Archive for October, 2009

Origin of Halloween Candy

bum teeth

aka "Bum Teeth"

Candy Corn
Candy Corn was invented in NYC during the Great Depression. Candy scholars have pinpointed it’s exact birthplace to the Christian Stout Hearted Men’s Shelter in Hell’s Kitchen in 1931. The shelter run by swedish firebrand Father Stern Oak was being vandalized regularly by local children. Having no luck with the police in stemming the vandalism, Father Oak decided to take matters into his own hands. Most of the homeless men who drifted into the shelter were in bad physical shape and a good many were losing their teeth. Father Oak methodically collected all the lost teeth and stored them in an empty pickle jar. By the time Halloween rolled around he had a full jar and he would have his revenge on the local pint sized vandals. He bagged the discolored rotten teeth in little wax bags and gave them out to trick or treaters. The rotten teeth had grown soft and the natural sugars in them made them sweet. The children loved this new treat that they called “Bum Teeth”. When it was revealed by a disappointed Father Oak that they were actually the teeth of homeless men, many enterprising young hooligans went after the destitute with a sugar jones and a pair of pliers. The rash of tooth violence against the impoverished reached alarming proportions until the Addams Candy company started selling artificial “Bum Teeth” that they called “Candy Corn” which were made from ground up horse teeth and sugar paste. The recipe was later changed to dandruff and sugar.

Because You Asked

In my last blog (I Hate Me, Pt. 119,014 10/26/09) I let slip about me being an author of mystery novels. Well, from the amount of mail I’ve received (Ex: “Please tell us more! I for one am excited about your secret noveling career!!” from Stim Cronine , and this one “Wow!!! You’re a novelizer!?! I’m intrigued, more info please!! From Tin Kronen) I’ve decided to let the cat out of the talking bag (as it were) and tell you about some of the books I’ve written. The Red Apple Mystery series feature a detective for the ages, Hiram “Red” Apple who is equal parts; Sherlock Holmes, Don Rickles, Socrates, Ladybird Johnson, Johnny Appleseed, Pope Pious IX, and Fran Tarkenton. I introduced “Red” in the leading mystery/farming magazine, Dirtnap! with a short story entitled “For Whom the Windmill Blows”. It was a hit and started America’s love affair with “Red” Apple. So much so that Remainder & Sons publishing company  wanted to get in on the “Red” Apple gravy train and signed me to a publishing deal. To date I’ve written roughly 890 Red Apple Mystery’s. Most of these books don’t make it to fancy “Book” stores with their roofs and shelves. Instead they are directly distributed to dollar stores, prisons, and flea markets. Some of the better selling titles have been Blood Harvest for the Green Grocer: A Red Apple Mystery, which was about the cutthroat world of illegal rhubarb harvesting, and Death Rode a John Deere: A Red Apple Mystery which was about the high stakes dangerous world of chickpea price fixing. Anyhow, They’re all frightfully exciting and if you like farming and intrigue and mystery and violence, I suggest you seek them out.

I Hate Me, Part 119,014

After two days of not going to Foodtown, we needed apples so back I went. Foodtown had some shitty apples, it was like mush with an apple skin around it. Now as many of you know from my many apple based novels (including my most recent The Quantonium Gambit: A Red Apple Mystery featuring farming detective Hiram “Red” Apple) that I’m a red apple man. Not so much green apples, they look unripe and I’ve heard they’re full of poison. Anyhow to make a long story even more boring, I went to Whole Foods for apples. They have a good selection of apples (red apples) and although they’re a little pricey, where else can you get apples the size of pumpkins. It was also dinnertime so I went to the hot food carved meats section. They seemed understaffed and the guy in front of me was amazingly indecisive. Here’s the set up, it was about 7:30pm and they didn’t have a lot left; roast turkey, macaroni & cheese, carrots, mashed potatoes, and for some reason chicken wings. The guy was asking for things that weren’t there, like he would shame them into magically producing what he wanted. “mmmmm roast turkey…. Yeah, you don’t have any of that pork loin do you…. Yeah, that’s good stuff” “No sir, we ran out. I’m sorry” “Yeah… that’s too bad ‘cause that pork loin was real good…You don’t have any pot roast there do ya.” I left before I caved in his head with a soup ladle. So I went to the hot food buffet, Whole Foods usually has a good Chicken Tikki Masala. Unfortunately by this time of the night the serving dish for the Tikki Masala was just sauce. Restock the Tikki Masala pond with chicken or shut it down! I also had to pick up some decaf tea for my wife. I know that tea is a now a super specialized item but all I needed was basic Lipton’s decaf. Carrie had bought a decaf tea that was apple cinnamon flavored that tasted like flavors of food that astronauts would eat (“Try this space goo, it’s should taste like apple cinnamon” “rrrrRRRRaaaaaLLLLffffkoffkoffkoff…uuuuhhhh” “well, we have to tweak the flavor nodules a little”). Whole Foods doesn’t carry anything as pedestrian as Lipton’s. Maybe they bleach their tea bags, or filter their tea with orphan tears, I don’t know why. So it was kind of a workout finding regular decaf tea. Yeah, this rutabaga vermilion tea doesn’t have caffeine, but does it taste like tea? How about pine needle and offal tea? I finally found some normal decaf and the long national nightmare was over.

