Sunday, February 25, 2007

Back Like Crack

I visited Mareb 99¢+ Store Plus (that's what the awning crudely said, the "+" and the "Plus" manually added with tape and spray paint) on Lenox Ave between 115th & 116th in Harlem. It's black history month, ya know? I kindly asked the man at the register if I could snap some pictures around the store. At first they gave me the run around and said I had to talk to the boss. There were 3 guys in the store, and two of them said the next was the boss, and the third said the boss wasn't there. But they eventually came around.

So to kick it off, the cashier would like to know how you're all doing.

Just fine, thanks.

First up, I couldn't believe it. Travel size Ebon-Aide! I haven't found Ebon-Aide for sale since my previously discussed 2002 windfall. Seriously, I couldn't be more pleased. I could end this post, or my life right now.

This is Mabel. Mabel used to be part of a WWF tag team called Men On A Mission, and they were like the Fat Boys of the WWF, and I loved them. See?

Awesome black history. Sing it like Chris Farley in Tommy Boy y'all....Fat guy in a hammerpants......

There's no kitchen-ass weave complete without discount weave bonding spray. For examples of kitchen-ass weaves, please check out the cast of either season of Flavor Of Love, or visit Hot Ghetto Mess. Please.

This product is so pointless, I like to imagine it's for a weather wizard, and when applied 1.21 Jigawatts of raw electric energy will explode from their armpits. And for that purpose, with purchase of this product you're getting the best deal in the whole damn store.

Rich & Thick...This Ketchup should be repackaged and branded for Star Jones. She needs a job, right?

Benign Girl makes a triumphant comeback to the blog. I find it ironic that Benign Girl is endorsing cell phone use, when cell phones have been linked to brain tumors.

With Juices? Ugggggh! I love love love corned beef, but this can makes me want to vom. There is little more disgusting than meat juice. Or can juice. Two of my friends once drank the juice from a can of black beans in my presence, and I'm still traumatized from it. I can feel the hot vomit saliva starting to well up in my mouth right now. I have to move on.

Oh really? The bags work when I'm not at home? There isn't some odor force field that stops working 20 paces from home base like every other plastic bag? I hope you have a patent on this ground breaking technology.

Florida Water Cologne. Hmmm...I'm glad this says it's extract of oranges, cinnamon and florals, because I've been to Florida a few times and what I remember about the water is that it smells and tastes like fart.

Word up, and wash up.
If you don't know it, check out this song If You Must, by Del Tha Funkee Homosapien. It's an awesome reminder to wash your ass, your hair, and brush your teeth or else you'll be funkay.

Do I even have to say anything about this perfect find?
I'd just like to see how they're irregular. I hope they have a seam up the asscrack to lift and give definition like those Bunz underwear International Male used to sell. You probably don't know about those. But I do.

Are these for the kinky and depraved?
For people who call sex "screwing?"
For people who have sex with swine? (Did you know they have curly penises?)
I had to investigate. This is twisted pleasure.
Like fucking Mr. Softee.

I did something new. I checked out the budget DVD section. All flicks are supplied by this company DigiView, and they put out obscure DVD's that look to be of bootleg quality. But That didn't deter me from looking because sometimes the dog eats the wedding ring, and you have to dig through the excrement to find it.
And find did I do!
I picked up a little known movie called BMX Bandits, starring a 15 year old Nicole Kidman. Same rat mouth, less botox.
Check out this interview with her, featuring some clips from the flick

Now, this item is the probably the most awesome thing I have ever found in a discount store. 1982 Phillipine James Bond spoof The Impossible Kid starring Weng Weng, a 2'9" martial artist kicking all kinds of ass. He's the shortest actor to ever have a lead role in a film.
check the clip. No joke, I might have to have a viewing party for this movie.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Old News Is Still Good News

Yo, to all 3 of you who read this, and to any potential future readers, I just want to say sorry for not updating in a minute. I've been longing to log some real winners, but all the stores I've gone into recently have been complete duds. Which leaves me longing for one of two things I miss about Los Angeles 99¢ Only Stores (L.A. friends, if you read this, you don't count. I will always miss you, much like Whitney sings that she will always love you.) But yeah, the 99¢ Only Stores, guaranteed, always had something good. always.

So I found this article from the San Diego Union-Tribune about 99¢ Only Stores, and I am going to post it in it's entirety, because things from newspapers tend to disappear on the internet, and I want this to live forever. Fame! (rememba, rememba, rememba....)

99 sense of humor: priceless

Store CEO doesn't discount wackiness in advertising


July 24, 2005

CITY OF COMMERCE – "Attention! Potential Runaway Brides" an ad by the 99 Cents Only Stores razzed, in a nod to famous groom-dumper Jennifer Wilbanks. It urged not to leave home without two 99-cent bargains: nationwide calling cards and "socks for cold feet."

