GOOD LORD, it’s been a while, hasn’t it?
Look, I want to personally thank all of my readers who have kept’ comin’ back despite the same old lousy content just stagnating here, with no new posts in forever! Thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you and thank you! Well, that’s one benefit of only having, what, six regular readers.
Anyway, finally — here’s some new lousy content! So let’s get started huh?
The big thing these days is coloring books, for adults. Right? Sure!
You an’ me, we’re seein’ ’em everywhere. But when they start popping up at the dollar stores and, as of this past Saturday, at a thrift store…
…you know this trend is finally, thankfully coming to an end! Eventually!
Now as you know, before there were coloring books for adults, there were coloring books for kids.
And, as you’ll see in the case of this free Sav•On coloring book…
…in this case, there was a coloring book for children featuring children who look like adults.
I generally try not to knock other creative-type people’s output, especially artwork, because heaven knows as much as I like to draw, anything I draw ends up looking tortured and overwrought.
Still, this coloring book was given away in 1996 — 20 years ago! — and there’s no longer Sav•On Drugstores in the LA area. Plus, chances are, whoever drew this thing will never see this…or is a much better artist today.
So what I’m saying is, let’s all chuckle at the funny pictures!
“Sure, ma’am, here’s the foot powder you said you were looking for so you could distract me while you slipped that jar of Olay Regenerist Moisturizer in your purse. Security!”
It’s not just me, right? She’s patting that pocketbook and looking around like she’s done something wrong. Clearly the woman is a thief.
“Kevin, honey, look — it’s the photo I took of that bowl we use to cut your hair! Oh, that’s right — you can’t see. That’s why you’re groping blindly towards my voice but staring straight ahead.”
Mom evidently saves even more money by printing out a picture of a teddy bear on a piece of paper rather than giving her daughter a real, three-dimensional one, and limiting the girl’s footwear expenses to socks.
The less said about that disturbing homunculus in the cart, the better.
The right medicine doesn’t do you any good when it’s over at the pharmacy counter and Mom is high on meth, fixating on a can of Barbasol in the shaving aisle.
“Lady, you know the drill — I give you the growth hormone for your malformed little dwarf boy there, you let me touch your boob. Honk!”
“Maybe this box of candy will let your mother know I still love her despite giving me two freak show children with strange, adult-like proportions.”
“Oh, sweetie, despite the inexplicable and awkward way I’m holding my hands, you really frightened me — almost as much as when I’d first seen the ultrasound images and I realized I’d soon be giving birth to something with a head that size.”
“Sav•On has all my school supplies — including this bulletproof vest I’m forced to wear all the time because my grotesque reptilian features naturally make people want to kill me.”
Of course the real horror of all this is that WordPress automatically decreases image quality to about, what, 60% of the original, so if you think these children look bad here, imagine how horrifying they look in real life; i.e., the actual coloring book!
In fact, you’re probably saying, “Ted, you jackass, if the whole gist of this thing is how bad the drawings are, and we can barely see them for all the blurriness, why the hell should the, what, six of us keep coming back here every four months to read your latest bit of nonsense?”
Well, I don’t have a good answer for that.
But I am impressed that during the time between posts you evidently got organized and nominated one of you to speak for the group.
“Big news, Budek: We’re really heating things up with our Jalapeno Fresco Spicy Chicken Sandwich which features Wendy’s signature spicy blend and 100% all white meat chicken breast, topped with fresh, diced jalapenos and specially made ghost pepper sauce, and capped with a bakery-inspired, freshly toasted red jalapeno bun.
“And you know, Budek, the heat is complemented with savory flavors from warm, melty cheese sauce, delicious Colby Pepper Jack cheese — and a crunchy red onion.
“So, Budek, I need you to get up on that ladder and change the sign to tell our customers about it. And I need you to do it right away!”
“I already did it, Boss.”
“You did?! When?”
“Oh, gust a few minutes ago.”
“The signs were there all the time,” admitted Beth upon waking to an empty house. Kim and Fluffy were gone, off to start a new life without her.
Answer: No expensive restaurant laundry service for them — no sir!
HERE’S a quick one I came up with to start off your week with a real laugh!
I was in the 99¢ Only Store recently. (Big surprise, right — it’s like I’m always there!)
Anyway, I saw this:
And I didn’t buy it — get this — I didn’t buy it because it’s clearly a low-rent knockoff of Kellogg’s vastly superior “Chocolate Agenda!”
Ha! There you go! Enjoy!
You send this one into Jimmy Fallon, you be sure to put my name on it.
