1. Today In Gourmet Cat Food!


    If the name of this flavor of cat food means what I think it does, you might want to move the litter box a little closer to Fluffy’s feeding station.

    Posted by on February 28, 2015, 3:25 AM.

  2. It Came From The Free Online Photo Editor!

    IF THERE’S ONE THING I’VE LEARNED over my past thirty-eight years of blogging here on the internet it’s that a good portion of my, what, six readers enjoy reading stuff about thrift stores, if I’m correctly deciphering the all-but-impossible-to-interpret Google Analytics information I obsessively check each night at 12:01 a.m. with a tumbler full of high quality Chilean brandy.


    Regardless, seems the thrift store posts get a lot of hits (followed closely by posts about fried bologna sandwiches, so expect to see a lot more of those in the future). Problem is, I don’t see a really good Overpriced Goodwill Item of the Week every single day. Or every single week for that matter.

    However, sometimes I just happen across something that’s, well, that’s just kind of neat.

    It’s with that in mind that I, with great fanfare, roll out yet another “regular” (ha!) feature, soon to be forgotten by the both of us…


    That’s pretty self-explanatory, right? Saw something unusual; took a picture of it; didn’t buy it. There you go. Wonderful

    Oh, and look who’s here! It’s our first noteworthy thrift store item!


    Steno Booster!

    Dictation Speed and Accuracy Training Course! For every type of shorthand!

    “Practice at home today [for] …a better paying job tomorrow!” reads the sleeve.


    Miss Jones! Take a letter! ‘Dear Miss Jones, Maybe if you didn’t wear the same outfit two days in a row, you wouldn’t have been passed up for that promotion to the executive steno pool. Hygiene is important in this organization. Very truly yours, etc. etc. P.S. Take a shower.’ Type that up and give yourself a copy, then head down to Rexall on the corner and for God’s sake, woman, buy a bottle of Stopette.

    So there we go! That wasn’t too painful, was it? Well, sometimes these new regular features are a little rocky at the beginning. Remember that first fried bologna sandwich post? Yeah — and look how far we’ve come since then.

    Posted by on February 25, 2015, 10:29 PM.

  3. That Fried Chicken Bologna Sandwich Post You’ve Been Asking For!


    Previously on Ted:

    At the end of the 99¢ Only Halloween Hullaboo thing back in October, I mentioned how I came across these delightful cans of chicken bologna.  Sure, they had me at “chicken bologna,” but in a can…?  I think we’re all astonished I purchased only one.

    *  *  *  *  *

    Now, months later, I showed said can to a pal who was (inexplicably) disgusted, but did advise me that “You gotta fry that [expletive deleted] up, son! Frrrrrah it up!”

    Looking online, I saw to no surprise whatsoever that there’s at least one chef who is trying to promote fried bologna as a trendy food, which would have immediately dissuaded me (and by extension, you) from having anything whatsoever to do with it, but by this point I was already 99¢-only deep into this fried bologna folly of mine (or frolognly, as I call it) and there was no turning back.

    I wisely ignored his recipe, which involved artisanal this and local-sourced that, and God forbid, gluten-free something-or-other, probably!, and just winged it and created my own unique take on the classic fried bologna sandwich.

    By the way, have you noticed lately that every single recipe you see online is “a [something] take on the classic [whatever]”…?


    Well, now that I’ve mentioned it, you’ll be seeing it everywhere.

    Anyway! Here’s how we made our version — that is, mine (and now yours):


    First, I opened the can. I needed to insert the thin edge of a knife twixt can edge and lid to actually pry it off, which was accompanied by a subtle but delightful sucking noise, even after the can opener did its job.


    I wasn’t sure what to expect , but, eh, this is what I found. I’ll let the photo above describe it; otherwise I’d inadvisably write something completely inaccurate involving the foreman at the chicken bologna cannery hocking up a little extra personal something into each can…that would cause my attorney to suffer a sudden apoplectic fit. Instead, imagine how the infinitely more talented James Lileks might describe such an image.

