Wednesday, June 23, 2010

I watched Family Ties for the Ubu

I watched Family Ties growing up. It was a pretty good show. I was a big fan of Michael J. Fox or MJF (as my grade school pals called him.) I thought Justine Bateman was hot and I liked Michael Gross who later became my best friend in the world.

But the REAL reason I watched Family Ties was for Ubu.

At the end of every episode a production title card showed Ubu with a frisbee in his mouth as we heard "Sit Ubu, Sit. Good dog."

Ubu was a real dog and was owned by the head of that company. There really isn't much more to say about it.

But, I will try.

See, I was fascinated with Ubu. The first dozen times I saw the ending of Family Ties (or any other Ubu production) I would laugh. It was pretty funny. Or maybe bizarre was a better word.

Ubu wasn't sitting, anyway.

He was standing with a frisbee in his mouth.

I always assumed there was a deeper meaning to that.

But, there probably wasn't.

Also, Ubu is a strange name for a dog. The owner named the dog after a play from the 1800s. That seems pretentious and makes me hate him a little... the owner, not Ubu.

I could never hate Ubu.

Thursday, June 03, 2010

Topps Hot Hunks

Topps has been the leading seller of trading cards since the days when baseball players had mustaches the size and shape of an oxen plow harness.

Here is a picture of an oxen plow harness and a baseball players mustache:

SEE! They are exactly the same size and shape.

When I was a youth new companies started to emerge and challenge Topps for dominance of the baseball card industry.

Companies like Fleer, O-Pee-Chee and Dunruss began taking chunks of the market away and Topps was forced to produce Hot Hunks:

Now instead of dealing with silly baseball players, a tribute could be made to a more worthy celebrity.

The hunk.

And not just any hunk... hot ones. Only the hottest of the worlds hunks were allowed to apply for the position of model for Topps Hot Hunks.

In the end, Topps amassed an astonishing cadre of hot hunks. Names like Michael J. Fox, Johnny Depp and Corey Haim... just to name a few.

Names like River Phoenix, Kirk Cameron and Jason Bateman to name some more.

Names like Bruce Willis to name the one I had forgotten.

Unlike the baseball card the Hot Hunk card wasn't a card.

No! It was a freakin' sticker.

Stick that in your pipe and smoke it, baseball card collectors. And they can, because as I mentioned it was a sticker.

Fearing that the public would be confused by the lack of a Hot Hunks sticking pad to affix the Hot Hunk to, Topps announced clearly on the box where you could stick them:

Yes, if you own a wall or a locker you had a perfect item to adorn it. If you had a mirror... EVEN BETTER. No longer would you have to stare at your own stupid reflection. From that day forth it was Hot Hunks whenever you looked towards a piece of glass that had the back painted black.

Then, knowing that Hot Hunks could do so much more they proclaimed: STICK THEM ANYWHERE:

I stuck one to the roof of my mouth. I haven't checked in years, but I assume it's still there.

As soon as Topps released Hot Hunks the entire card industry fell like a house of... uh... I don't have a good analogy. Just picture a fake representation of a house made from small cardboard rectangles. You know it would be easy to knock down.

That is what happened to the card industry.

Soon Fleer went back to just selling women's shoes and shoe accessories. Mr. Dunruss declared bankruptcy and moved into his brother's house. And O-Pee-Chee announced that they weren't even real.