Thursday, December 05, 2019

Shoppin' Silly, the Amazon Way! #1

We all know that websites, especially sellers, use algorithms to analyze our transactions.  They then tailor "suggestions" targeted to our presumed buying practices.

But sometimes those algorithms produce silly results!
Note that I'm suggested to buy this "Security Box" because I bought the Get Smart TV series.  Would liking spy spoofs make me more security-conscious?

Get Smart is likewise the inspiration for vacuum-cleaner bags.  Huh?  Maybe I need to clean up the Cone of Silence? 

Now, this suggestion I can sort of understand.  Yes, I confessed to Amazon that I own a copy of the movie The Sound of Music.  NO WONDER they think I need a drink!  Maybe the "bitters" would cut the saccharine storyline? 

Anyway, that's it for this shopping session.  See you on Monday for something more edifying -- I hope!

Monday, December 02, 2019

Shoppin' in the '70s

One of the fun things you can find when working at thrift store (or shopping at them) is paper ephemera.  Things that weren't meant to be saved -- which is what makes them fascinating decades later.
 I can't assign a hard date.  I can tell you that the "Equal Credit Opportunity Act" was enacted in 1974.
I don't think that this application would work nowadays.  Don't try it.

See you on Thursday with some silly shopping suggestions.

Monday, November 04, 2019

Happy Birthday to Will Rogers and the Great State of Oklahoma!

Believe it or not, I found FOUR copies of this EP for sale at the same time, at a local thrift store.  I cherry-picked the best audio and the best-preserved visuals to scan.

Among the participants in this 1957 celebration of all things Okie is (read the fine print) OKC’s own beloved John Ferguson, aka CountGregore.  (And, yes, I gave John a copy of the CD produced from these files.)

Well, that’s all for this month.  See you here on Monday, December 2nd!

Thursday, October 31, 2019

The Newlydead Game!

The Newlydead Game!
(August 16, 1979)

… with the star of our show, Bob Eyebank!

Thank you, Arnie the Announcer! and welcome to our show!  As you know, on our show we feature four couples, all of whom have been dead for two years or less.  They answer questions as they think their spouses will answer.  It’s a lot of fun, and we always have a surprise or two!  So – let’s meet our newlydead couples for this evening!

Couple Number One, dead just five short weeks, Ferd and Aphasia Roselawn!

Welcome, Ferd and Aphasia.  Tell us a little something about yourselves.

Mmmf, ggrugh lhmm shgrptl …

Aphasia (cutting in):
Sorry, Bob, but since Ferd died under a steamroller, he won’t be talking much tonight.  You see, we died on a construction site; we got carried away in the backseat, and didn’t realize that it was morning.  The construction crew had arrived and started work.  We heard the rumble of the steamroller.  I was able to get out of the car and run for it, but Ferd’s pants were around his ankels and he couldn’t run fast enough.  He got partway across the parking lot, and …

Rlll  krshh  expp  nnss …

Aphasia (cutting in to translate):
It was a real crushing experience, Bob!

But you, Aphasia?  You don’t appear too flattened by the experience.

Well, Bob, I made it out of the car, but fell into the pit where the foundation was going to go.

So, things sort of crept up on you …

That’s right, Bob.  When we woke up, we were dead.

Couple Number Two, dead three months:  Dwayne and Imogene Fitzwallace!

Hi, Dwayne and Imogene!  How are you?

Dwayne & Imogene:
Fine, Bob, just fine.

And just how did you two buy it?

You see, Bob, we were eloping to Miami and had booked a flight on a 727.  We snuck into the restroom together …

Imogene (blushing):
… to kind of start our honeymoon a little early, you see.

Dwayne (shrugs):
But when the plane crashed, well …

Down the tubes, huh?

That’s right, Bob.

Couple Number Three, planted only last week, Ralph and Delia King!

Hi, there.  Hey – you two look familiar.

Could be, Bob.  Ralph here is the nephew of Senator Sam Ervin, and I was once Miss Black America.

I see.  Welcome, your highness!  What happened to you two lovely young people?

Well, Bob, we went backpacking two years ago in the Rockies.  Atop one of the taller peaks, a blizzard came up.  We made our way down to an old miner’s cabin, but we were snowed in and never got out.

