Random things you'd like to buy that are slightly too hard to obtain

I was watching that Futurama episode where Fry finds out he has $4.3 Billion in his bank account the other day, and there’s a scene where Bender- wearing a top hat and smoking a cigar- says to Leela “I don’t think you realise how rich Fry is. In fact, I better put on a Monocle!”

Then I realised something: You never see people wearing Monocles anymore. Which means I have to go and find one so I can wear it. :smiley:

But do you think I can find one? Noooo. I even asked a friend of ours who works at an opticians, and after she’d finished laughing she said “Oh God, you’re serious, aren’t you? No, I don’t know where you could get one, and even if I did, I wouldn’t tell you because you’d actually wear it in public or at work or something just as embarrassing.”

Now, I’m sure that I can track one down, but it would require a lot of effort (and probably expense) to track one down- and it wouldn’t get a lot of use. Having said that, it would also be incredibly cool to have one; but not quite cool enough to justify putting vast amounts of time, effort, and cash into getting.

The funny thing is that there’s quite a lot of stuff out there that would be incredibly cool if you found it at a flea market or an op shop or knew someone who was getting rid of it, but that you wouldn’t go to a spectacular amount of effort to track down.

Besides a Monocle, I’d also love a Candlestick style telephone, like the sort of thing you see in 1920s films. Do you think I can find one that would work on the Australian phone system? Nyet.

And it would also be pretty funky to have a Smoking Jacket. No, I don’t smoke, but they are very cool. They’re also very hard to find, and are in much the same category as a monocle; very cool but not quite worth the effort and expense.

I’m sure most of us have a number of nifty, quirky, or just plain interesting things we’d get if they were available somewhat easily, but are just slightly too hard to track down to justify the effort… What are yours? What would you love to get but find it’s just slightly too hard to obtain?

I wanted a Hobbit Pipe [ extra long, clay, just like the movie] for the longest time.

My wife knew this and went to the farthest reaches of the realm - Ok Brattleboro, VT - and found a man who makes them…

She bought two as she knew I would break at least one of them. :slight_smile:

Don’t ask why I wanted one, I just did :cool:

I’ve always wanted an opera hat (collapsible top hat, that you tap briskly on your arm to pop back out).

That’s funny that you should say that. In regards to the OP, I was recently in Brattleboro, and there is an antique store that had like nine reasonably priced monocles in their display window.

Try a costume shop.

I’d like a switch that selects between my two soundcards, and between headphones and speakers. It’s $2 at radioshack.com, but you can’t order it off the website, and no store near me carries it or supports the ‘ship to store’ feature. The brand and model number are useless when it comes to searches on ebay or pricegrabber - 0 results.

Any vintage or old-timey clothes or accessories that don’t instantly communicate a popular stereotype - gangster, cowboy, vampire, Indiana Jones, etc. - are difficult to find. Even more so if you’re a male over size 40.

Minor hijack…

What are monocles used for? If you have astigmatism in one eye? :stuck_out_tongue:

Or we they a fashion thing to show that you were part of the aristocracy?

Personally, I’d like to get a sextant (more for my father than for me–I bet he’d like to have one), but I wouldn’t know where to start looking, or if I could afford it if I did find one.

I also have a couple anime series I’d like to get which are out of print, making them very hard to find. One of them I don’t think was ever released on DVD, making it even harder. One of them I will track down eventually, but the other I’m not holding out much hope for (I have the first video cassette, making it even more annoying that I can’t get the rest)

My daughter wanted a top hat (yes, she is a strange child). I’m sure there are proper ones out there, but my mom wound up ordering one from a bridal shop and the shape isn’t quite right. It tapers a little toward the top of the crown, when it ought to flare, if anything.

A friend of mine bought the entire inventory of a men’s clothing store. A somewhat dated men’s clothing store. In with the green plaid Sans-a-belt golf pants and plaid fedoras was the most amazing smoking jacket. Mostly black with red highlights, made from velvet or something-I’m not up on fabric types. Has a collar and lining that looks like silk, very fancy.

I bought it for $10. I think the price tag was $285 marked down to $195 or something ridiculous like that, but $10 was just what I would pay for such a jacket. I also don’t smoke. To complete the ensemble I picked up a tan suede hat. I’d say it resembles an English driving hat, or flat cap. $10 for that, too.

A sex tent would come in handy for camping.

