If you didn’t hear the big news, Coca-Cola is dusting off NEW COKE as part of a special partnership with Stranger Things. (The show’s third season is set in 1985, smack in the middle of New Coke’s shaky debut.)
This past Thursday, thousands of us struggled to place orders on New Coke’s retro-themed website. It turns out that Coke wasn’t totally prepared to have tens of thousands of people hammering its servers at the same time.
Right around the point of peak frustration, I heard an interesting tidbit. Instead of waiting for that godforsaken site to load, I could drive into Manhattan and swipe cans of *free* New Coke from a special event at a downtown bar. WHAT?!
Jay from The Sexy Armpit was game to join in, and this is our story. The story of two schmoes who were obsessed enough with new/old soda to zip into the Manhattan in the middle of rush hour.
Staged from Barcade (a bar/arcade, duh), Coke had recreated THE UPSIDE DOWN and challenged brave souls to walk beyond the moss and strobe lights. There they’d find a special New Coke vending machine, and maybe some other surprises.
I’d say more, but we recorded a whole Purple Stuff minisode about the experience. Listen to it below!
It turned out to be a great night. Getting to *literally* walk into the Upside Down to fetch icy cans of New Coke? C’mon, you know I live for shit like that.
Below are assorted and mostly blurry photos from the event. I also posted a video on Instagram, where you may also find pictures of the books I’ve been reading and the lunches I’ve been eating. Read More…
Make some tea, hit the lights and pray for a thunderstorm, because the latest episode of The Purple Stuff Podcast is gonna put you in a Halloween mood.
This week, me and Jay from The Sexy Armpit pay tribute to ten of our favorite pop culture WITCHES. We’re tackling movies like The Craft, weirdos like Helena Markos, and maybe even some rando from an old anti-itch cream commercial.
It’s our huge tribute to eerie enchantresses, and we’re so happy to publish this right at the halfway-to-Halloween mark!
As a reminder, the Purple Stuff Podcast is also on Patreon, where you can access our monthly bonus shows for the price of… I dunno, a McD’s Extra Value Meal or whatever. (May’s bonus show is coming soon!)
Hope you enjoy our banter, and feel free to name some of your favorite witches in the comments!
Here are some spoiler images for this week’s episode:
Have a weird weekend, and thanks for letting us be a part of it!
Whew! I don’t like to peel the curtain back with these Funpacks, but suffice it so say, some come together easier than others. This month’s had plenty of last minute tricks in store for me, leading to scrambles and hair-pullings and, what’s that word, agita? I like that word.
But all’s well that ends well, and I’m really happy with where we’ve landed:
THREE DAYS ONLY! UNITED STATES ONLY!
Dino Drac’s May 2019 Funpack is here, and it’s loaded with more than a dozen old-and-new items that are guaranteed to make you happy. (Well, I’m not actually going to guarantee that, but I think they will. It’s a mix of toys and cards and crazy delicious bubble gum, and if it takes more than that to make you happy, you better check yourself.)
Y’all know how it works by now. Subscriptions are $25 a month, and that price includes shipping. For as long as you remain subscribed, you’ll keep getting Funpacks each and every month. Scroll to the bottom for ordering info, or keep reading to learn about everything you’ll receive in this month’s box! Read More…
I wouldn’t necessarily call myself a collector of old soda cans, even though I’ve accumulated over a hundred of them. I prefer to think of myself as an extreme dabbler. That sounds like something a guy who badly cuts his own hair would be, at least.
Below: Five of my favorite soda cans, pulled from the groaning shelves in what I call an office but is really a subconscious recreation of my childhood bedroom.
Strawberry Burst Pepsi! (1991)
In 1991, Pepsi introduced the Wild Bunch, a trio of funky flavors including Raging Razzberry, Tropical Chill and — most strikingly — Strawberry Burst. While such flavors wouldn’t inspire mass faintings in 2019, they were downright provocative by early ‘90s standards.
Though the Wild Bunch did score a high-budget TV commercial, the flavors weren’t available everywhere, and were only around for a short time. Assuming Pepsi viewed the endeavor as a form of test marketing, it doesn’t look like the Wild Bunch inspired enough interest to warrant a full-scale rollout.
It’s a shame, too. Strawberry Burst had one of my all-time favorite can designs, and if we’re strictly talking about Pepsi, it’s easily in my Top 3. I love how the supposed strawberries look like Hostess cupcakes.
Besides that, doesn’t strawberry Pepsi just sound delicious? My heart will forever belong to cherry cola, but strawberry cola is right up there. It’s the timesaving version of drinking soda while eating fruit snacks. Read More…
Last June, I showed you some of the highlights from my 1993 diary, mostly written during summer vacation between the 8th and 9th grades.
Let’s do that again!
As a refresher, I was at that point as awkward and isolated as I hope I’ll ever be. I hated the loneliness, yet only felt comfortable when I was by myself. That made summer vacation — my last before high school — bittersweet. Having so much “me time” and so little social interaction was the best/worst thing.
That vibe pulsed through the diary more often than these highlights indicate, but it’s important to have that context. It explains why I lavished so much attention on minor details, like what was on television and what I ate for dinner. Each day was only as good as its distractions.
It sounds depressing and it was, but I have no regrets. I think we all try to make our damage work for us, and I’ve had over 25 years’ worth of practice. There’d be no me-of-now without the me-of-then, and while I am curious about any alternate universe versions of me, I feel like they wouldn’t have anywhere near as impressive a collection of promotional bumper stickers. I’d never trade those.
June 12th, 1993:
Given that this was my last summer vacation before high school, it was also my last summer vacation to guiltlessly enjoy Saturday morning cartoons. I had no idea what the popular kids did on Saturday mornings once I got to high school, but it for damn sure had nothing to do with Garfield.
When I was younger, I watched Saturday morning cartoons because I loved them. By 1993, I think it had more to do with the pure activity of it. From the crack of dawn through the early afternoon, I was supposed to be watching television, and had no reason to feel like that was somehow underachieving.
This entry also mentions a certain “Frosty,” who slept in a barrel next to me. Frosty was one of my many hamsters. I can’t explain why I chose that name for him, as Frosty’s fur was bluish gray, and I got him in April.
Frosty died before this journal was finished. On the entry marking his date of death, 3/4ths of the page was just a frowny face. His wake wasn’t well-attended, so I got to eat all of the complimentary Doritos. Read More…
This was a good day. The weather was nice, I won a cheap eBay auction, and oh yeah, I made VINCENT PRICE’S SUPPER CASSEROLE.
Back in 1977, Vincent Price shared this wonderfully weird recipe on behalf of Creamettes Macaroni. Price never shied away from paid endorsements, but since he was a noted gourmand with his own cookbooks, this one wasn’t exactly out of left field.
You may have seen an alt version of this ad floating around social media. I was tipped off by my pal Dan, but I believe the source pic came from RetroNewsNow.
The glorious image of sliced Spam over creamy macaroni compelled me to track down the vintage Family Circle issue that the ad appeared in, which in of itself was a treat. Aside from the wackadoo recipe, the mag also came with a King Kong iron-on!
Now armed with legible directions, I considered it my duty to prepare Vincent Price’s Supper Casserole. Aside from the salt, I had none of the ingredients on-hand. Twenty bucks and a trip to the supermarket later, and I had all of the elbow pasta, ground mustard and sharp cheddar that Vincent demanded of me. (It’s neither here nor there, but I also bought Jell-O.) Read More…