A pair of corpsicles, eh?  Wait a minute, let me figure this out.  This happened two years ago, you say?   But Arnie here just said you were buried last week.  How could this be?

Well, Bob, it was a really hard winter.  Our tracks were all blown away, and nobody knew exactly where we’d been hiking.

So, you were discovered sort of by accident?

That’s right, Bob.

I guess you could say that that storm really put your marriage ON ICE!

Couple Number Four, dead a year and two days now, Billy Don Baker and Cecelia Lewis!

OK, kids, clue me in.  Were you married or not?  I ask because of the different last names.

Billy Don:
Not yet married, Bob.  But almost.  We were engaged …

Thass right.

So, were you in a building that burned down?  I see your clothes are scorched …

Billy Don:
It was like this, Bob.  Cecelia had actually told me that she wanted to break off our engagement.

Aww ….

Billy Don (continuing):
So I got mad and went off to the Magic Rabbit Bar’n’Grill and just got totally plastered.  By midnight I was so demolished that I had to close my eyes to walk straight!

We come from a small town, Bob.  On this same night, I decided to go for a walk and think things over.  So it was just a kinda funny coincidence that I ended up walking downtown, in the neighborhood of the Magic Rabbit.  Anyway, I was walking down the sidewalk …

Billy Don:
And here I come out the back door, drunker than Billy Carter.  I was mad and I wanted a woman.  I stopped to light a cigarette, and then I saw one!

It was me, walking past the alley …

Billy Don:
… But I didn’t know who it was, and I pretty much didn’t care.  So I grabbed her and tore her blouse off –

– And I grabbed the mace out of my purse and squirted him in the face with it.

I can see where this is going.  When the mace that you sprayed, hit the end of his lit cigarette …

Billy Don (nodding):
That’s right, Bob.  We were totally, like, blown away.

Like the song says, “Come on baby, light my fire!”

That’s right, Bob.

Boy, I bet you were really hot under the collar, huh Billy Don? (Beat.)  But, enough of this chit-chat.  It’s time to play … THE NEWLYDEAD GAME!

Well, folks, that's the end of THIS year's BLOG-O-WEEN!  Thanks for stopping by!  See you again on Monday, November 4th, for an Oklahoma special celebration!

Monday, October 28, 2019

Color Herman Munster

"Have a seat," Herman says.  "I'll get the zip-ties."

Come back on Thursday, Halloween, for the final post of this year's BLOG-O-WEEN!


Friday, October 25, 2019

Night in Funland and Other Stories

Scary Books, Kiddies!


Night in Funland and Other Stories from Literary Cavalcade.  Edited by Jerome Brondfield, 1968, Scholastic Book Services.  Cover: Margaret Howlett

      A lot of Boomers can thank TAB (the Teen-Age Book Club) and Scholastic Publishers for a lot of literary insight and exposure, along with some frights.  This anthology includes such classics as

·         “4 O’Clock,” by Price Day, which became a 1962 Twilight Zone episode;

·         “The Vertical Ladder,” by William Sansom, depicting with dreadful reality the inner thoughts of someone dared to do a stupid thing;

·         Keyes’s “Flowers for Algernon”;

·         Shirley Jackson’s brilliant “One Ordinary Day, with Peanuts”;

·         and the stupefying “Contents of the Dead Man’s Pockets,” by Jack Finney—an absolute must-read for anybody consumed with work or deadlines

      Still, I must mock the back-cover blurb.  EVERYTHING is better with italics and an exclamation point, I guess.  By this standard, Winnie-the-Pooh might be summarized as:  A child’s stuffed animal comes to life in his imagination ... and leads an uncanny existence with imaginary companions of its own!

See you on Monday for the final week of Blog-o-Ween!


Wednesday, October 23, 2019

A Hundred Munsters

Yes, there were really that many pages in the Whitman Munster coloring book.

Here are pages 98-99-100.  And still a dozen or so pages to go!

But not this year.  Gotta keep you hangin'!

See you back here on Friday for more post-adolescent reminicences.

Monday, October 21, 2019

Is Candy from 1958 Stale Yet?

From my copy of Action Comics #247, cover-dated December 1958:

Of course, nowadays we have Tootsie Rolls and the Tootsie Roll Pop, but no blocks of Tootsie Roll Fudge.  Waaah!  Me want some!

