AS REGULAR READERS of this blog know, I was in the supermarket earlier today, and I found myself in the cookie aisle.
I was trying to decide whether I felt like some Avast! Thar Be Chips! or maybe a package of Pecan Gritties. You see, I’m a big fan of store brand interpretations of your more well-known “name brand” cookies. I end up saving quite a bit, and if I’m drunk enough – and I usually am – I can’t tell the difference.
Anyway, that’s when I came upon the Oreo section.
Back when you and I were kids, you’ll remember, there was no Oreo “section” – there was no need for one – for there was only one Oreo. We didn’t have all these crazy variations this younger generation enjoys (and takes for granted) today. Sure, I guess we had the Double Stuf at some point, but that was it.
So imagine my surprise when I see, among all the different Oreo flavors – your seasonal this and your limited edition that – when I see this:
And of course, I think to myself, as you would, “Seriously? It’s 2015. Isn’t this a little outdated?”
I was making homemade Mega Stuf Oreos years ago. And with continual progress in cookie technology and the exponential advances in wafer capacity, the very idea of a “Mega” Stuff Oreo is particularly laughable.
I’ve moved on to much greater things.
Behold! The new Tera Stuf Oreo.
Attention Nabisco Attorneys! Let’s talk proprietary rights and licensing deals. I’m ready to negotiate!
Smithsonian.com filed this baby under “SmartNews”…
…and curiously, it includes the phrase “Social Media Buzz.” Whoops!
SO I WAS IN my local Walmart and I passed an endcap [industry term] of this stuff:
Oh, sure, I’d seen it before, but this time, I don’t know why, it just really got me thinking: “Cat’s Pride”…? Really? Really?
Shouldn’t it be “Cat’s Shame”?
They use this stuff to bury their business [euphemism], like they don’t anyone to know about it. Like they’re embarrassed – ashamed.
All covered up! Kitty’s dirty little secret! So where’s the “pride” in that?
And as for our beloved Mr. Whiskers, I’m telling you, I could fill a pit ten feet deep with it, and he’d dig to the goddamn bottom before he was ready to let loose whatever he’s been brewing and/or distilling. Believe me, I know – I’m the one who has to go in there and excavate – and brother, it’s a process.
Dig, dig, dig – sometimes I try to make a game of it and pretend it’s 1974 and the litter pan is a box of Freakies cereal and I’m trying to get in there and pull out the free toy car before Mom gets home. Which one will it be this time? Boss Moss? Snorkledorf?
Ah, but the fantasy evaporates suddenly as the air fills with a choking, acrid stench and I’ve hit the motherlode – a big, moist clump of concentrated ammonia.
Not only is my quarry always on the very bottom, ol’ Mr. W. always manages to get it on the side, too – he’s very particular about going up against a damn edge – forcing me to scrape clean two distinct planes. Often he’ll go for the trifecta when he manages to unload in a corner. Thank God I have long fingernails.
“Cat’s Pride,” indeed! –Unless the cat takes some sort of special joy in watching me clean that damn box, dutifully, as a good pet owner should, every three months or so.
By the way, when did you say you’d be visiting?
SO I WAS WATCHING this…this…this “Galavant” of yours. You know, ABC’s fairytale musical comedy, made up of equal parts “Spamalot,” “When Things Were Rotten,” “Shrek,” “The Princess Bride,” “Fractured Fairy Tales” and pretty much every other take on the fairytale comedy genre, musical or not.
Despite all those that have come before it, it’s often, eh, kinda funny though a bit uneven. Unfortunately, at least for the first few episodes, ABC insisted on using its theme song (with rewritten lyrics) to promote every one of their other shows during the commercial breaks. Sometimes overkill is funny. Not here, brother. Nahhhhht here.
But let’s get down to business: In the show’s second episode “Joust Friends,” John Stamos plays a pompous knight named Sir Jean Hamm.
See, it’s a play on “Jon Hamm” – the name of a successful actor that, eh, isn’t John Stamos.
If there’s another comedic angle to this, it’s lost on me. Like: Is the name based on some actual historic figure with a similar name? I don’t know, but I’m guessing not. But here’s how a knight named “Jean Hamm” would have been funny:
Have Jon Hamm play the role.
It makes me, and now you, wonder: Did the writers hope to get Jon Hamm for this part? Don’t get me wrong – Stamos was very funny and did a fine job. But I’m curious if Hamm was supposed to play the character, and then things fell through for whatever reason, and Stamos stepped in.
Regardless, with Stamos playing the part, the name “Jean Hamm” doesn’t work.
So then you know what you do if you can’t get Jon Hamm and you’ve got John Stamos instead? You change the character’s name…to Jean St. Amos.
