April 2006 Archives

Deny, Deny, Deny, Deny... and Fold

The little one came in sobbing and holding his arm. He said his big brother hit him, so I went to investigate.

It only took 6 years for the balls-out lying to my face to begin. I must admit, I was impressed with his speedy answers. I thought he would have crumbled sooner....

What happened to your brother?

He fell.

How did he fall?

He slipped on an ice cube.

Where's the ice cube?

It melted.

Oh yeah? Where's the water?

I cleaned it up right after he fell!

Are you telling me the truth? Is this really what happened?

(PAUSE) Did I just lose TV for doing something naughty?

What did you do?

I hit him.

He watches too much TV anyway.

Tough Cookies

Cookie Monster is kind of a mess. He doesn't understand how pronouns work, he's got very poor social skills and a severe double-shot of lazy eye.

© 2006 Sesame Workshop.

But when it comes to cookies, he totally gets it. Cookies are fucking fantastic.

No matter what's going on, I'm up for a cookie. They're fun, they're always a treat and just about anytime of day I would like one in my mouth. They are the tits of food.

Cookies come in all kinds of flavors and shapes. Sometimes chewy, sometimes crunchy. They don't require a plate or a fork or a napkin. Even baking them is optional. Raw cookie dough is a gift most humans aren't worthy of. (Don't worry, all Sneeze readers are worthy. I checked.)

I bring all this up because I saw a Batman cookie jar the other day, and I know he'd be embarrassed by it.

Where exactly does "cookie jar" fit in with his war on evil in the name of his murdered parents? I'm not sure. (Although, I wouldn't blink an eye at a Robin the Boy Wonder jar filled to the top with lady fingers.)

There's tons of inappropriate merchandising and tie-ins out there, but it's the ones that bring together tough guys and pussy-ish items that are my favorites. And ironically, as much as cookies kick ass, they just aren't "tough". I don't care how huge you are, or how deep your voice is-- you can't intimidate me saying, "Gimme another snickerdoodle."

Even the word "cookie" itself isn't helping. If words went to school, "cookie" would have its head shoved in a toilet at least twice a week. In between Purple Nurples.

Despite all of this, I've learned there's a whole world of tough cookie jars out there. And these are just a few...

"Private First Class Biscotti, reporting for duty, SIR!"

This is actually John Wayne. Why is "The Duke" a vessel for sweet snacks baked with love? Because his real first name is Marion.

* * * * *

"I'll get you, my pretty, and your little dog too!
And then I'll lift my torso
and make you eat Lorna Doones!!!"

FUN FACT: If you watch the Wizard of Oz while listening to Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon, you're probably high enough to eat a wicked witch full of cookies before it's over.

* * * * *

They say wrestling is fake.
This cookie jar is real... real embarrassing.

In its defense, it actually looks a lot like tough-guy Goldberg. But don't crack it over the head with a folding chair or your macaroons might go stale.

* * * * *

"I pity the fool who don't take a lemon bar out my head."

B. A. Baracus may have been afraid to fly, but apparently he wasn't afraid to put his image on any surface that would have it.

* * * * *

A Harley Davidson motorcycle jacket is the perfect thing to wear if you're an ass-kicking biker. Or a Pecan Sandie.

This may be the ultimate tough/sissy match-up I've seen. (Although I am, of course, not counting the Harley Davidson Teapot.)

Now, which one of you motherfuckers would like a nice cup of Earl Grey?

Demon Lemon Mystery SOLVED

Congratulations to Greg in Deerfield Beach, Florida for winning the satanic lemon auction.

Several people wrote in suggesting that the freakish lemon may have actually been a weird mutation of a Buddha's Hand Citron.

While this was an admirable guess, it is completely WRONG and precisely what Satan would have you believe.

After much research, we have determined the only plausible cause of the Demon Lemon...

Oogie Boogie from "Nightmare Before Christmas" had sex with the tree.

Case closed! (Thanks, Mark.)

