SAY! I wandered into the ol’ 99¢ Only Store the other day and guess what I ran into! Guess!
I ran into a great big display, an endcap, to use retail parlance, of Nabisco Honey Maid Grahams! Banged my ankle up pretty bad, too! I plan on suing the store! What are they doing putting an enormous endcap where I’m liable to run into it?! No, I’m joking. I’ll find something else to sue them about.
Anyway, back to the grahams! You’re already pooh-poohing these things because they’re low fat.
Yes, they’re “low fat,” but let’s face it, Tubby, you could stand to lose a few! And here I elbow you good-naturedly in the gut!
First of all, your regular Honey Maid cinnamon grahams aren’t exactly oozing with fat to begin with! 5% is all! The low-fat ones? 3%! Christ, why even bother, right? But with so little fat (and no saturated fat in these babies!) Honey Maid Low Fat Cinnamon Grahams are a food you can feel good about eating! Or, if you’re Alicia Silverstone, a food you can feel good about chewing, and your baby can feel good about eating!
Regardless, these are the good type of graham crackers! With the cinnamon and the sugar besprinkled atop each one, giving it a good, textured tooth as we say in the graham cracker game! Oh, don’t worry, pal – these aren’t those grahamscaped, metrosnackual, smooth-topped graham crackers! These are your hardy 45-grit graham crackers! (The lower the number, the coarser the grit! But you’d know that if you hadn’t cut class so much in eighth grade when budget cuts forced Central Junior High to combine Woodshop and Home Ec!)
What’s even more amazing than the fact that you get 14.4 ounces of these things for a buck is that these Nabisco Honey Maid Low Fat Cinnamon Grahams are not only
but, in a rare instance of reaching across the aisle, of putting aside their differences for the greater good, they’re also
And with all the hostility among the major players in today’s dollar store landscape, you’ll agree this is a breath of fresh air. (Or, if you’re Alicia Silverstone’s child, a mouthful of chewed-up graham cracker paste.)
WE GET CALLS here at TedParsnips.com all the time from Dick Clark Productions for some of our outtakes for inclusion in one of Dick’s upcoming specials. Now these outtakes – or “bloopers” as they’re called in the business – are those, oh, little mistakes when an actor forgets his line, or gets tongue-tied, or something unexpected happens – often with hilarious results.
Anyway, we’ve sent a batch over that we know they’ll love but we wanted to give you, our regular, what, six readers a sneak preview at one of the funniest.
Now here’s the set-up:
Recently while working on a review for Taco Bell’s new over-hyped, unremarkable Doritos Tacos, we were desperately trying to get one last shot before we lost light. (Remember, we were shooting on-location, on the patio outside the back door.)
All we had to do was get a shot of the taco sleeve while saying the word “infinitesimal” – but someone had other ideas and kept walking into the scene! Let’s watch.
Cut! Let’s try it again!
Will someone get Mr. Whiskers out of there?!
Not again! Okay, places everyone! Let’s get it this time!
Ha ha ha! Unbelievable!
We’ll be right back with some outrageous clips from “Night Court” and later, George Peppard plays a practical joke on his pal Jamie Farr that you won’t want to miss!
LIKE YOU, I’m an enormous fan of Roy Doty – an unabashed “Dotyphile,” as we call ourselves. As you know, I was one of the organizers of the first DotyCon way back in 1978 – and of course I’ve been an integral part of each one since. (Mark your calendars for this year’s event – July 12-15 – Hilliard, Ohio – Super 8 Motel, Room 216).
I also helped design the award we (hope to) give out each year (“The Roy”) at the Con and I’ve been on hand annually to present it should Mr. Doty ever attend and accept it. (This could be the year!) Legendary is my annual slideshow – with my humorous asides – of Roy Doty Christmas cards that I’ve found doing Google image searches, and, brother, if I’m not dressed up for the Roy Doty cosplay parade and mixer (Saturday night), then it means I’m one of the judges.
So you can imagine how stunned, how outraged I was the other day when, perusing the wares of my local National Council of Jewish Women Thrift Store, I come across this:
Oops! Wrong side.
Nope, not quite.
There we go!
