1. I Hold In My Hand The Last Envelope!


    What’s in the crypt of the star of “The Wizard of Oz”?

    Posted by on October 8, 2012, 2:27 AM.

  2. Remember How I Mentioned The Twelve Temporary Halloween Stores in My Neighborhood?

    My mistake! I meant thirteen.

    Here’s one, in the old abandoned Circuit City place:

    And here’s a shot of the side of that same building:

    Note that I have circled something in the distance, in the left of the photo.

    It is – of course!

    another Halloween store! And we’re not talking two competing temporary Halloween stores! They’re both Spirit Halloween stores!

    In the same shopping center! A few hundred yards apart!

    So if you forget something for your costume at the first store, and don’t want to drive (or, God forbid, walk) all the way back there, you can just go to the second store!

    God bless America!

    Posted by on October 7, 2012, 10:40 AM.

  3. Well, There Goes My Saturday Night!

    Hmm… I wonder how much pure vanilla extract I can buy for two bucks.

    Posted by on October 6, 2012, 6:03 PM.

  4. One Size Fits Most!

    These are kind of vaguely creepy, right? Or is it just me?

    I mean, we all know I’m vaguely creepy, but I’m talking about the “child fishnet tights” here.

    Call me old fashioned, but it just seems that they’re kind of inappropriate for a little girl to wear.

    But it’s cool if I wear them, right?

    Posted by on , 10:05 AM.

  5. So I Was In One Of The Twelve Temporary Halloween Stores In My Neighborhood…

    …and talk about flashbacks! It was like I was in Virginia again!

    Only the ones back there are much bigger.

    Posted by on October 5, 2012, 1:10 AM.

  6. Mask Task!

    Halloween’s a few weeks away!  It’s an election year!  Your costume choices are clear!

    So who are you going to go as?


    Really.  I…see.

    Just curious, though: By dressing as him for Halloween, will you be making fun of him…? Or supporting him…?

    No, no, wait!  Don’t answer that!  This isn’t a political blog! It’s none of my – none of anyone’s! – business!

    But I just think it’s kind of interesting you’d automatically go for the white guy.

    No, look, it’s totally cool. It’s all in fun, white? I mean – it’s all in fun, right?

    Nothing wrong about choosing the white guy. Picking the white guy over the black guy doesn’t make you “racist!” C’mon! We’re all sophisticated people here! You want to go as Romney, go as Romney! Have some fun with it!

    Hey, no big deal. Just because apparently you refuse to buy the other mask. Because the mask of the black guy isn’t good enough for you…!

    No, no, go for it – get the white mask! I’m sure it’s not the first time you’ve put on a white mask.

    …What?  Really!  You’ve changed your mind! And decided to go as Obama! Interesting!

    Hey, whatever, it’s your decision. Doesn’t matter to me who you go as. It’s Halloween – a time for having fun, right?

    Anyway, let’s get you that Obama mask.

    Go ahead. Pick one out.

    We’re all very interested to see which one you choose.

    Posted by on October 3, 2012, 1:42 AM.

  7. I’m So Glad I Found This Place!

    I can’t tell you how sick I am of trying to relax with a glass of merlot that I have to chew like a piece of overcooked calamari.

    Posted by on October 2, 2012, 12:24 AM.

  8. Delightfully Anachronistic Packaging! Halloween Edition!

    ON HALLOWEEN when I was seven, I went trick-or-treating as, of course, Bennett Cerf.

    I’d hoped to dress as Mr. Cerf the year before, but the five and ten had quickly sold out of his costume and the closest thing available was his “What’s My Line?” co-panelist Dorothy Kilgallen (with inexplicable day-glo yellow molded “hair”).

    Mother – not an artist! – tried to transform her into Bennett by drawing eyeglasses on the mask with a laundry marker. Everyone whose doorbell I rang asked me where Yoko was.

    That next year I made sure to get to the store the first day of October to buy my Cerf costume. Unfortunately, Woolworth’s buyer only ordered the large size, for the big boys, but I was bound and determined to go as my favorite television personality.

    Grandmother pitched in and hemmed the legs of the costume so I wouldn’t trip, but the mask was a different story – it really couldn’t be trimmed down without rendering unrecognizable the likeness of America’s leading publisher and compilator of puns. The plastic mask was much too big and sat awkwardly on my face. Instead of looking out both of the eyeholes, I was struggling to peer through one nostril, or if it shifted, the bowl of his signature pipe.

    When the big night finally arrived, it was particularly chilly. But I ditched my coat as soon as I got away from home so that the costume could be appreciated, unfettered by children’s clothes, by all whose doorbells I rang. (Did the real Bennett Cerf wear a green Sears Toughskins jean jacket over his suit and tie? It seemed unlikely. Although to be fair, I never saw him in a one-piece flame-retardant vinyl outfit that tied in the back and featured his own name in playful, toggled letters and a two-color caricature of himself in the middle of his chest, either.)

    I guess I couldn’t see where I was going when, giddy on SweeTarts and Mary Janes, I darted out between two parked cars on Gate Field Drive. Some jackass in a Plymouth Duster plowed right into me, literally knocking me out of my PRO-Keds (which was fine, really – Bennett Cerf didn’t wear those either).

    Doctors said the ensuing concussion plus some viral thing I developed from my walking pneumonia (no jacket, remember?) short circuited something in my brain and accounted for my sudden obsession with delightfully anachronistic packaging –  which lucky for all of us continues to this day.

    Boy, that was a long trip to get here, wasn’t it? But as usual, it was worth it! So I was at Ralphs the other day and they had these:

    Above: Mayfair brand candy corn. Oh boy, two ounces – can they spare it?

    But look at the hang tag (industry term). It totally has a 1970s look to it, right?

    Look!  Look!

    Check out the typefaces, the style of illustration, and the colors! It’s like it’s all right out of the glorious 1970s, right? And yet you can buy this, right now, today, in October, 2012, at the store.

    It’s not as though they tried to make it look old – you and me, we can always spot those guys a mile away, can’t we? Such packaging just rings hollow and insincere. But not Mayfair Candies candy corn. This is the real deal. I reckon this is how they’ve been selling their candy corn since the Ford administration – back when tragedy, and a car, struck a young boy, shattering his hopes and dreams and pelvis.

    Worst of all, by the time I came out of the coma, my sister had eaten all my candy.

    Posted by on October 1, 2012, 2:13 AM.

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