They don't just sell under-a-buck wares like hemorrhoid cream, cat food, motor oil and Looney Tunes baby wipes. They take kitschy pop culture potshots. In weekly off-the-wall newspaper ads, the 99 Cents Only Stores milked the Michael Jackson acquittal, once bid 99 cents for O.J.'s Heisman Trophy and wished birthday celebrant Joan Rivers "Happy 99th Facelift."

"I think this is the one time we went over the line," Eric Schiffer, the 99 Cents CEO devilishly grins as he points to one of his 1998 newspaper ads. It touts a "Father's Day Special" – parent-killer Lyle Menendez's memoirs for just 99 cents.

That prompted nasty phone calls from "all women," Schiffer says, although none groused that in the same full-page display Niagara drinking water was deliberately misspelled Viagara water.

Each week, the good-humored Schiffer ("I'm just a crazy guy") and a handful of employees try to come up with a zinger to help hawk name-brand, close-out and regular merchandise at the chain's 225 retail stores in California, Texas, Arizona and Nevada. Since opening its first store near Los Angeles International Airport in 1982, the company, which bills itself as the oldest one-price retailer, has often planted insy asides near the top right-hand corner of its full-page newspaper ads. ("Don't worry Oprah ... we will stay open for you" a recent blurb vowed, after the talk-show host was turned away from a Herm├Ęs boutique in Paris 15 minutes past closing time.)

It figures that a chain that gets value merchandise for odd reasons – it acquired pallets of upscale barbecue tools because the manufacturer stamped them "Stainless China" instead of "Stainless Steel, Made in China" – would also relish oddball gimmicks. At each location's grand opening, the first nine customers get a 19-inch color TV for 99 cents and the next 99 a scooter for 99 cents. (A man spent five nights in line outside the Beverly Hills-adjacent store, where Richard Gere supposedly was once seen buying a case of San Pellegrino water and where Vanna White dropped in for toothpaste.)

The 99 Cents Only Stores even boast a bridal registry with "over 9,999 exciting choices." So naturally, before the recent British royal wedding, 99 Cents noted in its ad it was the "Official Bridal Registry for Camilla."

A few Brits responded. "One woman called and said 'I would like to register her for something,' " says customer service rep Pamela Graham. "I said, OK, what is it? She said, 'How about rat poison?' "

Ask nine-centric Schiffer how many people brainstorm on an ad, and he answers, of course, "Nine."

"Whatever crazy idea pops into our heads, we float them around a couple people, and if nobody says it's going to get us in too much trouble, then we run with it," says Schiffer, the son-in-law of 99 Cents founder Dave Gold. "There's no method to our madness."

With no outside PR firm or ad agency, the creative noggins are usually Schiffer and buyers at the corporate offices, located in a graffiti-tagged industrial area in the City of Commerce, southeast of downtown L.A. Outside, company vans are emblazoned with a warning to would-be robbers: "Drivers Carry 99 Cents Only." Inside, the headquarters are whimsical and colorful, with front pages of old newspapers lining walls and rooms stacked with displays of 99 Cents deals, like Elvira's Night Brew lager beer and Mary-Kate and Ashley shampoo.

"I'm involved, as I say, at attempted humor," says 99 Cents beverage buyer Daryl Merson. He's conjured up numerous gag ads, including one that ran several times lauding "The Perfect Combo" – a four-pack of toilet paper for 99 cents and a bottle of similarly priced prune juice.

The supermarket-sized 99 Cents Only Stores, after all, are part of pop culture. Jay Leno, Ellen DeGeneres and other comedians have done bits on them. Mick Jagger shot a music video in a store. Adam Sandler strolled down the brightly lit aisles in "Punch Drunk Love." The bargain bevy was even the star of a surreal L.A. small-theater musical, "Splendor: A 99 Cents Only Stores Wonderama" (As co-sponsor, 99 Cents generously provided props and costumes off its store shelves).

Famed German photographer Andreas Gursky was so taken with the vivid interior of the Sunset Boulevard store, he shot a picture of it that later hung in New York's Museum of Modern Art.

When Gursky's manager first called, asking to do a photo shoot, Schiffer said the company didn't understand who he was. "We said it's probably some spy from the 98 Cents Store, and we hung up on him," recalls Schiffer, a former electrical engineer.

So what's not fair game for a 99 Cents barb? "Tragedy," Schiffer firmly states.

"Like if there was a plane crash and 99 people died," Merson says.

On the pleasant end, celebrities can get accolades ("Happy 99th Birthday! Thanks for the Memories!" to Bob Hope in 2002) or special deals ("Attention: Oscar Winners, Trade in your Oscar ... for any item in the store!").