See you on Wednesday for more Munster-iffic fun!

Friday, October 18, 2019

It's the End of the Topp

Here's the last of the Topps bubble-gum Monster Cards.  Yeah, there's more of them, but it's all I have, anyway.

Well, that's it until Monday.  See you then, and hold your Fiends close and your Enemas closer!

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Hodgson: The Boats of the “Glen Carrig”

Scary Books, Kiddies!

The Boats of the “Glen Carrig.”  William Hope Hodgson, 1907.  Ballantine, 1971.  ORIGINAL BUT MISSING cover art by Robert LoGrippo

           I bought this paperback around 1980.  It was only a dime, because it had no cover.  And I read it.  But I’ll be shot if I remember anything other than being staggered by its depiction of a kind of cosmic horror familiar to me through my acquaintance with the works of HP Lovecraft.

            And being the silly completist sort that I am, I took an oversized file card and made my own front cover.

 Here’s the back cover with a continuation of the  actual front cover image.

Evidently the thing was printed in a 1945 pulp mag.  A youngster named Lin Carter read it, and later, as book editor for Ballantine, issued it forth as part of the “Adult Fantasy” series.

            By the way, this is the complete cover. 

            And being a glutton for mockery, I’ll give you a close-up of my attempt to emulate Ballantine’s “Adult Fantasy” unicorn insignia.

See you next time!


Monday, October 14, 2019

Marilyn's Drippy Date

More Munster pages.

Of course, the caption on Grandpa's picture should say, "Beaten," not "Beat."

See you on Wednesday!

Friday, October 11, 2019

Fredric Brown – Nightmares and Geezenstacks

Scary Books, Kiddies!


Nightmares and Geezenstacks, by Fredric Brown, 1961.  Bantam, 1979.  

      This fine little tome (182 pages) is given no cover credit by Bantam.  The red bats are likely simple clip-art-types dropped into the image. 

The red creature laying across the top of the egg is obviously a harpy.  I know I’ve seen this particular image, but I can’t find it!

She’s a harpy of the old kind, as shown above.

      The “egg guy” is a detail from The Last Judgment, an astounding triptych by Hieronymus Bosch, from sometime around 1482.
      Wow, huh?
      Now you see him!  As for the wonderful text inside the covers ...

      Brown’s stories are a great mixture of humor and sardonic wit.  Here are a few story cycles

·         the “Nightmares” in various colors, each beginning with a guy waking up;

·         the “Great Lost Discoveries” tales;

·         experiments in time travel with “The Short Happy Lives of Eustace Weaver” (one through three);

·         and tons more brief knockouts.

See you next time!


Wednesday, October 09, 2019

They're the Topps!

Here are cards 105 and 112 of the Topps monster cards.

Now crawl along home, kiddies, and come back on Friday!

Monday, October 07, 2019

Color Lily Munster

Here's a page from The Munsters coloring book, all cleaned up and purty.

Print it and let your local six-year-old go crazy!

See you back here on Wednesday for our next installment of BLOG-O-WEEN!

Friday, October 04, 2019

The Ghouls -- edited by Peter Haining

Scary Books, Kiddies!

 The Ghouls.  Edited by Peter Haining, 1971.  Pocket, 1972.  No cover credit

            Pocket Books doesn’t give the name of the cover artist.  We all recognize the images.  However, this cover is an egregious example of bait and switch.

            Starting clockwise with the center image are:
  • Bela Lugosi as Dracula;
  • Carol Borland as Luna in 1935’s Mark of the Vampire;
  • Lon Chaney, Sr as The Phantom of the Opera;
  • Boris Karloff as the monster of Frankenstein; and
  • Lon Chaney, Jr as The Wolf Man.
            Funny thing is, these “eighteen spine-tingling monster tales that became the most famous horror movies” don’t include anything relating to London After Midnight, Frankenstein, or The Wolf Man.

