Tag Archives: NJ

My Favorite Super Bowls (That May or May Not Have Happened)

By Andrew Blumetti

Well, this certainly didn’t happen.

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February.

Talk about getting the most bang for your buck.  They really do pack a lot into a little month, don’t they?

In a mere twenty eight days, we’re graced with a bountiful bevy of winter celebration–  Valentine’s Day, Groundhog Day, President’s Day, Mardi Gras, Black History Month, Spring Training, and the most important of ‘em all (after Spring Training of course), there’s the great American holiday of Super Bowl Sunday, the biggest party since New Year’s Eve, only one month ago.

While granted, February’s short run is not as eventful as the unseen four weeks during 28 Days Later, but it makes me happy to celebrate my birthday during what would normally end up being a freezing, snowy, boring month with a girly-colored wuss birthstone.

Are you kidding me?

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Living in the greater New York area, especially within earshot of Giants Stadium (or MetLife Snoopy Stadium, or whatever it’s called now), the excitement, traffic, and overall buzz has been ramped up to a Spinal Tap-worthy 11 as the Denver Broncos go mono-a-mono with the Seattle Seahawks for all the gusto and glamor of gridiron glory.  It’s truly rocky vs. rainy in the Legal Marijuana Bowl.

Blumes note:  This offer still stands!  Now half price! 

But frankly, it’s Friday, January 31st, this is all old hat by now.

At this point, you’ve been endlessly bombarded with Super Bowl ads, magazine covers, news reports, cocky fans, and nonstop party planning for weeks now.  When Monday morning comes, and you’re more chili than man, you’ll undoubtedly know the Super Bowl had come and left its mark.

But that’s not who this article is for. 

Maybe you’re not a fan of hawks or horses, perhaps Richard Sherman’s post-game interview rubbed you the wrong way, or heck, or maybe you’re one of those people seriously considering a 7th Heaven marathon instead of football this weekend.

Ladies and Gentlemen: Your special teams for the Oakland Raiders!

Of course that doesn’t mean you won’t find yourself enjoying the festivities of Super Bowl Sunday.  Dr. Oz-unfriendly food, offensively expensive commercials (that always feature a baby doing something un-babyish), the sickeningly adorable Puppy Bowl, and trying to get your greased-up fingers to press the remote buttons to change the channel as Bruno Mars performs at halftime- this Sunday is a bombastic event that will please folks of all tastes.  …as evident by this walk down memory lane of some truly classic and heavily unorthodox Super Bowl games of yore.

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1. SUPER BOWL XXXII: BATMAN VS. STORMTROOPERS

Na-na-na-na-na-na-na-na SAFETY!

 

As John Madden once called it in a most clever anagram, “Capes vs. Space”, this battle royale pitted The Dark Knight vs. the Imperial Army for 60 minutes of a nerdtastic pigskin extravaganza.  After a first quarter that was heavy on the Big D, Commissioner Gordon’s 45 yard rush into the endzone to close out the first half put Team Gotham up on top.

No guts, no glory, as the ‘Troopers marched their way back in the 4th quarter.

The second half was a superhero explosion of history-making offense as holy touchdowns Batman!—  the Caped Crusader aired it out to the Boy Wonder (who took a time out from cheerleading) in the Gotham endzone.

But, when the going gets tough, the tough get going, as the Stormtroopers, with their armored backs against the wall, bounced back to tie the game as the 2-minute warning approached.  Coach Vader flipped a crap when an ill-timed interception by Alfred the Butler spelled death for the Star Wars crew with the Bats taking home the trophy to Gotham City with a score of 28-21.

Go Team! Arwwwwwaaaaaaaarrrrrrahahahahahhaahhhhaa!!!!


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2.  SUPER BOWL XI:  KISS BOWL  (AKA THE TOILET BOWL)

 

“I wanna hike the ball all night!”


And you thought the Jaguars were bad…

Nothing screams out “gridiron glory” like mime makeup and gaudy platform shoes on men, but that’s why the KISS bowl was so unique.

Walking embarrassment Gene Simmons bit his long cow tongue as he slipped on his own fake blood on no less than three occasions, turning the usually triumphant game into a fumble-filled lowlight reel.  Pain in the ace, Mr. Frehley, shanked four field goal attempts, and starchild, Paul Stanley?   Well, he might as well have been the MVP… for the other team.

Chest hair and touchdowns!  Not just for Joe Namath anymore!

As far as scoring went, it was Detroit Block City.  The spandexed makeuped-ones never did touch the endzone, as KISS went down in defeat to good taste 49-0.

The best worst part was that they weren’t even asked to play the halftime show.  That honor went to The Doobie Brothers.

The great part about being KISS, is you can sell any crap you want at the souvenir stands…

 

The epilogue to this heavy metal tale of the 100 yards KISS never did get back to the Super Bowl, but on the plus side, KISS never did get back to the Super Bowl.

That jersey has the actual number of KISS fans left on Earth.

 

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3.  SUPER BOWL XLV:  ZOMBIE BOWL

Let’s have a hand for the hometeam!

It may have been only three years ago, but who could forget when the undead took down scalpers stadium-wide and invaded the turf during the timeless showdown of the Green Bay Packers and Pittsburgh Steelers?

