I went to Kobey’s Swap Meet on Saturday. I hadn’t been to it in a couple of years.
I knew it couldn’t hold a candle to the amazing Rose Bowl Flea Market where I went a few weeks ago, but I was unprepared for one of the bigger differences between the two.
Kobey’s is a weekly neighborhood swap meet. Obviously, it’s much less expensive to get in and it’s a great deal smaller. My expectations were in line with that and I was okay with it.
What I had forgotten is that Kobey’s has a much more typical Southern California pedestrian beach vibe than the Rose Bowl Flea Market. I don’t recall seeing anyone without a shirt in Pasadena. It’s casual there, certainly, but there’s also an unspoken code of more formal conduct and dress.
The explanation for that may be as simple as the Rose Bowl’s proximity to Hollywood and Beverly Hills. Or it could be its reputation as a world class shopping destination. After all, you do hear about the Rose Bowl Flea Market on national t.v. and in pretty decorating magazines. Whatever the reason, it just has a slightly different caliber of clientele.
Not true at Kobey’s.
I worked very hard to avoid seeing bare nipples and butt cracks this weekend.
I guess I’m kind of a prude when it comes to seeing very private body parts in public. In general, I just don’t prefer it. And I am pretty much repelled by it when it’s not at the beach or a pool. Don’t get me wrong, I appreciate the beauty of every size and shape, man or woman, young or old, fat or thin. It just that I think there’s an appropriate time and place for things.
Unfortunately, there was a shirtless guy at Kobey’s on Saturday and he was clearly following the same route I was through the market, because I couldn’t seem to shake him.
At one point, I even turned in the opposite direction just to get away from him and his bare nipples. He was walking a few yards in front of me, but the density of the crowd was forcing the gap between us to shrink.
I abruptly turned and went back down the row I had just come up, but when I reached the center aisle, there he was again. Ack!
Truly, there was nothing wrong with this man’s physique. My issue with his nakery isn’t about that.
It’s just that it was a little warm, I presume he was perspiring and had removed his shirt for that reason, and it kinda grossed me out to think that the crowds might make me smash into him. Would he be slimy? Blech. Put your shirt on, naked man!
As much as I enjoyed the sunny walk and browsing through the vendor stalls, I was actually relieved to reach the exit and finally get away from him.
That said, I do recommend Kobey’s. It’s a nice way to spend a morning and it doesn’t require a huge commitment of dollars or time. Maybe you even like shopping with shirtless guys? There’s a little bit of everything for sale there, including fresh flowers, produce and a variety of new and used merchandise.
I bought a few children’s books at 50 cents a piece and for another $4.00, I got this guy, whom I don’t think is an armadillo:
I’m calling him Gourdy.
He is hand-carved, hollow inside, and filled with a handful of beans or pebbles.
If you shake him, he makes a pleasant, mellow, maraca sound.
I love him.
He’s far more appealing than shirtless guy.
Seriously though, nipples aside, I had a good time.
That’s a sentence I never thought I’d write.
Do you love Gourdy too?
What do you think he is?
Write me a note.