It’s bad enough the people behind this vintage, mint-in-box, 1960s Do-Ray Super Compression Electric Rotary Compressor Air Inflater & Exhauster unauthorizingly used a drawing of Mr. Doty’s (from God knows where; no one person can be an expert on the man’s enormous body of work) but to place it alongside the chicken scratchings of an inferior artist is the height of disrespect!
Can we go in for a closeup?
I mean, that’s totally Roy Doty artwork, isn’t it? It’s not just me, is it? The woman looks especially Dotyesque. Right?
Anyway, if I was Roy, I’d sue Do-Ray right out of business – if they weren’t already out of business, that is. Instead, you’ll agree that what he should do is bid on my eBay auction for this exceedingly rare and valuable piece of Dotybilia! (It’s also great for inflating blow-up furnitures!) You should bid on it too! Be part of cartoonist history! Let’s show Roy how much we care and get a real bidding war going! I got a two-month gas bill to pay here.
LIKE YOU, I’ve been trying to eat healthier lately. Trying to, ha!, but not succeeding! Recently, I visited my local Wienerschnitzel quick-serve (they don’t like you to call it “fast food”) restaurant and discovered they’ve got one of those good old-fashioned corndog sweepstakes going on with prizes galore, including what I like best, cash!
It goes like this: When you buy a corndog, there’s something printed on the stick – but lucky for you, you have to eat the corndog to see what that is (unless you’re Superman and have X-ray vision). If you’re an instant winner, you could win $10,000, $1,000, or other stuff, like additional corndogs. Yum!
As many of you know, I blow at least ten thousand dollars at Wienerschnitzel every year, so I think we all agree it’s only fair I win that $10,000. Here’s how I’m doing it:
First, I bought a corndog. It came in this neat paper wrapper telling me about the contest. (I’ve saved it and I intend to upload a picture of it to Flickr in thirty years so hipsters of the future can ooh and ahh over its “amazing early 2010s design.”)
Next I unwrapped it. It may look a lot like one of my used Q-tips, but rest assured, brother, that there’s a corndog – and a scrumptious one at that.
Then I ate the damn thing. How was it? Deeeeelicious! But I wasn’t a winner!
Or wasn’t I…? [And here I arch my eyebrows – okay, technically my one long hairy Slovak eyebrow – as though to indicate I’ve something up my sleeve.]
Now here’s where the fun part comes in. Taking my “officially” non-winning corndog stick, I carefully deleted the part where it says I didn’t win $10,000.
And being even more careful, on the other side of the stick, I’ve delicately added verbiage that indicates I did win $10,000.
Now, it’s only a matter of popping this into the mail and letting them know I won, and them sending me my money.
Why am I telling you this? Well, since you’re one of the, what, six people who visit this blog, you can do the same thing – it’s my gift to you for being such a loyal reader! Only don’t do it for the ten grand. They’ll know something’s up if there’s more than one winner. Do it for one of the smaller prizes. Like a “Free 3-Pak of Jalapeño Poppers.” (Just be sure to write small!)
Next time: I’ll show you how to fool the (greedy, union-run) US Postal Service and save money by creating your own postage stamps from old Decca record sleeves – you know, the kind where they have little images of other albums.
IT IS INDEED with a heavy heart that I say goodbye to Jinky Singson.
I have no idea who she (or he?) is, and likely he (or she?) has no idea who I am.
But nearly two and a half years ago, way back in 2009, on the eighth of September, at precisely nine minutes after six in the evening, Jinky called me – and her (or his?) name and phone number (dutifully obscured below) appeared on my Caller ID.
I suspect Jinky dialed me in error; either hitting a wrong button on his (or her?) keypad, or perhaps trying to reach the production company that had this number before me.
Jinky Singson’s musical name – say it aloud, see how it truly dances off the tongue! – so tickled me that I could never bring myself to delete it. Oh, I’ve wasted no time in erasing from the display the name and number of everyone else who’s called me as soon as I’ve reviewed them. But not ol’ Jinky’s. Never.
And sure, I could have called Jinky back, introduced myself and gotten to the bottom of the mystery as to who she or he is and why he or she called, but I never did. Nor have I Googled the name or number. There’s something to be said, in this age of instant information, for riddles that remain unsolved. Am I so presumptuous to believe I have a right to the answers of all life’s questions? I think we both agree that if I did, I wouldn’t have canceled my subscription to Time-Life’s Mysteries of the Unknown after the second volume (“Ancient Wisdom and Secret Sects”) when they started costing full price.
