OUR MAN IN THAILAND tells us that over in that exotic land of mystery and intrigue, Dunkin Donuts has come under fire for an ad promoting their new “charcoal donut” (it’s actually chocolate) – featuring an image of a woman in blackface. Human Rights Watch – a group that keeps a wary eye out for things like this – is understandably outraged!
I for one couldn’t agree more.
I’m shocked and appalled, and disgusted, even, that Dunkin Donuts would run such an ad…and especially now, on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King’s “I Have A Donut” speech.
AS REGULAR READERS of this blog know, I like to leave you each Friday with a little something to consider over the next few days – an idea, a prayer, a hope for you and yours, or just a good thought to keep positive energy flowing your way.
I was in a shopping center recently and I came across a business that really made me stop and think.
“Miss Donuts”?! Yeah, that’s all I do ever since I been on that diet, hoo boy!!!!!!!!! LOL!!!!!
Listen, you toss that one out this weekend during a lull in conversation at the Kritchmans’ annual Labor Day cookout and you’ve cemented your place as the Patton Oswalt of the neighborhood! You’re welcome!
WELL, we were fresh out of chandeliers this morning at home, so it was up to me to pick up a new box at Costco on the way home from the gym today. Boy, nothing says class like a chandelier from a warehouse club, and buying ‘em in bulk saves us time and money.
Costco makes it easy! Just heave it off the pallet, strap it to your pack mule and start back on the long trek up front to any one of two open registers! (Three if Yolanda’s back from break!)
On my trip there, I must admit I was surprised – at first, anyway – at what I passed along the way.
Then I realized, yes, of course! It’s August!
It’s 100 degrees in the shade!
Why the hell wouldn’t they have the Christmas stuff out already?!
We got your postcard last month!
And the other one arrived last week!
However, you addressed them to a gal who – thankfully for her! – never lived in the filthy toilet that is Los Angeles. Nor has she ever used my post office box as her mailing address.
See, turns out you’ve sent ’em to me sainted mudder who perhaps surprisingly does not fit Justice’s ideal demographic: a girl who is between the ages of 7 and 14 and not dead.
Not quite sure how Mom ended up on your mailing list – and with a California address, no less – considering that when she was alive, she lived 2,200 miles away and most recently was in her seventies. And that was over four years ago. Did you get bad information from NSA?
And when she was still with us, Mom tended to shop for clothes during the Senior Discount Days at the Bealls Outlet in the shopping center next to Publix (right by the Elephant’s Trunk Thrift Store that her creeepy son used to like going to when he visited).
But I appreciate the heads up on the 40% off sale – I’ve been meaning to pick up another coupla pairs of those Striped Super-Cozy Soft Butter Socks.
My feet thank you!
SOME of the most enriching times of my life are the hours and hours and hours I spend each week answering online surveys for market research companies. My input helps the real movers and shakers of the business world fine-tune old, trusted products and gauge the market for new ones.
Not only that, but I do just a couple hundred of them or so and I earn enough points to redeem for a $5 gift card for Red Robin!
How do I find the time to make my valuable opinions known? Well, this actual question (and my answer) from a recent poll about sausage of all things may be able to shed some light on all of that!
FORGET the nit-picky argument put forth by grammar freaks that signs above express lanes in grocery stores should technically be “10 Items or Fewer” not “10 Items or Less.” (Or 12, or 15, or however the hell many.)
Ralphs has made the whole issue moot and responded to today’s casual, unaccountable, go-with-the-flow, “whatever,” unconstricted-by-pesky-rules-or-guidelines society with a new kind of quick check-out lane which evidently is aimed at shoppers who have trouble with basic counting skills once their number of grocery items hits those intimidating double digits.
Behold, the ‘about 15 items’ express lane!
The arbitrary implication of the phrase “about 15 items” is of course open to wild interpretation and it no doubt reflects the tendency of inconsiderate “my-time-is-more-valuable-than-your-time” shoppers with, say, seventeen items to just join the express lane queue [pretentious British term], 10 item limit be damned!
No surprise to you, what, six regulars: I’m a stickler for staying at or below the posted limit (unless there’s absolutely no one at the express lane when I walk up).
