1. Now Here’s Something You Didn’t Know!

    IN India, Poppin’ Fresh is considered sacred, and it is forbidden to poke him in the belly.

    I was going to go with “Shouldn’t Poppin’ Fresh be wearing a turban instead of a chef’s hat?” but then we both know I’d be down in Human Resources watching those goddamn ’sensitivity’ videos again.

    Posted by on February 29, 2012, 4:45 AM.

  2. No Wonder This Stuff Ended Up At The 99¢ Only Store!

    OH, big surprise this stuff bombed. Big surprise! I mean, there’s nothing new here! Jell-O’s always made color-changing instant pudding.

    Of course, in the past, you had to digest it first.

    Though I suppose the change in hue is more evident with some varieties than others.

    Posted by on February 21, 2012, 12:02 AM.

  3. It’s February 20th!

    December was two months ago!

    Isn’t it about time my neighbor takes down his damn Christmas decorations?!

    Posted by on February 20, 2012, 3:25 AM.

  4. Toilet Humor!

    THESE fairly large and heavy plaster offerings were reasonably priced at my local Salvation Army store for $1.95 (“Sit On It”) and $2.95 (“We Aim To Please…”).

    They reminded me of a little metal sign we got as a gag gift at a pool-warming party we had one summer when I was a kid. It read “We Don’t Swim In Your Toilet, Please Don’t Pee In Our Pool” in a tall, old-fashioned typeface. The sign was vertically formatted, small, only about 3″ wide by  6″ tall, and had holes in each of its four corners so that it could be screwed into place.

    We never put it on the pool. The sign remained in our junk drawer for as long as I can remember.

    Thank God.  Thank God, because attaching it probably would have ruined the brand new showpiece of our backyard and indeed, the pride of the neighborhood – – truly a catastrophe, especially given that Dad spent nearly an hour inflating it and then filling it with the hose.

    Posted by on February 16, 2012, 5:20 AM.

  5. Thank God For Focus Groups!

    Otherwise, Green Giant might have gone with an unappetizing name for their line of microwaveable frozen vegetables.

    By the way, the last time I happened across some 100% natural valley fresh steamers was when I was crossing a cow pasture and wasn’t watching where I was walking. Ho ho ho!

    Posted by on February 15, 2012, 1:00 AM.

  6. What’s Bueno At The 99¢ Only Store: Old El Paso Tortilla Stuffers!

    HERE’S a little something you’d turn your nose up in the regular grocery store – and by Godfrey, you’d be right to do so:

    But for some reason, when these things show up at the 99¢ Only Store, brother, you and I, we can’t get enough of ’em!

    And here’s why:  They’re 99¢! Only!

    You know what these things go for in a real grocery story? Well, I’ll tell you–  No, no, wait! I’ll do better – I’ll show you:

    Holy crap! Two for six dollars, and that’s on sale! What kind of idiot pays $3 a piece for these? I guess the kind of idiot who’s slightly smarter than some moron who pays full price for them when they’re not on sale!

    No, you and I, pal, we’d never pay that price for these things; why, we don’t even know what the hell they are. But suddenly, for 99¢ (only), they’ve piqued our interest.

    So I bought one, and Christ almighty, these Old El Paso Tortilla Stuffers Meal Starters, why, they’re not bad! To paraphrase a wise man, I don’t know why they call this stuff a “meal starter.” It does just fine by itself.

    I mean, it includes meat – says so right on the package. Hell, they’ve even underlined it, they’re so confident of its meat content. And easy…? Brother, you know it. Simply squeeze the packet to break up any lumps like you’re massaging the blood clots out of your thigh after a nine-hour flight, tear open a corner, stand it up in the ol’ microwave, set it on high for sixty seconds and a minute later, why, mister, you’ve got yourself a meal!

    I guess technically, you could actually put this delicious concoction in a tortilla as the package directs you to, but if you’re like me, you don’t play by the rules. You like to experiment, and I don’t mean the way you did with your dorm roommate the year you went to Reed before dropping out. No, I mean you like to develop your own recipes, which is exactly what I did here.

    I started with a bed of Granny Goose  tortilla chips (99¢ Only Store!), then emptied the contents of the Tortilla Stuffers packet on top and distributed it evenly, as though I was spreading cow manure on the front lawn. To this I added a liberal dousing of 99¢ Only-store purchased Louisiana Gem Jalapeno Pepper Sauce. (Not a typo!  There’s no tilde over the ’n’ on the bottle –  oh, I sent them an email.) And then on top of this I added some jalapeño slices – also from the good folks at Old El Paso and bought in jar form at, yes!, the 99¢ Only store.

    The result?  Nachos Del Parsnips™. A delight for the taste buds.

    Also available at the 99¢ Only Store and also an official Ted Parsnips What’s Bueno At The 99¢ Only Store selection, Old El Paso Tortilla Stuffers Garlic Chili Chicken variety.

    You can make Nachos Del Parsnips with the chicken version too, only with this stuff, you’ll want to spread it over the chips like you’re spreading chicken manure over your garden, rather than cow manure over your lawn.

    Oh, I’m sorry, have I offended your tender sensibilities? Have I ruined Old El Paso Tortilla Stuffers for you permanently with my colorful turns of phrase?

    Good. More for me.

    Posted by on February 14, 2012, 12:25 AM.