I like to think of what Jinky and I have shared, whoever she (or he) is, wherever he (or she) is, I like to think of what we shared as our own little version of “84 Charing Cross Road,” minus the two decade-long correspondence – but also minus the depressing ending. (Actually, minus any communication whatsoever save for the number on my Caller ID.)
Or perhaps he (or she?) is the W.C. Minor to my Dr. James Murray. Or vice-versa. Without one of us trying to compile a dictionary (as far as I know) while the other is locked away in an insane asylum (Christ, I hope not). Or maybe…! Just maybe Jinky doesn’t actually even exist, and she (or he?) is the Sabine to my Griffin.
Why, you ask, why, now, after so long, am I finally saying a sad farewell to the name of a perfect stranger that I have come to know as a trusted friend – always there, never farther away than a click of the “CID” button on my cordless?
The damn phone broke when I dropped it.
AS REGULAR READERS OF THIS BLOG KNOW, I went to the 99¢ Only Store today.
And while there, something struck me, and not some obnoxious and pushy ethnic woman with her cart into my ankle – despite the fact that I was in that one on Ventura in Woodland Hills. Mm-hm. Yeah, I don’t need to say any more, do I? You know exactly what I’m talking about. ::cough cough…Slovaks…cough cough::
No, what struck me was this:
Well, that’s not to say a box of these struck me, thrown from some unseen hand, as though that particular 99¢ Only Store is infested with poltergeists. That’s not what I’m saying at all.
But that would be kind of neat if that were the case. It might keep some of those afore-hinted-at ladies in line, if you know what I mean, and by Godfrey, I think you do. Those people are probably very superstitious. I’m sure they’ve got some quaint name that covers all unexplained phenomena. It’s likely, in their typically backwards fashion, they ascribe everything they can’t explain to some sort of mischievous witch or imp or something. From their rich ethnic folklore. Probably.
Above: Oh-oh, vooden spoon gone missink? Probably ol’ Spovienka Bosorka usink eet for to feeds her skriatoks.
No, friend, what hit me was the thought that here, today, in 2012, we have a non-peanut food labeled “PEANUTS” in a very much post-Peanuts comic strip era.
At what point does this get confusing to consumers? If it hasn’t already…?
The box reads “PEANUTS” in big capital letters (in that same hideous typeface they’ve used for the Sunday strip since 1987) and below that, it reads “FRUIT FLAVORED SNACKS.”
“Peanut fruit-flavored snacks? Snacks flavored like fruit but are made from peanuts? What the hell?!”
You know that there are people today who are thinking this, because let’s face it, for about the last twenty years, Schulz’s characters haven’t exactly been in the public eye as they’d once been – like they were when you and me, pal, when we were growing up.
Sure, comics pages carry “Classic Peanuts” now. (A move you’ll recall I predicted even before Schulz passed away; that is, you’d recall that if I’d had a blog then. Because I knew they were going to do that.) But younger generations don’t know these characters as “Peanuts.” If they have any frame of reference for these characters at all, they know the dog from the Met-Life commercials and, if they live in Southern California, from Knott’s Berry Farm.
So perhaps they do know Snoopy. Maybe they recognize Charlie Brown by name. Possibly – possibly! – they could pick Lucy out of a lineup. But I bet most people under the age of twenty-five don’t know these characters – Snoopy, Woodstock, Chuck, Linus, Lucy, Schroeder, Peppermint Patty, Marcie, Frieda, (non-Peppermint) Patty, Violet, (non-Fred Berry) Rerun, Shermy, ’5,’ Franklin, “Shut Up and Leave Me Alone” guy, Spike, Miss Othmar, Roy, Joe Schlabotnik, Miss Helen Sweetstory, Archie, Veronica, Jughead, Ida Know, Mr. Wilson, and all the rest – as “Peanuts.”
Schulz reportedly loathed the name “Peanuts” that the syndicate titled his strip. He’d hate it even more now, brother, knowing that its use is further devaluing his once vast licensing empire. So labeling a food product like this as “Peanuts Fruit Snacks” (and not something obvious, like, gee, I dunno, “Snoopy Fruit Snacks”) is confusing and makes less and less sense as the property becomes decreasingly relevant.
Unless these were boxes of peanuts. But they’re not, folks. They’re not.