    I’m usually something of a happy-go-lucky type, but I’ll admit this cylindrical wad of lunch meat — key to the success of our fried bologna sandwich — has me a bit worried, especially given that divot of congealed fat.

    You, however — fretful, nervous type that you are, you’ve been concerned from the first time you read “chicken bologna in a can.” I can’t imagine why.


    And this black spot I think has us all a little anxious. The can itself was free from visible dents, dings or punctures, and this — this looks like spoilage.

    So then, throw the entire thing out? And piss away 99¢ only?!  Naaah!


    A simple bolognopsy takes care of things; we’ll send that sample off to the lab [read: “trash can”] and get on with our lives.


    But not if Mr. Whiskers has anything to say about it, and brother, does he ever! “Mrow! Mrow! Hiss! Spit! Mew! Yowl!” etc., etc.  Apparently once cracked open, the can filled the room with a scent not unlike one of the delicious varieties of Friskies Buffet, at least to the unsophisticated palate.

    Sheddap, I tells him, and continue.


    Here I’ve flipped the wad of bologna, or bolognawad over, and cut off about a 1/4″ slice.  Next, we—


    —”Mrow! Mew! Hiss! Spit! Hiss! Mrrow! Yoooooowl!”  Okay, this evidently isn’t going to stop until I take bolognive action. At this point, though I was unable to get a shot of it, the little fella actually got up on his hind legs to beg, and he never does that!

    Trust me, friends, it’s adorable, and thus must be rewarded — and maybe then he’ll shut the hell up!

    So we dice up about a teaspoon of the stuff:


    Put it into a bowl and present it to his majesty.


    Mmm-mm, that’s good bologna!  Good bologna!


    And then two minutes later, he’s finally done, and what the hell – did he even eat any of it? That’s almost the same amount I gave him. Anyway, let’s get back on track here.


    Next, we take this delicious telera, or Mexican food-bread roll, which I bought from Jons (a local supermercado), slice it open and…


    …using rich, delicious Challenge Dairy Maid Spread (the challenge is finding the dairy in the list of ingredients), generously butter the inside of the roll.  Oh, excuse me, generously butter the inside of the telera. Oh, oh, excuse me – generously 48% Vegetable Oil Spread the inside of the telera.

    Also, here my attorney would like to note that it’s not that challenging find dairy in the list of ingredients (but they are at the end).

    Next you pop them into your frying pan, butter side down, and kind of toast ’em up, reeeal nice-like.


    Meanwhile, having already sliced up the bologna you’re going to use, you’ll want to bag up the rest and put it in the refrigerator – you know, so you can enjoy it later. Or at least so Forensics has a starting point after your corpse is discovered sometime next week.


    Now don’t let your roll burn! No one wants a telera en fuego. Once properly toasted, you can return it to the cutting board where you sliced your bologna. Don’t worry about keeping a kosher kitchen — when cooking food like this, cross-contamination is the least of your worries.


    With your frying pan good and hot, go ahead and put your one and two-thirds chicken bologna slices in there. (You would have had two whole slices, but you snipped off that gross black part, and then the cat was being a pain in the ass so you gave him some, remember?)


    Now: Quick, cut yourself up a slice of onion to put on your fried bologna sandwich. Look, your chances of kissing anyone any time soon already went out the window when you decided to cook up a fried chicken-bologna-from-a-can sandwich, so might as well cut that onion good and thick.


    Onto the most expensive part of the sandwich: The cheese. It’s the only thing that cost more than a buck. I chose Borden Natural Provolone (with added smoke flavor); for a more authentic Fried Bologna sandwich, simply use government cheese.


    You’re going to want the bologna slices to get kind of slightly browned on both sides, so flip ’em over now and again. And then, when they’ve got a nice color to ’em, you go ahead and put your cheese slices on ’em.

