1. I’m Beginning To Think They Don’t Appreciate Us At All!


    Posted by on January 30, 2014, 4:34 AM.

  2. Martin Luther King Junior, Come On Down!

    LIKE YOU, I was stunned earlier this week when I read the news of that store in Duluth, Minnesota that, in an apparently sincere but misguided attempt to celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s achievements, advertised this:


    When stuff so egregiously offensive like this occurs, I tend to shut down and retreat into my own world. Lock myself in my office for a while, curl up on the floor and, like you, play The Price Is Right Slots until I can sufficiently calm down (or piss away whatever free credits I’ve saved up).


    So imagine my surprise on Monday when I opened up the app [industry term] and – before I even had a chance to pick which of the 30+ slot machines based on Price Is Right pricing games I was going to play that session – saw this staring me in the face:


    You’ll agree it’s an odd promotion. I appreciated the free spins – I mean, sure, who wouldn’t? – but I don’t know how Dr. King would feel about running a sale in his honor towards tokens for a gambling game. Seems it kind of trivializes his accomplishments and his place in American history in the fight for Civil Rights.

    Still, it could be worse.  Thank God they didn’t tie it into any one particular slot.


    Posted by on January 25, 2014, 4:39 AM.

  3. Appreciation Time Is Rolling Around Again!


    Yep!  Good ol’ Member Appreciation Day at my gym – this coming Thursday!


    Now, I’m not sure exactly what they mean by “open house workouts,” but I’m fairly certain it’s a lot different from my pre-gym membership days in the glorious 1990s when “open house workouts” involved a copy of the Sunday paper and a Los Angeles Thomas Guide with Post-Its in the Beverly Hills, Brentwood and the Palisades sections.


    I could usually get in about twenty minutes of good core exercises before the realtor started asking questions. Longer if there were a lot of other lookie-loos keeping her occupied. But once discovered, it was off to the next place on my list, with God-knows-what-equipment available – so cross-training became paramount to my regimen.

    Some workout tips? Of course.


    • Your time is valuable. But a half-hour the night before circling ads for estates listing “fitness room” among the amenities will save you wasted stops the next day.

    • You’ll want to start at a home that has some decent cardio machines. The sellers have been advised to unclutter the place as much as possible, so be prepared to drag that treadmill out of the garage and into the middle of the living room before you can even start.


    • Sign a famous person’s name – never your own! – on the sign-in sheet, being mindful of the part of town you’re in. “Channing Tatum” at a West Hollywood property all but ensures no one’s going to look twice at your fat ass on the rowing machine, as agents and buyers alike fan out to catch a glimpse of the star. Similarly, “Alec Baldwin” at a North-of-Wilshire address in Santa Monica is going to give you all the time you need on that Bowflex Revolution. Silverlake? Try “Shag” or “Zooey Deschanel” and suddenly you’re pretty much invisible to do as you please.


    • It’s common courtesy to wipe down the equipment when you’re done. Ask where the linen closet is if you didn’t bring your own towel.

    • I can’t stress enough the importance of a post-workout cool-down. Always finish up at a place that has a pool and a hot tub to relax the muscles. Most open houses end by four, so you might want to make sure your last property isn’t one of Broderick Tseng’s listings, or he’s going to join you in the jacuzzi with those two goddamn poodles of his.

    Posted by on January 24, 2014, 9:00 AM.

  4. Well, I’m Convinced!

    FOR SOME REASON, Dr. Oz ends his shows reminding viewers “Remember, if you see an ad with my name or likeness, it’s not me – it’s a scam!”

    Clearly, he’s just being modest, because look what he did for Ellen!


    Naw, I’m just kidding, of course.

    Even more delightful than this hilariously absurd affiliate marketing scam ad (which brings you to a completely phony Good Housekeeping Magazine site – Hearst Corporation, call your lawyers!) is that it ran alongside a story on the website of an ABC affiliate – though not one of those that broadcasts “The Dr. Oz Show.”

    This is kind of interesting because I used the word “affiliate” twice in slightly different contexts.

    Dr. Mehmet Oz has declared he’s “taking his name back” from all these scumbag scammers, though it doesn’t look like he’s winning, especially when the parent corporation of the company that airs your show in some markets – and owns the studio where you tape it – can’t even manage to keep the ads off their sites.

