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How’s This for Random?

February 22, 2012

I finally ran out of Circus Peanuts.  I wanted to throw them into the bag of other random stuff that I have for you today — like the kids’ party grab bags of yore.  But without the Circus Peanuts, it’s not a grab bag.  The Circus Peanuts really tied it all together.  A theme, if you will.  A bag-o-crap, if you want.

So instead of a grab bag, I just have random.  Random bits thrown together.  No bag.  No Circus Peanuts.

But what about raisins?  I do have those.

Random encounter.  I met a woman at a party last weekend who used to work on the East Coast for — get this! — the guy who launched The California Raisins.  “What was he like?”  I had to ask.  “Oh, my ex-boss?”  Actually I had meant my favorite raisin, Beebop.  But then I felt dumb so I blurted out, “Of course.”

She said he was still riding out his glory days of living high on the fat hog of stop-motion animation advertising.  My favorite nugget — he wore Ray-Ban sunglasses to work.  Before they were cool again.  That’s how much he wished it was still 1986.

The look on the woman’s face said, This information is probably boring to you.  

No, this information is all very important to me.  Do you have anywhere you need to be right now?  Do you want to get outta here and grab coffee?  I had so many more questions to ask, including whatever happened to my favorite 1980s claymation Christmas special, A Claymation Christmas Celebration.  I’ve searched in vain for that gem.  And if there was time, I’d ask what she had on the Where’s the Beef? lady.

More advertising.  I used to (still) get so enraged that the owl in this commercial chomped down on this innocent, trusting boy’s Tootsie Roll Pop that I could hardly see straight.  I’m talking serious rage.  I’m talking I wanted to rip the head off of that smug owl to see if he had a Tootsie Roll center.  It was my earliest taste of injustice.  It tasted like poop.

Dynomite!  This is Jim, the husband of Darla.  Darla of She’s A Maineiac fame.  And also of German Clock Girl fame (sorry, Darla).  I’ve had this sitting around in my email inbox for centuries waiting to do a new Dynomite! post.
This will probably be controversial, but I’m giving this ensemble a C+.  I had to take off style points because polyester by no means has the stretchy give necessary for playing a brisk game of [your guess is as good as mine].  I miss those butterfly collars.  Although, they used to be dangerously pointy.  If parents didn’t already say it back then, they should’ve said, Don’t run with scissors.  And for God’s sake don’t run while you’re wearing that shirt.
Eulogy.  Jim’s shirt seems like the perfect segue for this.  I hope you’ll join me in pausing for a moment of silence for my favorite Jewish Puerto Rican Sweathog, Epstein.  When most Welcome Back, Kotter groupies were all like, “Oh, Vinnie Barbarino!”  I was all like, “Oh, Juan Luis Pedro Philippo DeHuevos Epstein!”  Robert Hegyes died last month at the age of 60.
New blog.  I want to give a shout-out to this new blog I recently discovered.  Man of Errors (aka John-Paul, aka JP).  First, he’s really funny and I like funny — and I bet you do, too.  Second, he’s of my era and a fellow nostalgia junkie.  So I get to relive my past there when I’m not reliving it here.  Bad music videos and movies, campy old magazine ads, awkward teen pictures (see above).  What more do you need to be happy?  Third, he lives in New Zealand, which I know little about (aside from Flight of the Conchords).  And I feel bad about that.  My iPad’s auto-correction changed Zealand to Zebra.  And I didn’t even notice.  So to recap:  1.) funny, 2.) funny bad music videos, and 3.) funny bad music videos from New Zealand.  Other stuff, too.  Please follow him so we can cross paths there, fist-bump and say, Fancy meeting you over here in New Zebra.
Raisins.  Last, but certainly not least, here are those raisins I promised you.  I hear they keep you regular.  Enjoy!

66 Comments leave one →
  1. February 22, 2012 11:01 am

    I’m impressed that you know the name of one of the California Raisins. I expected that I would have seen one of them on Celebrity Rehab by this point. Thanks for the blog suggestion. I’m off to check it out right now…well first I must eat some young child’s Tootsie Pop, but after that, yes, I will look at that blog.