  7. A Funny Little Trick!

    WHILE this great nation of ours is currently enjoying a rather mild winter, it’s still hot chocolate season, so here’s a funny trick you can play on a pal or co-worker – especially if you work in an office environment with a kitchen / break room area featuring the standard ratty little wicker basket crammed with complimentary tea bags and hot cocoa envelopes. What’s more, you’ve probably already got all the items you need right there to pull this little beauty off:

    Let’s get started!  First, using your X-Acto knife, take your hot chocolate envelope and, along the crimped edge, carefully slice –

    …You know, maybe this isn’t such a good idea after all. Waste that packet of desiccant and there’ll be mushrooms growing in your bowling shoes inside of a week.

    Posted by on February 13, 2012, 12:13 AM.

  8. The Club!

    IS protecting your car against theft worth $7.99 to you?

    Of course it is, and Goodwill’s got just the thing to keep your car safe and secure!

    It’s an old model of The Club – or possibly a knockoff by another company. Hard to tell. Seems thinner than the version available today, and it doesn’t have “THE CLUB” in big block lettering on its side so who can say for sure? But it’s good and strong and will deter all but the most determined car thieves!

    …That is, it would, if you could actually unlock it and put it on your steering wheel. And then lock it. And then unlock it again, when you wanted to drive your car.

    But you can’t do any of that because Goodwill, in its infinite wisdom, is offering said Club – yes, you guessed it! – with no key!

    “Come on now, Ted,” I hear you saying, “Let’s be fair! How much could a key, just a simple key, cost?!”

    I’m glad you asked. If this is an actual Club, they do make replacements! And for only three dollars plus postage!

    …Provided that you have at least one original key left, which you obviously don’t! You, friend, are outta luck!

    So instead of blowing nearly eight bucks on a completely useless, unlockable and un-unlockable Club, why not just spend a few extra bucks for a real anti-theft system?

    Just two shelves up and to the left, you’ll find these. Arrange them on your dashboard, brother, and I guarantee no one’ll go near your car!

    Posted by on February 2, 2012, 3:25 AM.

  9. What’s Bueno At The 99¢ Only Store: Hamburger Helper!

    NOW here’s a fun one!

    It’s our old friend Hamburger Helper.

    And the hysterical thing is  – like I even have to point it out to you – the hysterical thing is that it tells us it’s “NEW!” at the top of the box – but then later, like in the middle of the box, it says to us, it says “CLASSIC.”

    Well, Betty Crocker, which is it?! Because you can’t have it both ways, there, sweetheart! You can’t have it both ways!

    This is exactly the kind of thing I’d have sent in to the back page of “Consumer Reports” where they showcase this sort of packaging absurdity on a monthly basis. But not after I submitted that Little Debbie thing last year and 1) they didn’t use it and 2) they didn’t even have the common decency to lie to me and tell me they liked it but then give me some stupid reason why they wouldn’t use it “but please keep pitching us more stuff,” which is what a good editor does!

    Seriously, editors: As the print industry continues to die off, you lazy bastards might want to think about getting back to everyone who submits something, no matter how completely unusable our ideas are! Not only is it good business practice, by Godfrey, it’s common courtesy! Do you think Bennett Cerf got to where he was by just ignoring every pitch that was emailed to him while focusing instead on those joke books that we all enjoyed as children? In a word, no. But thank God he wrote those joke books, right? And where did he find the time? Between crafting such masterpieces as the riddle about the big red rock eater, and his appearances on “What’s My Line?”, I don’t know how he had time for anything else at all. Yet he did. Yet he did.

    You folks should know better than to get me started on Bennett Cerf! Ha! Where were we?

    Ah yes: I’ve nominated Hamburger Helper as this week’s What’s Bueno at the 99¢ Only Store item, and here’s why:

    Because they sell the exact same thing in the grocery store for anywhere from about $1.25 to about two bucks! Only a fool buys Hamburger Helper!

    …Eh, for full price in a grocery store, that is!

    It’s like Betty Crocker’s just given up and is saying, “Who are we kidding? Since that handsome devil Ted Parsnips single-handedly made it cool to shop in dollar stores, everyone’s forsaken traditional supermarkets, and we’re losing our shirts here. No one’s buying our Helpers anymore! Screw it! Cut a deal with the 99¢ Only Store and we’ll sell this stuff there now too. What choice have we got?”

    It’s like she said just that!

    Anyway, if all of that didn’t convince you that Hamburger Helper deserves its honor as What’s Bueno at the 99¢ Only Store item this week, well, then I don’t know what to tell you. But take a gander at this, brother:

    Yes! A Twin Pack! That’s twice the Hamburger Helper you’d get at your Piggly Wiggly, your Food Lion, your Grand Union – for like less ’an half the price! That’s right: Less ’an half the price!

    A regular box of Hamburger Helper at the 99¢ Only Store is “bueno” enough, right? So how did we luck out with these enormous, industrial-size, institutional-quantity, need-a-pallet-jack-to-move-’em, double-size boxes of Helper available for 99¢ only?

    Well, I have no idea. But I do have a theory:

    Perhaps the phrasing at the package’s lower right corner front panel, “2 Meals, 1 Box,” subliminally reminded shoppers of a particularly infamous viral video and thus entire shipments of  these Twin Packs were shunned – left to gather dust in your Publixes, your Kashes & Karries, your CalaFoodses.  Now, that’s just a theory. But it’s one worth considering.

    Oh, wonderful. Now I won’t be able to eat it, either. And I bought like twelve boxes!

    Posted by on February 1, 2012, 4:02 AM.

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