By Wrapping Paper of St. Paul, Minnesota! Thanks, Tim!

Monday, September 28, 2009

Fools Brushin'

Fewer things gross me out more than Bathroom-related NeighborGoodies. Believe me: No one wants anything you're tossing out that once lived in your bathroom. Generally, you're disposing of these things because they have turned your Luxurious Hollywood Hills Apartment into a biohazard. So if you don't want it--why expose your neighbors?

Case in point:

To put it simply: These toiletry totes belong in a landfill. I'm all for "going green," except when doing so puts my hygiene and gums in danger. As disgusting as the used traveling soap-dish is (imagine the soap-slime and the creepy-curly nasties that are still inside...) I believe the toothbrush holder is a thousand times nastier.

To me, using this case could actually be more disgusting than utilizing someone else's toothbrush which, up until right now, was The Worst Thing I Could Imagine. At least you could scrub the toothbrush and set it on fire before brushing, giving yourself some sense of germ destruction. But the toothbrush holder? There's just no way to remove the dried toothpaste, bits of blood and whatever other post-brushing residue that has built-up deep inside of this thing. Unless, of course, you used a toothbrush to clean it out... But then...what would you brush your teeth with?


I may have just blown my own mind and, in the process, given myself gingivitis. I need to go lie down.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Back to School

It's the middle of September, and kids have been back to school for a few weeks now. And although it's been a good number of years since I've wandered those halls, I still remember the excitement I'd feel about starting a new school year. I'd be filled with hope for probably about two weeks and then, right around this time every year, my days would devolve into a panic-filled nightmare of name-calling and mockery. The kids had formed their bonds and the cliques were in place. And invariably, I was not in them.

Although High School was definitely the worst (mainly because the bullies from Grade School started getting bigger, enabling them to be physically as well as mentally abusive) the Grade School bullies were pretty terrible in their own right.... and I get the feeling the little girl who left these NeighborGoodies down in the laundry room is having a tough time with some bullies of her own:

It probably started off innocently enough--a little gentle teasing about her lunchbox, perhaps:

A whale on a lunchbox is never a good idea. Not even "Shamu and His Crew" could help her now. Even if this girl wasn't overweight, the kids at my school were so adept at teasing, they almost certainly would have tormented her until she developed an eating disorder:
  • "Hey Shamu, is that a picture of yourself on your lunchbox?"
  • "Hey Shamu, where's Jonah?"
And the all-time classic:
  • "Hey Shamu: Oink, oink!"
Well... nobody said the bullies were smart--that's kind of what made them bullies: They were just too dumb to know any better. And, of course, the best way to raise your low self-esteem is to lower that of your peers. So, as soon as they sensed any bit of discomfort, they locked onto their target--mocking any and all aspects of you: Your hair, your clothes, your teeth, your food, your ears, nose and throat, doctors, parents, siblings--Anything they could see on or near you was fair game--including your objects.

Soon, little Shamu comes home sobbing, demanding that everything pink and cute and girly she so wanted during her back-to-school shopping excursion must now be replaced with generic plain items so as to not draw attention to herself.

No more Hello Kitty Pencil Cases... more sparkling puppy planners...

...especially if it contained cutesy sparkly stickers...

...and an equally sparkly calculator inside:

2+2 = Misery

She got rid of all of these things because she couldn't bear to be reminded of anything happy. Even the change purse had to go...

...those grinning faces just reminded her of her taunters--All red and round and...smiling. What a bunch of fuckers!

And although I'm kind of surprised she didn't keep her "Body Bag Barbie"...

...I must say I'm not surprised at her sudden rebellion. When we're young, and it seems that all anyone wants to do is harass you for being different, you just want to fade away, become invisible. But as we get older, the lucky ones realize we should celebrate our differences. Sure, those young years were painful, but they made us who we are. And just as being a bully back then probably helped our tormentors ignore their own issues and insecurities--by bringing ours to the surface, they helped us deal with them early on, so we could move on and be productive, hilarious members of society.

And now, we're smart enough to know that they were, and probably still are, full of self-loathing.

So hold your head up high, Shamu! Soon the bullies will be the Jonahs inside of you!


Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Cheese GREATer

Over the weekend, I found another box of books....

...this one including a NeighborGoodies Rerun--The ever-popular Christian Faux-Romance Novel Rainbow's End:

Rainbow's End was initially left on the Big Blue Table in July of 2008 (read the entry here!) and I'm pretty shocked by its return over a year later. The book isn't all that thick, so the idea that it took someone 14 months to read through this not-so-steamy pile, and then re-rid themselves of it boggles my mind.

Of course, as cheesy as Christian Romance Novels may be--none are as cheesy as this:

"Say Cheese" is an amazing pamphlet put out in 1977 by the Giant Food corporation--a supermarket chain mainly on the east coast of the United States. At its core, this booklet is nothing more than Cheese Propaganda.

