For instance, about 30 years ago, we made a parody version of a "Spenser Gifts" catalog just because the idea tickled us. We used actual products from their pages, but substituted our own text - attempting to match the clipped and overly-enthusiastic style of the actual catalog.
Because desktop publishing wasn't really a thing back then, the original "Spensive Gifts" catalog was assembled with clipped bits of paper and a glue stick. Copies were created with a Xerox machine. And while the original catalog has disintegrated with time, the Xeroxed copies live on in all their low-rez, black and white glory.
The whole shebang is 24 pages long, and we've been toying with the idea of making it into a Kindle ebook. For now, here are three pages - let us know if you'd like to see more!
AND ONE MORE THING...
That is truly and completely sick. I love it.
And then a person needs some laughs while dining on "long pig".
COVID-19 was just a prank.
Slimy roof-mulch pudding? mmmmmmmmmMMMMMMMMMM!!! Give me more of that!
All of 2020 has been one big fat April Fool's. And it ain't over yet.
Keep the laughter (and the Clan MacGregor) flowing! :D
@JustaJeepGuy: That recipe book include Leaf-Eared Bat Soup...?
How about a Joe Biden action figure ? Pull the string in his back and watch in amazement as he drools, stutters, gropes, and utters incomprehensible epithets about women, minorities, illegal aliens, etc. Hours of unending entertainment ! Fun for all ages ! Watch as he stares at the Sun and proclaims himself as the ruler of the universe (ala Ming the Merciless). Buy one, get one free. Limited supply so act quickly and get one today.......
Ooohhh! Impeccable timing! It’s my birthday. Will the carnivorous bush take bites out of the local bum who likes to wizz on our landscaping, do you think? I’d like to order several! The berries will come in handy, too!
Yes Spencer was always good for a lost afternoon in the mall....... The amazing things you can not believe anyone would buy, the constant "Hey look at this" held aloft to embarrass your friends/spouse/relatives/date .... that grin you wore knowing they had no idea what it was that the object they were showing you was really for or meant ...... Play your cards right and you won't have to buy any food afterwards but may have a long, lonely walk home....
Yes back then the store was loaded with all sorts of things you would not admit knowing anything about. The things you wanted to buy but in no way shape or form were you going to walk to the counter with one of those things in your hands. And since it was before the internet you knew of no way to get one without buying it there. That huge flashing eyes dragon bong was really cool and you wanted it but where you would display it after leaving the store was a real problem..... Naked Twister might really seem like a good idea .... but the fact that you would be playing it all by yourself kinda put a damper on it. The million and one things you had never seen or even imagined before walking in. Always an enlightening trip on any visit to the mall.....
For back in my misspent yute, when dinosaurs roamed the earth, being cool ....was not always cool... and was guaranteed not to be cool with a least someone ya knew and had to interact fairly often with .....
I thought April Fool’s Day had been canceled; 2020 seems to be the year of cosmic “Can you top that?”
The world (aka me) is in desperate need of a new version of this !! Please I bought your last book and now you tease with this. arrrgghhh
Hum! Not only is Spencers still around, they have a rather extensive online catalogue. Might be some grist for Stilton's mill, there...
Ya had me until, the Marine mug.... That would make me cry! I needed a laugh, and and as always, you did not disappoint. To be honest, I know about 50 old Jarheads that would loose their crap over that cup. Can I order 50?????
Semper Fidelis, Buck
I think I see a progression: Archie McPhee but without the back room for adults >>> Stilt's Spenser >>> and then we get to Spencer Gifts. (Not so much for the kiddies.)
And they all co-exist; is this a great country or what? After introducing our daughter to Archie McPhee (there's is a somewhat "cleaner" line of ridiculously funny products but still many are NOT politically correct)... now every birthday & maybe Christmas I receive some appropriately chosen Archie McPhee gag gift. A recent one was llama teeth. A favorite bought for myself long ago was Holy Toast, to imprint the bread before toasting. Another is a box of plastic Sea-Horses to fool other divers who really need RX lenses for their dive mask.
Great job with the catalog. I have to admit I never knew about Spenser stores, but now I have a lot of investigation to do on the interwebs. Loved the porno book stand with handy page turner....really could have used one of those 50 years ago.
Happy National Spoof Day
Goggling* over the fact I learned today (thanks to @M. Mitchell Marmel, who prompted my broad search): the same company that owns Spensers also owns the Spirit Halloween stores that pop up in every half-empty strip mall all over the country each autumn...
So I went to Spensers Online, and clicked on Clearance. What's there for "girls," but a featured Corona Extra t-shirt... Not sure anyone wants to wear that going out to grocery store right now. Too soon.
And sure, I would of course want to buy new jewelry for a Prince Albert from the Spensers Mall Store!
(If I had that piercing, I mean. Of course.)
* Not misspelled. It's my reaction, not my search engine.
Ordinarily, I would be laughing my ass off, but I'm in pain. Tried the cat-Chiropractor gig on "Ollie," our male cat, and almost lost a hand. I'm now waiting for the cops to arrest me for practicing Chiropractic without a license.