LOOK, it’s bound to happen eventually — the entire Supreme Court will be entirely replaced by robots. Mark my words! It’s in the Bible!
And it just makes sense, you know: There’ll be no more complaints about conservative this or liberal that. Every decision will be completely fair and totally unbiased.
One Dollar Zone in Milford, Connecticut shows us the future is here today, if Obama is brave enough to appoint this guy:
And as an impartial, unfeeling, emotionless robot that can’t be bought, here’s a judge that’ll be in nobody’s pocket!
That is, as long as no one puts it in their pocket. Because it’d fit.
Technically, it can be bought, too, I suppose. In fact, it has to be bought if you want one.
Okay, maybe all of this was a terrible, terrible idea.
LIKE you, I don’t understand why “Year In Review” or “Best of [insert year here]” articles are run in December — the year’s not over! I mean, what — are we to believe that by writing these things largely in advance, to run at the end of the year, whatever publication, “on-line” or real, maybe is able to give its writing and production staff a little breather, a little time off over the holidays?! Ridiculous.
Anyway, it’s with that in mind, you know, running this in early
JanuaryFebruary instead, that I justify dumping a ton of What’s Bueno items here — with modified ratings, to save space, and in the process get to clear out a bunch of photos I have on my computer.
Be warned: Most of it’s from the 99¢ Only store, and some of you, what, six readers have given me grief about covering them more than the other dollar stores. And to that I say, “Get off my ass!” And more importantly, “Thank you for reading my blog.”
Baby New Year Solar Dealie from Dollar Tree!
I kinda like these solar-powered figures. Both Dollar Tree and 99¢ Only carries various styles for a buck a piece. They don’t seem to last indefinitely: The solar cell wears out, they slow down and eventually stop moving. This one was cute and it was only available for 2015. For all I know they were back this year with “2016” on it. 5 out of 7 dollar signs!
$ $ $ $ $ $ $
Simpsons Figurines from Dollar Tree!
A buck for a Simpsons figurine? Aah, hell, why not. I think there were eight of them. Bart as Bartman, Lisa, Maggie, Marge, Homer, Chief Wiggum, Krusty (shown) and Mr. Burns. I thought Burns looked the best, so that’s the one I bought — you may choose differently. They had similar figures from other properties, too — Toy Story, DC Comics, Cars, Finding Nemo (Bruce the Shark was particularly well done). They’re each about 3″ tall or smaller. Not a bad deal: 4 out of 7 dollar signs!
$ $ $ $ $ $ $
Dollar Tree: Taste of Tony’s Microwaveable Pizza!
Dollar Tree seems to have had a long relationship with Tony’s. Just a few years ago, you could occasionally find their full-size pizzas that go for $3 or more at the regular grocery store. Man, those were the days. Now they sell individual French bread pizzas there, and these. Note it’s “Taste of Tony’s” not “Tony’s” on these microwaveable dealies, since they’re smaller and most disappointingly, unlike the bigger Tony’s, they feature imitation cheese. Meh. Save your money and get the big, regular kind at the grocery store. Costs a little more, but it’s worth it. 3 out of 7 dollar signs.
$ $ $ $ $ $ $
99¢ Only: Splash and Play!
Though the photo on the package shows three, you get just one Splash and Play to a package. If you want three, you’re going to have to shell out three bucks.
And just what do you do with Splash and Play?
Despite its name, you just blow it up, lay it on the lawn in front of you and sit there quietly with your mother. There’s neither any splashing nor playing. It earns a perfect 7 out of 7 dollar signs for helping to keep your unruly kid under control!
$ $ $ $ $ $ $
99¢ Only: Aunt Jemima’s Griddle Melts!
Like you would, I collected the entire set — Sausage, Ham & Bacon; Egg & Cheese; Sausage, Egg & Cheese and Apples & Cinnamon. And I felt good about doing so, because the nutrition information on the back indicates they’re fairly low in fat.
Then I got ’em home, opened ’em up and saw how small they are:
Well, you can’t tell by the photo, but they measure a paltry 3″ x 3″. If you’re like me, and you are, you’re going to have to eat a whole box to satisfy that breakfast hunger — and in doing so, you just multiplied that fat content by four!
Here’s one after it came out of the microwave:
You’ll notice that despite the package photo to the contrary, there’s virtually no way to slide this mess onto a napkin for dainty eating.
I bumped into the head of the TedParsnipsDotCom web design team in our break room here (where he seems to spend his entire workday) and he took one look at this melted, congealed, adhered-to-the-plate monstrosity and snickered, “Heh — for people who can’t dump their own garbage on a piece of bread.”
