1. Save Big Bucks!

    SEEMS it never rains in Southern California, the song goes, it pours. Right after you’ve put up a yard sale sign with ink that’s going to run.

    Still, we can read it and “Everything Brand New In Box” might imply a marriage that imploded right after the wedding. However, most of the merchandise is pluralized, so we must assume there are multiples of each, and therefore perhaps we’re dealing with goods that, eh, fell off a truck. So to speak.

    And speaking of plurals, there are hundreds of thousands of people on the internet better, smarter, wittier than me who get angrier than I do and can work themselves up into an indignant yet snarky froth over unnecessary apostrophes. I’m not going to even attempt to match their brilliance. I’ll save my anger for reasonable things, like being the only person in the world who ever got a parking ticket.

    Yet I’m still left wondering why “iron’s” and nothing else?

    Posted by on October 17, 2012, 3:04 AM.

  2. What’s Bueno: Tasteless Unlicensed Michael Jackson Halloween Decor!

    SURE, you could do your Michael Jackson-themed Halloween shopping at one of those overpriced and seasonal Halloween stores where packaging for Michael Jackson wigs feature an unsurprising non-African-American model…

    Oh, how nice that Adam Lambert fellow is still getting work.
    And he gets to tell friends “I’m working on a Michael Jackson project!”

    Yes, you could buy officially-licensed (and expensive!) MJ stuff there…

    But instead, why not head to your local 99¢ Only Store where this bony gentleman might greet you over over the registers at the entrance?

    He’s available in the Halloween aisle for sale, too! For 99¢ Only!

    Can we get a closeup of his head?

    Awright, who’s the comedian?! The head of the decoration! Sheesh!

    There we go.

    And here’s the whole thing, as seen on the package itself:

    Tasteless? Definitely.

    Worth a chuckle?  Hell, it’s worth 99¢ Only and a chuckle!

    And on the positive side, since it’s unlicensed, the Jackson family won’t further descend into warfare over the profits.

    Posted by on October 15, 2012, 1:57 PM.

  3. #219 – Parking Tickets! Or, A New Feature Is Introduced and Things Take a Dark Turn

    REGULAR readers to this blog know that I often refer to Los Angeles as a filthy toilet. “Ha ha,” you might laugh. “Oh, that Ted…!”

    Here’s the thing though: No, it is. I really do loathe this city. And to quickly deflect and/or ignore the obvious question of “Then why the hell do you live there?!” I hereby offer up something new – a fun little bit I call…

    Why “857”…? Well, I’m not going to write these all at once, and I didn’t want to go with something ridiculously low like “500” because then what happens when I reach 501, right?

    I’d been hoping to launch [industry term] this feature for a while, but I needed just the right reason to get started. Something that really set me off.

    Thank you City of Los Angeles Parking Enforcement Officer Dickwad for giving me that inspiration.

    So what happened exactly?

    Eh…I, uh, didn’t put money in a parking meter and I got a ticket.

    Now listen: I’ve parked on this street dozens of times and always fed the meter. Last night, however, it just didn’t occur to me that I had to worry about it. It was way past six o’clock on a Saturday. I just assumed we were beyond ticketing time.

    Turns out metered parking is enforced on this particular street six days a week, Saturday included, until 8pm. Oops.

    Hey, now I know, right?

    Here in the Valley – not in the middle of Hollywood on Sunset Boulevard where street parking is almost always impossible – here in the Valley, in Canoga Freaking Park, where I pulled up in front of – yes, folks, have a good laugh! – a Goodwill in a low-income part of town (in what is largely a lower-income community itself), on a block with plenty of empty metered spaces, it seems to me that perhaps – just perhaps!sixty-expletive-deleted-three dollars is a tad on the high side.

    Ah, City of Los Angeles Department of Transportation, still stinging over the “Gold Card” scandal of last year. Most cities count on some money generated by parking ticket penalties. Our mismanaged, misgoverned city is doing its best to stave off bankruptcy and apparently generate its entire bloated annual budget by robbing its citizens via crazy parking violation fees.

    So while I certainly don’t agree with the ludicrously high cost of a parking ticket that I’d have avoided by dropping a damn quarter in the meter, at least I do understand it.

    And so I’m proud to debut this new feature and announce #219 – Ridiculously Expensive Parking Tickets as the first in our non-sequential, arbitrarily-numbered 857 Reasons to Get The Hell Out of the Filthy Toilet That Is Los Angeles.

    Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to check the Dumpster behind Sizzler for a few unwashed gallon ranch dressing jugs and start counting out 6,300 of these guys.

    Posted by on October 14, 2012, 12:00 PM.

  4. Exciting Cereal News!

    AS YOU KNOW, I always enjoy learning of new advances in the cereal sciences, but since even the most current breakfast cereal websites seem to have been last updated to announce the demise of General Mills’ Sir Grapefellow in 1972, I’ve found that the only way to stay “in the know” is to get out there in the field and find the news myself!

    And it was on a recent fact-finding (and sock-buying) mission to Target that I happened across this:

    I speak for all of us when I say “Thank you, Quaker! It’s about damned time!”

    To hell with the bowl, damn the milk – sometimes you simply want a handful of dry cereal just to munch on! Sure, we’ve all been there – you don’t have to explain to me!

    Maybe you’re outside with your MacBook Pro on your lap by a field of California buttercups. Well, that enormous box of Cap’n Crunch’s Crunchberries isn’t going to fit on the small 4-1/4″ x 3-1/2″ inch area below the keyboard and to the right of the trackpad. Not without you knocking it to the ground every time you hit the enter key, you clumsy oaf!

    But as this image from the back of the box shows, a curiously near-overflowing packet of Snack’ems is right at home there! Fits like a glove, it does!

    Crunchy nuts, granola clusters, chocolate chips, marshmallows, M&Ms – these are just some of the traditional delicious snack mix elements you won’t find in a packet of Cap’n Crunch’s Crunchberries Snack’ems! No sirree – Cap’n Crunch’s Crunchberries Snack’ems contain just pure, unadulterated Cap’n Crunch’s Crunchberries cereal! Nothing more! The exact same stuff that’s in this box, to be precise:

    As long as we’re here, let’s take a look at the price – just for fun! – of this box of cereal, hmm?

    $3.04 for an 18.7 ounce box. Seems reasonable. After all, this is Target – the home of reasonable prices!

    Now, uh, just out of curiosity – again, just for laughs! – do we have a price on the Snack’ems?

    We do?!  Excellent! Let’s take a look!

    Hmm! $2.99! Also seems reasonable, right? Oh, wait, how much does the Snack’ems box weigh?

    2.4 ounces?

    No, c’mon. How much does it really weigh? Seriously now.

    2.4 ounces?! Really? That’s it?! Holy crap.

    So in other words, for a lousy nickel more – $3.04 for the regular box of Crunchberries versus $2.99 for Snack’ems containing five tiny packets – I get over seven times the amount of food?

    And all I’d have to do is take five stupid Ziplock bags and grab a handful of cereal out of the box – a handful much larger than the Snack’ems packs’ stingy 0.49 ounce amount – and put it in each one…and still have enough Cap’n Crunch to eat with milk, from a bowl, with a spoon, like a civilized human being, for probably over a week?!

    That’s it. I’ve heard enough.

    Awright, men!  Tie him up!

    Posted by on October 13, 2012, 3:32 AM.

  5. Oh Sure!

    SURE!  Spirit Halloween Stores have no problem, no problem whatsoever, mocking all of Christianity by offering this offensive to me – and now you! – “Jesus” costume!

    Oh, but merely ask them if they carry a costume of the central figure of another major religion – one recently in the news and perhaps a bit controversial – and everyone gets nervous!

    Well, that’s fine! Forget it, Spirit Halloween Stores! Just forget it!

    Your hypocrisy, your misguided political-correctness and your abject cowardice just lost you a customer!

    I’ll make my own goddamn Sun Myung Moon costume!

    First – let’s see here – well, it looks like it’s off to Burger King for me!

    Posted by on October 12, 2012, 2:17 PM.

  6. Nine Times Out Of Ten…

    …the emergency is averted by just getting here in time.

    But, hoo boy, that tenth instance…!

    I don’t care what you do for a living! Unless you’re stationed on the other end of this phone, you’re not allowed to complain about your job.

    Posted by on , 12:32 PM.

  7. Okay, Now What?

    Posted by on October 11, 2012, 12:00 PM.

  8. Wanna Buy A Duck?

    Mattel was going to go with “I’m Solemn Solomon, the Forlorn, Morose, Despondent Duck Who Looks Like He’s About To Burst Into Tears At Any Second,” but that didn’t test well in focus groups.