Back during those now fondly-remembered and significantly less complicated “10-Items-Or-Less” days, a woman ahead of me tried to sneak through just such a checkout with five more cans of cat food than was allowed by the almighty sign – but was reprimanded by the checker, of all people. The customer argued they were similar items but the cashier countered that she still had to scan them all. Despite my propensity for following rules and expecting (usually in vain) others to do the same, I was with the customer on this one – the Ralphs employee was just being a surly, contrary jackass.
So you can understand why I’m a bit wary of the wording of this new signage at the express lane. I can see it now: I’ve got one lousy Tina’s Burrito and exactly 40¢ in coin to pay for it while some complete pain-in-the-ass, disorganized mess of a human being behind me has sixteen different meats, fruits, vegetables, canned goods and bottles of booze, expired coupons for all of them and hopes to pay with an out-of-state check.
This being Ralphs, the cashier is likely to pull that person ahead of me and ring him up first, because after all, while I just have the one burrito, he has – just as the sign says – “about 15 items.”
AND the list continues to grow.
Today a seventeenth woman has accused embattled San Diego mayor Bob Filner of sexual harassment.
Janet Wood, a florist from Santa Monica, California, has stated that Filner once “chased her around the kitchen table” and directed her to “slow down so I can catch ya.”
She offered as proof photographs of the ordeal.
Update: Whoops! Thanks to eagle-eyed reader Arlene H. who pointed out that these are merely screen caps from the Three’s Company episode “Jack’s Graduation” which features the similarly (allegedly) lecherous character Dean Travers, the headmaster of the cooking school attended by Jack Tripper.
Travers was played by character actor William Pierson who bears a striking resemblance to San Diego Mayor Bob Filner.
That’s Pierson on the left, Filner on the right. I think. You can see how I’d make such a mistake.
We regret the error.
AS REGULAR READERS of this blog know, I’ve been watching late 60s-early 70s Los Angeles-based dramas on Netflix during dinner for the last couple weeks. Dragnet is my appetizer, Emergency! is the entree, Adam-12 is dessert.
I call it the Jack Webb Diet, mister. And if you can think of a better way to spend 102 minutes every night while cramming items from Del Taco’s Buck & Under menu down your throat, well sir, I’d sure like to hear it.
A recent dessert course was Adam-12, Season One, Episode 24. That the ending was so unexpected made an already unusual outing with Reed & Malloy that much more enjoyable. But you’re going to need some set-up. Like the entire episode in screen caps.
On with the show!
Meet speeding socialite Penny Lang, pulled over for blowing through a boulevard stop.
She can’t believe that Officer Pete Malloy is intent on giving her a ticket. After all, she’s Penny Lang of number 5 Winston Lane (emphasis hers). Heiress to the Lang fortune (“Daddy’s in oil. Just dripping with it,” she laughs.)
Besides, she was just taking her poodle “Mistinguette” to her stylist and she’s late! [Hats off to the transcribing savant who figured out how to spell the dog’s name for the closed captioning.]
Malloy doesn’t budge on the ticket even after she gets out of the car, turns on the charm, shows off the full package and offers him a date. He’s not interested.
Ouch! Miss Lang has apparently never been turned down before.
* * * * * * * * * *
The guys in the locker room give Pete the business the second he walks in after a few days off. Some gal’s been dropping by the front desk and asking for him. ‘Where’s Pete? When is he coming back to work? Where does he live?’ This woman – whoever she is! – is really hung up on him!
Officer Jim Reed walks in and hands his partner a package someone sent to him at the station.
Malloy opens it and…
The rest of the guys have a good laugh, but Officer Malloy wants to put a stop to this whole business. “It’s going back the same way it came – U.S. Mail,” Malloy tells Reed outside as he re-addresses the package.
“Deliver it yourself,” Jim suggests as Miss Lang drives up behind the station.
So Malloy attacks the problem head on.
“You’ve caused enough trouble already,” Malloy tells her, “so why don’t you just be a good little girl and go on home?”
Not insulted in the least, Miss Lang continues making a play for him and Malloy gets just this side of nasty. “You’re out of your league,” he growls at her, walking away.
* * * * * * * * * *
It’s a fairly uneventful day for the two cops in the black & white patrol car designated 1-Adam-12. Not so much for Officer Ed Wells. He’s had to answer three separate complaints at 5 Winston Lane, and he’s not happy about it.