    • February 22, 2012 11:04 am

      You’ll have to stop back at that blog later today, too. JP had the funniest post yesterday that appeared in my email inbox. And then, oops, he reeled it back and it’s gone. I think he’s publishing it later today.

      I heard they were getting Beebop for the next Dancing with the Stars. They’re negotiating with his agent now so that he doesn’t have to wear pants.

      • John-Paul permalink
        February 22, 2012 3:58 pm

        I hit publish instead of save. I have limited patience with little button things (and quite a small brain).

  2. February 22, 2012 11:04 am

    Ditto on the Tootsie Pop commercial, it made me so sad for the kid. And then I tried to use that same trick on my younger brothers and got all bummed when it didn’t work…

    • February 23, 2012 1:41 pm

      In the real world, that trick would rarely work. I think most people expect that owls are not only wise but are a model for ethical conduct. So that’s why I think this gimmick stung so badly.

  3. February 22, 2012 11:12 am

    This post is pretty random. I played in a band with Skylar Jett (believe it or not, that was not his name when I was playing with him). He sang on the track for California Raisins. He’s a big celeb in Napa now.
    That is my randomness answer for today.

    • February 23, 2012 1:44 pm

      Les, why does this not surprise me? You need to write a blog post about name-dropping (sincerely) and then pepper it with all the many rock stars you’ve had direct or indirect contact with over your lifetime. I bet I’d be amazed by all the randomness. Then you can end it with information on how I can contact James Taylor.

  4. February 22, 2012 11:19 am

    “New Zebra.” ::snort:: LOVE IT!

    • February 23, 2012 1:45 pm

      Seriously! How can an auto-correction feature not have the names of moderately prominent foreign countries in its database?

  5. Beth permalink
    February 22, 2012 11:23 am

    California Raisins! I have wonderful/terrifying memories of a dance recital where the dads dance was “I Heard It Through the Grapevine” and the dads dressed up as the California Raisins. Their costumes were – wait for it — black trash bags! Thankfully, my father did not participate that year!

    • February 23, 2012 1:48 pm

      Holy crap. I broke out into a cold sweat when I read this comment. I think I’d jump right out the window if I saw my dad on stage in that sort of get-up. Thank goodness your dad wasn’t one of the dads out to ruin his daughter’s life that night.

  6. Tony permalink
    February 22, 2012 11:35 am

    For Halloween back in the 90’s I went as the 7up spot. Remember he used to have sunglasses and was cool like that. I was so awesome.

    • February 23, 2012 1:50 pm

      I forgot all about that! Yes, I totally remember spot and his sunglasses. How can you be so egotistical as a corporate brand to assume that the tiny dot in your product’s name can be its own revenue-generating product? I guess I should turn this back on those of us who bought into that.

  7. February 22, 2012 11:55 am

    Full marks for style, randomness and finesse! :D

    • February 23, 2012 1:51 pm

      Well, thank you very much! If you saw the hideous mom sweats I was wearing when I typed this post, you might have to withdrawal that assessment.

  8. February 22, 2012 12:37 pm

    Angie, I love the opening comparison to a grab bag. Also, I am intrigued by your memory. How do you do it? I have forgotten about so many of these things until you mention them. Fun stuff!

    • February 23, 2012 1:54 pm

      Thanks, Amy! My mind would seem more impressive if I could remember things from the past decade. My memory bank tends to dump important, necessary information in order to cling to insignificant things like old candy commercials.

  9. February 22, 2012 12:50 pm

    Good god, I will have to show this to Jim when he gets home. (personally, you were way too generous on the C+…) I am grateful that his shirt and haircut will be forever immortalized on your blog. I’m also thinking of using The German Clock Girl as my new tag line.

    Oh, that tootsie roll owl used to really scramble my eggs. What a jerk! Jim actually has a t-shirt with that owl on it. Yeah, his taste in fashion hasn’t really improved much over the years.

    • February 22, 2012 1:44 pm

      O M G
      Darlita, your man was a HOT style icon even as a kid! Unless I miss my guess, those bell botttoms would have ended a full 4 inches above the shoes. He should SO totally sue Justin Beiber for stealing his hairdo.

      • February 22, 2012 2:12 pm

        Would you believe me if I told you that he still looks exactly like that?