    Posted by on , 1:54 AM.

  9. New ‘Peanuts’ Feature Film Announced!

    Awesome!  I can’t wait!  If it’s only half as good as 1980’s cinematic masterpiece “Bon Voyage, Charlie Brown (And Don’t Come Back!),” it’ll be well worth the wait!

    “We know how dedicated, how fanatical these Peanuts fans are. If you…take [the characters] in the wrong place…you’re going to hear about it,” says Craig Schulz, son of Peanuts creator Charles Schulz. “All I can do is…be as true to my dad’s work as I can…and I believe the rest of the family is really dedicated to that.”

    Excellent! I’m glad all the Schulzes are serious about keeping ol’ Sparky’s legacy intact and the characters in line with their father’s vision of them.

    I’m so excited about the news that this weekend I’m going to put on my favorite Snoopy drinking shirt, hit the bars, and celebrate!

    Posted by on October 10, 2012, 10:17 AM.

  10. Doggie Dress-Up!

    HEY, how about this!

    Not only does the 99¢ Only store have a pet section, and a Halloween costume section, but they also have a pet Halloween costume section!

    And they’ve got today’s hottest styles, too – witch, ghost, angel, sexy plumber, pirate. All your favorites are here!

    Here’s one now:

    Here comes “Lil’ Princess” – and isn’t she adorable!

    In the image above, “Lil’ Princess” is expressing (in stylish Comic Sans) a positive, holiday-appropriate sentiment.

    I don’t buy it. I think we all know this is a little more accurate:

    Speaking of euthanization, here’s another candidate for the rainbow bridge:

    Sure, the animal doesn’t look unhappy, but it’s one of those noisy little rat dogs that no one likes and really has no reason for existence; you’ll agree that’s good enough for a one-way trip to Econo-Vet.

    Of some concern to me, and now you, is why the “Brady Bunch” typeface is so popular on Halloween merchandise. Perhaps I’m showing my age, but I posit that whoever’s doing package design for dollar store product is too young to recognize it as anything other than a fun” font. And frankly, that’s disturbing.

    However, the most distressing aspect of the package is this:

    Distressing not to you or I, of course. Distressing to the cats.

    Those tense, uncomfortable looks of anxiety on their faces tell us they quickly went from “Ha ha ha! Only an idiotic, subservient dog would allow itself to be dressed in a costume!” to  “Wait – what did they say? Fits who also?!”

    I ran this by Mr. Whiskers and he assured me that if I want to see unholy amounts of blood and gore this Halloween, there’s no reason to rent “The Hills Have Eyes.” I need only attempt to put such a costume on him, and be sure to pre-book a spot in line at the emergency room.

    Ironically, they call this one “Best Friend”:

    “Not after you make me wear this get-up in public,” Tuffy’s once trusting and now unforgiving eyes seem to say.

    Here’s comes “My Baby”:

    Presumably “I’m Unable and/or Not Allowed To Have Children Of My Own” didn’t fit on the back of the cape.

    Since the canine model on this package is another of those evil, high-strung, yip-yap dogs…

    …the costume is completely superfluous.

    Interesting to note that they used the same dog for the “Angel” costume.

    What kind of torturous moral dilemma might you be facing to find one of each – poof! – suddenly appear opposite one another on your shoulders and offer you conflicting advice via constant high-pitched barking directly into your ears? Just a guess: Something involving puppy-sitting your girlfriend’s irritating Pomeranian while she’s out of town and the traveling Mexican dog circus is passing through. I know you’ll make the right decision. Just have plenty of Kleenex on hand when you tell her.

    “Walk Me” is the curious title of our next little number:

    Apparently putting a red cross on the bonnet instead of a purple heart and printing “Florence Nightingale” on the cape was either too esoteric or disrespectful. And then they’d have to include a little lamp, which would push the price point a good nickel or two past ninety-nine cents only.

    Finally, here’s Bowser with “Let’s Run!”

    I got news for you, pal – the time to run was when they were coming towards you with the costume.

    By the way – credit where credit is due: Most of these ensembles are made by the good folks at “FurBrainz”…

     …and made for pet-dressing people who are best described by adding a profanity in front of said manufacturer.

    Posted by on October 9, 2012, 12:17 AM.

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