Things You Buy for $100

10th May
2010
written by Jeff

This past weekend was a straight JAM. My birthday was Friday, complete with dinner, drinking and much enjoyment of all things fun and totally awesome, which is to say, ME! Ha ha, I’m so modest and sweet and sexy and badass all at the same time. How do I do it?!

Saturday night was Ben Folds at the House of Blues courtesy of my fantastique (yes, I intended to use French spelling and, no, I’m not a communist) girlfriend, Cathy, who, I am required to say by law, is right 99.9 percent of the time. I am not required to say that she is amazing to the power of awesome, but omitting that fact would be like putting Baby in a corner and NOBODY puts Baby in a corner (more on that in a sec).

Bottom line: the whole weekend rocked. But, what exactly do you do on Sunday night after a long, relaxing weekend when you are still awake and dreading having to go back to work the next day? Naturally, you go to dinner, wait until pretty much every video place in town is closing and then rifle through movies and tv shows at said stores as quickly as possible until you find something worth watching before checking out as they lock the doors behind you, natch! It was SO worth the effort.

First, I want to mention my phone conversation with Movies: The Store, the really cool video place on Richmond at about 5 minutes until 10pm. C and I were at Borders and thought that it would be silly to spend $30 on a movie we’d never seen, so I called Movies to see if they were open or would even be willing to remain open an extra 5 minutes or so to rent us something. This is what I got:

Me: How late are you guys open?
MTS: We are closing in 5 minutes at 10.
Me: Five minutes? Damn!
MTS: Dude, we’d stay but we are going to catch a movie right after we close.
Me: No worries. Thanks so much!

Seriously, how awesome is a store that probably would hold the door for you if they weren’t going out to see the very thing they sell? It’s symmetry and logic and stars colliding to create black holes and all that science shit that means perfection in the universe without even trying.

Anyway, as we made our way to checkout with some probably crappy $30 movie, we saw the $8 bin and, lo and behold, to what did our wondering eyes appear but the 20th anniversary edition of Dirty Dancing. I might have expected Havana Nights, but not the original. This, I am told, is a favorite of C’s youth, which made it an automatic buy. Out the door we went armed with Baby, Johnny, that guy from Law & Order and Newman from Seinfeld – all in one movie together!

It should be noted – oh, and I noted it – that it is curious the two seminal dance flicks of a generation (meaning Gen X, not you Gen Y kids who have to live with Honey, Step Up and Step Up 2 the Streets – hell, you didn’t even get Breakin’ 2: Electric Boogaloo!) – Dirty Dancing and Saturday Night Fever – both had male leads named Johnny. Also, Jennifer Gray and Patrick Swayze were in Red Dawn together as well, which doesn’t matter except that it is one of the dumbest movies I’ve ever watched and…WOLVERINES!!!

We unwrapped the packaging and found inside a booklet containing Dirty Dancing merchandise. Items included posters, CD’s, talking pens, projector keychains, a 2008 calendar (year of the DVD release) and apparel, which is the point of this whole blog post.

Oh, you thought you were going to get a detailed review of the DVD or some insight into youthful rebellion and the modern class system or a discussion on the pains of growing up in the turbulent 60’s as portrayed in the film? HA HA HA!! Have you ever READ this blog before? Oh, you haven’t? Ok, well…uh…what I write about on here are things like ninjas and light rock songs from the 70’s and the genius of Dear Abby, so you might want to reconsider why you are here. Seriously. If you hate vikings and vaginas and vikings with vaginas, this is NOT the place for you. Ok, glad we got that sorted out. Anyhoo…

Before I get to the apparel, let me just point out the honorable mention of this merchandise package, Dirty Dancing: The Video Game. I wish I could make this crap up, but check out the description:

Have the “Time of Your Life” with the new Dirty Dancing video game. Work alongside the team of the Kellerman’s resort, through a fantastic variety of fun minigames and earn camp dollars to purchase Dirty Dancing memorabilia, cabin furnishings and the all-important dance lessons with Johnny and Penny. How will you fare in the end-of-season dance contest?

I’m nearly speechless, but if you know me (and you do you sassy little mynx!), you know that will never happen even if my vocal chords were severed and my throat ripped out by that guy in American werewolf in London, you know, when he was a werewolf.