        I think he got his inspiration from Jimmy on HR Pufnstuf (coincidently, my husband also went by Jimmy)

      • February 22, 2012 2:13 pm

        (NOTE: that picture was taken yesterday)

      • February 22, 2012 2:24 pm

        He DOES look like Jimmy! I’m a little too old for that show, but I remember my little sister Carolyn watching it all the time, and she even had a Witchipoo lunchbox. OH no, something’s coming up – burbling out of my memory banks…

        HR Pufnstuf,,,who’s your friend when things get rough…HR can’t do a little when you can’t do enough!

        I don’t think I got that last line right, but I will still sing it out loud and strong! (and slightly flat.)

      • February 22, 2012 4:46 pm

        Well done, Pegosus! You have a lovely singing voice.

        That show scared the crap outta me so I have never actually seen one episode. I wonder if our resident Nostalgia Queen would know anything about it?

      • February 23, 2012 1:59 pm

        I know, right? His hair is so ahead of its time.

      • February 23, 2012 2:01 pm

        Darla, you mentioned that show to me when you sent Jim’s picture and, rather than admit that I’d never heard of it (???), I promptly googled it and read up on it until I was exhausted. I think it missed me by about five years. Jimmy is the spitting image of Jimmy.

    • February 23, 2012 1:58 pm

      I wanted to put German Clock Girl’s photo right next to Jim’s — I thought it’d be cute to see those two crazy kids side by side. I’ll save that for the All-Stars. Oh, did I not tell you about this? Yes, I’m going to soon have a Dynomite! All-Stars and let people vote on who wore it better. I think German Clock Girl stands a very good chance.

      Thanks for stopping by my new friend JP’s blog. How ’bout that meat cake?

      • February 23, 2012 2:00 pm

        Me? in the all-stars of Bad Fashion? I think my tights alone will slay the competition for sure.

        Yeah, thanks for directing me to JP’s blog. Yet ANOTHER good blog I have to read now. Great, just frickin’ great.

      • February 23, 2012 2:03 pm

        I know, it’s rather exhausting sometimes, isn’t it? All that good stuff out there and no time to indulge.

  10. February 22, 2012 1:47 pm

    Hello??? I believe that would be a brisk game of Toss Across? And you call yourself a nostalgia maven. Well, I don’t know if you really call yourself that, because that would be kind of braggy, like “Look at me, I’m a nostalgia maven!”. But that’s what I call you in my secret heart of hearts.

    Thank you for this smorgasbord of random – delicious and nutritious.

    • February 23, 2012 2:08 pm

      Sadly, I had never seen Toss Across before. It looked to me like a primitive game, such as horseshoes or jacks, played by pioneer children to entertain themselves as they crossed the great plains in covered wagons.

      Oh, I’m super braggy about my nostalgia know-how (though you’ve proved why I shouldn’t be). I think my gravatar has some bit about me being the most wicked nostalgia guru on the planet, or some other type of humble statement like that.

  11. February 22, 2012 3:48 pm

    The owl bothered me, too. And he was a big, fat liar. I almost broke my teeth listening to him. It was just like the time I got bitten by a dog after following Wonder Woman’s advice.

    It’s a wonder I have lived this long, really.

    • February 23, 2012 2:11 pm

      You’re right about that. I also thought I could chomp off an entire Tootsie Pop after watching that. So besides being a complete crook, he also helped perpetuate false advertising. Owls are no friend of mine, no siree.

      Now I’m dying to know what Wonder Woman advice you’re referencing. Are we talking Lynda Carter here?

      • February 23, 2012 4:44 pm

        We are not. She would never have steered me wrong. It was that tramp on Super Friends.

    • February 23, 2012 4:49 pm

      That is hilarious! I consider Super Friends the “unauthorized biography of superheroes”. We really can’t be sure that any of it is actually based on the true characters portrayed.

  12. John-Paul permalink
    February 22, 2012 4:04 pm

    Toss Across? Sure. I was going to go for a brisk game of toss-the-red-polka-dot-serviettes-onto-the-wooden-cheese.

    Thanks to you I have now listened to the Where’s the Beef song on youtube. I’m not going to say anything else about it.

    New Zebra. Well fine. Probably more people write Zebra than Zealand. Let’s be honest. There’s not much call to talk about provinces in Holland.