Don't pay attention to the above nonsense....after all: APRIL FOOL!
Awww... memories... when our mall still had actual stores in nearly every space, we had a Spenser's Gifts. Mrs. Muenster and I used to snicker about the sort of idiots that would buy crap like that, then usually go in and buy something totally stupid and useless. Now our mall has a sneaker store, an IHOP, and a jewelry store all crowded into one corner, and the rest of the place is dark. Where the heck do teenagers hang out now?
Y'all stay six feet apart, and for God's sake, don't breathe for about a month!
Would love to see that catalog in a Kindle ebook - Hilarious
@Sortahwitte- When I was a kid, eons ago, I enjoyed reading a sensationalized and richly illustrated book which was already 100 years old at the time. It told lurid stories of other places and cultures, and was the first place I ever encountered the term "long pig" in regards to cannibalism. Remember, kids, reading is fundamental!
@igor- Don't we all wish!
@JustaJeepGuy- With a garnish of bird poo!
@M. Mitchell Marmel- Yeah, 2020 has been a joke on all of us. But I intend to keep laughing, even if it starts sounding creepy.
@Pat Cummings- When you get past the bat, let me know if the white things in the broth are rice or maggots.
@Regnad Kcin- Joe really does seem to be around the bend at this point, doesn't he?
@CLZ- I'm pretty sure that bush will attack anyone or anything who take a leak on it. And can you blame it?
@REM1875- I didn't tend to buy things at the Spencer Gifts mall store, but I loved browsing all of the psychedelic lights, gag gifts, sexy novelties, and things that made no sense at all. The catalog had more practical things, but always a nice sprinkling of WTF items.
@Bobo the Hobo- I usually do an April Fool's edition of the blog with faked news stories, but it just didn't seem quite right this year. So I just went with silly!
@Jon- I can pretty much promise that an ebook of "Spensive Gifts" will be a real thing sometime soon-ish. And Johnny Optimism Volume Two is nearing completion!
@M. Mitchell Marmel- I'll have to look that up!
@Buck- The gag, of course, was to use the mug to get someone else beaten up by a Marine. I can think of several people I'd like to ambush with one of these...
@Rod- Archie McPhee is indeed fun. Of course, the absolute Holy Grail for me as a kid was the Johnson Smith catalog. I just now did a Google Image search for "johnson smith catalog" and the pictures that came up filled me with the same joy that they did more than half a century ago.
@TrickyRicky- These days all you need is an iPad and some wet wipes.
@Studebaker Hauk- Wow! I haven't seen (or thought of) Deputy Dawg in ages!
@Pat Cummings- I'll have to check that out myself! And I like the Spirit Halloween stores for browsing/ambience, but almost never buy anything. I love Halloween, but I'm also a cheapskate.
@Alfonso Bedoya- D'oh!
@Colby Muenster- I don't know WHERE teenagers hang out these days. Or, considering "these days," where they used to hang out before social isolation kicked in.
@jayjay- I'll probably have it ready to go in Kindle form sometime soon. And of course, I'll let everyone know!
@Stilton: Alas. Johnson Smith packed it up last NYE, per their website. I loved the "Smithson John" parody ad from MAD in the 1950s...
I don't remember "Spencer Gifts," but I'd buy a copy of your book. Great stuff.
I've shopped at Spencer, in a mall, recently.. for his first Christmas, I got my baby Neph a onesie that was a BIG hit at his mom's soccer games that spring - it said "Dude, your girlfriend's checking me out" Also think I bought a pair of Lava Lites there for older nephs...
But, bitd, growing up, we had a Brookstone at the mall - high end executive toys, luggage - inlayed globes, fancy computer speakers, chair mounted massagers - you know, weird shit, for people w/ more money than sense...
Still out there, apparently, with the massagers, 'sleep noise' generators, kitchen appliances (SERIOUSLY?? $60 for a "Retro" >koff< Jetsons inspired >koff< Mr Coffee????) and yes, luggage. with wheels. Powered wheels. That you can ride. "ONLY" $1300... Crazy little store to browse, back in the 80's, man! Emmentaller, you remember? At Fairlane?
Also, Orange Julius - They still exist?
Looks like Dairy Queen bought 'em out, and expanded the flavors..
The only thing I ever wanted from Spencer's Gifts--but couldn't make myself buy--was the jigsaw puzzle "Reversible Ursula". Look it up.....
@JustaJeepguy: Now that you mention it: You woke up the idle brain cell that still holds that memory. I remember "Reversible Ursula" and could not afford her. A major factor at the time was we were struggling with budget to get out of University; and my new wife was both hot and she would not appreciate Ursula. We played competition Nerts instead. All that required were two decks of cards with different backs. We're still together & doing good. It's surprising what's still in the noggin but shut down.
I just remember how nicely constructed Ursula was. Front and back. In the immortal words of Ralph Kramden, "Homina, Homina, Homina!!"
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