Around Red Bank

crab1crab2This misspelled rowboat has been advertising boats for “Crabing” for as long as I can remember. Recently I noticed that someone added a second “B” that’s a stick on letter and barely readable from the road. I wonder was it a spelling obsessed prank or the owners were too lazy to repaint the boat and just said “here’s your goddamn B”. I think it makes a great thing even better.

I Hate Me, part 307,115

and again, Foodtown

Websters defines Scat as “Sexual practice related to shit.”. Monmouth County defines Scat as Special Citizens Access Transport” commonly referred to as the senior bus. Today was Scat (2nd definition) day at Foodtown (While every second monday is Scat (1st definition) day at Prongs and Such over in Monmouth Beach). The Scat bus let off a bunch of seniors who acted as sort of a “Slow Gang” running slow motion roughshod throughout Foodtown. Look, I’m happy when the elderly do stuff for themselves. It’s heartwarming and it gives me a brief glimmer of hope that if I live that long I’ll be able to slowly toddle through the store cursing the President over the high price of prunes. The horror began in the produce section where I got stuck in the middle of a sheep pack, five old women who just seemed to be sightseeing through fruits and vegetables, “Oooh look, yams”, “That’s not a yam, that’s a squash”. I finally escaped down a side aisle, near the self service soup. Aauuugh! Another log jam, this time four elderly people who seemed like prehistoric animals stuck in a tar pit, were discussing but not buying the soup. I saw a hole in their defense and tried to slip through but was blocked by an impossibly small woman. Not a midget or dwarf, just very very tiny. Like she was of normal size once, but time and life just shrank her. In my soft non-threatening voice “Excuse me ma’am, could I get by.” She responded in a voice that sounded like a frog who gargled whiskey while smoking “Alright, Hold your horses, I’m movin’”, and indeed she was moving but her tiny legs made her progress non-existent. I finally got all my stuff and made it to an empty register. So I’m thinking alright, this is ending ok. I forgot our Foodtown savings card so I gave the checkout girl our phone number so they could credit my purchase. As I’m giving the girl our phone number, she’s looking oddly at me. The kind of look that says something like “Hey, your beard is made of shit”. So I give her what for me is a big smile and quickly stare at the ground. After I bag everything and go to pay I get the same “shitbeard” glare. Now I’m genuinely puzzled but I just shook it off and went to the car. After I loaded the car I caught reflection in the side view mirror, my lips and teeth were covered in blood. I must have bitten the inside of my upper lip and didn’t notice it, so by the time I got to the checkout counter my lips, teeth, and part of my beard were bloody. I hadn’t shaved in a couple of days so I must have looked like hell. Unshaven, unkempt hair, messy clothes, and a bloody mouth. It’s clear I can’t go back for a while, unless I’m in disguise.

Record Geek (a truthful post)

01 Running of the Bulls

Yes, I’m a record geek and although I usually don’t geek out on records here (for that see my other blog Record Wretch) there’s a song that’s been kicking my ass recently. It’s a single from Andre Ethier (oddly enough a player on the L.A. Dodgers has the same name), he used to be the singer of the Vancouver based garage rock band Deadly Snakes. Their final album Porcella (In The Red records) was a real good record that could be described as “baroque garage”. Yeah, I know that description is pretentious record store employee douchery, but I am a 47 year old man who works in a record store, so pretentious douchery is pretty much in my DNA (much as I fight it). Anyhow it was pointed out that Andre Ethier sounded kind of Nick Cave-y, which was a fair assessment. So I picked up a ’45 of Andre Ethier (Dull Knife records) and goddamn he blew right past Nick Cave and he’s into Scott Walker territory, the song I’m posting “Running of the Bulls” it’s like a garagey Scott Walker and it’s fucking great. The B-side is real good as well, you should hunt it down (THE SONG IS THAT BLUE THING AT THE TOP LEFT OF THIS PIECE, CLICK ON IT)

