1. WD-40!

    HERE’S something you’ll offer up at the water cooler at the office and earn the respect of your peers for always having something fresh and lively to contribute:

    It’s an ad featuring Arly Emery, that fellow who’s always shouting and pointing.

    I don’t mind telling you I was leafing through a Do-It Center flyer over lunch the other day, maybe looking for a good deal on paving stones for that retaining wall project we’ve talked about when I saw this. I knew I had to let you know about it.

    Anyway, Arly is the new face of WD-40, and no one’s more excited than you and I.  “Lock & Load, Maggots,” he seems to say since that’s printed by his head with his (facsimile) signature below.

    It seems WD-40 has new collectible cans which I’m eager to add to my collection, and now you are, too. I was kind of ambivalent at first, but his peppy “Lock & Load, Maggots!” sealed the deal for me. That’s what really kind of encouraged me to pick these up.

    The ad says “Collect all 4 cans!” and you bet I will. They’ll look great on the shelf next to my Great Muppet Caper commemorative bottles that Simple Green offered some time ago.

    Posted by on May 6, 2011, 9:00 AM.

  2. Someone Call Iwao Benedictenbach!

    THIS one’s a real panic you won’t be able to keep to yourself. Try it – you won’t be able to.

    It seems a pal found a couple of packs of erasers, presumably shortly after being fingerprinted for heaven knows what this time!

    Let’s take a look.

    I did some research on this one and it turns out these were issued to H&B animators in lieu of model sheets for “Yogi’s Gang.”

    Posted by on May 5, 2011, 9:00 AM.

  3. A Fish Story!

    HERE’S a bit of whimsy that you’ll share with Fiorello and the rest of the boys at the ol’ barber shop come Saturday.

    It seems a store up the street is selling Seabass Goo for $1.49 a pound.

    You’ll want to bookmark this one so you can come back again and again when you need a laugh or a quick pick-me-up.

    Posted by on May 4, 2011, 9:00 AM.

  4. Promotional Backpack!

    THERE’S this store in my neighborhood called “Pay 99¢ + or Less” and first of all, I want to commend them, with the mere inclusion of a plus sign, for covering all the bases with that one.

    Anyway, like me, you enjoy not only the dollar chain stores, but also the little independent dollar stores. And this is obviously one of the latter.

    So, for a buck, you can get one of these babies:

    What’s so compelling and newsworthy about this, however, is not that someone in charge of the promotional gifts for the IGCS meeting in 2006 decided that a backpack was the way to go, but rather that the unclaimed ones have now made their way into my community and are used to carry books to school by children who in all likelihood can’t read English. Whoops! Obviously I meant “yet,” not “English.”

    My point is, of course, any way that we can increase awareness is a positive thing.

    Posted by on May 3, 2011, 9:00 AM.

  5. 7 Wonderfully Contemplative Approaches to Dealing With the Disconcerting News of Osama Bin Laden’s Death

    LOOK, I get it. You’re confused. You don’t quite know what to feel about the death of Osama Bin Laden. It’s nothing to be ashamed of. He seemed to be a bad man, with that whole indirectly-responsible-for-the-deaths-of-thousands-of-Americans-on-9/11 thing that you might have heard about. But on the other hand, you want the world you live in to be the touchiest, feeliest, warmest and fuzziest place it can be. And how can it be that way if – even for a second! – you admit to having even the tiniest iota of schadenfreude for that poor soul?

    Lucky for you, I’ve gone and compiled a bunch of resources here – from the Internet’s brightest minds! – to help you work through your dilemma. (Don’t worry – didn’t take me too long. They’re almost all from – surprise! – The Huffington Post.)

    And when you’re all done reading them…? You come back here because I’ve got a great big hug with your name on it. We’ll get through this thing together.

    1. Why Are We So Happy Osama Bin Laden is Dead?
    Why indeed? ‘Tis truly a noggin-scratcher. But this piece serves as a good primer for the more advanced texts to come.