    Now, see what I did with the 2/3 bologna slice? I folded and scored its cheese slice so it’d fit. It’s this lightning-quick ability to immediately adapt to any cooking emergency thrown my way that would serve me well on “Cutthroat Kitchen,” “Chopped,” “Hell’s Kitchen,” or any other of those awful cooking shows if I knew how to make anything aside from a fried bologna sandwich, and I’m learning as I go with this thing as it is!


    Now let the cheese melt on your bologna slices a bit. When the smoke alarm in the hallway goes off, they’re about done.

    Using a spatula, de-pan [cooking term] your bologna slices and slide same onto the bottom of your toasted telera roll, drop that fat slice of onion onto it, and give your sandwich a south-of-the-border flavorita by garnishing with some jalapeño slices, and you’re just about done.


    All that’s left to do is drop the top half of the roll on, and then cut that sucker in half for no reason other than to display its delicious melted cheese.


    Well, and to make it easier to share with the cat.


    For a copy of the Fried Bologna Sandwich Recipe, send $4.00 and a self-addressed stamped envelope to Fried Bologna Sandwich Recipe, Box 658152, Dept. FBSR, Los Angeles 7, Calif., Attention: Fried Bologna Recipe Fulfillment Office. Please write “Fried Bologna Sandwich Recipe” on the lower left corner of your envelope and include the words “Fried” “Bologna” “Sandwich” and “Recipe,” in that order, printed by hand on a 3×5 card. Fried Bologna Sandwich Recipe offer good while Fried Bologna Sandwich Recipe supplies last.

    Posted by on February 23, 2015, 1:26 PM.

  4. A Candle In The Thrift!

    ONE of the things that’s great about this whole new modern digital age, especially for someone like me who’s — surprise! — just a floor-to-ceiling stack of old newspapers or two short of being clinically diagnosed as a hoarder, is that these days, with my trusty EBC, or expensive blogging camera, I can go into a thrift store, see something neat (as you kids today say) and capture it on film, and by “on film” I of course mean digitally, sans film, all without having to waste money buying the damn thing that ultimately I would have no use for.

    Case in point? This candle I just saw a week or two ago:


    I mean, look at this thing — it’s great, right? Here’s how much of a freak I am — I did a double-take when I saw it, because I was excited to find what I thought at first was an honest-to-goodness vintage old tin can!

    “What a hypocrite!” you shriek. “You’re really no different than the people on Flickr that you make fun of!

    Yes, well. You got me there.

    Anyway! I soon realized it’s not an empty spaghetti can from the 60s, but rather…


    …a candle made to look like a can of spaghetti, sure, as the label says.

    Like you, when I see things like this — can or candle — I wonder to myself, and sometimes aloud (if a stranger’s nearby and I’m looking to make someone uncomfortable), “Where did this once mundane, now magnificent item reside for the past half-century? In an attic? A garage, a basement? In the bedroom of a beloved child who died tragically at an early age, and then Mom & Dad kept the room intact, as a shrine, maybe, for the rest of their days, until they, too, shuffled off this mortal coil, and some unsentimental realtor boxed up everything in the place and delivered it to a thrift store? How is it that something as commonplace as an empty spaghetti can or, yes, a bit less commonplace as a spaghetti candle avoid the trash bin for so long? Why is it here now, in front of me?”

    And speaking of the two items — Which would have been the better find: An actual empty can that decades earlier once held Franco-American spaghetti? Or this sort of Mad Magazine / Wacky Packages take on Franco-American spaghetti that’s not empty, and still has much of its original candle inside?

    I’ll leave that up to my, what?, six readers, as that is something only you can decide. If you’re done shrieking at me, I mean.

    “Does it smell like spaghetti when you light the candle?” you ask with a bit more restraint, using your indoor voice, and your question’s a valid one. Yet we may never know, since I left it there, unboughten. I did sniff it, though, and I couldn’t really detect any scent. But someone probably knows — it was gone when I went back to this particular thrift, less than a week later.