Bam! Problem solved! I know not everyone is as brilliant as me, but this seems like a pretty obvious joke – how did they miss it?
Watching that episode – hearing this inexplicable name – I was transported back in time to a dark time in our collective history. No, not to the Middle Ages when the show is set, but much further back – to the Stone Age – that is, 1994 – when “The Flintstones” movie was released.
Back when that great big steaming pile of brontosaurus manure came out, I read that Sharon Stone was offered a role in the film, but turned it down because “she was doing other work.” (I’m guessing she read a page or two of the script.)
When the writers hoped that they could get Sharon Stone, they decided to call her character…“Sharon Stone” – presumably on account of it’s “The Flintstones,” and this was the kind of cheap “rock” joke the film’s army of writers thought the audience would expect.
And it would have been slightly amusing, sure, but also confusing: Was the real Sharon Stone to play her own prehistoric ancestor? Would she have been playing herself – who had somehow been sent back in time? Or, most likely, were audiences merely supposed to chuckle and think to themselves, “Heh, the character’s name is Sharon Stone, and look, it’s Sharon Stone playing her. This is the cheap kind of ‘rock’ joke we expect”…?
With Sharon Stone offering her polite “oh, dear God, no thanks,” they cast Halle Berry in the role instead…but kept the character’s name as Sharon Stone.
According to an article in Entertainment Weekly at the time, one of the many writers on the film – perhaps the only intelligent one – suggested the name “Rosetta Stone” which actually is a clever, ancient history-type “rock” gag (especially since this was before that name was widely known as a brand of language-learning software).
However, director Brian Levant nixed it because he figured it was a joke that “maybe six archaeologists might laugh at.”
But naming a character after a famous actress being played by a different famous actress who looks nothing like her – people would get that joke.
It’s 21 years later. I still don’t get it.
Maybe I missed my calling and should have been an archaeologist.
Next time: Our lecture series about current network television shows and 1990s live-action movie adaptations of 1960s cartoons continues as I draw thought-provoking parallels between “The Good Wife” and “George of the Jungle.” Be here!
LOOK, I know I haven’t done one of these babies in a while – and believe me, brother, it ain’t due to a lack of surprisingly expensive merchandise down at the local Goodwill.
So my promise to you, dear readers, is to feature a new
What’s BuenoOverpriced Goodwill item each and every single dayweek of the year right here on this blog.
Oh, look, it’s
more than two weeksnearly three weeks into January. Well, I’ve already screwed up this one. I guess there’s really no reason to waste my time trying to bother with the, what, 49 weeks left, is there?
…And yet: How hard can it be? Between you and me, most of this “blog-writing” just ends up being me copying and pasting text from previous posts and then editing it ever so slightly. Shh!
So with that in mind, let’s get started:
Oh lookee here! Lip gloss! Thrift store lip gloss!
I’ll point out that you’re not just getting one novelty mouthal item, but two: Flip over the blister card [industry term] and you’ll see that your $5.99 also entitles you to this lip balm.
They’re by the good folks at Lotta Luv Cosmetics – the first (and, presumably) only name in licensed candy and soda stocking stuffer glossenbalms, which is a word I think I just coined, though there’s the distinct possibility it’s borrowed from the Germans.
And I guess it should be noted that you’ll also be receiving a generous length of packing tape binding these two items – the yin and yang of lip decor and emollient – together to ensure they are sold as a set – and potentially remain so forever and ever and ever.
…On account of there’s no one who’s gonna pay six bucks for this.
LOOK, despite my assertion that the 99¢ Only store is becoming the 99¢ Only store in name only (along with my admirable and praiseworthy steadfast refusal to award anything above the 99¢ only price point – industry term – the coveted “What’s Bueno” citation), I still find a lot of good stuff at 99¢ Only; and for 2015, my promise to you, my readers, is to feature a new What’s Bueno item each and every single day of the year right here on this blog.
Oh, look, it’s more than two weeks into January. Well, I’ve already screwed up this one. I guess there’s really no reason to waste my time trying to bother with the, what, 349 days left, is there?
Still, we’ll try to get ’em up here as events – and merchandise – warrant.
And here’s one now! Not an event – a merchandise!
It’s a magnetical keyholder! “Pin The Key On The Donkey,” reads the package. And it’s not just a key ring, no, but a wall-mounted holder from which to hang your keyring …from!
You mount the donkey yourself – sort of the opposite of what happened that time your car got impounded in Tijuana so you made a deal with the guy who owned a local cantina to get up on stage and make some money, fast! That’s a long way to go for a joke, but it’s in such poor taste, you’ll agree it was worth it!