So, back to the apparel. There were message tees and classic logo tank tops. I was halfway surprised they didn’t have leotards given the proclivity of those in the film. During the “teaching Baby to dance” montage (shockingly similar to the “teaching Rocky to be black” montage in Rocky III, which both utilized songs with “eyes” in the title – coincidence? I think not!), C noticed a startling amount of leotard usage which prompted me to wonder (out loud because I’m annoying like that) why they would be wearing leotards and fish net stockings for rehearsal and why Baby would bring those items to a summer retreat in 1963, long before the Olivia Newton-John aerobics craze of the early 1980’s. Moving on.

My favorite item of apparel in the mini catalog was, as you might imagine, a thong. Yes, a thong. No, it’s not because I like women’s underwear. I swear, if I had a nickel for every time you came on here and perverted what I was trying to say, I’d be rich and famous and full of win. In fact, you should just pay me for that rude remark. Yes, I heard it because I’m spying on…I mean…you know what, nevermind. Let’s forget we ever talked about this. Look, a squirrel!

You know, nothing says “classy” like Dirty Dancing written across the front of your panties. Now, I can’t read the tiny writing all over the rest of the undies, but I assume they are clever quotes from the film or clever takes on them like:

You’re about to have the time of your life.
Welcome to my playpen…baby.
This is my dance space.
Put your pickle on my plate, college boy.
I’m known as the catch of the county.
I carry a watermelon!

See how perfectly those work out! They should hire me to write things on women’s underwear. It would have to be before someone put them on though, because I have a girlfriend and I’m not a total perv despite your heinous assertions to the contrary. If I did get such a job, I wouldn’t want to be limited to simply writing catchy one-liners or hilarious witticisms. Maybe poetry or algebra equations or even random verses from the Bible though “He wept” is all I can remember at the moment and I’m not sure that would be the hottest phrase to see on your girl’s drawers. But, I must press on in this new career and seek out all avenues of opportunity because, NOBODY PUTS BABY IN A CORNER.

See how I did that? I wrote this completely nonsensical paragraph that was really a total waste of pixels just so I could tie up the whole blog with a quote from the movie. Damn, I’m good. It was so completely worth it. It’s like that time I wrote a blog post about Dirty Dancing and how they sold thongs in their catalog insert and…wait. What just happened? Either I’m in the Matrix and they just changed something or I’m caught in a temporal causality loop like that episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation. Those are the only two things it could possibly be. Or I just forgot what I was doing and that’s crazy talk. My money is on the causality loop because it’s like a black hole and those things are the BALLS!

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25th March
2010
written by Jeff

The bachelor party is normally a pretty simple affair (no pun intended). Guys eat, drink and, as is often the case, look at naked women either on film or in person at a strip club. Some go farther and others are much more staid, but the concept is fairly straight forward whatever your choice of debauchery.

With bachelorette parties, on the other hand, there can be a myriad number of possibilities that range from the innocent (tea and polite jokes about “your wedding night”) to the downright bawdy (strange mostly gay men flinging their junk in the faces of ladies loaded up on peppermint Schnapps and a sense of righteous indignation).

Whatever the case may be, accessories are not just important, they are apparently necessary and, even more importantly, nearly always in the shape of a penis, with one sparkly exception: the tiara.

Bachelorette Tiara

About a month ago, my lovely girlfriend and I went to a local purveyor of party items to look for things she could bring to her best friend’s bachelorette party. Being the maid of honor and the best friend, it was left to her to send out the invites, organize the plans, buy lingerie as part of the “lingerie shower” they would have (no, dudes, it is NOT what you think!), order the penis pinata (natch) and, of course, get the tiara pictured above.

First, let me say there are a shocking number of penis shaped objects at Arne’s. Straws, cake tins, balloons…it’s a little creepy. None of it was quite as humorous to me as the “Sparkle Tiara,” which you can tell is sparkly by all the sad little snowflakes floating around on the packaging. I’d like to list for you the reasons I found this amusing and you WILL read it because you are totally bored if you’ve read this far already.

LAST NIGHT OUT!

