Dinosaur Dracula!

Topps Bubble Gum Juice Cartons!

Oh yes. These things. Staples of my childhood diet! No kid could resist bubble gum rocks that poured from tiny juice cartons! Made by Topps in the early ‘80s, “juice gum” survived until long after I’d stopped paying attention. For all I know, they’re still out there somewhere. Let us pray. Read More…

What’s the weirdest thing in your wallet?

I’ll never turn down the chance to go through someone’s wallet. It doesn’t matter if I like the person, hate the person or even really know the person. I just want to see what’s in there, and make a totally unfair analysis of the wallet’s owner based on its contents.

I don’t think this is exclusive to me. We’re all voyeurs.

A few nights ago on Dino Drac’s Facebook page, I asked everyone to describe the weirdest things in their wallets. Satisfied with the answers but really wanting to see the goods, I then made a formal request for photos and explanations.

Twenty-two of you complied, with a barrage of oddities ranging from flattened souvenir pennies to what looks like drugs but are actually beans. Below are the results. (I won’t be participating, as I’ve already described my wallet contents in this post.)

Just a note: I blocked out some names/photos even if I wasn’t directed to, imagining that there may come a time when someone might not wish to be immortalized so publicly. If you see a big red rectangle on your photo, I only did it out of love.

A big thanks to our 22 guinea pigs! Let’s see what makes them tick… Read More…

Boys’ Life Magazine Ads.

Boys’ Life is the official magazine of the Boy Scouts of America. It ruled my childhood.

I was in the Scouts, but that had nothing to do with it. All of my grade school buddies were in the Scouts. It was just kind of a given that we would be.

For us, it was essentially an afterschool “latchkey” program, held at a nearby church, with a few of our mothers rotating in and out of “den leader” roles. We wore the uniforms and we had the books, but it was more or less just playtime. Actual scout-like activities were few and far between. I didn’t mind going and neither did my friends, but we’d have just as soon stayed home.

Only one of my friends stayed in for the long haul. He seemed embarrassed whenever we brought it up, but his bedroom was full of Boy Scout things, including the fabled Webelos uniform that none of the rest of us achieved.

He’s the one who introduced me to Boys’ Life Magazine. In his room was a pile of them, nearly half as tall as I was. I don’t know what compelled me to begin thumbing through them, but once I did, something magical happened.

The articles in each issue were what you’d expect. Sugary stories about being a better person, or about making things out of egg cartons, or maybe about the logistics of rain.

I wasn’t enthralled until I got to the last few pages. The “GIFTS & GIMMICKS” section. At that moment, something clicked, and nothing would ever be the same. Read More…


I don’t like to waste a good snowfall. When we got that blizzard last night, I knew I’d spend today turning snow into icy hot Dino Drac content. And I did.

I’d preemptively Googled for “things to do with snow” (that was literally my search string), ultimately locating an eHow tutorial about changing snow’s colors. I know this is reading as it’s fiction, but I swear, I really am that interesting.

Fast forward to this morning. I was armed. Using a spray bottle that once held glass cleaner and another that once held spot remover, I marched into that tundra with full tanks of green and blue Snow Paint™.

(Snow Paint™ is just water mixed with food coloring. Tell no one.) Read More…

Polly-O Pizzeria String Cheese.

Today’s youth may take string cheese for granted, but me? No way. Never. I knew a world without string cheese, and it was as black as tar.

Polly-O String Cheese came out when I was still in elementary school, and while I’m not motivated enough to do the math, that was, suffice to say, a very long freakin’ time ago. It was immediately popular, and the only kids who went a day without string cheese were the ones who couldn’t eat dairy without it turning their guts into a fireworks show.

…and it’s those memories that made Polly-O’s new “Pizzeria” string cheese such a big deal for me. I see this, and I’m back in the second grade. There are other “odd” flavors available these days, from jalapeno to black pepper, but this one – the one that tastes like a pizzeria – is the string cheese that makes me want to eat from within a hut fashioned out of couch cushions.

Formally, the flavor title is Italian Style Pizzeria Twisted String Cheese. It should not take ELEVEN syllables to describe cheese, and so we will never mention the formal title again. Read More…