    How close to the original label was it? Pretty damn close, as you can see:


    On the right we have my candle — and by “my candle,” I mean a candle that is mine in spirit only: I do not actually own it but merely photographed it, and I refer to it as such because it’s the same candle I was talking about before; it is “mine” in that regard — but on the left,  we have an actual vintage empty Franco-American spaghetti can I found online that is not mine but belongs to a fellow who purchased it full of nails at a yard sale a couple of years ago.

    The question remains: Did he at first glance think he’d happened upon a Finko-American spaghetti candle and only upon closer inspection realize it was in fact an actual old empty can — empty, that is, of spaghetti but full in rich, nourishing nails?

    And if so, was he disappointed?

    We may never know.

    Next time:  I hypothesize at length about the unlikely set of circumstances that, in late 2013, placed two half-filled books of 1960s S&H Green Stamps on the ground in the middle an alleyway a block from my house and directly in my path…


    …and whether it’d been better to have found these books or the 50-year old merchandise that such stamps could have been redeemed for. (Presuming said merchandise would have been in as surprisingly good shape as these alley-books.)

    That, or maybe I’ll just pound out something quick about crap I bought at the dollar store. Either way, it’s sure to be compelling.

    Posted by on February 19, 2015, 11:01 PM.

  5. ¿What’s Bueno? Rième Pink Grapefruit Sparkling Limonade!

    ¿What's Bueno? I'll Tell You!

    Today’s “What’s Bueno” selection comes to the 99¢ Only store by way of France, a country famed for its gustatory delights — from frogs legs, or l’egs de frogge, to cheeses as pungent and unwashed as the very people who enjoy them. 

    And what we’ve got here is a beverage with which they wash down their frogs and cheese, or fraagzencheis, as they say in nearby Germany (probably).

    It’s Rième brand All Natural Pink Grapefruit Sparkling Limonade.


    No, that’s not a typo – it’s actually spelled “limonade.” That’s just how they do things in France. My, what an impression you’ll make on the host or hostess of a party you’ve been invited to when you show up with a classy gift like this – sturdy glass, quality paper label, old-fashioned stopper.

    “Oh, don’t open it up for us,” you’ll tell them. “You save it for a special occasion.” Yeah, a special occasion far in the future when you’re not around and they’ve forgotten who gave it to them, because this stuff is all about the packaging. The so-called “limonade” inside isn’t bad, it’s just very mild. I say there’s very little tang to the taste, not much zip to the [Note to self: come up with a z-word before I post this]. 

    “So why ‘Bueno’, Ted?” you ask. “How can you in good conscience recommend this to us, your trusting readers?”

    Go to Crate & Barrel and see what they charge you for similar empty bottles and you’ll see I’ve steered you right as always. And don’t you dare ever doubt me again.

    Posted by on February 18, 2015, 9:51 AM.

  6. ¿What’s Bueno? Peelable Wonka Pops!

    ¿What's Bueno? I'll Tell You!

    Wonka Peel-a-Pop Frozen Dessert Pops — A scrumdiddlyumptious delight for just 99¢ only!


    From the fertile mind of Gene Wilder comes these delicious frozen treats, probably.

    Only a confectionery genius would think of combining vanilla with grape, jam the whole mess on a wooden stick and then make it peelable, like a banana, and then I suppose you eat the peel, but not necessarily the stick. As it turns out I don’t know because I didn’t buy them since I was hours from home when I saw them in a 99¢ Only store far from where I live.

    The idea of some sort of ice cream-like treat that you use your fingers to peel sounds like it could prove to be a tad messy, but this is from the man who perfected lickable wallpaper and soda that makes you float (both of which I keep hoping turns up at 99¢ Only — though so far, no luck), so I’m sure he’s worked out the kinks.

    Regardless, the picture on the box looks neat and therefore well worth your 99¢ only.  So shines a good deal in weary world, to paraphrase Mr. Wonka himself (who stole the line from Shakespeare, like some sort of literary Slugworth).

