1. ¿What’s Bueno? Christmas House™ Brand Bike Bag!

    ¡Es Muy Bueno!

    TODAY’S What’s Bueno item comes from our good friends at Dollar Tree, on account of it seems we never do enough What’s Buenos from them.

    So in the spirit of the season, I’m doing a What’s Bueno from them today.

    Anyway, it’s this thing:

    bikebag1

    It’s a bike bag!

    Look carefully at the photo on the package — now, do you suppose it was an artistic decision to just show half of the bike inside the bag so there’s no question as to what a “bike bag” is used for…or does this bike bag, in fact, only fit half a bike?

    Well, the bag apparently measures 60″ x 72″ so I’m guessing it’s the former. But, perhaps we’ll never know, because as it turns out, I didn’t buy this bike bag.

    [ Just so you know…?  I checked with my attorney and he tells me that I’m well within my rights reviewing items for “¡What’s Bueno at the Dollar Store!” without actually buying them. Well within my rights. In fact, I might as well just come clean, before that Michael Moore documentary on me comes out — a lot of times, I don’t even buy the damn ¡What’s Bueno at the Dollar Store! items that I review. Sheesh, what do you think — that I’m made out of dollars? ]

    Anyway, what makes this Christmas House™ brand bike bag such a delight is this, at the bottom of the package:

    bikebag2

    Apparently, not only do you, what, six regular readers think I’m made of dollars, the Christmas House™ people think I’m made out of bicycles, and expect that I’ll be giving away four of them this Christmas and thus would have a reason for “Collect[ing] All 4 Designs.”

    And to that I say, “Thanks a lot, Christmas House™, for spoiling the surprise.”

    The cat is out of the bicycle bag: Four of you can expect shiny new bicycles in wonderful 60″ x 72″ bicycle bags under your tree this year from me.

    Two of you, however, severely disappointed me — you know who you are! – and you’ll be getting nothing but cold Almond Nog & abuse from me this holiday season.

    3.5dollars

    My Rating: 3.5 out of 7 Dollar Signs. Eh, probably perfectly serviceable as a bike bag, but let’s face it: It’s only being showcased here because of that genius “Collect All 4 Designs” bit.

    Posted by on December 10, 2015, 3:04 AM.

  2. Thrift Store Find: The Black Mikado!

    thriftleftbanner

    After you’ve watched The Wiz live tonight on NBC, if you’re still hankerin’ for a new and different take on a beloved musical, check out this LP I saw in a thrift store (but left there for you):

    blackmikado

    It’s The Black Mikado! 

    Hmm…culturally-insensitively-written Asian characters traditionally played by white actors now being played by African-American actors?

    Wow, I don’t even know where to begin with who I’m offended by this one, but I’ll start with Goodwill, who wanted $2.99 for it.

    Posted by on December 3, 2015, 12:33 PM.

  3. Ted’s Book Club: A Woman’s Guide to Football!

    HERE’S one for you gals among my, what, six readers: Seen on, and grabbed from, the free book cart at my local municipal book-lending distribution center, or library — and just in time for football season, which I understand will be starting up again soon!

    footsballbook

    A Woman’s Guide to Football!

    Featuring the ol’ pigskin right on the cover, but, whaddayacall, femmanized, dere, with a pretty pink bow and a spray of flowers atop!  Adorable!

    It’s a “Dell Purse Book,” so it fits handily right into those purses you ladies are always carrying around.

    Published by the good folks at Dell Publishing in 1969, what amounts to a foreword, under the heading “Forever On Sunday,” begins thusly:

    Had the housewife of 1869 been able to see ahead, chances are she’d have stormed to New Brunswick, New Jersey and plunged her Victorian hatpin into the backsides of 22 students (from Rutgers and Princeton) who were assembled to play the first football game on record. But Granny was no soothsayer and as it turned out, her lack of foresight didn’t matter for the better part of a century. Until the 1950s, Sunday was a restful day — a time for visiting, taking a stroll, enjoying a leisurely dinner. But I guess you know, lady, things have changed . This is the age of television and the era of football, and between the two, you haven’t got a chance.

    It goes on to gently warn readers that “it’s time for the women of America learned this new adage: The family that prays for the home team together stays together.”

    Good advice, you’ll agree. And it just gets better from there, brother!  …er, sister!

    “A Woman’s Guide to Football” was written by Hy Goldberg, and as best as I can divine from thirty seconds of searching on the internet, it’s the only book the man wrote.  A shame, too — the man had such a talent for writing for a female audience. Clearly, if he were around today, he’d be a regular contributor on “Bustle.”

    bookpoint

    Good heavens, even if you become passionate about the sport, don’t start absorbing too much knowledge — the ongoing existence of your marriage may depend on it! Besides, no one likes a smart woman!