Seems Miss Lang is sick and tired of the whole police department and only has confidence in Pete Malloy. She doesn’t understand why he can’t be sent out to personally handle her calls. Wells now has two hours’ worth of reports to fill out because of all this.
Penny doesn’t stop at calling in frivolous non-emergencies, though. That night she stakes out the station and tries following Pete home. It takes him a half-hour and some fancy driving to lose her, he tells Reed the next day.
“Police experience sure comes in handy, huh?” his partner quips, and is met with the classic Malloy slow-burn/glare.
That night, the pair are sent to answer a 507 at a high-end apartment house. The fussy resident manager demands they go up to unit 1902 and get his new tenant to turn down the “steereo.” But be tactful! Be discreet! “We cater to nothing but top drawer here!”
Goodness, who could this new tenant be?!
Penny, however, is a bit more enthused to see him.
Sure, she had to move into Malloy’s reporting district to get him to respond to her calls, but it was worth it, right?
…he tells her for a third time.
But Malloy’s only getting started.
He continues with a withering condemnation of her whole approach, her motives and her values before telling Reed “Let’s go back to work” and filing out.
Surely, she’s gotten the message by now.
Well, maybe not.
* * * * * * * * * *
Next day, Sergeant McDonald calls Malloy on the carpet about the situation with this girlfriend of his.
Regardless, it’s becoming an embarrassment to the Department – the captain’s already brought it up at a supervisors meeting.
Pete details the history of a problem that began a few days before with that simple traffic citation and ultimately reassures Sergeant Mac that last night “I laid it right on the line to her, and there’ll be no more problems, I guarantee it!”
That’s when he’s called outside…
…to take delivery of his brand new Porsche 912.
Malloy refuses it (to the chagrin of a commission-hungry salesman).
He goes back inside, and accompanied by some dramatic music, contemplates his situation, and finally comes to a decision.
“I’m desperate,” he concedes to his partner as he dials the phone.
“Boy, the things you do for the job,” Jim Reed taunts him.
* * * * * * * * * *
The next day, Reed of course wants details.
Malloy plays dumb.
Oh, oh, yes, the date with Penny Lang, he remembers after being pressed.
“There’s not much to tell. We had dinner. Caught a show. Went dancing. Oh, she’s a good dancer. (sigh) It was a date, you know. You must remember what they were like.”
“And that’s it?”
“What?” Reed asks.
And with a look of mutual understanding, the episode ends!
Now, Adam-12 episodes often end abruptly like this. Occasionally, the viewer is left hanging with an unanswered question or two. Did they ever recover that guy’s stolen unicycle? Did the old lady survive the earwig attack? Like that. We’re usually wondering which one of just two likely outcomes occurred.
As for Pete’s date with Penny Lang – especially after his ominous remarks – the mind reels with possibilities.
…Oh, hell, I think we all know what happened.
But as with Reed, we’re probably better off not knowing the specifics.
And sadly, it is our beloved Dollar Tree!
If you’re like me, and I reckon you are, you love nothing more than finding a great deal at a local yard, garage, or – as we called ’em where I grew up – tag sale. Who doesn’t love rooting through someone else’s garbage? No one, that’s who!
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve gone to yard sales and found a first edition of “The Birds of America” (signed by John James Audubon – and he also drew a little cartoon owl) or a pair of brand new, never-worn Bruno Magli ‘Ruhof’ hip-wader fishing boots ($1,449.50 online at the discount shoe-ery!) or the original shooting script to Citizen Kane with hand-printed notations by Orson “What Is A Gonk?” Welles himself, where he’s crossed out – in his own hand – the sled’s original name (“Melvin”) and hastily scribbled in a last minute change to something else, though I forget what.
I’ve found all those things and more, sure, and I’ve passed on every goddamn one of them!
Why? you ask.
Because the morons selling them put these god-forsaken stickers on them!
And they’re absolutely impossible to get off!
Anyway, it was a difficult decision, but on behalf of bargain-lovers everywhere, I did what had to be done to stop the spread of this scourge at its source.
You’re welcome, fellow yard sale enthusiasts!
Oh, and don’t worry, it was quick and painless. Unlike explaining to a Dollar Tree manager why I was photographing myself grinding a package of stickers into the carpet.