Rubber Eyeball Mouth Thing: Picture your friend's faces as you cleverly whip out a pair of yackers complete with monster eyes on stalks and a foreboding rubber tongue. And when you do that, try not to keep it from letting you buy this. As far as mutant rubber mouths go, you won't find many better, especially since this one has a quirky hole in the back that lets you slip it over your own tongue. For 2.50 that might seem a bit steep, but think of it this way: you'll get a lot more mileage out of this pile of crap than, say, a big bag of potato chips. You'll finish the chips in a day, but you'll cherish the mutant mouth forever. Also notable: smells like sweat.
Hard Plastic Lung: I got this at the point in the shopping experience where I was simply blindly grabbing anything within reaching distance and throwing it into my cart. That much is obvious, but it's still always good to have one of these on hand. As a heavy smoker, it's nice to be able to see what a healthy lung looks like. Actually, even though this one is made of plastic and has the innards exposed, it'd probably do me a lot more good than my current ones at this point. Damn vices. Amazingly, I think this was the highest priced item on my list at 4.50. What's even more amazing? A perfectly good plastic lung costs me less than a pack of lung-deteriorating cigarettes. It's a weird world we live in.
Rocketeer Candy: I guess they figured that nobody liked The Rocketeer enough to buy action figures based on it, so the only way to get toys out on the shelves that actually sold was by including sweet candy. For a quarter each, you really can't ask for more. I think that movie has subliminal visuals in it that force everyone who saw it to completely forget it exists, because this is the first I've seen or heard of the thing since it came out. If you've seen the movie, you'd know that's a good thing. Paul Sorvino would do himself justice to actually read the scripts of the movies he signs on for. Then again, if he did that, he may not have played Lips Manlis in Dick Tracy. And that's a pretty harrowing thought.
Weird Mask: Ever wanted to look like a pro-wrestler, or a comic book super villain? Then don't buy this mask, because those people generally don't wear masks that only fit midgets. Still, the thing was 40 cents, so how could I possibly pass it up? Held together gently and very, very loosely by a snipped rubber band, this mask redefines bad taste very clearly as 'ugly masks purchased from a surplus store.' The thing is so wonderfully bad that even this store, that prominently displays rubber jellyfish, hides it way in the back. And as all of us know, that's where all the best steals are!
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle Eraser Heads: A giant bag of 'em for a quarter. I will never use them, and will likely never open them. I will hide them whenever anyone remotely important comes over. And I'll probably throw them away the next time I clean. But it's TMNT, and it's cheap, so there's just no passing it by. Whomever made these was pretty creative with the Turtles' collective cultural pasts, as some of them have entirely different skin colors. Fortunately, they all share the same blank stare and annoying smile that made them a staple of kid lore in the early 90s. If the toys were still around, you could make a great diorama by putting these heads around a viciously posed Slash. Individually bagged too, so I'd suppose these made for great party favors at unpopular kids' birthday parties. Ironically, anyone giving these out would probably be even less popular afterwards.
Gooey Foam Snowballs: I've marveled at these things in the catalog for years, so paying a buck a pop was no big deal. The big blow to my heart was the fact that they were completely dried up upon opening. So now I've got two dried up slime balls full of bits of styrofoam. Now that I think about it though, had they marketed it as that, I probably would've paid even more. Oh well. In their prime, these things were the best in slime action one could find. A little styrofoam goes a long way, apparently. The guy running the register was nice enough to give us all free mugs, especially when I gushed and said that I wanted to be just like him when I grow up. Looking back, I think he just took pity on me for being the only person dumb enough to buy dried up slime balls.
Rubber Mice: Cheap and effective. Charming and flexible. With long tails. I've always been a sucker for a good faux mouse, and AS&S didn't disappoint with these fellows - real enough to trick people who aren't wearing their glasses, fake enough to walk around town holding them in your mouth without attracting too many disgusted looks. The perfect balance...the perfect rat. I almost immediately managed to rip off the tail on one of them, but for their price, I'm lucky they still had heads. Interestingly, they all share a Fu Manchu-style whisker pattern. That's reason enough to scream for joy.
Glow In The Dark Skeletons: ...and why not? The myriad uses for glowing bones escape me at this precise moment, but I'm sure there exists thousands. Skeletons are a big favorite at AS&S - they're sold in at least three dozen different ways. Skeleton puppets. Growing skeletons. Models. Marionettes. You name it, they got it. I picked the G-I-T-D variety to kick-off my latest pet project: a glow chamber. You know it's time to reevaluate your life when hobbies come down to that, but Archie McPhee's been doing this for years. And if it's good enough for the boys and girls up in Seattle, who taught me the intricate delights of Tiki Gods, it's good enough for me. I believe these were something like fifteen cents each, or some other irrelevant price that doesn't do glowing skeletons justice.
AS&S T-Shirt: Reach new heights in the fashion department for under seven bucks. This purchase brought my impulse buying to new heights, as I ran from the cashier as he was about to finish checking out my stuff before deciding that I simply hadn't spent enough money. Luckily, the shirt isn't surplus, and by that I mean, it isn't filthy and none of the words are spelled incorrectly. And now I can wear a shirt that shills something other than Transfomers or Calvin Klein. To be honest, I kinda had to buy the shirt because I erroneously believed two outfits that looked the same would get me through three days with then-strangers successfully. But I'm glad I found a solution at AS&S. It was to be expected, the place sells friggin chemistry how-to books...why not shirts?
Saltwater Aquarium Guide: Don't yell at me, it was only 30 cents. And filled with tips on how to reach the immaculate saline levels necessary to keep your Japanese clown fish fun and frisky! This book will of course ultimately end up in the pile of books nobody's ever gonna read, which this year cornered a new milestone by breaking 1,000 different titles. To be fair though, I'd much rather read about why salt is necessary to some fish than read Roseanne's autobiography, a book which I own three copies of. No, I wasn't interested. They were for eBay selling. Obviously, no one else was interested either. Especially when she's spread eagle on the dust jacket.
Drunken Frog Stickers That Say 'Bud' But Aren't Made By Budweiser: I bought enough stickers at this place to cover the bodies of seven people. Incidentally, after a little rum and a lotta cheap wine, we put that theory to the test later in the weekend. These frogs are freaky, but no notebook is complete without some ridiculous decoration. I just wish I had these in high school. Then I wouldn't have gotten made fun of as much for covering mine with Hole lyrics and pictures of moons. These frogs are titled the 'Grin Twins', not to be confused with failed WWF tag team, the Grimm Twins. The sheet also proclaims them as having a 'long life' and being extremely resistant to weather conditions, so if you ever wanted to make your outdated and broken down car be even less socially acceptable, slap a few of these on.