    “A Woman’s Guide to Football” is written in a question-and-answer format, with one of those, ha!, typically hapless, sports-baffled ladies posing questions and Hy patiently answering them.

    Well, mostly patiently: Occasionally, even our author gets a bit frustrated (and who can blame him?), such as seen in this exchange:

    visiting

    …and so on.

    Here’s how supermarket-checkout-counter-impulse-buying women of the late 1960s and early 1970s learned football, with examples chosen specifically not for Mr. Goldberg’s knowledge of the game, but rather for his approach towards addressing the feminine sex:

    footballguide1

    footballguide2

    footballguide3

    If you manage your time well enough, honey, you can probably baste the roast and take your curlers out!

    footballguide4

    While Hy does attempt something resembling politeness, occasionally referring to the reader as “ma’am,” more often he has nicknamed the reader, all readers, all women everywhere, as “Alice.”

    footballguide5

    footballguide6

    But even “Alice” has her limits being talked down to:

    footballguide7

    Though when one remembers that it’s Hy writing both sides of the conversation, even “Alice’s” attempts at sticking up for herself become irrelevant.

    footballguide8

    Ah, yes: “the fancy place-kicker.”

    footballguide9

    “Old girl.” Apparently “Alice” is now a beloved horse.

    footballguide10

    footballguide11

    Steady, Hy. Remember, this is all new to Alice.

    footballguide12

    Alice may grasp it, but she’s already been warned about being a know-it-all, so if she’s smart (and she shouldn’t be!), she’ll still act confused.

    footballguide13 footballguide14 footballguide15

    The “reader” finally gets to assert herself at the end, and explain that she’s not “Alice.”  But not before ol’ Hy hits a game-winning home run of a hat trick (to use some of my own football knowledge) with this triple play of condescending misogyny:

    lastword

    One can only imagine the guys around Dell’s purse book division in the late 60s patting Hy Goldberg and themselves on the back for this one. “A  masterpiece, Hy. And women can’t complain — because we let them ‘have the last word!'”

    Anyway, after having picked this thing up and flipped through it with you, I realize there’s no way on earth this book would ever be published today.

    And for good reason:

    footballprice

    Any publisher would go broke selling an informative little volume like this for only two bits!

    …And that staccato click-click-click-click, fellas, is the last of my female readers stamping their pretty little high-heeled shod-feet away from my blog.

    Seriously, though — I’ve come across this particular Dell Purse book a few times over the years, and not surprisingly, they’re always in excellent condition. Were they purchased by women themselves who were making an attempt to learn the game and immediately turned off by the author’s condescending tone, or bought by husbands to give to their wives (with the same result)?

    I guess we’ll never know, Alice.

    Posted by on November 30, 2015, 10:00 AM.

  4. Four Score And…Come On Lucky Seven! Papa Needs A New Stovepipe Hat!

    thriftleftbanner

    Before he freed the slaves, young Abe Lincoln was well-known not only for splitting rails, but splitting pairs.

    casino7

    Update!  Adds a pal: “Young Lincoln?! That’s clearly a photo of Robert ‘F’ Kennedy!”

    Yes, yes, well, I can see that now, but where was this reader at two-thirty in the morning when I was drunkenly posting this? Besides, what clever wordplay could possibly have accompanied that? Something about cashing in your chips at the Ambassador Hotel? See, it doesn’t work.
    Too Soon? Too Soon?

    Posted by on , 2:30 AM.

  5. ¿What’s Bueno? Solar Dancing Unlicensed Abominable Snowma— …”Yeti.”

    ¿What's Bueno? I'll Tell You!

    What?!  It’s not even Thanksgiving and I’m bypassing that holiday for Christmas stuff?!

    Yes. Maybe we’ll get to Thanksgiving tomorrow. For all, what, six of you that still visit regularly.

    So here’s the deal: You know I have a love / sometimes-not-love-so-much relationship with 99¢ Only stores.

    But mostly it’s love.  Awww…!

    When they sold all of their Halloween items for a buck a piece back in October, and then two Halloween items for a buck still in October, I was both stunned and delighted, as you were.

    Now, they’re selling all their Christmas accoutrements for 99¢ only, and they have a lot of good stuff.

    But what I really liked, at least for now, as it approaches two in the morning and I have a lot of other work to do and I want to go to bed at some point tonight, but I still want to throw something up here quickly…

    …is this thing:

    bumble

    It’s a “Solar Dancing Yeti,” and you’ll agree it’s wonderful.

    You’ll also agree it’s like the Abominable Snowman from “Rudolph” and one of the “Where the Wild Things Are” creatures engaged in some unholy, monstrous, violent lovemaking, possibly even rolling off the edge of a cliff while intertwined, crushing both Max and Yukon Cornelius in the process, and the result, 22 months later (the normal gestation period for apelike cryptids) was this little fella.