Why these ended up at 99¢ Only is anyone’s guess, but my thoughts run to magnet strength and rings heavy with little trinkets and bottle openers and keyless remotes on them. But I don’t know this for a fact, because despite it being bueno, I didn’t buy one – not even for 99¢ only – because I’ve got enough crap around here as it is.
And here my attorney cautions me to remind you: That’s not to say it’s crap – after all, it’s today’s What’s Bueno item which makes it the very antithesis of crap! Besides, I meant “crap” in a positive way.
Anyway, it’s made by the good folks at GamaGo who have a website of other non-Donkey Magnetic Key Holder objets d’kitsch for sale – and don’t worry, kiddos, they’ve got zombie-, owl- and Gameboy-inspired items (plus much, much more) to satisfy all your gift-giving needs.
The Donkey Magnetetical Key Holder, though? Apparently exclusively at 99¢ Only. Hee-haw and Happy New Year!
A location in Simi Valley has this doggie version!
Much like the donkey key holder der, I didn’t buy this one, either.
But it shore am cute!
YOU’RE FAMILIAR with Margaret Keane’s work, of course – the kitschy paintings (and prints, and posters and postcards and so on) from the 1960s of the sad waif-like kids with the big eyes. Why, you yourself probably collected them as whatever forerunner to today’s hipster you didn’t consider yourself, but actually were, 20 years ago, when they’d still occasionally pop up in thrift stores. Did all that make sense?
And you must have heard about the movie “Big Eyes,” but if not: Why, it’s a marvelous little film that tells the story behind those peepers and finally gives artist Margaret Keane her due. A Tim Burton film it is, believe it or not – despite neither Johnny Depp nor Helena Bonham Carter being anywhere in sight, and with a soundtrack by, yes, Danny Elfman that somehow doesn’t go dunt-dunt dunt-dunt dunt-dunt, BOOM BOOM! BOOM BOOM!, dunt-dunt dunt-dunt dunt-dunt, BOOM BOOM! BOOM BOOM! And so on.
I won’t waste your time commenting on the film itself other than to note I liked it nearly as much as I hated “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory,” which is to say, “quite a lot.”
What I will point out though is that the look of this film (set mostly in the late 1950s and early 1960s) is pretty much flawless. If you’re an annoying hipster of today (or whatever the rest of us all were 20 years ago), one thing’s for sure – you’re just going to go on and on and on about all the “mid-century” set design and decoration, because if there’s anything hipsters of today (and of the last 20 years) love more than “mid-century” furnishings and architecture (and “Eames Era”-anything), brother, I don’t know what it is. Well, other than just saying the phrase “mid-century.” Or using it to describe their eBay offerings.
But where does your old pal Ted and his unassuming little blog come in?
At one point in the film – spoiler alert! – Margaret is worn down from painting her Big Eyes non-stop and, at a supermarket, hallucinates seeing people in the store with similarly enormous orbs. At the beginning of the scene, Keane (Amy Adams) walks by an endcap (industry term) of Southgate products. Oh, they’re out of focus, sure, but make no mistake – they’re Southgate, all right!
“Wait,” you say, “Southgate – that sounds familiar…” Well, for God’s sake, it should – their products were featured twice under my brilliant Delightfully Anachronistic Package Design posts. It was even on the mid-term!
Anyway, a moment later, another shopper turns to look at her, and…
…well, if you’re like me – and you are – you’re dumbstruck to see an aisle largely comprised of Delightfully Anachronistic Package Design Hall-of-Famers: Jiffy brand products. Also, apparently the image of the shopper herself is slightly off-putting as well. I guess.
And so I say to you: Clearly someone on the production team for this film did a Google search on “anachronistic package design” to look for contemporary items they could use in this scene, happened upon my blog, realized “By Godfrey, this Ted fellow has done all our work for us!” and ordered a few dozen cases of Southgate and Jiffy products for that period look they were going for.
Clearly this is what happened.
I imagine everyone involved in the production of the film will deny it (of course!) but I’ll be nice and keep my mouth shut for a while and not tell anyone (aside from you, my – what? – six readers). But the day will come when I’ll refuse to keep living a lie, come clean and the truth will be out. Also, I imagine there’ll be some kind of lawsuit with a dramatic courtroom scene.
Eventually, however, I’ll be recognized for the genius I am (and you guys are ahead of the rest of society on this one, already aware of this as you are) and perhaps, a movie will be made about my whole ordeal.
I just hope at that point Amy Adams will still be young enough to play me.
Article XXVII, Section 8 clearly states, “The President shall, at his pleasure, throw his political enemies into an active volcano.”
It says nothing about cannibalism!