1. Quiz: 1970s TV Show or Sign in My Neighborhood?

    HERE’S some fun: Like me, you’re a fan of signs of various sorts in my neighborhood and 1970s television.

    Ah, but how well do you know them both?

    I’ve devised a little quiz to help you find out! Of the following images, which are title cards of obscure 1970s television programs, and which are signs I saw when I was driving home from getting Thai food?

    1.) 1970s TV show or sign in my neighborhood?

    Answer: TV show.
    “Baba Sweets and Jalebi Junction” (CBS, 1973-1975) starred Mabel King as Eleanor “Baba” Sweets – the sassy ticket agent at the train station in the Little Bombay section of Detroit. While each half-hour was a non-stop laugh-parade of hilarious travelers, fans especially remember Norman Fell as a harried commuter who always slept through his stop in Rochester Hills and ended up in Jalebi Junction waiting for a taxi to bring him home.

    2.) 1970s TV show or sign in my neighborhood?

    Answer: TV show.
    Though it lasted just one season, “Justice Street”  (NBC, 1976) is widely regarded as the quintessential procedural cop show as well as an important forerunner to “Hill Street Blues” and “The Commish” – indeed, both Stephen Bochco and Stephen J. Cannell cut their teeth writing scripts for the series. Andy Devine turned in a surprisingly subtle performance as former Disney animator turned police detective William “Bill” Justice, and many attributed his untimely death in early 1977 as the reason for the series’ demise. As it turns out, it was an argument over a parking space on the Paramount lot between co-producers Quinn Martin and Jack Webb that doomed the show just weeks after debuting to stellar ratings.

    3.) 1970s TV show or sign in my neighborhood?

    Answer: Trick question – TV show and sign in my neighborhood.
    “The Paul Lynde Show” (ABC, 1972-1973) starred Mr. Center Square himself as Paul Simms, an attorney at odds with his deadbeat son-in-law. Unabashedly derivative of “All in the Family,” it was destroyed by the competition: “The Carol Burnett Show” and “Adam-12.” Inexplicably, it’s also the name on a sign outside a store specializing in women’s footwear a few blocks  from my house, located on the corner of Pawley Street and Lindemere Avenue.  Update: Turns out the business is actually “Pawl-Lind Shoe.” Thanks to eagle-eyed reader Arlene H. for the correction!

    4.) 1970s TV show or sign in my neighborhood?

    Answer: TV show.
    Prolific producer Garry Marshall developed “Mr. Pizza & Kabob” (ABC, 1978) as a mid-season replacement for the Aaron Spelling bomb “The San Pedro Beach Bums.” Ronnie Schell played restauranteur Jimmy “Mr. Pizza” Delvecchio (nephew of Al on “Happy Days”) while Hector Elizondo played Kabob, his eager but inept Armenian immigrant busboy (“Ooh, dat veddy veddy good idea, boss!”). Despite eight crossovers on five of Marshall’s other shows, the series couldn’t find an audience and was gone in just two months. Never one to give up on what he felt was a viable property, in 1990 Marshall reworked the premise into a popular motion picture, turning the pizza parlor owner into a successful businessman played by Richard Gere and Kabob into a beautiful, kind-hearted prostitute (Julia Roberts).

     So!  How’d ya do?

    Posted by on July 22, 2013, 2:26 PM.

  2. A Present From Mr. Whiskers!

    CONTRARY to popular belief, Mr. Whiskers, though old and gray, can apparently still move fast enough to take down one of our fine feathered friends.


    And how nice of him to leave the leftovers on the back stoop, where I walked out this morning, barefoot, and, eh, found it. Oh, believe me, there was more to my gift, but Mr. W’s the modest sort, and so he asked I not photograph the legs and entrails, which I understand is a delicacy. Just apparently not to cats.

    He’s a giver, Mr. Whiskers, is.

    Why, just last month he also left one of his trademark elongated hairball/Friskies Buffet vomit sausages for me. On the car.


    “What a nice fellow, your Mr. Whiskers,” you say. “Placing it, as he did, precisely where it can be flung free with just a convenient swipe of the wiper blade.”

    Oh no. As evidenced by the smear trail on my windshield, he horked it out on the edge of the roof and it slowly sliiiiid down.

    Posted by on July 20, 2013, 1:14 PM.

  3. Comic Con 2013! Live! From the Floor!

    DON’T worry, folks – I know these posts are coming a bit erratically lately, but I’m still alive.

    I’m down here…on the floor. Finally woke up with my usual Friday morning hangov– eh, migraine, and it occurred to me: oh yeah, the San Diego Comic Con is this weekend. It somehow snuck up on me yet again and as usual, I have no material ready for it.


    Join me, won’t you, in revisiting last year’s Comic Con post which my regular, what?, six readers all agree is “the only mildly amusing thing you’ve ever posted on this crap website of yours.” Yes, all six of you made that exact same observation, sure.

    Oh, you know things have taken a sad turn over at Ted Parsnips Dot Com when I’ve resorted to linking to old posts! Yep, wonnn’t be long now before this domain is available once again at GoDaddy!

    Posted by on July 19, 2013, 2:36 PM.

  4. 58 Energy Shots You Need To Ingest, Just For God’s Sake, Not All At Once! Part 4 In A Series!

    VITAMIN B12!