Turning Aaron Rodgers into an Aaron Rodgers kabob?  Transforming Clay Matthews into an undead Thor?  Sending “Big Ben” Roethlisberger to the sideline to finally get some brains?

It all happened.  I guess.

Indigestion from overindulging in extra hot Buffalo wings rendered Daryl and Michonne practically useless that Sunday.

While the gameplay may have been painfully lumbering and a bit lethargic at times, it was no worse than any given Cleveland Browns game on a random Sunday.

The “Running Dead” tried to bite Tim Tebow on the sidelines, but he was immune to it.


But if Broadway has taught us anything, (and I guess it has…) —  the show must go on, flesh eaters or not.

Time will tell us that the zombies vs. zombies Super Bowl was a tad gory, maybe too confusing at times, and it may have taken five days to finish, but in the end, it was much less traumatizing than the Black Eyed Peas halftime show.

4th Down of the Dead!

 

One would be safe to assume the zombie apocalypse and certain doomsday would put a damper on the game’s festivities, with all the undead cannibalism and spilled guts, but the TV ratings reached an all-time high.  The NFC z-team ended up hoisting the Vince Lombardi Trophy, rotting limbs and all, bringing it back to frigid Green Bay where decaying slows down like Kirstie Alley’s metabolism.

THE ZOMBIES HAVE BECOME HIDEOUS!

The trophy had to be immediately sent out to be cleaned and shined due to the high volume of blood on it …on a weekly basis.

(On a positive note, in the zombie onslaught, Steelers safety Troy Polamalu was attacked, but escaped by a “hair”.)

Parking was tighter than George Costanza’s wallet…

…but the tailgating was awesome!

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4.  SUPER BOWL XLII:  THE RETURN OF BUD BOWL

 

 

Eli vs. Tom- buds for life!

 

For those too young to remember, the Bud Bowl was an early 90’s stop-motion beer bottle football tour de force that found its home during commercial breaks, squeezed in between multi-million dollar ads for Crystal Pepsi and The Bodyguard soundtrack.  It was a kick-glass all-out brawl between Budweiser and Bud Light.  Even as a long retired campaign, for me, that fateful Sunday in 2008 always be the year that the suds saved football.

Hut, hut… HOPS!!!

 

Phoenix, AZ–  When a thunderous monsoon that would’ve knocked over human brick wall, Howie Long, hit, it kept planes grounded and prevented both the Pats and G-Men from making their way into warm, sunny Arizona, the NFL pooped their britches, panicked and pooped them some more.

“But I wanna go on the PLAAAANNEE!!”

Sadly, cancelling the big game seemed like the only choice left, seeing as how there was no way to get the unfortunate stranded teams into the balmy city in time.  Luckily, the answer was only a bar away…

Long dead since 1997, a time when candy-lovin’ alternarock trio Marcy Playground was brimming with untapped potential, the beer bottles were called off the bench as Bud Bowl sat in as the substitute teacher for the real teams.   It was truly like Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, but for drunks.

“My nose is red cause I’m half in the bag!”

The bottles tossed on the teams’ uniforms, and no one in the massive Arizona crowd was the wiser.  Nearly sixty minutes of play time and we all know what happened next-   Ale-I Manning to Beer David Tyree (what a good pick in the draft), the miraculous helmet catch, and a near-perfect season for New England ended in an 18-1 conclusion, as the bottled Big Blue were swimming in confetti in the Big Apple soon after.

No feelings were bottled-up in this game…

Understandably, in Massachusetts, spirits were wicked low, and where did they go?  To a bar of course.  NORM!

“Sammy, I’ve told you for years that beer saves all.”

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5.  SUPER BOWL XLIV: GAME MVP- ABE LINCOLN

Four Scores!  … and seven years ago.

 

For a few brief hours, the “L” in NFL stood for Lincoln.

We all know Abraham Lincoln was a president, emancipator, and a vampire hunter, but do you remember Abe’s big-time appearance in the Super Bowl?

The bearded one was called in to play when Peyton Manning had to leave the game early to film an impromptu Kraft Macaroni and Cheese commercial.   He ran out, flying past the cheerleaders, zooming by the mascots, with the glisten of anger in his eyes, sweat on his brow, and a chin beard so mighty, the heavens above stopped to gaze in majestic awe.

The stovetop hat was thrown down, the shoulder pads were thrust on, and that pigskin flew like you wouldn’t believe.  It was going perfect, until… clumsy ox Drew Brees went down with a pulled hamstring on the slippery turf.  And being the helpful chap he is, ‘ol Honest Abe took the reigns and stood in for him as well, changing uniforms as the Colts defensive squad ran out.

He abolished the slaves, and demolished the Colts…


As the clock struck zero, the Big Easy soon was celebrating with the sounds of jazz and firey-cajun food up the wazoo as Abe Lincoln received an early birthday gift- a declaration as Super Bowl MVP.

It was rumored plentiful posterior-ed socialite Kim Kardashian emancipated her relationship with then-Saints running back, Reggie Bush, that night to lock lips with the sixteenth prez.

And how did A-Linc become so good at football? 

Just how you get to Carnegie Hall…  Practice.

Note:  Sadly, Lincoln’s pro-career was cut short the following pre-season when Ravens linebacker John Wilkes Booth broke Lincoln’s legs.