    Update! (3/4/2015)

    I finally gave in and bought a box when I found them at a 99¢ Only near me.


    • Eh, they’re not bad, and as it turns out, yes, you can peel the outer “skin” down like a banana.  This peel seems to be made out of some sort of gelatinous goo, like a cross between Jell-O and gummy bears. Of course, you don’t have to peel it down — you can just bite into your Wonka Peel-a-Pop and get vanilla ice cream-like substance and gummy grape peel in one bite, which is what I did after having experimented with the first one, being too much of an impatient glutton to bother with any pointless “peeling” tasks with the subsequent seven pops.


    • A side panel of the box curiously instructs the consumer to “HAVE 1 POP AT A TIME!” Look, Wonka, you performed your due diligence by putting the federally-mandated Nutrition Information on the box. Don’t tell me how to eat your frozen treats.

    • Wonka Peel-A-Pops are a product of Argentina. Ordinarily, I’m suspicious about imported food I find at the dollar store, as my experience with breakfast cereals from South America have left much to be desired. (And here’s where I’d put a link to a previous post about South American cereals found at the 99¢ Only store, only I haven’t written it yet.) But if I was wary about such imported food before, I’m even more so with these. They’re frozen…yet they traveled all the way from Argentina? Makes me wonder if they’re the kind of frozen treat that retain their general consistency even when they get to room temperature, which could certainly be the case here since they’re engummed in peelable skins. (That said, the vanilla ice cream-like substance inside was yummy.)

    • Peel-A-Pops are also available in Banana-Flavored Edible Peel/Vanilla Ice Cream-Like Substance Inside variety. Regular readers of this blog know how I feel about artificially banana-flavored anything; I wouldn’t ingest a gummy banana-flavored banana-peel for a lifetime supply of chocolate. (Though they do look pretty cool.) But trust me on this one, folks — stick with the grape/vanilla pops.

    Posted by on February 16, 2015, 9:48 AM.

  7. ¿What’s Bueno? A Bieber Toothbrush!

    ¿What's Bueno? I'll Tell You!

    Check it out – a Justin Bieber BrushBuddies™ Singing Toothbrush! For just 99¢ only!


    The battery on my Bobby Sherman singing toothbrush wore out long ago, and the thing is, it wasn’t replaceable, so I’ve been dangerously brushing without music for years now – especially since dentists used to tell you that you should brush for exactly two minutes and forty-eight seconds – exactly the length of “Julie Do Ya Love Me.”

    But recently, the American Dental Association released the results of a new, updated study saying that this was not nearly long enough, and the ideal time for brushing one’s teeth is seven minutes and  fifty seconds – as it turns out the precise combined running times of “Beauty and a Beat” and “As Long As You Love Me” which are the two songs, incidentally, that this toothbrush plays.

    However, like you, I hate Bieber, so I brush-hacked it, hooked up the toothbrush to my laptop (really, just pushed the head into one of the USB ports until a bunch of bristles made enough points of contact to transfer data), erased the two songs, and uploaded some Petula Clark, a wonderful cover of “Mas Que Nada” by Rubin Mitchell, a vintage Price Is Right showcase cue, and three “The Splendid Table” podcasts to the toothbrush instead.

    Now I’ve got so much stuff to listen to, I’ve just tossed aside my clunky iPod and have begun multi-tasking by brushing my teeth when I go running. Thanks 99¢ Only store — helping me save money and time!

    Posted by on February 14, 2015, 2:40 AM.

  8. Today In Display Ads Aimed To Whet The Appetite!

    I don’t know about you, but I’m always thrilled when I see this ad on a website.


    Especially when I’m eating.

    And, brother, I’m always eating.