Letters

The beloved movie reviewer team of Shalit & Moustache

The beloved movie reviewer team of Shalit & Moustache

Dear Sirs
While reading your review of something called The Wu-Tango Clan (10/12/09) I came upon the phrase “tango and Wu”. Was this an oblique reference to the 2003 movie Tango & Wu starring Antonio Banderas and Wu-Tang member ODB (aka Old Dirty Bastard, aka Big Baby Jesus, aka Dirt McGirt, aka Richard Nixxxon, aka Dirk Hardpec, aka Bee Arthur). Tango & Wu was not a remake of the groundbreaking gay cinema classic Tango & Cash (1989 Sylvester Stallone/Kurt Russell) but more of an attempt to cash in on the Men in Black movie franchise. Tango & Wu was the story of a pair of mismatched cops; Tango (Antonio Banderas) a homicide detective who has an Olympic gold medal for dancing and Wu (ODB) a space alien from the planet Wu-Tang disguised as a human. Together they team up to take down an interplanetary drug cartel who are flooding the earth with a drug (called Space Shizzle) that makes peoples heads explode. The movie tanked even though Roger Ebert gave it 9 thumbs up and it soon ended up in the bargain bin. Anyhow, I thought I’d just add that little tidbit of cinematic minutiae, adding another piece to the great, glorious,dazzling, mosaic that is legitimate cinema. If you have any question, or queries I’ll be at the Perkins Pancake House on Rte. 35 (near the Fort, it used to be a Denny’s, then it was a pizza buffet place. No, you’re wrong! That was where the KFC was, it’s right next to that, It used to be Shrimpington’s – A Place for Shrimp. Look, just forget it.) Anyhow, I’ll be there every Monday from noon until 3pm answering questions and giving advice AND reviewing movies both old and new and sometimes made up.
We Like Popcorn
Gene Shalit & Moustache

Posi-TIM-ley

I’m at a good place in my life, having achieved well being in both mind, body, spirit, and finance. To wit: I’ve reached an elusive peace with both fruit and vegetables (except the notoriously disagreeable Broccoli), I’ve kept my job in the “sky’s the limit” field of record store management, my wife is still convinced that marrying me was a good idea, I also bought a bike and I collect string. So in line with my well publicized magnanimous nature, I’d like to share with you dear reader… My Philosophy, my beliefs, my tips for living and loving my life, my way. I give you…Posi-TIM-ley.
Here’s a teaser from lesson one.
Lesson One: The Powerful Mystery of BUYMOSIS
Learn how to get the benefits from offensive vegetables, foul smelling health concoctions, and confusing “learnin'” books merely by purchasing said items, with out ever having to eat them (vegetables, health food) or read them (learnin’ books). Buymosis is based on the ancient chinese theory of osmosis. Buymosis is an advanced concept developed by me (Tim Cronin) working with several international scientists, lawyers, and circus strong men. [END OF TEASER LESSON!]

Well that’s the teaser from Lesson One. Fascinating isn’t it, you’re goddamn right it is. Just think, that lesson and 237 more delivered to your house every 2 1/2 weeks on high quality VHS tape and laminated flash cards. Yes,the complete Posi-TIM-ley philosophy of life collection can be yours for stupendously low price, so low I can’t even mention it for fear of reprisals. Act now*
*bacon NOT included

Suspended First Grader Gets Reprieve

ol' slicer

ol' slicer

First Grader, Chris Zachery

First Grader, Chris Zachery

Yesterday he faced 45 days in reform school. This morning, Chris Zachery is on his way to school for the first time since he made the mistake of taking his favorite camping utensil to school and ran into his Delaware school system’s zero-tolerance policy. Last Wednesday, Zachery an 18 year old first grade student (he’s been left back 12 times) brought his favorite camping utensil to school and was suspended facing criminal charges. His favorite camping tool was a three foot machete that he nicknamed ol’ slicer, “Chris just loves to cut up his food with that machete” said his distraught mother Donna Zachery “ he doesn’t mean any harm. I can’t believe the school would act like this.” The Delaware school board released a statement saying that it would look to overhaul it’s code of conduct

Record Roundup

Dip Into the 38th Chamber
Wu-Tango Clan
(FB Records, $14.99 /available: LP,CD, Download)

Wu-Tang Clans classic 1993 LP Enter the 36th Chamber has been a touchstone for not only modern rap but any adventurous music as well. Earlier this year the Brooklyn based funk outfit El Michels Affair released Enter the 37th Chamber a well received collection of instrumental versions of Wu-Tang classics. The success of the El Michels record has led to a sort of follow up, this time out it’s tango versions. The performers who call themselves the Wu-Tango Clan are an ad hoc band featuring members of The Tango Project and the Sons of Piazzolla. While tango and Wu might seem like an odd marriage of musical styles, the record works surprisingly well especially on “Da Mystery of Chessboxin’” where the accordion playing shows a subtle depth not heard on the original recordings. Dip Into the 38th Chamber is not the only stylistic revisiting of the Wu-Tang Clan. Slated for release in early 2010 is a heavy metal collection, Hell-Tang Clan featuring members of Anthrax and W.A.S.P.

Available 10/13/09