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Enjoy your Super Bowl weekend!  As usual, please Fed-Ex any uneaten chicken wings to me. 

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Filed under Advertising, Comedy, Entertainment, Food, Holiday, Humor, Movies, Music, Pop Culture, Retro, Sports, Television

Want to Spend Super Bowl Week in New Jersey with Me?? Wish Granted.

By Andrew Blumetti

“Wait, what? I’m performing at the Super Bowl!?”

With less than seven days until the biggest of big games approaches, are you still scraping for last-minute plans like Urkel on prom night?  Or maybe you’re a diehard who bleeds Bronco blue and orange?  Or you drink so much Starbucks, your jittery veins just scream out to support Seattle?  Perhaps the marquee clash of Peyton Manning vs. Russell Wilson means 100% diddly squat to you, and you’re just are looking to punish your belt by eating your weight in Buffalo wings?   OR… just maybe you’re looking to spend Super Bowl week 2014 at the epicenter of the pigskinned party action?

Well, no matter what your interest, wonder no longer friends.  Pack your wooliest mittens and your 90’s Starter jackets, you’re coming to Jersey!

cushion-y!

Unless you’re living under a rock (which granted, may be a very nice rock), for the first time in the nearly fifty years of the big game, we are about to experience Super Bowl XLVIII, the first such game played in a cold weather location, in an open stadium.

That stadium is called MetLife Stadium.

That stadium, MetLife Stadium, is located in East Rutherford, NJ.

That stadium, MetLife Stadium, located in East Rutherford, NJ, just so happens to be less than ten minutes from my house.

Don’t let the gigantic Pepsi tent fool you, that’s the greatest 1.5 billion dollar spaceship-y looking stadium money can buy!

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Which means…

A.  The entire surrounding area has been plastered with these banners for the past month.  Literally, everywhere.  I think there’s one on my back. 

sb

 

B.  Traffic is more trafficy, even by this area’s high traffic standards.  Also, traffic. 

and…

C.  Everyone and their grandmother is making a sweet, sweet buck off this game.  From parties, endless merchandise, themed events, and even renting out spare rooms to out-of-state visitors. 

So, of course, when in Rome…

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Attention football lovers, haters, and the indifferent!  I happily present to you, an offer, make that the offer of a lifetime!  (Well, technically, I guess that’s kinda true)  It’s time for…

BLUMES’S SUPER BOWL WEEK EXTRA-EXTRAVAGANZA!

Yes, you’ve Q-Tipped your ears thoroughly and heard that last statement correctly.  Leave your most-likely warmer climate, trek on over to the East Coast, kick back and stay for a spell in the Garden State, and you can spend this upcoming week with me in high style!

Included in this relatively glorious package is:

  • A one-of-a-kind tour of the local area, including, but not limited to:  the icy parking lot of MetLife Stadium, the numerous ceiling-high supermarket towers of Pepsi cases, and insider hotspots, guided by yours truly.  Included will be such insightful and highly riveting commentary as:

“Hey, that’s the cemetery where Joey Ramone is buried!”

“Oh look, that’s the supermarket parking lot where my car battery died last month!”

“See that place?  Their pizza is sooooooo good!  Well, only if you go on Wednesday nights.”

“Can you wait in the car for a second?  I gotta go to the ATM.”

“That Chinese place used to be a Sam Goody!   That’s where I bought Significant Other by Limp Bizkit!”

durst face

Hey!  Leave me out of this!

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  • Use of my brand new super-soft The Walking Dead throw blanket:
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Practice your best “CARL!!!!” impression while snuggled under this bad boy.

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  • The remainder of however many of these Reese’s Pieces are left that I bought the other night:  (Note: it will probably be none)
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They’re not just for E.T. anymore!

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  •  I will cook you any meal of your choosing from this book:
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Advice: I’m in the mood for burgers, pick them!

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  • Did someone say LOST marathon?!?
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“We have to go back!”

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  • Don’t ask me how, but I managed to get my hands on the best songs of R.E.M.!  And I don’t even know anyone!  Talk about a score!  Prepare to be Michael Stipe-d out…
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Together, we will find out what the frequency is.

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  • Massive!  Snowball!  Fight! 

If you aim correctly, you can hit Snooki in the head!

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So, let’s get down to business…

How much would you pay for this truly unique, and only mildly crappy experience in the chilly Tri-State tundra for this history-making Super Bowl?  $2,000??   $3,000??   Did you say $4,000?!?

Well, if you’re willing to pay that much, how’s $5,000 sound?  I could really use the cash.

I gladly accept cash, check, money orders, or bags of loose change if need be.  Don’t let this opportunity pass you by.  Together, we can put the super in Super Bowl!   Or the owl… either way.

See you then!

“What a deal! …a bad deal!”

(…and act fast!  I just ate four more of those Reese’s Pieces.)

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Filed under Comedy, Entertainment, Food, Holiday, Humor, Pop Culture, Sports

Tricks and Treats and Booklets of Satanists Sacrificing Cats… Oh the Things You’ll Get on Halloween Night.

By Andrew Blumetti

Yes, that classic old story again.

So, it’s November (or as I call it, “Not October”) and alas, Halloween is sadly over.

Back when he donned the eclipse-causing high hair and rat’s-nest-mullet like a first-rate 80’s champ, Jon Bon Jovi may have semi-eloquently declared, “Never say goodbye.”, but Jon, you schmaltzy-optomistic nut, the calendar says we have to.