    Anyway, it’s magnificent, it’s a delight, it’s very late, it’s just been awarded our highest rating of seven dollar signs, do pick one up, good night, and we’ll see you all tomorrow.

    7dollars

    My Rating: 7 out of 7 Dollar Signs. For the love of Christmas, buy one!

    Posted by on November 24, 2015, 1:59 AM.

  6. As A Matter Of Fact. . .

    . . .yes, my Dad still does have that jar of Musterole that was in our house when I was growing up in the 1970s — which seemed old then, and that has traveled with him over the past 40 years or so across three states and a few more living situations than that.

    See?

    muster1

    Still got about a third left, too!

    muster2

    According to my calculations, he’ll be in danger of running out in about 2039.

    And I was able to figure that out with this

    casio

    …the same Casio calculator he’s had since about 1977.

     

    Posted by on November 7, 2015, 7:51 PM.

  7. Let’s Mine An Innocent Coloring Book From 1973 For Modern Lowbrow Humor!

    hooterpatrol

    Perhaps most troubling is how amenable the principal is to Woodsy’s idea.

    Posted by on November 2, 2015, 1:36 PM.

  8. Last Minute Costume Idea!

    darthvest

    Pick one of these up at Dollar Tree and you can go as Darth Vader performing court-mandated community service picking up trash alongside the road.

    Of course this presumes you already own a full Darth Vader costume that you can wear the vest on top of.

    Posted by on October 30, 2015, 2:07 AM.

  9. [Keep] Baby Alive!

    thriftleftbanner

    Here’s a Halloween surprise for you, from the good folks at that thrift store up near my gym!

    A coupla, whaddayacall, suitcases!  Just sittin’ there in the appliance section! 

    Two of them, there were!

    resuscibaby4

    Turns out I’m in the market for a good quality used suitcase!  This fits the bill!

     resuscibaby1

    Wait a second, it seems kind of heavy!  Maybe there’s something inside…

    Why, there is something inside!

    resuscibaby3

    Oh my — it’s Resusci Baby!

    resuscibaby5

    He’s adorable!

    But since there’s two suitcases…  Could it be…?

    resuscibaby6

    Yes!  It’s Resusci Baby’s twin brother! Oh how will we ever tell ’em apart?!

    Of course…!

    resuscibaby7

    By wrapping electrical tape around one of their wrists — just like they do in the maternity wards of our better hospitals.

    ilyrb

    “I love you Resusci Baby!”

    Resusci Baby comes in his own carrying case. Resusci Baby’s twin brother sold separately. By Hasbr—

    Resuscibaby2

    …er, by Laerdal Medical Corp.

    Posted by on October 29, 2015, 11:44 AM.

  10. ¿What’s Bueno at the Dollar Store? This Tablet From Super Dollar!

    SUPER Dollar’s an anomaly among my local dollar stores.

    It opened about four years ago in a mid-sized retail location along busy Topanga Canyon Boulevard here in the lovely San Fernando Valley.

    Coupla strange things about Super Dollar:

    It originally didn’t look like a no-name, one-off dollar store. The logo, the signage inside — it seemed to be one of a chain of stores, like 99¢ Only and Dollar Tree. But it’s the only “Super Dollar” around (though there are Super Dollars on the East Coast with a slightly different logo). I get the impression my local Super Dollar was possibly an unfortunate franchise opportunity for someone who didn’t realize around here, independent dollar stores do fine without any big name.

    The other weird thing was that the store had about twice as much space as it had merchandise, so it always looked understocked.

    But they remedied that about two years ago when they closed off roughly half of the interior of the store and rented it to another business, and brought in a bunch more shelves and a ton more merchandise for the area they kept.

    superdollint

    Now that’s a dollar store, dammit!

    My favorite recent item, and now yours, can be found in the toy aisle:

    tablet

    It’s a tablet, and while it doesn’t have a ton of memory to download a huge number of apps, neither is it prone to crashing.

    It’s great for kids as well as professionals, such as those who design labels for jars of peppers — frankly, I think this tagline on the package…

    lerning

    …kind of says it all.

    So the choice is yours: An Apple iPad starting at about $400 if you insist on going with a name brand, or this more economical choice for a dollar.

    4.5dollars

    My rating: 4-1/2 out of 7 Dollar Signs.

    I would have awarded a higher score except this manufacturer is known for the rapid obsolescence of its products: There’s already rumors that the next generation tablet will feature a foam sponge over 1/8″ larger in overall area and an unlicensed, crudely traced image of Elsa from “Frozen” on the box of chalk.

    Posted by on , 2:45 AM.

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