Sadly, he’s right. And I told him so just before I ordered him to clean out his desk and had Security escort him out. 2 out of 7 dollar signs.
$ $ $ $ $ $ $
Dollar Tree: Bahama & Co. Tropical Tiki Air Freshener!
Ah, the tiki conundrum: I hate “goofy” tiki merchandise, but as both a tiki collector and dollar store enthusiast, I was compelled to purchase this. As you would, I hate its wacky oversized white teeth and wish the entire thing was cast in black or very dark brown. It’s a nodder, too, and I don’t like my tikis to move. Despite that, it somehow smells like my mother’s house did, so it gets some points for that. 3 out of 7 dollar signs.
$ $ $ $ $ $ $
99¢ Only: Core Power High Protein Milkshake!
Ask anyone who sees me at my gym: “That guy clearly has no idea what the hell he’s doing, but by Godfrey, he’s here almost every day doing it! Jackass!” After an intense but largely pointless, possibly muscle-damaging workout, I drink one of these. I think it’s supposed to be good for you. Tastes good, anyway! The main thing is they go for over three bucks at Walmart, so I feel like I’m getting an amazing deal regardless that drinking it is probably completely counterproductive to the effects of my misguided attempts to
stayget in shape at age — …eh, whatever age I am. 6 out of 7 dollar signs.
$ $ $ $ $ $ $
99¢ Only: Creepy Cameo Costume Jewelry!
Not a big jewelry wearer here — being a man and all — but I couldn’t help but be delighted by this ghastly cameo necklace in 99¢ Only’s ladies department. As you can see, the other cameos are traditional, what, 18th or 19th century-type ones. And then we have the skeleton woman. (Wish I got a closeup. Sorry!) Pretty sure it was leftover from Halloween and someone just put it with the others, but regardless, it gets 7 out of 7 dollar signs from me!
$ $ $ $ $ $ $
99¢ Only: Fred Cards!
When the early-2010s generation starts getting nostalgic about its bygone youth — and it seems the nostalgia cycle is getting smaller and smaller so it could be any day now — no doubt YouTube’s Fred will have his own segment with D-level non-celebrities reminiscing about him on some VH1 show. Meanwhile, in antique shops and collectible stores, you’ll find unopened decks of these Fred cards going for far more than 99¢ Only…with no takers. Despite all that, I’m giving these cards 6 out of 7 dollar signs in a pathetic attempt to appeal to a much younger demographic that doesn’t look at blogs.
$ $ $ $ $ $ $
Dollar Tree: Lobster Spread! With Cognac!
A dollar for lobster spread? And they have a similar crab spread as well! Doesn’t matter that the actual lobster (and crab) content is probably minimal — the can looks so stylish. I bought one of each. Tasted fine, though kind of unremarkable. Goes for $3.99 a can at Cost Plus World Market! That and the wonderful printed-on-the-can packaging earn it 5 out of 7 dollar signs.
$ $ $ $ $ $ $
99¢ Only: Jif Cereal!
The 99¢ Only store had more Jif cereal than you can shake a spoon at! You know I bought a coupla boxes, loving — as I do — all things peanut butter, as one should. I guess the people at Kellogg’s made too much for this product launch (industry term) and you, Mr & Mrs. Dollar Store Shopper, benefited. If you bought some when they had it. And brother, they had it for months! 6 out of 7 dollar signs!
$ $ $ $ $ $ $
99¢ Only: Super Obama Figure!
Even at $1.99, which is more than 99¢ only, I figured these wouldn’t last long and I was right — they were all gone on a return trip to the store a day later. There was practically no information on the package other than what you see on the front: “Obama — Exclusive.” Maybe “Made in China” on the back, but little if nothing else. Likely they were unlicensed (not that a public figure needs to be licensed), but eBay — chock full of them at ridiculously high prices with none selling — also shows figures from the same line featuring Obama as a Jedi Knight and as a Chicago White Sox player…which would have had to be licensed and weren’t. I was going to buy one for my father and send it to him as a joke, but really, $1.99 only plus whatever crazy price Priority Mail postage is up to these days just to good-naturedly raise Dad’s blood pressure? Pass! Still, 4 out of 7 dollar signs.
$ $ $ $ $ $ $
Dollar Tree: Stone Wave Microwave Cooker!
“If you wait long enough, anything As Seen On TV eventually makes its way to Dollar Tree.” —Ted Parsnips.