Searching for “Monocle” on ebay brings up a full page of hits…

Sheesh, people…Internet Age, remember? You’re supposed to be able to get you hands on anything you want within 30 minutes, or you get your money back.

Want an antique monocle? Here ya go…five bucks, price includes shipping.

MacIntosh Red apples.

Used to get them all the time as a kid but now the supermarkets don’t stock them. :frowning:

I’d love me some Mac Reds again.

I want someone to make a 8 strand bracelet out of my hair. Good luck finding that…

There’s an auction house here (in Boston, http://www.skinnerinc.com/ ) that occasionally does auctions of scientific instruments. I’ve seen a sextant or two there. And there used to be a shop on the waterfront that had all sorts of nautical antiques. It’s empty now, but I hope they’ll be back once renovations are finished on the building.

Does your father know how to use a sextant? I do. (A little.)

I’d like to get a Curta calculator someday. It’s mechanical, and looks like a small pepper grinder. In the brief window between slide rules and electronics, there was the Curta.

There’s was an Australian TV series called The Games. I ordered the first series on DVD, but as far as I can tell, the second has never been released.

And for something rather mundane, it’s very hard to find grocery stores that have tart cherries, the kind that work well for baking. I finally found a couple stores here that have them, but the season is only about two weeks. I made a pie on Sunday; my best effort yet.

Man I miss those. We had 27 tart cherry trees on the property when I was a kid, used to pick cherries by the gallon, my grandmother even sold them. Had cherry pies, cherry juice, cherry wine, cherry preserves. Then some sort of cherry tree blight hit and all the trees died in just a couple of years.

Ask and you shall receive -Check your Private Messages Jayn:slight_smile:

I don’t know if this is exotic enough to meet your criteria, but –

Pre-recorded cassettes.

But not just any pre-recorded cassettes.

I only want copies of 60s and 70s pop, rock and jazz tapes I had in my collection circa 1985 or thereabouts. But this is further complicated by my unwillingness to pay more than $4 or $5 bucks a tape, and less if I can find them for less.

Beatles tapes aren’t all that hard to find, but they’re often pretty pricey because of all the avid Beatles collectors out there. Rolling Stones are easier to come by; apparently Stones collectors aren’t as fanatical as Beatles collectors.

Weather Report and Procol Harum seem to be next to impossible to find for less than an outrageous price. ($20 for “Shine on Brightly”? As if!)

Finding a tape I want at a thrift store or a yard sale, in good condition for 50 cents, makes my day, maybe even my week.

There are moments of sheer, delirious joy. My latest triumph was scoring 11 classic Miles Davis titles for less than a buck apiece, including S&H, on eBay. I still get a nice warm glow when I think about that one.

Agonizing over whether or not to pay $4 plus S&H for a tape that I see on eBay, all the while watching the clock tick away, adds a bit of suspense to my life.

Having Simon and Garfunkel’s “Bookends,” “Bridge Over Troubled Water,” and “Parsley, Sage, Rosemary & Thyme” but being unable to find “The Sounds of Silence” at a price I’m willing to pay has me pulling my hair out. And I mean the original Columbia tape, not the cheap ass re-issue by another company.

I recently bought “The Best of Eric Burdon and the Animals Vol. II” for 1 cent on eBay. S&H will come to $3.25. This is the 1986 Polygram re-issue of the orignal MGM LP released in the 60s. It’s mono. WHY WOULD ANYONE RELEASE A MONO TAPE VERSION OF A STEREO LP IN THE 80S? I don’t know, but I have to have this tape because I once had a copy of this tape. So far as I’m aware, there never was another cassette version of this LP available in the States.

I already have most of the tapes I want. I only need another 15 or so, but it’s getting more difficult and expensive to find them. I could have almost all of them right away if I were willing to pay $15, $20 or even $30 apiece for them.

But I’m not. So they hang there, just out of reach, and my stick isn’t quite long enough to knock them off the branches.

It makes life interesting.

Not to my knowledge, but he is interested in nautical stuff, and he keeps a few ‘antiques’ around his shop to show a bit of how things have changed over the years (such as a couple wooden and glass buoys, and a string of various different buoy markers). I’m sure a sextant would be nice next to the GPS, plotter, and 3D bottom mapping software :wink:

Phlsophr, where were you last month when I was looking for a birthday present for him?