    But who knows? Maybe Ellen signed off on this one. Baby, you never looked better!

    Posted by on January 22, 2014, 4:32 PM.

  5. Just A Few Hours Ago At Wendy’s!

    “Oh, I don’t believe it! Not again!”

    “What is matter, boss?”

    “It’s that idiot Deep Blue! He screwed up the sign! The one thing he was hired to do, and he screws it up!”


    “Oh, I see problem, boss! But it yust last word on bottom. Chu no worry. I get up there and fix!”

    “You’re a good man, Budek.”


    Posted by on January 21, 2014, 12:34 AM.

  6. What’s Bueno: Non-Fig Newtons!

    ¿What's Bueno? I'll Tell You!

    AS YOU, what?, six regular readers know, one of the most popular features of this blog is “What’s Bueno At The 99¢ Only Store!”

    Oh, it’s not particularly popular with you, but it’s fairly popular with me, which is why it pops up so often, and also why I have, what?, six regulars.

    But having said that, I haven’t actually done one of them in months and that’s not just because I was in one particular location and was told I may not snap photos in the store.

    I’m sure it was all just a misunderstanding, since as you can attest, this blog is very pro-99¢ Only. The manager – who very politely told me to stop snapping pictures – probably mistook me for that handsome devil behind that trouble-making blog, “Dogs Where There Shouldn’t Be Dogs” – I’ve been told we look vaguely alike and that guy’s snapped a few photos of people with their pets inside 99¢ Only stores. (Imagine!)

    Anyway, before we’re both permanently barred from all 99¢ Only stores everywhere, I figured I’d better start giving you a daily (and with me, folks, “daily” usually ends up being once every eight or nine days, if we’re lucky) rundown of what is and what was bueno at the 99¢ Only store!


    Newtons fruit THINS

    Status: Currently available!

    These may not look like much, but let me tell you, I’m glad I picked up a package – though I’m more upset I didn’t pick up a bunch more.

    Like you, I am delighted that the package doesn’t describe them just as “cookies,” but rather “crispy cookies.” And, brother, they are. They are!

    Oh, sure – you’re seeing “Newtons” so you’re thinking “figs.” Well, Nabisco doesn’t give a fig what you think, because you’ll find nary a fig in these babies. No, the only thing here is a crisp cookie biscuit with toasted coconut baked right in – and then they’ve gone and bedrizzled it with dark fudge. I speak for all of us when I say we didn’t see that coming!

    My favorite part of Newtons fruit THINS (and I respect these cookies so much I use their silly uppercase and lowercase formating affectations) – aside from the cookies themselves, of course – is this on the package:


    Now, I’m no package design professional, but seems to me that they could have saved their printer a whole bunch of typesetting [industry term] if they just used the latest advance in package copy, the letter S. “Natural Flavors,” plural. Boom – you’re done. ‘Course if it wasn’t for this obvious copywriting screw-up, they probably wouldn’t have ended up at 99¢ Only, so I won’t complain too loudly (though I do feel bad for whoever lost their job over this one).

    Tomorrow*: Another item that is bueno!

    *Probably in eight or nine days.

    Posted by on January 18, 2014, 4:08 AM.

  7. Overpriced Goodwill Item of the Week: A Modern Day Masterpiece!

    Thank You Free Online Photo Editor!

    Hold onto your Swiss Rolls, folks – it’s a fan painting of spokescake snackperson Little Debbie!

    Wait a minute – strike that! Reverse it.


    Looks like someone was eating some Cosmic Brownies – if you know what I mean! – when they took paint to canvas for this nuttier-than-a-Nutty-Bar portrait!

    Judging by those lopsided old-lady-eyes, lack of bottom lashes, asymmetrical arrangement of her features, and somehow wrinkle-free skin, this is not of the original, iconic four-year-old Little Debbie, but rather an imagining of Little Debbie in her mid-eighties after she’s had some work done and suffered a stroke or two.

    $14.99 at Goodwill!

    And frankly, for a painting this size (it’s at least 18″ x 24″) and this bizarre, I almost have a hard time naming it our Overpriced Goodwill Item of the Week.