So who can really blame the ghost of ol’ Sparky for angrily tossing boxes of fruit snacks at the horrid peasant women who shop there? I for one applaud him, and who knows, I might even try to nail one of those hags myself with a box next time I’m at the store.
I think we can all safely presume that as each box hits its mark and bounces off, said target will look surprised, arms back, elbows up, tongue sticking out, and above her head will be a squiggly line with a star at one end of it.
And briefly materializing in the ether, a single onomatopoetic sound effect.
I DON’T KNOW ABOUT YOU, but in this economy, I just can’t pay crazy salon prices for my synthetic jumbo braids anymore.
That’s why I was thrilled when at the 99¢ Only store the other day, I happened upon these:
Now, I know what you’re saying. “Ted,” you’re saying, “I ain’t buying no dollar store ba-raid! No sir! Mmn-mn!”
Look, I felt the same way – at first.
But what if these braids were sixty inches long and not “puffed up” to give the appearance of more braid to the package? What if they were soft, silky and shiny? What would you say then?
Still not convinced? Well, then what would you say if I told you you’re getting 22% more braid – for free? Oh, sure, you’re paying for 2-1/4 ounces of 100% Super Synthetic jumbo braid, but for you, today, you’re getting 2-3/4 ounces of 100% Super Synthetic jumbo braid.
You’d call me a filthy liar – and brother, I wouldn’t blame you. So that’s why I made sure to get photographic proof:
So, yes, friends, the choice is clear!
Toshica’s Finest jumbo braids are…
GUESS what! I tried that new “Doritos Loco Taco” from Taco Bell!
And perhaps by writing about it here, this site may top six visitors today.
I was going to go to Taco Bell at midnight Wednesday night for the much-anticipated launch (industry term) of this culinary delight, but then I’d have to give up my place in line for “The Hunger Games” outside the Viceroyalty Dollar Theater on Arroyo and San Fernando in Pacoima. Regular readers of this blog know I’m an unashamed HungerGuy (which is what we fans of “The Hunger Games” universally agreed to call ourselves – well, “HungerGuy” for the guys and “HungerGal” for the gals) since I picked up a copy of the first book while hanging out in the “Planet Teen” section of the library a few years ago. (They have beanbag chairs there.)
As you know, as of this writing, “The Hunger Games” opens in just fourteen days, six hours and twelve minutes, and I plan on being among the first to see it. Well, I had planned to, anyway, until the manager pointed out to me that it’s a dollar theater, they never show any new releases, and they wouldn’t be getting “The Hunger Games” until at least late-April – and then, only a Spanish-dubbed print.
That bit of unfortunate news, multiple citations for vagrancy, and the scabies I picked up from letting a talkative fellow named Durrel (his spelling, not mine, I assure you) share my sleeping bag for warmth (after he shared his bottle of Boone’s Farm Snow Creek Berry with me) convinced me to give up and head home. I guess it’s just as well – I’d forgotten that Becca switched weekends with me again so I have the goddamn kids from six p.m. tonight until Sunday night at seven.
Where was I?
Oh, yeah, so today I bought one of those new “Doritos Loco Tacos.” They come in two varieties: Regular and Taco Supreme. I decided to splurge and go for the Taco Supreme variety since all of this can be written off come tax time. And also a small Pepsi.
Here is what that looked like:
Now for the unboxing, or as I like to call it, the unbagging.
So here it is, partially unwrapped. (You have to do these things slowly; build up a sense of anticipation. Learned that from my blogging mentor, or blogntor, as I have dubbed her, Sylvia Haynes-Darden.)
Let’s take it a step further. Ready? Here we go!
Here you can see it comes in a little stiff paper holder. These will be very collectible in the years to come, so I licked the sour cream and grease off mine and packed it away. (I may buy another taco just for the holder and put it up on eBay “to see how it does.” Stay tuned.)
Okay, here it is:
There’s the actual Doritos Loco Taco, unfettered by its cardboard trappings; nude if you will. As you can see, it’s Dorito orange in hue.
The taste? It’s like…a Taco Bell Taco Supreme in a vaguely Dorito-esque shell. Eh, it was okay. The problem with taking Taco Bell food home – that is, not eating it right away, fresh off the griddle – is that the taco shells get soggy. Such was the case here – and I sped home like Old Scratch himself was after me. But until the good people at Yum! Brands start taking my back-of-receipt survey answers seriously and open a Taco Bell within three blocks of my home rather than the current inconvenient six blocks, there’s little I can do about that.
