Friday, July 30, 2010

Brilliant Dreams Fade to Horrible Nightmares

Did you ever have one of those ideas that you thought was iron-clad? An idea that seemed so fool-proof you literally dedicated yourself to it...or at the very least were forced to by your grandma? An idea that is supposed to solve all of your problems? An idea that is so popular, that everyone else seemed to be doing it too? It happened to me.

Here's my story:

When I was younger, my grandma loved Beanie Babies. She loved them so much, that she was one of the luminaries for the phrase, "They're going to be worth something some day." And so, she passed on that thought process to me, because I just happened to have Congo the Monkey amongst my toy collection. When I was told about how much money they were going to be worth, I looked at Congo and saw dollar signs.

I remember the craze: Always checking to see when Hallmark would get a new shipment, which ones were going to be retired, when there would be hobby days (or as I affectionately called it: Card day) at the mall, my grandmother getting into shoving matches with other ladies, buying the Beanie Baby guide, the "Teeny Beanie Babies" from McDonalds, plastic protectors for the TY tag, and even buying plastic cases to keep them safe. It was a sure fire idea.

Now I invite you all to take a look at this picture. In case you can't read it, it says "Retired Beanie Babies $2.00." RETIRED! I recall days where you would see retired Beanie Babies on sale at a hobby shop for hundreds of dollars, now you can just buy them for two? What happened? Where was this crazy value? I know it hasn't been a heck of a lot of time, but this is crazy. Oh another important note: That picture was taken in a Factory Card Outlet...not a Hallmark.

These things were supposed to pay off my student loans. What the hell happened?

Bottom Line: If you have any idea like this check yourself. It's fun to be involved in a craze and to be in the know and watching out for your future...but don't go so far over the edge that if something happens you can't bring yourself back. It is absolutely horrifying to me, based on the memories that I have of the literal craziness surrounding this bean-filled-creatures, that you can now buy retired renditions for $2.00 at a Factory Card Outlet. Be careful with your money people because now all I have is a huge red wicker basket filled with tons of Beanie Babies...and hope.

Anyone have any similar stories about Beanie Babies or failed investment plans? Who was your favorite Beanie Baby? Let us know in the comment section. (Mine was Radar the Bat...and sadly the only one I ever really wanted but was never able to obtain.)

Photo Credit: Sarah Pugh

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Horrifying Marketing

Every so often I see or hear something that is just so absurd and ludicrous, I don't know what else to do about it. Then I remember that Haunted House Writer hasn't had a blog post in a while, so I decide to vent about it there.

One such thing happened last week. It is horrifying that what I'm about to tell you actually was approved by a corporate marketer somewhere, that people probably have actually spent money on this, and that it might actually be illegal.

Last week I was in a Halmark store to pick up a sympathy card for a dear friend of mine's family. Fellow writer, and an amazing one at that too, Mike Workstel unfortunately has left this Earth. He's death was untimely and unfair. He is loved and will be missed by countless people.

While searching for this card, I happened upon the product that you see in the picture above. What you see is a fake dollar bill with a picture of Hannah Montana on it instead of George Washington. It also comes in plastic sleeve.

My initial instinct was to balk, because I hate Hannah Montana/Miley Cyrus. I think she sends a horrible message that if you aren't happy with who you are, you can just put on a blonde wig and be someone else. How is that helping the pre-teen girls of America? Throw on top of that the number of pictures that Miley has posted of herself on the Internet, and you have a 100% amazing role model right there.

Once my hatred subsided, I actually investigated this product a bit further because it felt like a real dollar bill. I was somewhat impressed by the notion that they were able to achieve strikingly similar textures. That's when I noticed that the picture of Hannah Montana was actually a sticker and it was actually placed over GEORGE WASHINGTON'S FACE! That's right, it was a real dollar bill, just with a sticker over it.

A) How is that not illegal? Isn't that defacement of government currency? Even more so because they are selling it?

B) How can we stand for someone valuing Hannah Montana more than George Washington? What has Hannah Montana done for us? Sing some songs? Have a TV that is suited to a very specific demographic? Posted naughty pictures of herself online? Granted she's an entertainer...but how many people is she really entertaining folks? George Washington fought for this country's foundation and survival. Oh by the way, he turned down the title of King because he didn't want to end up like the one that he had just helped freed American from. Instead he insisted upon President. He is selfless. He is a hero. He is an icon. HE IS NOT TO BE SULLIED BY HANNAH-F-ING-MONTANA.

The sticker price for this item: $5.99

That means for $5.99 you have just purchased:

1) A sticker of Hannah Montana that has already been stuck somewhere.

2) A plastic sleeve

3) A dollar bill

YOU BOUGHT A DOLLAR BILL FOR $5.99! Okay fine, I guess really, you've acquired it for $4.99 but that is not the point.

This is outrageous. How can this be allowed to stand? People...if you find yourself in a store pondering whether or not you should purchase this item, please check your stupid meters and DON'T. If your child really wants this item, please sit them down and explain how it would be better for the human race if they didn't have this item.

As a final though, in the words of Comedic Unaware Genius Richard M. Burgess:

"No, this, this is stupid."

Agree? Please leave a comment. Disagree...please go seek professional help.

PS: Check out Sandwich Warriors new website: Sandwich Warrior

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Gravestone Manor 2010 Teaser Trailer

Hello there faithful readers. Just a quick update today:

The Haunted House at which I work, Gravestone Manor, recently updated its website. Right now we've included a teaser trailer for this year's show!

If you are interested, make sure you check it out: Gravestone Manor 2010 Trailer

Gravestone Manor is a theatrical haunted attraction that benefits the United Way of the Wyoming Valley.

Throw up some comments on what you think? Scared yet?