1. Buy new items for dorms only. Things from thrift stores bear the taint of prior use in their every atom and must be shunned. Ditto things placed on the curb by people moving out–what are you, a hobo?

2. Get yourself in branded school attire as soon as possible. Your parents are paying for you to go to the University of Northern Mississippi, so display your pride in that fact by buying, wearing, UNM gear! If you are a member or hopeful pledge for one of our fraternities or sororities, you may substitute the appropriate Greek letters.

Drag as many family members with you into town as possible. Even if Dad is the only one actually helping you move anything, be sure to bring Mom, sisters, brothers, cousins, friends, grandparents, well-wishers, and hangers-on. There is no chance of a parking shortage during move-in, so the extra vehicles and real estate will in no way impede others.

4. Apply for campus jobs, lots of them. There is no way that people hiring have to have their people trained and ready for the first day of class, necessitating weeks of preparation and hiring beforehand. Remember: the university owes you a living, and if a unit you’d like to work for won’t give you a job, be sure to have Mom call them on your behalf.

5. Registering for classes is best done the first week of classes, possibly later. How can you be expected to have a class schedule and up-to-date ID card when school starts? Those whiners at the library, dining hall, and registrar’s office will just have to make like a casino worker and deal.

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ANNOUNCER: You’ve been thrifting long before you became the stars of the Archaeology Channel’s American Thrifters™. What are some of your most bizarre finds?

THOM: Well, one of the great things about thrifting is that you never know what you’re going to get. It’s like Forrest Gump’s box of chocolates if you replace chocolates with McDonald’s toys, uranium glassware, and the soundtrack to City of Angels.

STAN: That’s absolutely right, Thom. I remember, it must have been 1993 or so, I found the deed to a speakeasy sewn into the lining of an antique Queen Anne couch at a Thrifty Shifty in Armhurst.

ANNOUNCER: Like the kind of thing a gangster would do?

STAN: Exactly. Turns out what the family thought was rust ruining the couch was actually the blood of a slain gangland underboss. The deed was still good, too; we evicted the tenants and sold the property and all their possessions for a pretty penny.

ANNOUNCER: Fantastic. And what about you, Thom? What’s your most bizarre finds on or before Archaeology Channel’s American Thrifters™, new episodes airing Wednesdays this fall?

THOM: Well, one of my earliest and most memorable finds was at Thrifting Without a Clutch in Sarasota, either 1984 or ’85. I found what I thought was a piece of tourist mass-market crap, the kind of decorative metal urn that tourists get fleeced into buying in India or such and then ditch after the appraisal turns out goose egg. Turns out it was authentic: a real urn from the 1940s made by hand in India, and still sealed!

ANNOUNCER: Was there anything inside?

THOM: Well, it turns out that there were ashes inside. We had them tested, you know, because the value of wood chips versus anyone famous would make or break the thrift. And it turned out to be Mahatma Ghandi! Those were part of Mahatma Ghandi’s ashes which one of his followers had stolen before the rest were ritually scattered in the Ganges. We sold the urn and a pinch of ashes back to India for, what was it?

STAN: Twenty-three million dollars.

THOM: Right, twenty-three million. And the rest of the ashes that we kept, we sold a teaspoon at a time. They’ve shown up everywhere from temple shrines to special limited edition baked goods.

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