    Thanks for your generous comment. I’m sick in bed today and this made me feel happy (people realise the picture of me is parody right?).

    I am finding reading your blog, and the blogs of your peeps very inspiring (and very funny).

    • February 22, 2012 7:35 pm

      The picture is a parody? Damn, I thought you were just really, really advanced. Or maybe I was confusing you with Angie, who is advanced but not mature. And never will be.

      • February 23, 2012 2:01 pm


      • February 23, 2012 2:20 pm

        Burn is right, Elyse. Ouch! And I thought you said I wasn’t annoying enough to be world-famous? You’re contradicting yourself here.

    • February 23, 2012 2:15 pm

      Don’t worry, JP. You’re now like the foreign exchange student in our high school. You can appear as geeky as you want in an old photo and we’ll all still secretly want to be your best friend.

      Quick question. Do you intentionally have the “comment reply” option disabled on your blog? If so, forget I mentioned this as I don’t want to tell you how to run your life. If not, for some reason I can’t fist-bump (i.e. reply to) my peeps’ comments over there.

      • John-Paul permalink
        February 23, 2012 3:21 pm

        This comment implies I know what I’m doing. I will go and look for this button.

      • February 23, 2012 4:28 pm

        I think you’ll have a lot more happy blog readers in that those who are on WordPress can see when you reply to their comment in that adorable little orange square on the right/top of the WordPress browser window. And it is adorable. Like whiskers on kittens.

  13. skynyrdgyrl81 permalink
    February 22, 2012 5:03 pm

    My brother seriously gave me the same California Raisin figurine for my birthday for like three years in a row when we were little.

    • February 23, 2012 2:19 pm

      “Same” as in three of the same, or “same” as the exact same one? That’s so rad! What a great brother! Did they all come directly out of the McDonald’s Happy Meal box? If so, even better!

      I bet they’re (it’s) worth a lot now. Just think, if you held on to it you might be up like, I don’t know, 10 bucks.

      • skynyrdgyrl81 permalink
        February 23, 2012 2:48 pm

        “Same” as in the exact same one. I’m not sure where they came from but every year he took it off the same shelf in the living room. My mom still has the whole collection. To quote my mom “They might be worth money someday”. She also has said this about her 8- tracks, so I’m starting to doubt her validity of what stuff is actually worth money and what isn’t.

      • February 24, 2012 4:17 pm

        My mom is the anti-hoarder yet I could imagine her squirreling away California Raisin figurines on the off chance that they may be of value to me or society.

  14. February 22, 2012 5:26 pm

    That little owl was irritating to you too? He never even solved the problem of how many licks! And he was sort of a jerk, he could have said “thanks” or “sorry” or something to the kid.

    Anyways, a couple of months back I wrote a blog post about a vintage commercial for Pop-Tarts, though, I don’t remember it from my childhood. I think it was too old for me.

    Well, great post! I just found your blog today, I hope to see more fun posts like this one!

    • February 23, 2012 2:22 pm

      I will definitely come back to this and read your post. Three decades ago, Pop-Tarts might’ve been my favorite food. I don’t know that I would’ve survived my first six years without them.

      Thanks for subscribing and stopping in!

    • February 24, 2012 4:52 pm

      That talking toaster seriously freaked me out.

  15. February 22, 2012 5:52 pm

    Yup, that owl was the worst. Sensitive children everywhere who savored their candy and loved solving mysteries still feel a righteous anger in their tender little hearts toward that stupid, snotty, owl. A-three! Indeed.

    • February 23, 2012 2:27 pm

      “Children everywhere who…loved solving mysteries” — you’re right! That owl just pissed all over that. Didn’t you feel that at the end, when the commercial said, “How many licks does it take to get to the Tootsie Roll center of a Tootsie Pop? The world may never know.” that it was sort of like a challenge to us kids to solve this grand enigma? I felt sad that the world may truly never know.

  16. February 22, 2012 7:36 pm

    My older brother, who is now a psychotic living alone and unloved in Florida, loved that Owl. And he always took all the tootsie pops. I need a support group.