Also, I hated how I got Dorito residue on my fingers, and then had to risk getting that on my expensive blogging camera to take the damn pictures. I imagine everyone else blogging about this now is saying the exact same thing – so I guess the idea of me bringing a fresh perspective on reviewing a new fast food item has been shot to hell quicker than this combination of ground beef, lettuce, diced tomatoes, shredded cheese, sour cream, Dorito shell and eight packets of hot sauce will be shooting out of me within the next hour or so.
All in all, I wouldn’t buy it again – I’ll stick with the Dorito grit-free regular Taco Supremes, thank y– …eh, muchas gracias very much. You know, if you ask me, this whole new Dorito taco campaign is just a lot of pointless hoopla – or, since this is a chain selling Mexican food we’re talking about, all this jupla. It’s a lot of nothing, or as the proud Mexican people say – those who brought their delicious food to our shores – as they say, it’s nada.
Really, the only good melding of snack- and fast-foods are the HushFunyuns at Long John Silver’s – part of their unadvertised “secret menu.” You have to ask for ’em special.
Well, that and the Sausage McCheeto but that’s something I make for myself and there’s not a goddamn thing McDonald’s can do about it. Not a goddamn thing.
HEY, it’s been ages since we had a meeting of the Ted Parsnips Book Club! First there were the holidays, and then Johanna and Seth broke up, and, well, we had the house fumigated the first week of January for carpet bugs, and then the Turkelsons went on vacation, and then Tina and I broke up, and then Johanna and I got together, and then we were going to have a meeting the first Thursday of February, but we all agreed it would be “weird,” and then I realized what a controlling witch Johanna is and understood why Seth and her broke up, so then Seth and I got together for a couple of weeks, but then he needed “space,” and then Tina realized her name was on the mortgage and moved back in here (whatever), and then Seth and Johanna got back together for the sake of Yung Soo who was having trouble in school, and then last week the State Department finally flew back the Turkelsons’ remains from Costa Rica and we all got together at the memorial and one of us said, “Hey, why don’t we start up that book club thing again?” so here we are.
This week’s selection is “Found II“, compiled by Davy Rothbart. And it cost only 50¢ at the used bookstore just inside the lobby of the library across the street from Rite Aid. There was only one copy and this was it, so looks like the rest of you had to get your copies in other used book stores in other libraries. Hope that worked out for you, because if you don’t have a copy of “Found II,” you can’t participate in this week’s discussion, and you’ll take a zero for this assignment.
You know “Found” – it’s that wonderful magazine dedicated to discarded notes, letters, flyers, photos, lists, and drawings found and sent in by readers.
This book, a compilation of stuff from the magazine has a bunch of those finds, and it’s a delight to leaf through. An absolute delight!
However, I will not, nay, I cannot recommend it because I’ve sent in a few things to “Found” over the years and I’ve never heard back from them, and frankly, this irritates me.
You’re going to use my submissions, you’re not going to use them, whatever – just drop me an email one way or the other. I mean, how many submissions could they possibly be getting each day? Three? Four? Oh, sure, I get the self-serving “Buy Our Latest Issue” emails they send out every few months, but never “Hey, Ted, we got that cocktail napkin with the schmutz on it that you sent in – thanks! Look for it in Issue #8!”
Anyway, I find Found-quality stuff all the time. All-the-freaking-time. Hell, you know, me, I’m always picking up trash in the street – how do you think I met Tina? But the fact is, Davy Rothbart and his merry band of Foundsters aren’t getting any more of my treasures – no how, no way. And believe me, brother, ho-ho, believe you me, they’d kill for this stuff! This is high quality crap that I’ve found, you know, in the, eh, gutter.
And just so they might see what they’re missing, just so they know how mistreating me has its consequences, sure, I’ve compiled just one week’s worth of finds below!
Look at all that great stuff! Look at all that great stuff I found! “What is it all?” I’m glad you asked! I’ve arranged to have our art department draw up a key to the above.
Yeah, that’s entirely necessary and not confusing at all, in this vertical format.