    2. Is It O.K. To Feel Happy About Osama Bin Laden’s Death?
    A nagging question undoubtedly. Fortunately, Time Magazine has a piece to help you sort out your feelings. And soon all of this unpleasantness will be behind us and the august and respected newsweekly will get back to the more important issues they cover these days.

    3. The Psychology of Revenge: Why We Should Stop Celebrating Osama Bin Laden’s Death
    All this partying had been going on far too long already when that piece was posted, at 9:43 Eastern Standard Time the morning after the news was announced.

    4. How Should We Respond to the Death of Osama Bin Laden?
    Now this is what I’m talking about! Real answers to our questions! Like you, I’m looking for guidance here. Author Jim Wallis will show us all the way.

    5. Osama Is Dead. Now What Should I Feel?
    Unsure which emotion you need to be dialing up after hearing the news? Torn between joy and mourning? No worries! This piece will give you the direction you seek!

    6. Should We Have Celebrated Osama Bin Laden’s Death?
    Author Susan Piver challenges us in her piece, “Look at your own reaction this morning. Was there even a hint of vengefulness or gladness at Osama bin Laden’s death? If so, that is a real problem.” Yikes! Now I feel terrible! Well, surely she can navigate us to a better place – let’s continue reading. “So what do we do? I don’t really know…” If she doesn’t, who does?

    7. Was Osama Bin Laden Evil?
    Here we go. Now there’s a question that’s inspired more lively debate than “How many licks does it take to get to the Tootsie Roll center of a Tootsie Pop?” And while we don’t get any kind of a definitive answer in the piece linked above, the author does use the word “paradigm.” So it’s got that.

    You know what? Maybe the Occam’s Razor approach is what we need here – you know, the simplest solution is the best. And who better embodied that in this situation than buxom singing sensation Katy Perry via Twitter?


    Finally! So perfect and succinct was her pronouncement that she had a full 81 characters to spare! And that’s with the naughty words!

    But wait! Later that same day, she offered us this:

    I believe in justice… but don’t u think that an eye for an eye will make the whole world blind? :(

    Hey, didn’t she just say that—  It was her that wrote how America—  Her first reaction was the polar opposite of this later—

    …You know, this is why I have previously stayed away from these topical subjects. I’m clearly in way over my head.

    And now I think it’s me who needs that hug.

    Take off your bra first.

    Posted by on , 4:34 AM.

  6. Everyone’s Favorite Late 80s Video Game…

    …is now a delicious snack in your grocer’s freezer!

    I think you’ll agree that my inability to properly operate the extremely basic camera function on my cell phone gives it a wonderfully appropriate 8-bit look.

    Posted by on May 2, 2011, 3:19 AM.

  7. Coupons of Mystery!

    HERE’S SOMETHING that I was saving for a piece in Small Restaurateur and Bistroista I was going to call “Top Ten Mistakes New Small Restaurateurs and Bistroistas Make.” As you know, most new restaurants and bistros fail within their first year of business (It’s important to note, however, the same does not apply to cafes.) and I figured by using my expertise in this area, I might help a few new small restaurateurs and bistroistas avoid some of the pitfalls I’d avoid if I was foolish enough to open a new small restaurant or bistro. Especially in this economy.

    Sadly, Small Restaurateur and Bistroista never made it past their third issue and closed up shop just seven months after they started. Not uncommon, of course. Most new magazines fail within their first year of publishing (the exception, of course, being café-themed magazines).

    It’s just as well because these niche magazines don’t pay crap to freelancers, and these magic fingers usually don’t touch a keyboard for less than twelve dollars a word.  (Speaking of which, your monthly reading-my-blog bill is overdue, so if you can get a check off to me in the next day or so, that’d be great.)

    Also, I could only come up with one item, but I pitched it as a list of ten, and they were holding eight pages open for me. And I was like three weeks (or four or five, who knows?) past my deadline.  But like I said, these niche magazines don’t pay hardly nothing so I didn’t lose a lot of sleep over it. Though I didn’t answer the phone for a while.