The Birth of He-Man


I was watching VH1's "I Love Toys" tonight and I found that number 53 really caught my attention. He-Man.

I remember my brothers had He-Man curtains and comforters on their beds when they were little and then I started thinking about He-Man and what an asinine name that is.

I mean really...can you just picture the "creative" people at Mattel sitting around a big table throwing out ideas for the new long blond haired, Arnold Schwarzenegger looking, steroid taking action figure? I often lie in bed at night envisioning how that creative process went - it usually ends in tears for me. The best they could come up with is He-Man. Sad Mattel...very sad.



You're in luck because someone gave me a magazine a few months ago that just happened to have an interview with Roger Sweet, THE CREATOR OF THE HE-MAN TOY LINE.

I'm willing to wager he'd disagree with you on the name.

The following are excerpts from ToyFare Magazine - Issue #97 / Sept. 2005.

How was He-Man created?

[Mattel president] Ray Wagner had passed on Star Wars because the license property apparently required $750,000 upfront. At the time, for an unproven property, that was a highly exorbitant sum. So Wagner had Mattel's Prelimary Design Department - of which I was a member - Come up with viable male action figure concepts. I had been real impressed by Frank Frazetta paintings and I [submitted an idea] that I called monster fantasy. But it was actually a barbarian fantasy.

How did He-Man go from idea to toy?

The only way I was going to have a chance to sell this [to Wagner] was to make three 3D models - big ones. I glued a Big Jim figure [from another Mattell toy line] into a battle action pose and I added a lot of clay to his body. I then had plaster casts made. These three prototypes, which I presented in late 1980, brought He-Man into existence.

Were there any big differences between the finished product and your early prototypes?

The very first prototype He-Man was black haired with a deeply tanned eastern European or Middle Eastern appearance. His helmet had no horns. Later, at the direction of Tom Kalinske, then in Mattel's upper management, He-Man was made more clean-cut and changed to a blond... Plus, He-Man's skin was lightened, though definitely still tanned.

How did you come up with the name?

At the time I did the first prototype figure, I still didn't have a name for him. So I brainstormed 40 or 50 names. Among those names were Mighty Man, Megaton Man, Strong Man, Big Man, but the instant I got that name He-Man...

You knew that was it.

[Long Pause] I cannot tell you... [breathes deeply]... how big a bell rang in my head. The whole line came together. Here was a highly generic name that had a kinda brute-force feel to it. And what could be more of a direct name than this for a heroic figure? It's just one in a million.

What did you think of the finished He-Man product?

When I first saw the [first year of the] Masters of the Universe line all together I thought it was somewhat weak because it was low-tech and it was conservative. My concept of MOTU was that it combined everything- low-tech, high-tech, past, present and future. I wanted MOTU to be as expansive as possible and do anything that was appealing. I would love to see a G.I. Joe segment in MOTU. I wouldn't mind seeing a character like [Child's Play] Chucky in it.

In other words, anything could go into it. When I became the manager in charge of creativity for the line in 1983 I worked real hard to change that.

In 1987, MOTU annual sales plummeted from $400 million to $7 million. Why?

Mattel far oversold the product to the trade, which sells it to the toy stores. It swamped the shelves and there wasn't the demand for it. Some companies lead their lines conservatively and keep them going for many years, like the G.I. Joe line. Also the children's He-Man cartoon had lost popularity.

Looking back, how did it feel to work on the original MOTU?

I was like a flyspeck on the elephant's rear end in relation to all the work and talent that other people put into this line. But I supplied the seed from which the Masters tree grew and that's all that I claim at the beginning of Masters. A huge number of talented people worked on this and without them the line wouldn't have been the huge success or failure [laughs] that it was.

So, the question that's on everyone's mind... why didn't He-Man wear pants?

Who needs them? [Laughs.] If he wore loose pants you wouldn't be able to see his muscles. And I believe Prince Adam wore pants. But if He-Man really wanted them, for sure he would have put them on. What He-Man wants, He-man gets. [Laughs.]