    But seriously – what kind of person is this ad even targeted at?  Someone who’s thoughtfully reading the financial news, or a story about the situation in the Middle East, or a compelling think piece over at Reason.com and then they look over, notice this on the side of the page, and they think,

    “Huh. That looks a lot like my foot. I’ve been meaning to do something about that hole in my big yellow toenail, but up to this point, I guess I just haven’t gotten around to it. Since it and its brittle, Frito-like brothers are at this point holding on to my toes by the very thinnest threads of congealed pus and rotting tissue, I guess now’s as good a time as ever to go ahead and click on the ad and get started on the road to toenail health.”

    Is that who it’s targeted at? Someone like that? I guess so.

    Regardless, the good news is that even with my webbing, my tufts of coarse black knuckle hair, and my mystical fairy ring of painful plantar warts, evidently I may yet realize my dreams of becoming a foot model myself.

    Posted by on February 11, 2015, 8:21 PM.

  9. Rosie O’Donnell Is Leaving “The View!” Again! And None Of Us Saw This Coming!

    SAY it ain’t so, Ro! Leaving “The View?” Again?! You could knock me over with a Koosh ball!

    Of course I’m joking.


    It was a foregone conclusion that she’ d be leaving as soon as it was announced she was re-joining “The View.” And, Christamighty, it’s “The View!” It’s Rosie O’Donnell!  Who the hell cares?!

    And yet, I admit I’ve been oddly fascinated with Rosie, her career and her unique personality for the last twenty years or so.


    Like you, I was only vaguely aware of Rosie O’Donnell in the early 1990s when —  based seemingly solely on a vocal gimmick — she was cast as Betty in “The Flintstones” movie.  And to her credit, yes, she really nailed that Betty Rubble giggle.

    And also in the 1990s (among other things of course), she appeared on two “Jeopardy!” celebrity tournaments. A little internet digging reveals she appeared on a 1992 episode — fresh off her success from “A League of Her Own” (apparently she was in that, too – never saw it!) — and she wins the game! 


    In the 1992 episode – VERY low-quality video of it can be found here – she does some grandstanding, a little over-the-top waving to the cameras – but the first thing host Alex Trebek does after introducing the contestants — Robert Guillaume, Ed Begley Jr. and Rosie — is make this little speech:

    “Before we get into the game, ladies and gentlemen, I would like to in all honesty alert you to the possibility of a problem in this half-hour and I say this not because I am a big fan of Rosie O’Donnell, not because of the fact that she happens to come from the same part of Long Island as my beautiful wife Jean but she talked to me a few moments ago and she was worried about the fact that we may be skewing the material towards the gentlemen contestants and she warned me that if there are any clues that come up about Phantom of the Opera in which Robert Guillaume stars or about solar cars which are advocated by Ed Begley Jr. she will lodge a protest.”


    Meanwhile, Rosie, with hair done up and lips pursed to evoke Betty Boop, nods in mock seriousness as Alex announces this.

    It’s mildly cute, vaguely amusing (if a tiny bit cringe-inducing and embarrassing) but it’s noteworthy because by arranging to have Alex make that speech, she gives (pursed) lip service to her opponents, but the focus is on her.

    It’s definitely a harbinger of things to come – especially if you happened to see her 1999 appearance, facing opponents Noah Wyle and Carol Burnett. In that episode, a whopping seventeen answers remained unrevealed, and it was mostly due to Rosie running out the clock of the two timed rounds by cracking little asides and jokes after most clues were answered, whether she was the one to ring in or not.

    Unfortunately, video of that appearance does not seem to exist online but as I recall, even Alex Trebek seemed to tire of the way Rosie was disrupting the flow of the game and hijacking the entire program. No surprise that she hasn’t been back as a celebrity contestant on “Jeopardy!” since then.

    It was that appearance where I started to see her as someone who seems to suffer from a near-pathological need to constantly be the center of attention.

    The 1990s also brought us “The Rosie O’Donnell Show” that enjoyed a 6-year run and for a time, at least, inexplicably christened her with the mantle “The Queen of Nice” — something I never understood because hosts of other similar daytime talkers [industry term] never seem to be particularly abrasive by comparison.


