Last Sunday our pal (and occasional guest star) Leslie hosted one of her regular “Bitch-N-Swap” events. She’s been doing these for a few years and invites all her friends to bring stuff they don’t want and take stuff they do want in a crazed free-for-all frenzy. Experience has taught her to get increasingly strict about what is and is not allowed at the swap, and she’s put together a useful — and hilarious! — “forbidden items list.” It’s a pretty funny round-up of Least Wanted Items. I laugh every time I read it and Leslie has graciously allowed us to reproduce it here.
Bitch-N-Swap Forbidden Items List
ALL swap items must be clean enough to be snuggled directly against your vagina/mangina.
One person’s trash may be another man’s treasure, but the following “treasures” are FORBIDDEN at the BNS. (ALL of this stuff has been brought to past swaps, it is always here when everyone leaves, the thrifts won’t take much of this, and I’ve had to pay disposal fees.)
Anyone bringing the following items will be ejected immediately!
Perfume, cologne, after-shave, air fresheners – all liquid chemical scents. Due to allergies and some asthmatic swappers, chemical scents are not permitted in the house either in containers or on your skin.
ODORS: Items that are permeated with mildew, smoke, pet, or perfume odors.
STAINED CLOTHING: No rust, grime, grease, pet hair-encrusted, presidential snake juice stained, or that sort of thing.
ANYTHING that is isn’t clean enough to store in your own lingerie or man-panties drawer is not permitted at the swap. Leftover clothing is donated to a food/clothing bank and must be clean and in good condition.
Anything decorated with the aid of a glue gun or puffy paint is forbidden.
Anything decorated with the following motifs: Disney characters, teddy bears, angels, geese, cows, corporate marketing logos, stars and stripes or American flags is forbidden. If this is your thing, Goodwill is calling you.
Tobacco products/drug paraphernalia. Again, allergies/asthma, it’s smoke-free here.
Forbidden Items by Category
Baby/Toddler/Kiddie Supplies: Car seats, pacifiers, larger plastic equipment, sippy cups, plastic dishware, Little Tykes items, BIG toys or play sets (anything over 16 inches).
Baskets/Straw/Wicker/Cornhusk: No exceptions, really. Don’t even think of bringing any of it. There’s already enough kindling here.
Book/Media/Office Supply Restrictions:
- AAA Tour Guides & maps.
- Audio tapes of any kind or size.
- Dictionaries, Encyclopedias, Price Guides, computer/software books.
- Home-recorded or blank video tapes.
- Textbooks (OK if vintage or containing amusing clip art).
- Photo Albums & BINDERS
- All post-1979 garments must be in good condition. That means no fading, tears, holes, stains, pit fade, heavy pilling, poorly done repairs (including use of duct tape), or very faded fabric. The exception: wool sweaters with holes & vintage garments with salvageable parts for quilters, felters, and knitters.
- DOCKERS ANYTHING.
- No garments that are coated or embedded with pet hair or mystery fuzz.
- Graduation caps & gowns.
- Hats –STRAW, cowboy, Santa, large-brimmed, hard-hats, costume hats, or cheap costume wigs.
- Event, marathon, or sports team T-shirts.
- Lingerie or exercise wear that is completely trashed, stretched out, the spandex has rotted, or it no longer holds anything up or in.
- Shoes/boots/sandals/socks must be in very good condition or better. Visible and olfactory evidence of foot funk really turns most swappers off, particularly with sandals and flip flops.
Corporate Logos: Proceed with extreme caution. Generally Microsoft, Group Health, Boeing, and other logo-emblazoned give-away marketing materials are unloved both by the original recipients and swappers. Thrift stores and landfills are overflowing with this stuff. Please consider how useful it will be to another swapper and if the corporate logo generates warm-n-fuzzy feelings and/or laughter.
Cosmetics/Hair/Jewelry/Supplements/OTC Medication Restrictions:
- Any cosmetic item that is very used, less than 60% remains at the bottom of the container, or is spoiled, disintegrated, melted, dirty, crusty, or has the labeling info worn off the bottle/package.
- Contact lens and glasses cases.
- 80s & 90s plastic headbands, hair bows, barrettes, combs, and hair ornaments.
Expired and/or opened supplements and OTC medications.
Dishware/Kitchen/Food Container Restrictions:
- Unwashed or stained dishware or cookware (honestly, someone brought unwashed coffee-encrusted cups to the May ‘06 swap and cookie sheets that wouldn’t have come clean with a sand blaster).
- Chipped/cracked/broken dishware or glassware.
- Coffee mugs: Proceed with caution and avoid dull corporate logos.
- Tupperware and plastic containers with melt marks, stains, and warping.
- NO Decorative food packaging tins. (However, bring on the lunchboxes!)
- Plastic travel mugs, drink bottles, and Big Gulp type cups.
- Cutlery trays: Plastic and coated wire.
- Dish drying racks.
- Travel mugs that are missing lids.
- Winery tour or corporate logo stemware.
- Plain ice cube trays (fun shapes and metal are OK).
- Pot holders and oven mitts (vintage or silicone OK).
- ALL Computers, keyboards, and accessories are forbidden.
- All electronics or small appliances in poor/damaged condition or missing cords.
- Large appliances.
- Fax machines, printers, and printer cartridges.
- Televisions / Monitors.
- Mysterious cords and misc. parts
- Cell phones and cell phone accessories.
- Landline telephones unless vintage (pre-1975).
- Phone cords, speaker wire, other cables.
- Digital clocks (plug in variety).
Eyewear – Glasses cases and contact lens cases.
Furniture – any/all (No room at the inn).
Linens – Restrictions:
- Blankets: acrylic or worn/stained/pilled or infested with holes.
- Mattress pads and covers.
- PILLOWS: decorative throw pillows unless vintage or leopard print.
- Sheets should be bagged up and the size noted.
- PLEASE BRING ugly/stained/holey towels for the SPCA
Scrap booking supplies
Solvents, Chemicals, Febreeze, Pesticides, Draino, and other hazardous liquids. http://www.govlink.org/hazwaste/house/products/list.cfm
Suitcases (even little overnight suitcases), luggage, and garment bags.
Toys: anything that is soiled, moldy, or severely damaged. Beanie Babies, Happy Meal toys, plush toys (unless vintage, handmade, or dog-safe – no pellet filling or plastic bits on those), oversized toys, and jigsaw puzzles.
Window Treatments: Mini-blinds, Roman shades, & 1980s curtains.
People started dropping things off a few days early and sadly, many of the forbidden items turned up anyway! I think she took 9 large trash bags full of Dockers (!), corporate-logo items, and other unswappables over to a clothing drop-box before the swap even happened.
I was pretty excited to go to the swap since I’ve been hearing about them for years but have always been unable to make it for one reason or another. Did it live up to my expectations? All will be revealed in my next post!