Big big thanks to the gang at ToyFare Magazine for granting permission to reprint excerpts of their terrific interview! Check out their site right here.

And for the complete story of the Masters of the Universe toy line, check out Roger Sweet's book: "MASTERING THE UNIVERSE: He-Man and the Rise and Fall of a Billion-Dollar Idea".

* * *

Hawaiian War Chant Extravaganza

After the previous post about the Hawaiian War Chant, a couple of readers emailed me about a radio show that featured 2 FULL HOURS of the song, covered in many different styles by many different artists. The show also offered some interesting background on the song as well.

I didn't make it through to the end, but if you're feeling strong you can listen to the entire extravaganza right here.

(Mahalo to Shawn and David for the link)

Attack of the Hawaiian Earworm

It's annoying to have a song stuck in your head, but it's that much more frustrating when you don't even know what the song is called.

For the last week I've been humming a tune I've heard a thousand times, but I never knew the name of it. It's this wacky Hawaiian thing, and I promise you've heard it a thousand times, too.

After some blind poking around I finally found it. Here's a snippet...

* * * * *

I was happy to have tracked it down, but what brought me the most joy was to learn that it's called "The Hawaiian War Chant".

I would imagine your average war chant isn't usually the happiest song ever, but what do I know? Maybe they're at war with feeling gloomy.

Whenever you hear this song from now on, I'd like you to picture natives comically slaughtering each other to it.

Better yet, picture me in the kitchen in my sweat pants loudly singing it while wiggling around, pretending to shoot blow darts and stab at invisible foes.

Now be glad you only have to picture it, instead of live with it, like my wife... who took a solemn vow in church to live with it F-O-R-E-V-E-R.

Hee hee!

Demon Lemon

My buddy, Dan, has a lemon tree. This tree has produced a few odd lemons in its time, but we are now convinced it was probably planted over a portal to Hell.

The other day Dan walked outside to find this satanic yellow beast hanging from the tree, plotting its world-wide reign of citrus terror.

This is no tiny lemon. It is approximately 5" long, has a 14" circumference and weighs just over 1 pound!! It's a lemon to be reckoned with.

It almost appears as if a normal lemon is in the grips of a monstrous taloned fist. Or that it's trying to give us the finger. We were going to cut it open but were afraid blood might come out. So, now it's on eBay.

Since this is ultimately a perishable item, I'm also throwing in a non-perishable and extremely rare SNEEZE MUG. Very few of these exist. (Because no one ever buys them from The Sneeze store.)

In addition, we will donate all profits from this auction to a charity of the winner's choosing.

Won't you bid on a freakish piece of demonic fruit history today?

To see more pix check out the auction right here.

God O'Clock

My friend, Conrad, and I got to talking about weird clocks and he has a classic.

This is the "God Bless My Family" clock. It features two little kids praying. Their prayers can be heard at bedtime or as an alarm in the morning to start your day. Or, it seems, whenever the clock randomly decides to start talking in the middle of the night, which has been my own disturbing experience with it.

The highlight of the clock is the boy's prayer. His take on the word "evil" in the phrase "but deliver us from evil" sounds like it's out of a horror movie. (I won't even get into the fact that he says "and BLEED us not into temptation" instead of "lead us.")

Here's his entire prayer...

Here's the isolated section at the end. Picture me being woken up in the middle of the night to this kid creeping my ass out.

I would take the batteries out, but you know it'll just keep talking anyway.

The good news is, I do believe this clock may possess some kind of mystical powers to make wishes come true. I haven't tried it first hand, but if the boy is praying for his little friend to not be wearing any underwear, it totally works.

*small plastic hooeys have been pixelated to protect the innocent.


Powered by Movable Type 4.24-en

About this Archive

This page is an archive of entries from April 2006 listed from newest to oldest.

March 2006 is the previous archive.

May 2006 is the next archive.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.