    The always underrated “Mad-TV” lampooned Rosie a bunch of times in various sketches, but none was funnier than a March 2002 spoof of her show, where Rosie, played by Alex Borstein, welcomes a cast member (Debra Wilson) from the then hit Broadway play “The Lion King” and all but ignores her guest to make funny comments about how her hair resembles Cheez-Doodles. Borstein and the “Mad-TV” writers mocked Rosie and her show perfectly.

    2002 was the end of “The Rosie O’Donnell Show” — Rosie famously ended the show “to spend more time with her children.”

    Her kids presumably grew up very quickly, or she grew tired of spending time with ’em: By 2003, Rosie was back in the spotlight with a role in an episode of “Judging Amy;” in 2005, she starred in a TV Movie “Riding the Bus with My Sister” and appeared on three episodes of “Queer as Folk;” and followed that up with four appearances on “Nip/Tuck” over the next three years.

    Certainly, I’m not implying the grind of a daily show is the same as the occasional role, but still: If you’re going to make a point of leaving to spend time with your kids, maybe – I don’t know – disappear for a couple years. Do the stay-at-home Mom thing for at least a little while.


    At some point around there, she found time away from the kids and away from the camera to write her first memoir, “Find Me,” and this being Rosie, one can’t help but imagine a scenario between her and an editor trying to talk her down from a slightly different title: “Look At Me!!!”


    Shortly before Drew Carey debuted as the new host of “The Price Is Right,” I had a chance to ask a producer on the show whether the rumors of Rosie wanting to host the show were true. He confirmed they were: Not only did she want to host, but according to him, she wanted to move “TPIR” to New York and cut down the number of pricing games played so she could turn it into more of a talk show. Had that happened, I imagine within a few short months, she’d have done away with all the pesky “game” elements completely and somehow transformed it back into the program she had left five years before – after all, is this really someone who’d want to have to share the stage with unknown contestants each day?


    In 2007, Ms. O’Donnell followed up her best-seller (!) “Find Me” with “Celebrity Detox: The Fame Game.” Like you, I’ve never read it, either, but the book is described on Amazon.com as “Sometimes funny, sometimes heartbreaking, and always brutally honest, this is Rosie O’Donnell’s surprising account of the pain, regret, and euphoria involved in withdrawing from celebrity life—and the terrifying dangers of relapsing into the spotlight…CELEBRITY DETOX is Rosie’s story of the years after she walked away from her top-rated TV show in 2002, and her reasons for going back on the air in 2006.”

    Mm. “Withdrawing from celebrity life.”  What specific date was that briefly accomplished?

    What’s so fascinating about Rosie is not the obvious narcissism, not the addiction to fame, but rather the way it manifests itself. Johnny Carson left “The Tonight Show” after 29 years with arguably less fanfare than Rosie left her show after hosting it for roughly one-fifth of that time.


    When she re-joined “The View” last fall, I told a pal, with characteristic accuracy of course!, that the clock was already ticking down to her next departure. There’s not room at that televised cackle-fest of overlapping dialogue and constant passive-aggressive interruption for more than one head chicken and Whoopi already rules the roost.

    By now it had become clear, at least to me, that Rosie only joins these shows for the sole purpose of leaving. She seems to love the publicity surrounding her exits. And what better way to tighten the spotlight on an ensemble panel until it’s laser-focused on one person — her!


    Remember her first petulant exit from “The View,” following an on-air argument with Elisabeth Hasselbeck? Rosie is the little brat at the party who is so jealous of the birthday girl and any attention showered on others that she throws a temper tantrum and demands to leave so everyone will dote on her until a parent comes to pick her up.


    Rosie O’Donnell is leaving “The View” this time because, according to a spokesperson, “Rosie has teens and an infant at home that need her attention,” and, in another statement, “She’s focused on her kids now. This is the right thing for her to do.”