    As I’ve said before, I’m convinced it’s among the most energy-giving ingredients in energy shots, so the higher the percentage, the better, right? The more energy you’ll get, right? Hell, I sure think so! But maybe you’re concerned you’re going to do irreversible damage to your hypapituathyglavin gland and burn the little bastard out permanent-like. To this I say: Worry not, friend! I did a Google search! It’s all good! Still, I’m not the last word on serious medical issues – who do I look like, Jenny McCarthy?

    Anyway, let’s review a bunch more of these things, huh?


    Stacker2 6 Hour Power
    Price: $1.99 at RiteAid
    Calories: 0
    Vitamin B12: 500 mcg / 8333% RDA
    Flavors: Grape, Punch, Very Berry, Lemon-Lime, Orange
    Before: So very tired!
    After: Not so very tired.

    Stacker2 is to energy shots what Jel Sert is to freezer pops. They’re behind more energy shots than you can shake a stick at, and if you take a bunch of them at once, like I did for the purposes of these reviews, you won’t be able to stop shaking that stick for hours! Or just shaking! Ha!

    Stacker2 6 Hour Power gets points for having a lot of different flavors, and while the above three were bought at RiteAid…


    …this Very Berry one…


    …this Lemon-Lime one…


    …and this Orange one were all bought at Dollar Tree (which continues to carry a bunch of Stacker varieties, but the stores near me no longer carry these 6 Hour Powers). At 8333% of your recommended daily allowance of vitamin B12, these shots will pep you up some plus you’ll have enough B12 for the next, oh, let’s do some quick math here…almost the next three months. 


    Genesis Today Pure Energy Organic Energy Shot
    Price: $2.49 at Walmart
    Calories: 30
    Vitamin B12: 30 mcg / 500% RDA
    Flavors: Acaí Berry, Goji Berry
    Before: Dozing off
    After: Simultaneously watching Star Trek episodes “Errand of Mercy” and “Return to Tomorrow” (1980s Picture-In-Picture technology, folks!) while listening to Information Society’s “Tell Me What’s On Your Mind.”

    Two and a half bucks is a lot more than I like to pay for my energy shots. But I know a lot of you count on my site for reliable nutritional advice, so I picked this one up and you can pay me back when you can. Pure Energy is the only energy shot that’s packaged in a glass bottle, and that’s gotta count for something! It’s also got 100 milligrams of natural caffeine, and they underline it on the bottle, too, so I reckon that’s better for you than artificial, un-underlined caffeine. “USDA Organic” reads the label, so there’s that, if that’s something that interests you. Go back to Topanga Canyon, you long-haired hippy freak!


    Energy Now
    Price: 99¢ Only at the 99¢ Only store
    Calories: 0
    Vitamin B12: 125 mcg / 12.5% RDA
    Flavors: Mixed Berry, Citrus
    Before: Sleepy
    After: Grumpy

    Can’t you just see Jerry Stiller in a commercial revisiting his Seinfeld days shouting this product’s name – a paraphrased version of his memorable (one-episode) catchphrase?  Creation’s Garden, manufacturer of this energy shot, drop me a line and I’ll let you know where to send the check for this, my latest million-dollar idea. Frankly, such an advertising campaign could really give these shots the shot in the arm that they need, considering their Vitamin B12 level is a paltry 12.5% RDA. (Actually, they may want to check that: according to my calculations – based on US government recommended daily allowances – it’s actually 2083%) However, the biggest problem with Energy Now is a lack of ingredient-blending: I’ve had a number of different bottles, shaken up before opened, that had small bits of bitter, gritty white particles in them. Great, I’m in need of quick energy and I end up spending ten minutes standing over the sink rinsing my mouth of grainy vitamin supplement!

    Wow, that’s another nine more down! At this rate, we’ll finish this fool’s errand I idiotically embarked on – according to my calculations – sometime in 2016!

    …Serenity now!

    Posted by on July 13, 2013, 3:37 AM.

  5. It Begins…!

    Summer’s over, kids!


    According to Dollar Tree as of Monday, July 8, it’s officially Back to School time!

    Hurry in and get your pencils and notebooks, gang! Do it now!

    This time next week it’ll be a Christmas display!

    Posted by on July 8, 2013, 3:57 AM.

  6. I Wanna Be A Lifeguard!

    If you’re like me, you don’t have the swimming skills, upper body strength, CPR training or six-pack to become a lifeguard on one of Southern California’s beautiful, trash-strewn beaches. Nor do you likely have the dedication to work towards achieving any of these things. And for what, really? The chance to swim out in cold, polluted water, dodging stingrays and sharks just to drag some fat-ass back to shore who somehow managed to fall off his trendy paddleboard right smack between a riptide and an undertow? Who the hell needs it?!

    That’s why I was thrilled when I found this at TJ Maxx the other day.


    Two-day lifeguard certification class: $140 and a weekend shot to hell – and there’s no guarantee I’d pass.
    Boogie board with the word ‘Lifeguard’ on it: $9.99.

    Yeah, I think I made the right choice.

    Now I can head out to Zuma with this slung over my shoulder and impress the entire beach-going public without even getting wet. And once those military dog tags I bought on eBay arrive, people’ll really stop and take notice.

    This is going to be the best summer ever!

    Posted by on July 6, 2013, 4:06 AM.

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