Dinosaur Dracula!
Dinosaur Dracula

Recreating McDonald’s McSalad Shakers.

I was introduced to McDonald’s McSalad Shakers during the summer of 2000, not long after they debuted. Picture a chopped salad stuffed into a 7-Eleven Slurpee cup. They were essentially that. Salads for people who had no time to sit.

If you were hoping for an all-business McSalad Shaker history lesson, I will disappoint you in record time. My enduring love for these weirdo meals is wrapped in memories that have little to do with lettuce.

When the McSalad Shakers arrived, I was in the middle of my wannabe-waif stage, when how good I felt on a particular day directly correlated with how thin I looked. Ironically, this was also during a time when my group of friends hit McDonald’s virtually every Friday night.

The oldest in our crew had his own apartment. Every weekend, it was party central over there. We’d rent horror movies from Blockbuster, hit the McDonald’s next door, and pick up terrible beer on the way back. The McSalad Shaker was hardly diet food, but it seemed healthier than a #2.

When I look at photos of the McSalad Shakers now, I don’t see salads. I mean, I technically do, but what I really see are all of those nights spent partying in my old friend’s apartment — a chorus of clanging bottles barely audible over his Hellraiser II DVD. I’m on the loveseat, pretending my dressing-drenched cup-of-cheese is somehow better than a two-ounce hamburger.

Anyway, I did something dumb/awesome: Read More…

Purple Stuff Podcast: The Robot Show!

We’re putting the awful month of January to bed with a brand new episode of the Purple Stuff Podcast. If you’re a fan of things with red eyes and metal feet, this one’s for you:

This week, me and Jay from The Sexy Armpit tackle EIGHT GREAT ROBOTS from all walks of pop culture. This episode has been on our to-do list for years, and we think we came up with a solid list of popular picks and deep cuts.

(Like, you may have expected us to gab about the evil robots from Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey, but you probably didn’t expect a conversation about The Great Heep — assuming you even know what that is!)

The new episode should be on your preferred podcast feed now, or you can just follow the link below:

Click here to listen to the new episode!

Later today, we’ll also be releasing this month’s exclusive bonus show on our Patreon page, where we’ll each name one more robot that almost made our lists for this episode. If you’re supporting the show on there, check it out later! (Or now, depending on when you read this.)

Below are some spoiler pics for this week’s show: Read More…

Conceptions of Obsessions. (Don’t worry, it’s about Ninja Turtles.)

I can’t recall how most of my obsessions started. “They just did,” I guess. I’d slowly latch onto things, and by the time passing interests became fixations, the beginnings were already foggy.

For a few of my obsessions, though, I remember the exact moments of birth. (“Conception” might be a better word, actually.) It’s usually when an obsession started off with some unlikely action — a “wrong turn” that ended up being oh so right.

Think about a movie that you’re completely gaga over, and now imagine that you only saw it because the theater was sold out of tickets for whatever you really wanted to see that day. That sort of thing.

I love it when that happens. It adds a sort of poetic air to my passions, even if they’re for dumb things like Krang or Pikachu. Below are stories about how two of my obsessions began.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles:

I got into the Ninja Turtles early enough, but I was far from the first kid in school to sing their praises. In fact, but for a slight twist of fate, I might’ve never hopped on the bandwagon at all.

At some point in the fourth grade — this would’ve been in ‘89, I think — I tagged along to the supermarket with my best friend, his older brother and their mother. Back then, the world really was boring enough for grocery stores to seem exciting. Besides, us kids were total addicts for a game we called “store tag.” It was like regular tag, but… you know… in a store.

After we finished chasing each other, I counted the loose change from my pocket. It was time to BUY SOMETHING. With limited funds, my options included a bag of chips, a couple of candy bars, Super Elastic Bubble Plastic, or a shiny new notebook. Read More…

Nabisco’s Suddenly S’mores, from 1990!

Let’s talk about Nabisco’s Suddenly S’mores. The magically microwaveable cookies arrived in 1989, but didn’t go national until 1990. That’s when I tried them. I was eleven years old, and junk food was the only thing that loved me back.

Suddenly S’mores arrived with fanfare. This was, after all, the first attempt in recorded history to market microwaveable s’mores. The news outlets ate it up, and so did we. Most snacks got the small print on our daily marquees, but Suddenly S’mores had BIG GIANT LETTERS.

When you watch the commercial above, do so with the knowledge that real kids reacted to Suddenly S’mores in exactly the same way. This wasn’t a case where we passively pigged out. No, we’d been personally selected by some troubled god of dark alchemy. Read More…