Oh, don’t worry Bon Jovi, I’m just TEASING you…

Don’t get me wrong, Christmastime has this indescribable feel of childlike wonderment, whimsy, and snow-filled magic, and I cannot wait for the smell of freshly cut evergreens, peppermint and Nat King Cole’s gravely pipes belting out beloved yuletide carols while I spend 45-minutes searching for a parking spot outside Best Buy just to have to deal with the brainless derelicts inside.   Nonetheless, Halloween still holds a special place in my heart which is difficult to recreate no matter how many times I watch Rudolph gleefully reach for the heavens after dreamy doe, Clarice, says that she thinks he’s cute.

I love working on my lawn display, frequenting crowded haunted houses with fellow-ghoul lovin’ friends, and browsing Halloween stores complete with massive lines of shoppers snaking out the door.  And even though the 160+ candy-hungry trick-or-treaters didn’t leave me with an ounce of sugary junk to snack on, it was still a blast and a half.

…but much like that rascally ragamuffin Gary Coleman taught us—  different folks, different strokes…

“What’chu talkin’ ’bout Blumes?”

History Time:

My neighborhood, a small and quiet tree-filled suburb in Northern New Jersey is a safe and delightfully boring little town that has not just one, but two CVS’s and now two 7-11’s.  I’ve had the same neighbors since I can remember, the parking is ample, the lawns are lush and green in the summertime, and everywhere you look, a playful bunny is hopping around freshly-planted vegetable gardens like a delightful children’s book with a well-worn spine.

With a few exceptions, we’ve had very little changeover in the neighbor roll-call over the years–  most of the families are longtime residents who’ve now had their children grow up here and start adorable families of their own.

And I suppose with that kind of boring consistency, you don’t really get around to greeting the new folks as fast as you should when they actually do move in.

Mr. Rogers would be so disappointed in me.  That’s not very neighborly after all. You should really take a few minutes to welcome your neighbor, because who knows?  They could be Kate Upton, they could be your new best friend, or maybe, just maybe, you may want to keep an eye on them cause they could be just a bit odd.

But hey, who amongst us isn’t a little bit?

“Sorry Blumes, maybe next time.”

Well, that fickle little needle on the odd scale went from “a bit” to “Holy crow, it’s Christopher Walken after a dozen Mountain Dews” this past Thursday, October 31st.

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It was an unseasonably mild and relatively overcast Halloween afternoon. The breeze was nearly non-existent, and the weak late-October sun had given the ‘ol college try attempting to dry up the shallow puddles of collected rain that had fallen earlier in the morning.  After the schools were dismissed, my nephew and niece were in the area to do some trick-or-treating with my family to the local neighbors’ houses while I manned the door at home.  As it usually goes with the kiddies, excited spirits and happy feet soon turned to exhausted spirits and fatigued feet, as the joy of a spooktastic day soon began to show its age.  They returned home, and being the generous and giving uncle I am, I volunteered to help “sort out the candy”, which in layman’s terms, means “vulture-pick the kids’ freshly-earned candy stash”.

After laying down some immediate damage to a bag of Reese’s Pieces, I looked down, where amongst the crinkly piles of Butterfinger and gummy bear wrappers, we saw this staring back at us…

Holy moly on toast with jelly, what is this we have here?

My taste buds did a backflip cause- hey, isn’t that one of those Wendy’s coupon books for ten free Frosty ice cream treats?  Oh glorious day!

But no, this find should not be so sweet.

One peek inside, and we were greeting with lecturing, the cornerstone of any fun-filled Halloween.  Which is kind of an odd choice, considering we decided to give out Cheetos, M&M’s and Swedish Fish.

Now, for the record, I don’t have any problem with any kind of religion whatsoever.  My family is Catholic, and whatever floats your boat is cool with me.  I couldn’t care less if someone’s Christian, Jewish, Muslim, or if they pray to photos of Sofia Vergara’s bowling ball-shaped kid from Modern Family.

“BLOOOOMS, don’t you make the jokes on your BLOGGG about HEEEMM!”

All sensitivity aside, and with that being said, this beaut was too unsettling and gaul-darn hilarious to not share with the world, cause man alive, we apparently have some new neighbors who are borderline bananas, B-A-N-A-N-A-S.

This is still better than finding Mary Janes in your bag though…

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You may come home, tired from a long night of trick-or-treating, dump out that heavy bag full of sugary candy on the floor and count seven Milky Ways, five Snickers bars and a couple of Dubble Bubbles, but really, how many preachy books of cats about to be sliced up on a pentagrammed-alter do you have?

Not enough, right?

Now I know why there’s no cats around the neighborhood.  …and less cats means more mice… which means LESS CHEESE!!!!   Now they’ve gone too far…

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Twick or tweet! (apparently Satan is on Twitter now)

Just remember, Halloween’s no joke kids.

…except for this one:

-Why did the ghost go to the bar?

For the “boos”.

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Common sense would tell you, being the devil, you wouldn’t need a scary costume, cause ya know, you’re the evilest thing in existence, and the culmination of all the world’s hatred, malevolence, and terror.  Heck, people shell out a pretty penny just to dress like you on Halloween.