    But…oops!  She’s used that one before.

    Time to switch things up! By today, Monday, the reasoning behind her impending exit had been elaborated on a bit and so now, this time, it’s all about heart health!

    So, today, using a new method, the Elephant-In-the-Room Technique, Rosie’s leaving wasn’t discussed on “The View” whatsoever. This makes for a bigger buildup when it is discussed on the show at some point before she tapes her last episode on Thursday.

    “Why didn’t we talk about my leaving the View on the View today? I want you to know that everybody wanted me to talk about it. I didn’t want to talk about it,” she explains in a video posted today on YouTube, where she, uh, talks about it. But know one thing: the fact that “everybody wanted [her] to talk about it” means the world to this woman.

    Anyway, the new angle is that she’s leaving because she “had a heart attack.”

    Two years ago.

    “…And stress is very bad….for heart attack …survivors,” she continues. “You should minimize your stress. Maximize your exercise and control your diet. That’s what you need to do for a healthy heart. So that’s what I’m doing.”

    Thank God!  Thank God she’s on top of this with such lightning-fast immediacy — now, a mere two years later, instead of maybe a decade from now!

    “I’m minimizing my stress by leaving ‘The View.'”

    And, as usual, maximizing focus, spotlight, fanfare, attention, sympathy.

    So long, Ro!

    Good luck and good health to you, enjoy the time raising your kids, and make the most of that well-deserved rest you’ll be taking until whenever it is we see you again.


    …Which I’m guessing will probably be in about a week and a half, when she’ll no doubt be making the rounds on other talk shows where she’ll talk at length about leaving “The View,” while an agent works frantically behind the scenes to get her a brand new gig from which — with an appropriate number of trumpets blaring, maidens throwing rose petals before her, and standard bearers marching with flags held high — she can make her next triumphant exit.

    Posted by on February 9, 2015, 3:51 PM.

  10. Dollar Days at Goodwill — Not!

    Thank You Free Online Photo Editor!

    If I had a nickel for every item I’ve seen at 99¢ Only for 99¢ only and then later at Goodwill for a much higher price, I’d be a rich man, indeed. And not just rich in good health, family and friends as I am now, but rich in nickels which is of course what I prefer.

    But I’ll be generous and cut the people who price the donations at Goodwill some slack on that, because not everyone can be as well-versed in 99¢ Only store merchandise as you or I.

    However, I won’t be as magnanimous with this:


    It’s a Kitchen brand Microwave Splatter Screen. Brand new — never been used, by the looks of that label! Not sure where it came from originally — could be a dollar store item, could be from one of your larger retailers. Who’s to say?

    Regardless, we all can see this on the label, can’t we?


    And then, a few inches away, we’ve got Goodwill’s price:


    Now, I think the problem here is that at least a while back — from what a cashier told me — the Goodwills in my area weren’t pricing anything lower than $1.99. Which, frankly, doesn’t make a lot of sense (especially for this area, hoo boy!), but if that was their policy, then stuff like this shouldn’t even make it out to the sales floor [industry term].

    Goodwill oughta just re-donate such merchandise to thrift stores — good thrift stores — that do price things lower than a buck. Or just give this stuff away. Or throw it in the garbage.

    Because when you, Goodwill, try to sell something for two bucks in a thrift store that retails for half that (and is marked as such), you’re going to end up with customers at the counter arguing with the cashiers and trying to get them to sell it to them for the original price — and then when the cashiers don’t, you’re going to end up with customers using filthy, filthy language, possibly throwing things, and probably invoking some sort of peasant curse against the employee. (Most customers other than me in my area thrift stores, I’ve noticed, are pushy, awful, awful people who, I think it’s safe to assume, dabble in black magic.)

    What’s worse — you’re going to end up showcased on my popular “Overpriced Goodwill Item of the Week” feature and mocked mercilessly by my, what, six regular readers. Probably.

    Posted by on February 7, 2015, 8:06 PM.

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