It’s instant nostalgia. Instant “oh no!” Instant, “Where else am I going to find a deer whistle, Lewiston 1995 bicentennial commemorative Coca-Cola AND a shower head within walking distance now?!”

Sadly, Victor News is closing.

The store of 3,001 things has a had a nice long run, and we don’t begrudge anyone a break, but we’re so very sorry to hear it’s going out of business. (It’s been a few years since the deli closed and we’re still R.I.P.’ing the amazing Downtown Revitalization pocket subs and Super Sloopers.)

The 50%-off-nearly-everything sale started Monday and it likely won’t take long before 3,001 things are down to 500 or fewer. So we went, we saw, we bought more than a few things, and we encourage you to follow soon, before it’s too late.

Also, we’re throwing down a column-to-column challenge: Mark LaFlamme NEEDS to wax poetic about whatever those last unsold items are. We think we hear the hood-mounted deer whistle calling him. Or maybe it’s calling you.

• Greeting cards, 50 cents each or 12 for $3.99

Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Valentine’s Day, Secretary’s Day … basically, all the Days. Plus Thanksgiving and Hanukkah. Buy now, save time later! Just don’t do what Shopping Siren does and stash them in a “safe space.” She’s still looking for the Christmas cards she bought on clearance three years ago.

Bicentennial Coke for $1.79 each at Victor News. Grab a bottle for your mantle, not your fridge.

• Lewiston bicentennial commemorative Coke, $1.79

Each 8 ounce glass bottle of Coca-Cola Classic was printed with a blue seal marking the city’s 200th anniversary. In 1995. There’s a reason the sign warns, “DO NOT DRINK.” If you’re not having a soda emergency in the middle of a zombie Apocalypse, these are for looking-at purposes only.

Pair with:

• Vintage postcards, $150

A collection of more than 1,500 classic postcards, all of them (as far as we could tell) depicting highlights of Lewiston. Kora Temple? Check. Saints Peter and Paul Church? Check. Patrick Dempsey as a newborn? OK, not that. But, hey, old mills!

• VHS tapes, 50 cents

There are about a dozen tapes to choose from, most of them sports highlights from the 1980s or 1990s. And then there’s “Kathy Smith’s Weight Loss Workout.” Big ’80s hair meets orange Spandex in what we can only assume is a totally awesome hour of aerobics. Worth at least 50 cents.

• Doll parts, 50 cents and up

We say “parts,” but what we mostly mean is “heads” with the occasional “and arms.” They’re small, porcelain, only slightly creepy and in an alarmingly wide variety. (Just how many doll part emergencies can one town have?) For your next dollhouse project. Or Victorian Christmas village? Or the grandkids? Just please find them bodies somewhere.

• Lottery t-shirts, various sizes, $2.49

Lottery tickets aren’t part of the Victor News going-out-of-business sale, but these lottery t-shirts are. Wear a white T emblazoned with “MEGABUCKS” and you’ll feel like a million dollars. We’re sure that’s how that works.

• Seasonal faux gourds and pumpkins, $1-$2.50

Decorate your Thanksgiving table with a festival gourd or three that won’t wither and dimple away. Pack away on Dec. 1 when your tree goes up. Repeat joyously year after year.

• Mirage stretch-fashioned hair net, 2-pack, 45 cents

Packed in a thin envelope and right out of the, um, 1960s? Maybe ’70s? With a model from the same era. This hair net claims to be “ultra invisible” and it is unarguably ultra nostalgic. Pick up for your next retro party.

Pair with:

• The most amazing monster-theme party decor ever, 50 cents

We’re talking plates, napkins and cups decorated with the Wolfman, Frankenstein and Dracula, similarly out of the ’70s — at least we assume. We Googled and couldn’t find monster hide nor hair of them online, that’s how old they are. Don that ultra invisible hair net, dress as either Laverne or Shirley working the bottling line and scare yourself up a wicked good time.

• Shower head, $3.30

Because sometimes you live and work downtown and your shower goes haywire and you can’t give that presentation to corporate with ferocious bed head — they’ll laugh you out of the room, take your parking spot and sign you up for the next 12 office potlucks! Keep a spare under the sink, just in case, is what we’re saying.

• Cliff Notes and Monarch Notes, $1 each

Abridged versions of classics like “Mutiny on the Bounty,” “Gulliver’s Travels” and “The Call of the Wild” that you didn’t read in time for that homework assignment but now have a shot at winging it anyway. Bag Lady only used Cliff Notes once in her youth and was immediately racked with guilt. Surely the teacher will find her out! She didn’t. But still, massive guilt, to this day.

Best find: Topographical maps, 50 cents

Of all the weird and wonderful things Victor News carries, we never even considered topographical maps. Clearly, we are not imaginative enough because, dang, the store has two cabinets full of them! Wilton, Naples, Lake Auburn, Saddleback Mountain, Katahdin, Gray, Fort Kent — literally, pick any place in Maine and there’s a cool green and white map of it. A handwritten sign announced the maps are $1 each and “don’t forget the discount!” We’ve never, ever said this, but … that’s too much of a bargain. Get some frame-worthy maps to honor the artisans who created them and the great store that carried them and so many other delights for 114 years.

Think twice: About not stopping to say goodbye. Or drinking that bicentennial Coke.

Bag Lady and Shopping Siren’s true identities are protected by a pair of stylish, sweater-wearing Doberman pinschers (who do not respond to whistles, thank you) and the Customer Service counter at the Sun Journal. You can reach them at [email protected] and [email protected]


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