    But then I think of all the Zebra Cakes you could buy with that money…!

    Posted by on January 17, 2014, 11:48 AM.

  8. Mystery and Intrigue!

    It’s happening again!

    I came out of the post office this afternoon and found that someone had left an ominous message on my car.


    At first I thought it was a coupon for microwave popcorn, but then I re-read the headline and realized it was something far more sinister.

    Looks like this freelance writer/part-time San Fernando Valley Vocational College professor of iconology, symbology and Mexican gang tags is once again being pulled into some dangerous, lightning-paced escapade that’ll take me all over Europe, while revealing earth-shattering truths about history and religion, challenging my beliefs in the Church and quite possibly shaking my very faith to its core.

    But who left it?  Who’s been watching me so closely to know that I check my p.o. box precisely every few days or so? And usually some time in the afternoon after I’ve woken up, dragged my ass out of bed, sobered up, had lunch, and played a little online Monopoly: World Edition?

    Perhaps these muddy paw prints on the trunk are a clue – the first in a series of increasingly intricate riddles I’ll have to decipher in order to find out who is behind this nefarious puzzle and lay bare an explosive ancient truth before it’s lost forever.


    Naah.  Pretty sure they’ve been there for weeks.

    Posted by on January 15, 2014, 12:46 AM.

  9. Flush We Can!

    YOU know what’s been in the news a lot lately? Yes, that’s right: flushable wipes!

    They’re “flushable” all right – like a five-pound bag of quick-setting concrete is “flushable!”

    Oh, you’re technically able to flush any of ’em down the toilet, sure–that’s not where your problems start. No sir, that’s where your plumber’s children’s college funds start.

    Those guys have been loving all that extra business they’ve been getting by yanking out your soiled doo-rags once they clog up the waterworks halfway between your terlet, dere, and the septic tank or municipal sewer line.

    However, Consumer Reports did one of those reports [for consumers!] and found that these dealies…


    …passed with flying colors! (Presumably various shades of brown.)

    Cottonelle FreshCare flushable cleansing cloths actually did break down.


    But they did break down, my attorney is quite insistent I let you know.

    That’s not what we’ve come here for today. We’re here because of this emblem on their package:


    Let’s ignore that ominous asterisk on the upper right corner that seems to say “Sewer and Septic Safe…but…”

    At first I thought it was another of those dangling asterisks without a corresponding one elsewhere on the package, but eventually I found its mate and see that it indicates a trademark of Kimberly-Clark, the makers of this fine personal care product.

    Why an * instead of a ™? No idea. Seems to me a standard trademark symbol wouldn’t leave people looking for terms, conditions or exceptions, but what do I know? Regardless, forget all that.

    No, what you need to focus on is the artwork in the middle of the above emblem. It, eh, it seemed sort of familiar to me somehow.

    And then I realized:


    It’s not identical, of course–the one on the left has a rectangle in the middle and is just blue and white–but there are definite similaries. And I guess it’s good there’s no red in the lines representing water. If that was the case, you’ve probably got more problems than, uh, keeping clean down there and should probably call your doctor before Roto-Rooter.

    Anyway! Complete coincidence or subtle commentary on the current administration? I wouldn’t know; I’m not legally qualified to comment on logo design and this is not a political blog.

    So someone else can make the inevitable CafePress bumper sticker.

    Posted by on January 13, 2014, 2:50 AM.

  10. Quite Recently At Wendy’s!

    “Hey, boss, chu want me to change the sign out front?”

    “No need, Budek! I got this surplus computer on the cheap from IBM that I’ve unprogrammed from whatever it is it used to do and reprogrammed to change the sign automatically!”


    “What could posible go wrong?”

    “That’s the spirit, Budek!  Now then, Deep Blue, we need to let customers know about our new Spicy Chipotle Crispy Chicken Sandwich and our Spicy Chipotle Jr. Cheeseburger – both loaded with pepperjack cheese, zesty jalopeños and spicy chipotle sauce. At under a buck each, 99¢ has never been hotter! You got all that, Deep Blue?”

    “whirrr! click! beep beep! Got it, boss! click click! whirrrrrr! beeeeeeeep!”


    Posted by on January 10, 2014, 6:59 PM.

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