…but hey, that Party City coupon for that killer spooky pumpkin costume was just too good to resist.

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Bad news:  Human sacrifices will increase, so you’ll most likely be hacked to bits by guys in scratchy-looking cloaks who moonlight as roadies for Zakk Wylde.

Good news:  You won’t have to sit through another season of The Neighbors.

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Did you know?:  Witchcraft is “exploding” among teens today?  Looks like Bieber Fever is quickly being replaced with “witch itch”.

Blumes note:  Don’t mind that sour drawing of John Favreau.   He’s just bummed cause he blew a first-round pick on Ray Rice for his fantasy football team this year.

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Oh Satan you soulpatched-silly goose, the last time I trusted you, you pranked me by unscrewing the cap on the salt shaker.

Ruined my dinosaur-shaped chicken nuggets…

More like TERROR-dactyl!

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Filed under Books, Comedy, Food, Halloween, Humor

The Horrors of the McDonald’s Playground: A Walk Down Memory Lane

By Andrew Blumetti

As if writing about Skippy from Family Ties and TGIF hasn’t dated me much so far, I’m certain the following will surely peg me as an ancient McNugget lovin’ dinosaur, cobwebs intact.

(insert semi-horrible Andy Rooney impression here… but without the messy desk)

With the seemingly never-ending onslaught of new-fangled gizmos and gadgets readily available today, every grade-school scamp is virtually a walking Best Buy store with a backpack.  If an Apple a day keeps the doctor away, these tweens will live to be nearly a day short of one-hundred.

You have your fancy I-this and your spiffy I-that.  Geez cheese Louise, they’re so tethered to their modern electronics, the only thing that you don’t see follow the “I” is “played outside after school with my friends“.

(end impression here.)

Now, I may only be a child of the 80’s—  a simpler time of a feathery-haired Tony Danza, infinite cans of Aqua Net, and the gravity-defying locks of A Flock of Seagulls, but rest assured, it’s a cold, cold realization that smacks you square in the jaw when even my generation is starting to sound curmudgeonly.

Even in said decade, growing up in the New Jersey suburbs, there was a wealth of fun activities to occupy a young boy’s time on a sunny summer afternoon–  endless games of stickball in the park, weaving in and out of local traffic on your bike, impressing the schoolgirls with the newest skateboarding tricks (or more specifically, “falling off a skateboard”), or perhaps a refreshing dip in a friend’s heavily-chlorined pool was the ideal way to spend your time.

Amongst all that classic-American fun in the sun, certain days really stood out amongst the others.  Most specifically, being told that an afternoon trip to McDonald’s was being planned, simple as it sounds, now that was a reason to celebrate.

Sure, the sizzling golden fries were soaked in pure saturated happiness, and the Happy Meal box was filled with LEGO sets that were practically as good as gone by the time we got to the table, but going to Mickey-D’s included one other added attraction, one that wasn’t deep fried or dunked in honey mustard…

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An innocent land of child-like whimsy and wonder… OR IS IT????

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Sadly, most current McDonald’s locations don’t feature these outlandish relics anymore–  A 4,000 square foot outdoor play-area, not much different than any standard cookie-cutter park playground, but decked-out in classic McDonald’s decor, all topped off with all the behavioral calmness of Lord of the Flies (or Fries?) on speed.

It was a barbarous marriage of the trippy universe of Willy Wonka and the happy-go-lucky freak show that was the advertising campaign of the Golden Arches…   Metal slides, swings, and spinning rides that would get hotter than John Travolta’s spoon in Pulp Fiction on a summer day.  A fantasy playland, covered in french fry smudge marks and more-than-occasional bratty kids in Bum Equipment t-shirts hogging every ride in sight.  This madness was such a blast, it’d require multiple requests from exhausted parents to finally drag their surly kids to finally leave for home.

Fast forward to 2013, and finding a classic McDonald’s outdoor playground is quite the challenging task.   Try as I might, I just can’t place my finger on the reason though…

Perhaps they became too costly to maintain?  The cancellation of the McDonaldland promotion?  Maybe McDonald’s brass considered any kind of exercise offensive?

….or perhaps the real reason McDonaldland Playgrounds ultimately went the way of the dodo is because sunshine-y nostalgic hindsight is clouding our vision of how Rob Zombie-ish that freaky place really was.

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CHAPTER I:  THE PURPLE PEOPLE EATER

Your kids were better off hanging out in real bars instead.

Remember Grimace?

A giant characterless purple blob that pre-dated Barney the Dinosaur.  Yes, he literally pre-dated a freakin’ dinosaur.

The aptly-named Grimace was initially introduced as a nemesis to Ronald McDonald.  Fast food head-hanchos realized that’s just the most incredibly stupid thing, and went with the slightly less stupid story that he has no story.  Luckily his character was so crappy, no one seemed to care… but much like Freddy Kreuger, he would eventually have his revenge… ON YOUR CHILDREN.

In this ominous Buffalo Bill-esque prison, Grimace forced many innocent children put the lotion in the basket.  How this thing is better than a real jail is beyond me.

“Thanks for eating our cheeseburgers kids.  Now get inside this weird purple thing’s torso.”

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CHAPTER II:  JAILHOUSE CROCK

No amount of bathtubs could make you feel clean after this.