This is mentioned twice on the package and both times with an exclamation point. I am left to assume that either the bride becomes a werewolf and is, wisely, not allowed outside at night, turns into a reverse vampire destroyed by moonlight or is simply locked in the basement. Is this some new marriage law?

The Model

Um, no offense, but could George’s Fun Factory (that is actually the name of the manufacturer if you look closely) come up with someone LESS homely to grace their tiara package. This poor woman looks like she was given a day pass from Amish country and got suckered by some city slicker to “try on a tiara” in a dark faux wood paneled room. I can hear them now:

City Slicker: Just try it on, just for a second.
Girl: I dunno, kind sir. I’m just an innocent youngster from farm country.
City Slicker: I promise you I won’t hurt you and you don’t have to do anything you don’t want to.
Girl: Well, since I’ve already taken off my clothes, I guess it’s ok.

“Quotation Marks”

I can only “assume” that someone at the “factory” got a “memo” from someone in “legal” that suggested putting on said tiara didn’t automatically “transform” the “bachelorette” into a “fairytale princess” or that this may not actually be her “last night out.” Good job, “legal guy” and I use quotes because I don’t want to use incorrect “nomenclature.”

Tiara Spells Out Bachelorette

It’s important to tell you this on the packaging as it is nearly impossible to see the actual tiara through the clear plastic wrap.

Improper Staple Placement

After all this poor Amish girl went though in her first and only modeling job, you’d think they could move the staple down to her neck or chin and not cover her mouth. Or maybe it’s some sort of agreement they reached with her. She doesn’t press charges and they cover her filthy little whore mouth with a dirty staple just like she likes it…uh, what?

Bottom line: if you are having a bachelorette party or throwing one for someone, it isn’t complete without the sparkly tiara…and the penis pinata. If there is anything else that every bachelorette party needs, I don’t want to know. We guys will just continue to assume it’s a lot like the way slumber parties go…in porn films.

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28th January
2010
written by Jeff

Virgin CertificateMademoiselle Rimbaud: Your Majesty! I was raised in a convent. I don’t indulge in pleasures of the flesh.
King Louis XVI: You don’t put out, he don’t get out.
Mademoiselle Rimbaud: Your Majesty, I simply don’t do it.
King Louis XVI: Come on, you do it. You love to do it. We all do it. You do it…
Mademoiselle Rimbaud: No, I don’t!
King Louis XVI: I do it, I love to do it. I just did it and I’m ready to do it again, don’t tell me you don’t do it!

Ah, de-flowering virgins. It’s a pastime I think we can all agree is worthy of an Olympic event. What? If they can have ice dancing and water ballet and chess, I’m pretty sure indoctrinating nubile young things into the ways of adulthood should be worthy of a medal.

But, for so many wasted years, we have all suffered with the problem of how to know FOR SURE that the girl whose special gift you are stealing is an actual virgin. Who hasn’t wondered this, right? RIGHT? Work with me, people.

Well, now you can plunder her village secure in the knowledge that she truly is new to Planet Sex with this Virgin Certificate. After all, if you have a certificate you purchased on the internet for a buck, you KNOW it has to be true.

But, wait, you say. What if you aren’t a virgin, but you really, REALLY want to be one again. Even though some seeds can’t be un-sewn (even with vaginal reconstructive surgery or penis shortening – it happens!), you can be a certified virgin too! Hooray for the magic of the internet that can turn you from wanton hussy (HUSSY with an H – don’t be a weirdo) to chaste virgin with just a few clicks of ye’ olde mouse including the “MAKE ME A VIRGIN” button. It’s almost TOO simple.

I considered it for a moment because returning to virginitude is something that is sort of appealing in a twisted, perverted way. But then someone told me that, other than in that Steve Carrell movie, being a older, male virgin isn’t the most prized of commodities among women.

OH RLY?

I mean, what woman doesn’t want a man who needs instruction on what a clitoris is nevermind how to find it? It’s like a sweet gift he is giving you by letting you explain it and waiting on him to learn how to pleasure you. You’re WELCOME!

I guess some of you brazen harlots seem to want guys with “experience” and “skill” and “a basic understanding of female anatomy.” God, you’re so demanding! I hate you. I swore I wouldn’t cry.

