the car at Olé Tacos. My favorite fast food restaurant, I loved its stiff, nearly petrified, refried beans, spread thickly on a tostada shell. Perhaps this foretold that I would someday forswear meat entirely, in favor of a vegetarian diet.

As we ate, an Asian man, whom my dad pegged as a Moonie, approached our cramped dining room on wheels. Eyeing the children in the back seat, he took a furry little toy from his inventory. Pinching its back, the teddy bear's arms opened, then clung to my dad's collar. My recall lacks. Yet the sheepish look on my father's face and the Moonie's sing-songy couplet remain indelibly etched in my memory: "You like? You buy?"

A clip-on teddy bear like the Moonie
clipped on my dad's collar. For sale
at Laura's Last Ditch.
My dad's to-the-point reply, eliciting titters from the rear of our Chevy Citation, came in a contrasting near-monotone: "I don't like. I don't buy."

Advertisers clip teddy bears on our collars daily, tempting us with the same two questions, framed in ways difficult to resist. And, judging from our overflowing closets, cupboards, and garages, it seems most people affirm "You like? You buy" with an emphatic "Yes!"

I'm not averse to rescuing an occasional hard-to-place vintage oddity that would otherwise be tossed; I'd even sell a clip-on koala were I to find one. My goal at Laura's Last Ditch, though, is to provide practical items people can't find elsewhere, while reducing the number of new products produced--and subsequently thrown away--by offering durable vintage alternatives.That means vintage kitchenwares in abundance.

You like? You buy?

I certainly hope you like. I certainly hope you buy, or at least someone does. After all, even though Olé Tacos is long defunct, my husband and I virtually never eat out, and our low food bills inspire awe in budding frugalistas, we still have a living to make. Yet, I'd be remiss not to pose a third question, neglected by the follower of Sun Myung Moon who picked  the wrong target for his salesmanship in the parking lot nearly 30 years ago.

You need?

If not, instead of making yet another purchase, take the money you might've spent, and use it to bless another.

Then, await my affirmation from this side of cyberspace:

"You don't buy? I like!"



  1. Wonderful! May we all ask ourselves during the shopping season... and ALWAYS... "You need?"


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