There are little specks of grease and other foodstuffs all over it indicating that this person not only kept her cheese booklet around for 22 years--but she kept it proudly on display in her kitchen while she cooked. And who can blame her, really? It's quite a helpful item to have around!

The tone of the booklet is set right on the first page (Just above the giant-Swiss-Cheese-fonted "Cheese - What's in it for you?" chapter heading:

"If you find the cheese counter a little confusing, you're not alone. Cheese comes in many shapes, sizes and varieties. In this booklet, we'll be talking about the nutritional value of cheese, how to read a cheese label, and how to use and store cheese at home. We hope you find this information helpful."

So--they're here to help the hapless cheese consumer. But here's a spoiler: They never actually tell you "how to use" cheese at home. Nowhere in this booklet does it say "Put in mouth, chew." There are some (three) helpful recipes, but for some reason, those all call for cottage cheese--which, as far as I'm concerned, is the bastard cousin of 'real' cheese.

We're also treated to an in-depth, clinical explanation of the differences between Natural and Processed cheeses (the answer: Enzymes from animal stomachs!)

This page gives us some disturbing "cheese labeling pointers."

This is also the same page that tells us in no uncertain terms "American cheese is never a natural cheese." We are told "it is a blend of various cheeses including Cheddar, Colby and other cheese products."

If anyone out there knows what an "Other" cheese product is, please keep it to yourself. Also: the phrase "Cheese food" that appears on the label of the bottom product is almost enough to put me off cheese altogether.


The booklet goes on to tell you what you should do if you're on a special diet to lower your fat intake, cholesterol or sodium.

Their advice? Read the labels to look for low fat, low cholesterol and low sodium cheeses. Thanks.

There's also a cheese composition table...

...a helpful section on whether or not your cheese is still good...

...and a cheese chart:

And there's much, much more. Yes--this is one of those NeighborGoodies that makes you shout to the heavens about how...GOUDA it is!


Ok, ok...sorry for the cheesy joke.

Anyway, this product is so full of awesomeness--I just couldn't resist giving you the opportunity to own it! Yes, for the first time in the History of NeighborGoodies: This item is for sale over at ebay.

Bid early, bid often! GO GO GO!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Ring Around the Scholar

Oh! Well, hello there, and welcome Back to NeighborGoodies! Did you miss us? Of course you did!

Sorry for unannounced break, but I've been verybusy throwing fruit at people (Please see BananaSurprise for details!) and traveling everywhere (Please see the Country Fried Road Trip for details!)

And just this past weekend, I was in Chicago at my friend Jeff's wedding who, as it turns out, had told every single person he's ever met about this blog--which is why we're huge in the Midwest. So: Congratulations on your wedding, Jeff, and thanks for forcing your friends, family and co-workers into The NeighborGoodies FanBase!

And now: Back to your irregularly scheduled NeighborGoodies!

Since it’s back to school season, I feel it’s best to start off with something for our student-readers. I'm happy to offer some excellent items that can help you make a good first impression on your new classmates! As you know, any good student needs lots of books--Luckily, someone was kind enough to donate twelve of them...

…sure, they're phone books, but they’re chock full of information for you to memorize! These books are a great way to get to know your fellow classmates. For example, when you take these out in your lecture hall, people will surely encircle you and ask you things like, "Why are you carrying phone books," "What's wrong with you," and "Why are we even still making phone books?"

The people who ask this last question are the ones you want to keep around: They are clearly the smartest and most critical thinkers in your class. If no one asks any of these questions, perhaps you should reconsider your choice of schools, as you are surrounded by people who aren't taking an interest in their surroundings. If it's too late to change schools, you could just start calling the numbers out of these books to find someone smart enough to not want to talk to you, and then insist on being their friend.

But as every student knows, learning is more than just books--it's life! And you can't live life naked, so I think some new duds are in order. Nothing can re-invent you better than these handsome and dusty cherry-brown shoes...

...or this very snazzy button-down shirt...

...with a giant, nasty stain around its collar:

I always thought Ring Around the Collar was something that only happened in TV commercials during the 70's & 80's... I had no idea it is still a real--and totally disgusting--phenomenon.

But no one ever said being popular was easy: Do you think NeighborGoodies is so well-loved because of our cleanliness? Do you think we're popular because we have a Twitter and a Facebook page? Do you think people care about us because we make it super-easy to subscribe to NeighborGoodies by email to get each episode delivered directly your inbox?

No. We're popular because people apparently like filth and determination! And nothing says, "I exude confidence (and acid-based neck-sweat!)" quite like deep, fuming stains on your shirts.

So go, young students! Go off and proudly display your Yellow Pages and your Yellow Stains--and Let Your Fingers Do The Walking! (But not in those dusty shoes... They'll never fit.)