1. Thin, galvanized steel sign that reads “NO PEDDLERS OR AGENTS” that looks to be from around the 1950s. Found! On the ground by my car near Wienerschnitzel in Simi Valley! Fascinating!
2. Business card belonging to Eugene Sinai, salesman for Knudsen Dairy Products! Features a phone number with an exchange (RIchmond 7-6471). Found! In a little book from the 1940s about milk production! That I bought in a thrift store! In Simi Valley!
3. Drink ticket! Good for 1 drink! I presume this is good anywhere! (Doesn’t say otherwise!) Found! In a parking lot outside Jack in the Box!
4. Condom with a googly eye somehow stuck to the end! Smells vaguely of cheap nacho cheese sauce! Found! In the bushes outside the post office!
5. Xeroxed page about “Cults, Ritualistic Abuse and Satanism,” and I quote, “The time has come to take this compulsive and total immersion in music seriously. It is time for adults to learn what the funny clothing, the blaring music, and the weird hairdos mean.” Found! On the sidewalk when I was running!
6. Coupon for 10¢ off Post Raisin Bran from 1979! Found! In a pile of papers on my desk!
7. Envelope postmarked 1959 from defunct Southern California supermarket upon the back of which someone has written a recipe that seems to be for some sort of pie! Found! In a cookbook in thrift store in Reseda that I didn’t buy, but I pocketed the envelope! Oh, spare me your lectures on morality! It’s a worthless goddamn envelope!
8. Sheet of “Fix Notes” from episode 316 of “Phineas & Ferb” presumably for the sound editor. (“2:56 – be more mysterious on Isabella talking about Ferb playing soccer with a pumpkin. Or could be silent.”) Found! Again, on sidewalk when I was running, about a quarter mile before the Satanism page!
9. Harmonica! Found! Along traintracks! Plays great! (–once I managed to tweeze out all the Red Man chewing tobacco that was impacted in the blow holes – thank God it was still moist and pliable!) Just call me Toots Thielemans!
10. Oh, this one I love: Scrap of paper with “Pink Lock 24-38-8” scrawled on it! Found! On the floor of the men’s locker room in my gym! It’s like when Eddie Pufahl couldn’t remember the combination to his lock in 7th grade and wrote it on the outside of his locker! Ha! What a loser! Remember that? Or did you not go to my school?
11. Canceled check for $30.95 payable to Readers Institute of America, from one John Cannon of Albany, Georgia dated August 7, 1964! Found! Inside an old issue of “Ford Times!”
12. Page of exceptionally crazy end-of-the-world religious ranting and Bible verse-quoting (including a delightful passage where the writer calls the current head of the Catholic church “Nazi Pope Ratzinger.”) Found! In the parking lot at IHOP in Carson, California!
13. Neat little perfectly oval rock! Found! At El Matador Beach in Malibu!
All of this could have been yours, Davy, to include in the next issue of your magazine. But instead, because of your insouciance to my previous submissions (and each one was phenomenal!), it’s all going to our first ever contest winner in our first ever contest. (Except for the drink ticket and the harmonica. And the rock, which I think is kind of neat.)
And the winner is… [and here I churn my hand around in a fishbowl full of slips of papers featuring the names of every single person who’s ever written in here to TedParsnips.com]…the winner is…”Chris C.” in Sacramento, California!
Congratulations, Chris C., whoever you are! It’s all yours, pal – as soon as I’ve found, in my mailbox, a check covering the cost of me mailing it all to you!
Sure, I sell one or two (allegedly) pirated movies on DVD at the Rose Bowl Swap Meet the one Sunday some asshole from the legal department of some pissant production company that specializes in TV movies for Lifetime happens to be there with his ugly girlfriend who he tries to impress by calling the police on me…and $160,000 and ninety days in Men’s Central later – after Paramount and Warner Bros. and Universal and RKO and Disney all band together and decide to make an example of me – what do I find at my local Council thrift store but a plastic storage tote FULL of these things, for a buck a piece!
I was charging five! At least I wasn’t undervaluing these films!
So that’s how you spell her name! On my DVD covers, I had “Glen.”
Anyway, the fact that the studios have no problem whatsoever with the National Council of Jewish Women thrift stores selling these movies go to prove what we’ve known all along, folks. Oh, we all know it, sure – we’re just not supposed to say it.
Thrift stores run this goddamn town.