Truer words were never spoken. Now I just need to copyright that, put it on a t-shirt that I’ll advertise on TV and no one will buy, and it’ll end up at Dollar Tree, like a Bacon Bowl maker, the Topsy Tail braider, or the above, the Stone Wave microwave cooker. Like you, I have enough kitchen junk I never use, but I figured for a buck, this would have been worth buying just to review. And then I never got around to it until now.
But I did use it and took some pictures.
Here it is midway during the unboxing [industry term]. Looks like a cross between a Sherman tank and a TIE fighter!
Here’s all the elements, disassembled!
You get a pot and a lid! An instruction book, too, fulla recipes!
Here is it assembled, all ready for action!
I made exactly two dishes in it — some sort of spiced apple thing, which was pretty good, and something resembling an omelet, below:
The omelet wasn’t bad, either. The little Stone Wave cooker is small: you’re not going to be feeding an army with this thing. I’ll be surprised if it’s still in the cabinet. I haven’t used it other than those two times and I’m probably just going to toss it out if I haven’t already. Heck, at a buck, I can afford to!
Still, I’ll give it a decent rating especially because the Stone Wave Microwave Cooker, at my local Goodwill thrift store for the inflated price of $3.99, also qualifies as an Overpriced Goodwill Item of the Week…
And 99¢ Only has them, too — but for twice Dollar Tree’s price — $1.99!
Order it off TV and you’re going to pay $10 plus about $7 in shipping, so for all these reasons including Dollar Tree’s so-cheap-why-not-give-it-a-try price: 6 out of 7 dollar signs!
$ $ $ $ $ $ $
99¢ Only: Quisp Cereal!
I must be growing up: 99¢ Only was selling boxes of Quisp for just 99¢ only and all I did was take this picture. Don’t you make the mistake I did! 7 out of 7 dollar signs.
$ $ $ $ $ $ $
Dollar Tree: Wacky Packages Stickers!
Speaking of things from one’s childhood — I remember a time when you would get five Wacky Packies, as we called ’em, for a quarter — plus a stick of gum as well! Today, the gum is long gone, but Dollar Tree will sell you a package of four Topps Wacky Packages for a buck! Let me do the math here — Okay: The price of an entire pack of five hilarious stickers (and something to satisfy your gum tooth) from back when I was a kid — 25¢ — now only gets you one lousy sticker.
Or, to do more math and put it another way, that involves me doing more math — for the price of one pack of 4 Wacky Packs today, you could have gotten four packs of 5 Wacky Packs back in the day!
They’re still fun though, so 5 out of 7 dollar signs!
$ $ $ $ $ $ $
Wow, fifteen What’s Bueno at the Dollar Store items reviewed and I’ve barely made a dent in my backlog of dollar store crap. Expect more reviews, plenty more! And I’ll expect you to keep coming back to read them!
But I won’t hold my breath.
AS regular readers of this blog know, I’m currently visiting my father — “Father,” as he is known — here in Virginia.
Like you would, if he was your father, I rooted around in his cabinets. Figured maybe I’d change everything around in a manner that makes sense to me, as opposed to whatever ridiculous system he’s used to.
Elderly folks love when their visiting children do stuff like that!
Anyway, I came across two of his more exotic spices — “salt” and “pepper.”
Why, here they are now — ladies and gentlemen, let’s give them a big, big hand!
Upon close inspection of these salt & pepper shakers, it occurred to me to wonder — as it would occur to you to wonder if he was your father — why the hell are the tops of them all dented in?
What’s going on here?
They’re not outrageously misshaped, but there’s some dentage there, oh yes!
Then I realized, Father, he’s a man’s man! He seasons his damn food like he means it!
That must be it! Mystery solved!
However, we can’t rule out that those dents didn’t come from him throwing them at the noggin of the last know-it-all kid who decided to reorganize his home.
“Oh, yes, I can’t believe I put it off for so long! Who needs television, anyway?
“Ever since I cut the cord, I’m finding all kinds of time to do so many other things I enjoy!”
“And how nice of you to visit…with your plain, solid color jacket, and your unembellished purse, and oh my, that magnificent wide expanse of unblemished skin on your forehead and…hey, come back here!”
Oh, and before you try to figure just which Fallas Paredes discount clothing store it was taken at, you should know it’s already spoken for. I’ve talked to the store manager and let’s just say I’ve made it worth his while to not ship it back, as required, to Lucasfilm/Disney, and to tell them it was accidentally “thrown out.”
In just a month or so, that yellow piece of paper is mine.