    • February 23, 2012 2:29 pm

      Perhaps psychiatric evaluations could include playing a tape of the Tootsie Pop commercial and asking the patients how they felt about the key players involved. If they respond that they sympathize most with the owl, they are right then and there labeled a narcissistic psychotic.

      I hope you’re not entirely serious about your brother. Sad.

      • February 23, 2012 3:18 pm

        Good idea for the evaluation. And I DID exaggerate quite a bit about my brother. But I did forget to mention that he has no teeth as a result of biting far too many tootsie roll pops.

      • February 23, 2012 4:29 pm

        That (broken teeth) makes sense to me. I think it’s a karma thing.

  17. Zarchaspo permalink
    February 23, 2012 1:15 am

    My favourite shirts looked like that. Dang near lost an eye from one of the collars :)

    • February 24, 2012 4:20 pm

      They loved cartoon PSAs back in the 70s — I can’t believe they never considered airing a PSA (no doubt, during Saturday morning cartoon breaks) warning about the dangers of butterfly collars.

  18. February 23, 2012 5:42 pm

    That owl, what a [your favorite expletive here]… hated him too. When my kids first saw that commercial, I closed my eyes and recited that crappy bit word-for-word. John for one was impressed that I sounded EXACTLY like that owl, 30+ years later. No kidding. My mocking was very convincing. Then, with a serious, sick-and-wicked look in my eye, I said: “You just lick that lolly as loooooong as you want. I don’t care how many licks that stupid owl takes.” Take that.

    What really made me fall out of my chair was the auto-correct on Zealand. I don’t know why, but disdain for all things hey-lets-make-this-easier-for the-dumb-typest, it just put the nail right in.

    • February 23, 2012 5:48 pm

      You are the most awesome blogger. Even a random post. You pull THAT out? My husband comes in and I’m laughing my head off…he says, You must be reading Angie’s blog. He’s such a good guesser.

      Darla, I don’t know what you did, but she’s got it in for your poor clothing choices. Your family will forever be branded in my mind wearing polyester, stripes and plaids. Very disturbing. I’ll be careful not to ever post pics of me wearing my favorite pink-and-white tube top (who let me out in that?).

      • February 24, 2012 4:09 pm

        You are way too kind. If you knew me in real life, you’d probably say a lot of “wow, that was random” to me and you wouldn’t quite as much enjoy the tangents I’d take. I take a lot tangents. In high school, my friends and I called ourselves the tangenteers. If you could map out our conversations, they’d look like a genealogy tree. Wait, what were we talking about again? Oh, yes, Darla’s socks.

    • February 24, 2012 4:11 pm

      Really? That’s on TV again? Since I don’t watch regular TV, typically I have no idea what’s going on in pop culture. I’m so glad I didn’t write a whole post about that commercial, starting off with “You probably don’t remember this commercial.” And then everyone would comment about how I need to pull my head out of 1986 and rejoin society.

      • February 24, 2012 4:34 pm

        Every so often, they pull out the “nostalgia” on the likes of Cartoon Network and Nicelodean, which we haven’t watched for more than a year. Perhaps it keep the parents engaged. Nostalgia and “buy gold” and “debt relief” being the top 5. So glad to be free of TV ads…

      • February 24, 2012 4:37 pm

        Buy gold? Really? Like would there possibly be a helpful free envelope they will send to me and I can put my ugly rope-chain necklace from an ex-boyfriend in that envelope and send it on. Easy as that? Yeah, I guess I do see quality commercials once in a while.

  19. Emily permalink
    February 23, 2012 6:10 pm

    Are you kidding? I think Toss Across looks like an awesome game–right up there with Twister and Guess Who. :)

    • February 24, 2012 4:06 pm

      Guess Who! Thanks for that blast from the past reference!

  20. February 24, 2012 9:31 am

    RIP Epstein. They brought back the Tootsie Roll commercial now for kids. And you are absolutely right. The chomping of that lollipop by that owl is criminal.
    Thanks for the blog suggestion and I love She’s a Maineiac as well.

    • February 24, 2012 4:30 pm

      I had no idea they brought the Tootsie Roll commercial back (as I also mentioned to Shannon above). (Wah-wah.) I’m so out of the loop of retro chic. It’s a wonder I can even make it out of the house without crashing into a tree.

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