I’m sorry, what? No, I’m not a virgin. Yes, I’m sure. Stop looking at me like that!

(via Geekologie)

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16th December
2009
written by Jeff

dog-holeInventions are a funny thing. On one hand, the microchip has revolutionized the way we communicate and live our lives. On the other hand, the snuggie has replaced the blanket with shame. So, you know, six and one half dozen.

Well, in the same spirit as other great inventions like the light bulb, the cure for polio and the bumpit comes the Rear Gear, essentially a colored piece of cardboard with a string to cover up your dog’s pooper.

Is your pet feeling left in the dirt because of his/her unsightly rear? I’ve got them covered… Rear Gear is handmade in Portland, OR and offers a cheerful solution to be-rid your favorite pet’s un-manicured back side.

Rear Gear comes in many designs including a disco ball, air freshener, heart, flower, biohazard, smiley face, number one ribbon, cupcake, sheriff’s badge, dice, and you can even make yours custom, so there’s a Rear Gear for everyone.

Leave it to the artists at Etsy, purveyors of anything that can be crocheted, knitted or needlepointed, to come up with something this brilliant. It’s like a robot except it’s really just an asshole-shaped piece of cardboard, so it’s really not at all like a robot, unless you have a robot made of cardboard and shaped like an asshole, which, when you think about it, is pretty awesome.

I’m going to guess the Rear Gear doesn’t come equipped with a microchip, so it won’t do anything cool like take over the world or mimic fart sounds or warn you when your pup actually cuts one. Speaking of which, I can immediately think of a modification to this work of genius – scent! Besides covering up the actual anus, it could turn your dogs poots into rose-smelling poop and who doesn’t love that?

If I were you, and I’m not THANK GOD (no offense, but you’re totally weird, yo), I would get about 30 of these for the holidays and give them as gifts to your friends and family members. If they have dogs, great. If not, include a stapler or thumbtack and suggest they might need them for “personal use.” Everyone will laugh, except the person getting the gift. They’ll be scarred for life and probably stab you in your sleep. It’s the gift that keeps on giving!

But, don’t put the Rear Gear on my Christmas list. I have cats and they would claw me to death at the mere sight of something like this. Oh, and my farts smell like fresh laundry and love. Instead, I’ll take 1 million dollars, ninja training and world peace. Thanks in advance!

[via Geekologie]

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4th September
2009
written by Jeff

Posh KrogerI’ve been seeing a lot of you ask on Twitter, “Where the hell is Zombie Kroger and why is it called that?” By “a lot,” I mean like three people I sorta know but have never met.

So, I figured I should put together this little rundown of the four Krogers that have been given monikers and why they are so named.

Disco Kroger
Montrose at Hawthorne (near Westheimer)

The original. I don’t know when people started calling it Disco Kroger. I first started going there when I worked across the street. I also had my truck towed from there when I stupidly parked in its parking lot during a show at Tower Theater (you know it now as Hollywood Video – sigh). But, if you’ve ever been in there later at night, particularly on the weekends, you understand just how it got its name.

Ghetto Kroger
Shepherd at 11th

As far as I know, I’m the one that handed this Signature store with the name dating back to this post about how crappy that store can be. I first started going to Ghetto Kroger when it was decidedly less ghetto many MANY years ago. It was also significantly smaller. I’m told this will be the largest Kroger store in the US when re-modeling is complete. To understand its ghetto nature, all you have to do is go in there, see the construction and note ZERO signs saying “Please excuse our mess” or anything like that. I guess in a few months, we’ll have more ghetto to love.

Zombie Kroger
Shepherd at 20th

As outlined here, Zombie Kroger is so named because it is marked both by really sweet, exceedingly slow elderly people and a dearth of checkers most of the time. Plus, it seems to be in some sort of vortex that swallows normal time and has soda that looks like Windex.

Posh Kroger
West Gray at Dunlavy

Only recently this River Oaks store (pictured) got its name for both its clientele and the fact that you feel as if you are walking on diamond-encrusted floors and breathing caviar-infused air as you mill about in this hoity toity market. I see a blog post in my future.

So far, those are the Krogers with nicknames. I’m sure others could be determined if necessary. Hell, add your own if you like!

Photo via Wikipedia

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