Apparently, the McDonald’s brain-trust figured nothing struck a chord with kids like jails, cause here was another one–  “Officer Big Mac”, a big giant cheeseburger decked out in a nifty constable uniform who would one day be destined to become a torture pit for youths.

His main job was to pursue the Hamburglar, a ground beef-thief who decided it was wise to wear his prison stripes outside of prison and pilfer your cholesterol away from you.

After looking at this ominous death trap, one wouldn’t have to scratch their head too long to wonder why Officer Big Mac isn’t flashing his once-famous buns around anymore.  Speaking as someone who isn’t crazy about heights or tight, enclosed spaces (the dirty, slippery, kid-crowded ladder inside this godforsaken thing was nothing short of a living nightmare straight out of Jacob’s Ladder), I avoided this hepatitis-covered abyss the way Neil Patrick Harris avoids women.

Jokes on you, smiling Caucasian children— this time the burger eats you!


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CHAPTER III: DAYLIGHT ROBBERY

At least Calista Flockhart found work somewhere.

Rumor has it there’s a deleted scene in the special edition of Saw IV that features this pupil-less Hamburglar’s rusted swings of death, but the MPAA deemed it was too disturbing to achieve an R-rating.

Just make sure to pour out your Dr. Pepper on the sidewalk as a tribute to all the fallen suburban homies who tragically faceplanted while getting off of this wretched thing.

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CHAPTER IV:  SOMETHING’S FISHY…

For hippies, this was known as the “Fillet ‘O Phish”.

This underwater treasure was the thing you were forced to play on when everything more fun was being occupied.  Yes, when standing inside the Grimace jail was too exciting, this became the last resort of the desperate fast food playgrounder.

Being a fish is a wild ride.  It’s freedom personified… something we as humans will never be able to fully appreciate or relate to.  You spend your entire life in the magnificent deep blue sea, travel in schools, and gracefully glide your vibrant scaly body amongst the endless coral, the flowing greenery, and the vivid rainbows that compose your fellow sea-brethren–  it’s stunning peace and Studio-54-ish chaos all in one felt aquatic swoop. 

Then one random day, you spy a tasty worm just ripe for the picking…  the next thing you know, there’s a hook in your stupid cheek, and you end up a processed square patty with a slice of room-temperature cheese on you, stuck on a bun at McDonald’s to be sold in a pair for three bucks.

True, it’s not necessarily the most dignified fate, but man, imagine being the ride based on that sandwich?

Fish, burger… heck, they all look the same in McDonaldland.

Meet the “Filet-o-Fish” ride, a humdrum bouncy piece of junk that didn’t even bounce properly.

Look familiar?  You may remember this weirdo as the chestbuster that burst out of Ripley’s stomach while your were nodding off at the end of Alien 3. 

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CHAPTER V:  HOW BIZARRRRRRRRRRRE

Don’t laugh. The Burger King’s corpse is buried under this thing.

No list of forgotten McDonald’s mascots would be complete without nefarious swashbuckler, Captain Crook, the one Mc-imbecile who actually wanted to ride the bouncy fish seat.

A two-bit pirate with a soft spot for both thievery and seafood, this seafaring counterpart to the Hamburglar was yet another immoral advertising idea who wanted to snag your salty food while your back was turned.  That’s so absurd, even the Oakland Raiders mascot is pointing and laughing,

Of course, since the McDonaldland Playground was missing a slide, they kindly threw Crook a bone.  If avoiding the child Mcvomit at the bottom wasn’t taxing enough, battling the derelicts walking up the slide the wrong way was nothing short of the final battle in 300. 

Raise your hand if you’d have rather walked the plank into a sea of blood-thirsty sharks instead.

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CHAPTER VI:  “I BELIEVE I CAN FRY”

This was known as “The ride you sat on while you waited for some greasy porker to get off the swings.”

There’s a point when it’s painfully clear you’re just flat out of original ideas.

When Steve Urkel began cloning himself, we knew Family Matters was ready to mercifully be put down, or when Home Alone 3 hit theaters with an entire new cast, the planet shifted off axis as a nation simultaneously rolled their eyes at the offensive shark-jumping.

…and on that dubious note, I present to you, The Fry Guys.

Originally named “The Goblins”(cause they’re “gobblin’ up” your fries- hey, good one!), these are basically cheerleader pom-poms with volleyball-sized eyes that stare straight into your soul.  So, basically all of the aspects of cheerleading and volleyball that don’t involve the attractive women.

Yes, this is starting to sound like a quite obvious pattern.  Between the Hamburglar, Crook, and these walking Koosh balls, McDonald’s figured the most effective marketing method was to make you believe your recently-purchased food for would be stolen away from you by moronic mascots.  Diagnosis:  Mc-agita.

To McDonald’s credit, they created a playground ride that aptly matched the excitement of The Fry Guys.

Blumes noteNo hands, yet they purchased shoes with laces instead of Velcro.  Poor shopping choice, Fry Guys.

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CHAPTER VII:  SEE, I’M NOT A MONSTER, I’M JUST AHEAD OF THE CURVE

WHITEST. GUY. EVER.

RONALD McDONALD’S CONFESSION LETTER:

To Whom It May Concern,

I, Ronald McDonald, or “Ron” as I wish to be called, hereby admit to the number of charges of being a colossal creep, even by clown standards. 