But celebrity justice is another matter. "NOT GUILTY!" a 99 Cents ad shouted the day after Michael Jackson was acquitted of molesting a 13-year-old boy. An asterisk noted, "of charging more than 99 cents."

Schiffer says his mother-in-law, Sherry Gold, had stopped by the office for lunch and thought that one up.

When O.J. Simpson's Heisman Trophy was put on the auction block in 1999 to help pay his civil judgment for the double-murder, the 99 Cents Only ad bid 99 cents with the slam, "This will be our worst buy ever." When the chain sold Simpson's self-serving book, "I Want To Tell You" for 99 cents, it was advertised as the worst buy in the store.

Simpson's fuming sister, Carmelita, stormed into the Beverly Hills-area store and bought all the books, Schiffer says with amusement. "She asked the manager, 'Are there any more in the back?' and he said 'Oh no!' As soon as she left, he put more on the shelves."

Others haven't gotten the joke. An ad during a stock-market plunge offered nine Internet stocks for 99 cents. "Someone sued us, but the judge threw the case out," Schiffer says.

Dodgers manager Tommy Lasorda in 1992 "went absolutely crazy" on a TV show, Schiffer says, over "Congratulations Dodgers on Losing 99 Games."

The discounter went the whole 99 yards this spring when the Los Angeles Lakers basketball team was knocked out of the playoffs. As a farce, 99 Cents Only still advertised "2005 Lakers Playoff Tickets!" for 99 cents. In smaller print, it noted, "Unfortunately, the Lakers did not make the playoffs. Actual Lakers 2005 playoff tickets are not available."

That didn't stop fans from trying to order them.

"They thought we had tickets. I was like, 'Do you guys follow the sports?' " says Graham, the customer service rep. "They kept saying, how many can I get for 99 cents? How many can I get?' I finally said, 'You want 99? Maybe 99.' "

Source: San Diego Union-Tribune

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Fun With Google

Cranked out another collab with Google and found this auction on ebay. From what I can gather via continued Googling, is this has something to do with scrapbooking, AKA, Crapbooking. All I know is, the item sounds something that would interest one of my favorite bloggers, Cathy Sampson.
so says it:
This is an idea booklet that has never been for sale. Collect them all! There are over 120 different crop talks and handouts from various Creative Memories events. This item comes from a smoke free home and will be shipped flat in a manilla envelope.I have not nor have I ever been a Creative Memories Consultant.Please check out my other auctions to combine and discount shipping! The first croptalk will be $1.50 shipping and each crop talk after that will be $.50 to ship. After the first ten croptalks, they will be $.20 each to ship. I include surprise goodies in all my auctions!

Go read Cathy Sampson. She boggles my mind.

You've Come A Long Way, Babe

So I've been hitting up discount stores for quite some time, buying odd items, and displaying them where I live. Today, we take a look into my past. While checking the medicine cabinet in my parents house this evening, I discovered they too were still holding on to a piece of my 99 Sense that I have also taken along with me to each of homes since I've flown the coop. When I find something this good, I buy multiples (cuz shit, it was only 99 cents!) This fantastic item was purchased in 2002 in a 99 cent store on Chambers St. in Manhattan. I saw it, choked on the Dr. Pepper I was sipping, which led to spasms which almost made me completely vomit up the delicious Popeye's Fried Chicken I'd just eaten down the block.

Yes Vivica, at last.

I love every fucking thing about this.
I looked for other Ebon-aide shades, but the store only had Honey.

Color-match? Fuck yeah. It's like painting a house.
I was going to ask how, ask now, ask Sherwin-Williams, but black people don't hyphenate their last names, so I should have known that wouldn't work.

Some very thorough documentation on my part. I'm treating this like a miracle.

This is stripped down.
The swimsuit portion of my imaginary awesome product pageant

The money shot.
After all the hype, Honey was just another high-yella band-aid.
I think Mocha would have been my shade.

Check out to find your shade of outer blackness.

Monday, February 05, 2007

Google Schmoogle

I been mad busy, and haven't gotten a chance to hit any stores. Actually, that's a lie. I have gone to a couple 99 cent stores, but they haven't had anything good, and that's super wack. I'm not going to waste my time trying to make something awesome out of nothing, like Hillary Duff.

So I did the next best thing, which is hit up google.

what I found isn't terribly interesting, but I just had to post something.

yeah, it's got googly eyes but this site is boring. I'm so much better.

And I found another blog that makes reference to 99 sense. It's called Capt. Cube, and I'm going to have to keep a watch on this fella. Who knows, maybe one day we'll be blog friends. Or perhaps I will have to destroy him.