    So here’s that one item:

    #4:  Include the Goddamn Name of Your
    Restaurant or Bistro on Your Damn Coupon!
    Look, there, Wolfgang, you were just browbeaten by some smarmy 22-year old into buying an ad in the “dining out section” of the local newspaper – itself a dying industry! Newspapers, not dining out sections!  Don’t get smart.

    So you spend all that money on your ad, and you include a coupon in it and then some anal-retentive freak like me clips your coupons right along the dotted line, as we’re legally obligated to, and then pins them on the Restaurant Coupon Board in the kitchen and then when I go to use it…? That’s right!

    No idea whatsoever what the hell it’s for!  None! Zip! Zilch!

    Two dollars off what?  Free entree where?  10% off who?

    That’s why your restaurant or bistro failed!  Okay, technically, it was that ridiculously discounted Groupon you were pressured to sign up for by some other kid in his early 20s that 4,673 people bought and redeemed two days later, coupled with all those negative reviews on Yel– …eh, on that social networking, user review, local search website that curiously started popping up after you declined to advertise with them that put the nail in your business’ coffin.

    But this newspaper coupon fiasco didn’t help!

    By the way, if anyone can identify what the hell restaurants these coupons are for, please let me know.  Before the expiration dates.  Unless these places are already out of business.  Then I don’t care.

    Posted by on April 22, 2011, 1:43 AM.

  8. Hair!

    AS MANY OF YOU KNOW, I cut my own hair. In fact, quite a number of you have asked me to send you some clippings, and a few lucky contest winners have been the recipients of a standard business-size envelope full of that week’s trimmings.

    Anyway, when someone like me – a regular Slovak hair factory here – insists on butchering his own scalp week after week after week after week, despite the subtle hints, overt pleas, and SuperCuts gift cards from friends and family, as well as odd smiles from strangers in public which I like to misinterpret as interest of a sexual nature no matter what these people look like – eventually that tiny vial of clipper oil that came with the hair cutting kit runs out.  So you go on the Braun website in an effort to find out where to buy more.  That is to say, I went on the Braun website in an effort to find out where to buy more.

    And so, look, I’m already on the site and the “bodygroom” section aroused my curiosity. Sure, I’m a man of the 90s.  So I click on it, and I see this:

    Hoo boy.  Well, I hope they paid him well.  You just know that poor guy told whoever was in charge of grooming the models for the shoot, “As soon as the photographer gets the shot, I want you back over here with a razor because there’s no way in hell I’m going home like this.”

    And to those of you who say, “Oh, please, Ted, we’ve seen you without your shirt on and you’ve manscaped your chest hair into a bullseye!” To those of you who say that, I’d like to remind you that’s my goddamn ringworm rash and thank you for bringing attention to it, as if it’s not humiliating enough just suffering with it and now, now being forced to talk about it on my blog. And for your information,  I can’t trim the hair there because it’s a series of raised bumps and if I go over it with the clipper, it bleeds like a bastard.  Then they won’t let me into the showers at the gym. Well, because of that and the other reason.

    Posted by on April 21, 2011, 1:43 AM.

  9. Look What Was On My Door!

    HEY, check this out!

    This was hanging on my door.
    It’s called a “door hanger” by the boys on Madison Avenue.
    In this case, this door hanger advertises a cary out special.

    Boy, she’s really enjoying that pizza, huh?

    Now, here’s the thing.  This isn’t the first time they’ve advertised a cary out special on a door hanger.  They did the same thing a few months ago.  They spelled “Hawaiian” correctly that time, too!

    And I like their religious logo, too, even if it makes the second word look like “ptus.”

    Am I going to get sued for putting this thing here?  Can someone check on this for me?  I don’t need any more problems.

    Okay, let’s look at the bottom half of their door hanger.
    You know, the one advertising their cary out special.

    Gee, that lasagna looks good, huh?

    And the calzone looks like something that was crawling on my geranium one rainy morning after I poked it with a twig and it retracted its eyestalks. And by that I mean it also looks delicious, of course.

    I like how each illustrated menu item is in a completely different degree of focus than the next.  You can see this much better on the actual cary out special door hanger, but since it’s here and you’re there, and I do not want company today, you’re just going to have to take my word for it.