First off, I am not even Scottish, it just rhymes with “Ronald”.  Secondly, this is not my natural hair color, I have been hoping to score the part of Little Orphan Annie in an off-Broadway theatrical run of Annie. 

Most importantly, I apologize for my maniacal thousand-yard stare, constant serial killer smile, and the fact you’ll see me in your sleep the way you heard creaks and squeaks for weeks following a viewing of Paranormal Activity.  When the borderline psychotic Burger King king was still the second-most terrifying fast-food corporate spokesman, I know I did something wrong.

Oh yeah, I also killed Waldo and stole his shirt.  He’s buried and decaying under the Hamburglar swing. 

See you in your nightmares,

Ronald McDonald

P.S.–  I also peed in the all the McFlurry machines in Michigan. 
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mcdonalds dreams

Hey kid-  If this is true, your dreams stink. 

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Filed under Advertising, Animation, Comedy, Food, Humor, Pop Culture, Retro, Television

The Truth About Danny from Hey Dude… Dead or Alive?

By Andrew Blumetti

Anyone who knows relatively anything about anything knows that teen s-kicker sitcom, Hey Dude, is the best television show to ever grace the boob tube.

Well, maybe not exactly the best show ever, but if you grew up a healthy diet of late 80’s/early 90’s Nickelodeon fare, you’re no doubt as big of a fan of the western cowboy-comedy as I was.

The plot was your classic fish-out-of-water:  A nerdy New York City accountant purchases  the “Bar None Ranch”, an Arizona dude ranch smack dab in the barren desert, and brings his Hypercolor shirt-wearing son with him.  Throw in a teenage staff of cowboys, Indians, and textbook white-boy slackers, and you’ve got yourself a Nick home run, and I don’t mean Swisher.

“Who you calling a fish out of water?!?”

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There was goofball troublemaker Ted, and his on-again, off-again love interest, Brad, a rich girl with a boys’ name who was nowhere near as attractive as she was made out to be.  Rounding out the bunch was goody two-shoes lifeguard Melody, Brendan Frasier-wannabe drummer Jake, pretty-boy cowboy Kyle, Lucy- the one actual adult who worked there, and last, but not least, Danny Lightfoot, a Hopi Indian who had a larger denim vests collection than Ernest P. Worrell.  Lightfoot also was graced with a deep, spiritual kinship with the anhydrous desert land, the way Hollywood assumes all Native Americans do.

Danny (fourth from left) was peeved in this episode, as everyone put their money on him to go first in the “Hey Dude death pool”. 

After the show’s cancellation in 1991, the teen cast mostly fell into adult obscurity.  A few cast members kept their inconsequential relevance– protagonist Mr. Ernst (David Brisbin) did some minor acting on episodes of shows such as Seinfeld and ER, Ted (David Lascher) went on to co-star in Sabrina, The Teenage Witch, and Melody (Christine Taylor) most prominently became known as Mrs. Ben Stiller.

The parched tumbleweeds blew across the Duders world for years until an ordinary 2004 afternoon, when it was reported (albeit unconfirmed) that Joe Torres, the actor who played Danny, had passed away from liver failure.

This story could’ve been an immature internet hoax, or it could’ve been true, and that’s the sheer bloody genius of it.

Report that Brad Pitt jumped off a bridge or Kim Kardashian fell into a shark tank, and skeptical people will call shenanigans from the get-go.  Report the quiet demise of an obscure actor from a nearly 20-year old kid’s cable show, and it becomes a lot harder to disprove.

Also, the longer the rumors went invalidated, the more believable the actor’s doom-and-gloom fate became.  Was he still vertical?  Or did the man-eating jack rabbits and killer cacti finally take Torres down?

(Yes, apparently Danny was a big Guns ‘N Roses fan.  …but did he ever get to experience the forgettable phenomenon that was Chinese Democracy?)

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Finding information on Torres is about as difficult as you’d imagine.  Over the years, on his IMDB page, help was sparse at best.  Mostly a bunch of occasional message board nerds doing message-boardy things, such as disputing his fate, discussing his mullet, and who saw him doing what, and where (not necessarily in that order).

Internet hearsay is absolutely worthless though.  For all we really know, he was out playing darts with Elvis, country line-dancing with Tupac or maybe he was abducted by martians who were mistaken Clarissa Explains It All fans instead.

There were also stories that Torres packed his dusty bags and ended up on the East Coast.  Some speculation pointed to him living in Tarheel country in North Carolina.  Or maybe it was more plausible he simply dropped the “s” at the end of his last name, blew all of his Hey Dude savings at the plastic surgeon, then managed the Yankees to four World Series titles.

One man, four rings?  Perhaps all those years of dealing with hothead Ted on the show prepared him to deal with Roger Clemens on the field?

Another possible theory was that Torres was still alive and working at a Toyota dealership in Runnemede, NJ.  Any links on the website to his existence are gone, and this was the supposed picture of him from his shirt-and-tie job:

“He was known as ‘Sells’em Camry’ in used-car circles.”

Another theory that seemed to have legs was that Torres was still alive and kickin’… at a bar nonetheless.  Some had claimed to see him frequent the World Famous Golden Nugget Tavern in Tuscon, Arizona.

