Thrift Shop Tech Review: GE Tape Cassette Walkman

Art by Hank Gurdjieff

Art by Hank Gurdjieff

So Kill Pretty had this horrible idea of assigning me to a tech review column. When I told them I knew shit about technology—which they should’ve gathered, since Nacho had to explain to me in full detail, as if I were an intoxicated infant, how exactly Twitter worked—they came up with this idea of me reviewing vintage electronic equipment. So this is my initiation.                        

After swallowing a twelve pack, contemplating if I was even going to write for them, I got up off the couch and walked outside, thinking how much I absolutely fucking loathe this town. First, because of how massive it is and my lack of a car (Kill Pretty won’t pay me enough), but then because of the fact that I’m even employed by Kill Pretty. And that they want me to review these obsolete items, but won’t provide me with said items, let alone even suggest an item to me. So I’m walking down La Brea to the Goodwill on 8th, hoping I’ll find something good there.                    

I’m browsing the aisles, moving up and down, taking in all the shit that someone used to own but didn’t want anymore. Among them were: a rocking horse, a set of walkie talkies (batteries not included), an old Jeep Power Wheels (that I wanted to buy right then and there so I didn’t have to walk back), something that looked like a used tampon—I don’t think it was supposed to be there —and an outfit that seemed to once be owned by Richard Simmons in his Jazzercize infomercials. But among this big, hot, steaming pile of shit disorganized and stacked on the shelf, I found it. The product that would be perfect. It stood out to me as clear as that sign from god when Jesus’s face was burnt into that toast. It was an old GE Tape Cassette Walkman.                      


I grabbed it off the shelf, went to the counter, and bought it. Three dollars. Not a bad bargain. The clerk gave me a receipt as if I could even return something like that. “Here goes your receipt,” she said to me.                    

“Where the fuck is it going?” I said back. “Right here. Here goes,” she said.                       

I looked at her and walked out, leaving the receipt in her hand, I three dollars poorer, but gaining a sweet-ass portable cassette walkman. “Now I can listen to music when I run,” I thought. But then I realized—I don’t run.

Instantly regretting leaving the Power Wheels behind, I trekked on foot back up La Brea. In passing, there was a woman walking her sheepdog like it’s 1984, in the opposite direction wearing denim shorts and a crop tank. Goddamn. I stop and take a moment to admire her walking away. And that’s when I realized:                      

I’ve developed this sort of disease, I suppose, where every woman I see walking down the street, I want to have sex with. Every pair of jean shorts, every crop tank, mini skirt, spaghetti strap, pair of leggings, yoga pants, sports bra, Lycra, business suit, burka—I want it all.                     

And I don’t think it’s the male hubris, the idea of racking up the numbers, adding another etched out notch in the bed post with a 007 hunting knife. I think it’s a legitimate attraction to the entire female population in this city. Los Angeles, if it has any redeeming qualities, are the overly attractive, scantily clad, living, breathing, walking, menstruating species that inhabits this land. And they’re everywhere. It’s like the prettiest of ladies in each town in the country flocked out west to try and make some money from their gracious looks, repping their hometown like a hacked up Miss America pageant. But who could blame them? With their sylphlike figures and their faces that even Michelangelo would use as a template to reshape marble, they should be on display in a museum. But they’re untouchable. And that’s the sad part. Because they’re just out walking their dog, and you’re out spending the last of your lunch money on useless technology they’re probably too young to even know exists.     

ADDENDUM: Kill Pretty told me I had to mention the product, so here it is: it sucked. The thing was broken. Either that or my Sabbath tape sat out in the sun too long.