    But seriously…? I’ve bought food here and it’s awesome! I’ve had delivery from here and also ordered cary out. It’s the best food in whatever area it is that this place is located!  I highly recommend them! And they get high marks on both Yelp and some other local restaurant review website.

    Look, I just got a kick out of their cary out special door hanger is all.

    Posted by on April 14, 2011, 1:04 AM.

  10. On Location – with Sears!

    REMEMBER that issue of “Good Housekeeping” that we were talking about last week?* Well, there was this pretty big advertising section in the front from Sears. Sure, Sears – where America shops for value. They bought like ten or twelve pages! Look, I don’t remember exactly how many; I’ve since thrown the damn thing out, which is what you do with a magazine when you’re done with it. (Great, I’ve probably made Nana Parsnips cry again*.)

    *See previous post. —ed.

    Okay, so ten to twelve pages is an enormous amount of advertising in a national magazine. And Sears! Back in the late 1970s, they were still pretty big. They were the only game in town, sure! This section was page after page after page of home furnishings – bedroom sets and like that. But here’s what I enjoyed, and therefore, you will too: You see, they took some of the photogra–  Look, why don’t I just show you?

    Here’s what I, and now you, get a kick out of. They didn’t take these photographs in a studio and then superimpose them over an outdoor photo. They didn’t even dress an indoor set to make it look outdoors. No, folks, they actually took all this furniture, set it up, and then made the beds – outside!

    Look at that rug out there – they actually laid it down on the ground! On the sandy, dusty ground! Someone propped up those windows there on the rocks! And the beds, well, I’d like to believe someone, like a Teamster maybe, set up the beds and then someone else, like a housekeeper, came along and made them. Regardless, they shot all this outside.

    And you may not be able to see it as clearly in these photos as you can looking at the actual full-size pages, but I’m telling you, these were definitely shot outside.

    Oh, we’re not done yet – there’s more!

    Look at that! It looks like they shot this out at Vasquez Rocks! I was going to make “Vasquez Rocks” a link, but you’re either familiar with it or you’re not. In fact, it looks little like Vasquez Rocks, I just wanted to tie these pictures to a specific place to make this thing read even more interesting. Well, it looks like the desert, anyway. God only knows how many poisonous insects they brought home with them in all the bedding and mattresses when they packed up at the end of the day.

    Let’s continue, hmm?

    “Delightful” is right! They set up this stuff out in the middle of some stream! Some poor jackass had to tromp around, hopefully for him in hip waders, and carry that whole sink / window combo through the water, and then balance it out there in the swamp.One wrong step on a slippery, algae covered rock and your entire day is shot as your vanity with its ruffled valance and tiebacks go floating down the mighty Mississipp’ while you’re frantically pulling off leeches and toe biters!

    Okay, I saved the best for last:

    Look at that! So they set up the bed out in God-knows-where – I mean, it’s very pretty, of course, but it’s God-knows-where -and then they have a model get in it and pretend to be sleeping.

    You know what I’d like to think (and feel free to want to think this, too) – I’d like to think that she really is sleeping because there was no Teamster, there was no housekeeper – she’s the one that had to lug all that furniture off the truck and out into the meadow, the marsh, and the desert. The poor woman’s exhausted! But my God, to be able to add this shot to her professional portfolio!

    I wonder if she took off her hip waders before she got into bed? Me, I would have kept them on. Much less skin exposed to deer ticks. Take it from me: ten minutes after that bed was set up, the sheets were crawling with them. I mean, look, there’s grass right up against the dust ruffle. That’s where they wait for you (and deer). In the grass, not on dust ruffles. Don’t even get me started on the mosquitoes out there – I mean, it’s right by the water. And the horse flies, too, probably.  Big as your thumb they were, likely, and landing right on her hair and biting down right into her scalp. My head would have been under those covers, screw my portfolio!

    Who the hell okayed this whole ad campaign? My God, I love it.

    Posted by on April 12, 2011, 2:07 AM.

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