Word on the sand has it that Torres is not someone you want to meet up with on the felt, as he’s quite the pool shark (just without his own week on cable every summer).  This seemed to be more likely than the other scenarios, seeing as the Southwest was Torres’ old stomping grounds when Hey Dude filmed out there during its run.

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After many failed attempts to find any contact source to help with Torres’ mysterious story, the simplest solution was get in touch with the Golden Nugget to see if they could shed any light on this Dude-er dilemma.

Following an inquiry to the establishment, I received a very helpful email from Tim Donaldson from the Golden Nugget.  Donaldson kindly told me that Jose (Joe) “is alive and well”, thanked me for my message, and said he would pass it along to him.

Hey Danny, you’re alive!  Don’t look so shocked.

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So my fellow Nick fans, may this news make your late-summer week a little sweeter.  We can all breathe a “yippe ki yi ya!” in relief that the rumors of the demise of Danny from Hey Dude, were just that- rumors.  A bunch of speculative hogwash– no liver failure and no job selling Snooki a souped-up Corolla at a Jersey car dealership.  Turns out our very favorite Hey Dude-er is just a former actor looking to kick back, sink the 8-ball in the corner pocket of his past, and enjoy his billard-loving privacy.

…unlike Sponge from Salute Your Shorts.  We all know he’s really dead.

???

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Ladies and Gentlemen: The Worst Menu in America

By Andrew Blumetti

The taste buds of this great nation are as diverse as its many people.

The deep-fried South will give you finger-lickin’ barbecue that’s second to none, steamy Texas is where it’s at for a sizzling slab of seared steer, Maryland’s the place to go for mouth-watering soft-shell crab, head to New Mexico for delicious food with a peppery-Southwestern flair, and ciao! you can’t beat the Big Apple for the best steaming hot pizza around.

However, one thing that is a constant is in this bustling 21st Century world is not everyone has time to spend precious hours preparing a piping-hot homemade meal anymore.  Modern life is life on speed, it’s just too darned busy sometimes, and it’s only increased the amount of new restaurants and take-out that pop up on every single corner, every single day.  All too often, time (or lack thereof) calls for ease to take precedence.  Granted, it’s not the way your sweet, wrinkly granny would’ve done it, but then again, she didn’t spend all day on Instagram and watching DVD marathons of Girls .

Going hand-in-hand with this influx and popularity of restaurants are the amount of pre-folded take-out menus that are feverishly stuffed into your mailbox.  Sure, they come in handy, but let’s be honest– most of the time, they just collect dust till they eventually reach menu heaven.

(Now, cue sentimental background music…)

I come from a small suburban town in northern New Jersey located roughly 20 minutes outside New York City.  It’s not a flashy or busy place, it’s a square mile, consisting of 15,000 people, and essentially our one claim to fame is that a dumpy little hole-in-the-wall pizzeria called, “Pizzaland”, appeared for an instant on the opening credits for The Sopranos every week during the series’ run.

A small suburb is a double-edged sword– the security of living in a safe, small town also brings along a bit of boredom with it.  While not much exciting happens here, I can just thank the take-out gods that the most amusingly bad print-job for a take-out menu was done by an Italian/Mexican (a more truly organic combination has never existed) joint called “Michael’s”.

…and wouldn’t you know, Michael’s (now closed) was also located in my hometown.

Even luckier, I didn’t toss this piece of comedy gold out in the garbage when it was stuffed in my mailbox.  Here’s some photos I snapped.

Now go throw out your brain cells, it’s The Worst Menu in America:

(Sadly, none of these pictures have been altered in any way.)

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Well, maybe that opening was a bit harsh. They did work pretty hard there.  They even stayed open to the ungodly hour of 13 PM.

– Gordon Ramsay says, “PURE RUBBISH!!!”

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With this lack of enthusiasm, no wonder the place went under:

Gordon Ramsay says, “UTTERLY UNINSPIRED.”

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Mmmmm, Snooki’s favorite, “Pasta with Italy”…

Gordon Ramsay says, “$@&!ING STUPID!”

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For those of you who enjoy your soup a bit more unusual, you’re crap outta luck…

– Gordon Ramsay says, “PITIFUL.  SIMPLY PITIFUL.”

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Close your eyes and make a wish, a sandwish…

Gordon Ramsay says, “I’VE CRAPPED OUT BETTER THINGS THAN THAT!”

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Raise your hand if this is making your mouth water as much as mine…

– Gordon Ramsay says, “C’MON!  $#@!ING HOGWASH!”

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Tussle that lovable scamp’s hair!

– Gordon Ramsay says, “I’M GONNA VOMIT, THEN PUT THAT ON THIS MENU! …AND IT WILL BE THE BEST THING ON THERE!”

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You haven’t lived till you’ve tasted beef tangue, broked pork, salled beer, and Mexicans!

– Gordon Ramsay says, “BLOODY CRAP!”

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Usually you “buy one and get one free”, but Michael’s catered to a more aggressive crowd…

Gordon Ramsay says, “YOU’VE GOT TO BE $@#!ING KIDDING ME.”

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It’s a little known fact that Forrest Gump used all evil shrimp in his Bubba Gump dishes…

– Gordon Ramsay says, “WHY AM I ON THIS STUPID BLOG ANYWAY?!?”

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Filed under Comedy, Entertainment, Food, Humor