            Here are the actual contents:

·        Introduction, Vincent Price
·         The Devil in a Convent, Francis Oscar Mann
·         The Lunatics, Edgar Allan Poe
·         Puritan Passions, Nathaniel Hawthorne
·         Phantom of the Opera, Gaston Leroux
·         The Magician, Somerset Maugham
·         Freaks, Tod Robbins
  Most Dangerous Game, Richard Connell
·         Dracula’s Daughter, Bram Stoker
·         All That Money Can Buy, Stephen Vincent BenĂ©t
·         The Body Snatcher, Robert Louis Stevenson
·         The Beast With Five Fingers, W.F. Harvey
·         The Beast From 20,000 Fathoms, Ray Bradbury
·         The Fly, George Langelaan
·         Black Sunday, Nikolai Gogol
·         Incident at Owl Creek Bridge, Ambrose Bierce
·         Monster of Terror, H.P. Lovecraft
·         The Skull, Robert Bloch
·         The Oblong Box, Edgar Allan Poe
·         Afterword, Christopher Lee



I will give this paperback to the first fiend who emails me, at  Shoot me your request.  I’ll reply to the FIRST one with a request for your mailing address.  Yes, FREE and postage paid!

See you next time, kiddies!

Wednesday, October 02, 2019

More Munsteriffic Fun for 2019

Yes, we're still not done sharing the contents of Whitman Publishing Co's The Munsters coloring book from 1964, as defaced by generations of Alfred children (perhaps including your humble correspondent).

In the sort-of storyline, another clueless male has tried to woo Marilyn, only to be perplexed by her family.  We pick up the tale as he brings Marilyn home from as costume party (at which Herman won First Place with his own face, natch!).

Today's pains -- I mean, panes:

See you again on Friday!

Tuesday, October 01, 2019

MA-102 - Sixties Shock Sessions

Welcome to BLOG-O-WEEN!

            For the beginning of this wonderfully creepy time of year, it’s a new music comp.  here are the bloody ingredients for this monstrous mash:

01 - Halloween - Ron Haydock and the Boppers   1961  (2:49)
02 - Suffocate - Ralph Smedley   1962  (2:04)
03 - The Cave (Parts 1 & 2) - Gary “Spider” Webb   1961  (4:43)
04 - Dracula - Desmond Dekker   1964  (2:52)
05 - Serpents & Spiders - Jimmy Friis & the Valiants   1964  (2:52)
06 - The Booga Man - The Poindexter Brothers   1965  (2:44)
07 - The Invasion Is Coming - The Invasion   1967  (1:45)
08 - Frankenstein - King Horror   1969  (2:12)
09 - Haunted House - Joey Tedeschi and the Idols   1966  (2:19)
10 - Dracula Cha Cha - Los Dandies   1960  (3:00)
11 - Dorothy, My Monster - The Champions   1961  (2:04)
12 - The Monster Miss - Miss L L Louise Lewis   1962  (1:38)
13 - Haunted Castle - The Kingsmen   1963  (2:47)
14 - The Birds - The Motivations   1963  (2:12)
15 - Spider Walk - The Sabres   1965  (2:29)
16 - Two Souls - The Grim Reapers   1966  (2:54)
17 - The Friendly Undertaker - ‘Fingers’ Lee   1965  (2:48)
18 - Gary Ghoul Boy - Teddy and Darrel   1966  (2:25)
19 - I Ain't Superstitious - Howlin' Wolf   1961  (2:50)
20 - There Was a Fungus Among Us - Hugh Barrett & the Victors   1961  (2:01)
21 - People from Another World - Jive Five   1961  (2:26)
22 - Wolf Gal - Skipper Ryle   1962  (2:18)
23 - Why Do I Love You - Bela la Goldenstein   1962  (2:09)
24 - Transylvania Mist - Donnie and the Del Chords   1963  (2:28)
25 - The Addams Family Theme (long) - Vic Mizzy   1964  (1:22)
26 - Go Go Gorilla - The Shandells   1965  (2:53)
27 - Igor's Cellar - The Detergents   1965  (3:02)
28 - Horror Asparagus Stories - The Driving Stupid   1966  (2:34)
29 - Sleepy Hollow - The Last Word   1966  (2:50)
30 - In My Grave - The Reactions   1968  (2:46)
31 - The Maddest Story Ever Told (from Spider Baby) - Lon Chaney, Jr   1967  (2:19)

Yes, it’s a disgusting, wild, and woolly ride from now until the Thirty-First!

Come back every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday for new posts on the Super Blog.  And visit every Monday and Thursday at the Record Round-Up for new posts of Halloween audio shenanigans!

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© by Mark Alfred