Friends, I have a pile of stuff today, and won’t be free until late afternoon. Until then, talk amongst yourselves. Proposed topic: Is Coozledad affording his plush retirement by publishing under a pen name? Discuss.

LATER: My morning interview was postponed and I have a little window here, so some more meat on the table: Class of 2011 in predominantly Arab high school rethinks an item of spirit wear. I won’t even touch the comments on that one — they’re exuding little smell lines.

Posted at 1:05 am in Housekeeping |

46 responses to “Flakeout.”

  1. Dexter said on January 6, 2010 at 3:10 am

    wow, look at what others are buying, also…”Adolf in Wonderland”?

    Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought

    Razor Wire Pubic Hair by Carlton Mellick III
    4.3 out of 5 stars (47) $9.36
    The Baby Jesus Butt Plug by Carlton Mellick III
    4.1 out of 5 stars (29) $7.95
    The Faggiest Vampire by Carlton Mellick III
    4.8 out of 5 stars (6) $9.95
    Adolf in Wonderland by Carlton Mellick III
    3.9 out of 5 stars (

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  2. James said on January 6, 2010 at 7:50 am

    What amazes me is that someone named Carlton Mellick Jr. would decide that their name and their daddy’s name was so good that they’d foist it off on another generation. I call child cruelty.

    (unless it really is a pen name, or part of some bizarro writing tradition)

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  3. ROgirl said on January 6, 2010 at 8:05 am

    Carlton Mellick sounds awfully close to Fielding Mellish.

    Is this the Haunted Vagina’s problem?


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  4. Dorothy said on January 6, 2010 at 8:28 am

    I can’t wait to read Cooz’s response to this.

    Saying “Fielding Mellish” in our house always, ALWAYS, makes me giggle!

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  5. Julie Robinson said on January 6, 2010 at 8:29 am

    With apologies to both Dave Barry and Jen, Haunted Vagina would make a great name for a rock band.

    Happy Birthday to you, LAMary!

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  6. coozledad said on January 6, 2010 at 8:56 am

    Not mine, but that title could be used to describe a hebephrenic girl I had a crush on in college. Especially while I had a crush on her. Carlton Mellick Jr. sounds like a guy in a soiled mid-length leather coat trying to pass himself off as a tweed and elbow patches kind of guy until you see the other titles, and he starts to look a little more like Tolstoy. I’m going to get a couple of his books.

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  7. LAMary said on January 6, 2010 at 9:43 am

    Nice attempt to deny your connection with that book, Cooz. It is sooo you.

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  8. Bob said on January 6, 2010 at 9:45 am

    “When a skeleton-like creature emerges from Stacy’s vagina, the two decide to explore what may be inside of her.”

    Relationship fiction is just so numbingly formulaic.

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  9. MichaelG said on January 6, 2010 at 10:17 am

    Happy Birthday, Mary. There’s worse things than dog cooties.

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  10. coozledad said on January 6, 2010 at 10:29 am

    Speaking of high school spirit related stuff, my wife recalls overhearing a phone conversation from an adjacent cubicle. One of her fundamentalist co-workers was deeply concerned that “spirit week” had some sinister purpose. It fell on the week of Halloween, after all, and “she didn’t want her child setting foot in that school if they were going to be dressing up like demons, and if they were, well, she was just going to take that child out of that school and keep him at home.”
    I kind of like the idea of a high school that would devote a week to theosophy and have “ectoplasm day”, or elect a homecoming succubus and incubus.

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  11. Jen said on January 6, 2010 at 10:53 am

    *shudder* Internet comments sometimes make me question my faith in humanity.

    Then I go somewhere nice, like nancynall.com, and I realize that there are lots of great people on the Internet too, talking about nice things like rampaging lesbians and haunted vaginas.

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  12. John said on January 6, 2010 at 10:59 am

    Let us not forget this is the 16th anniversary of Nancy Kerrigan being clubbed. “Why, why me??”

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  13. brian stouder said on January 6, 2010 at 11:01 am

    That spiritwear story is somewhat dispiriting (didn’t even sample the comments); the sentiment depicted in the image on the sweat shirt looks very much like a rough draft. All it really needs is more polish (for example, the school’s falcon emblem – or whatever it is – could be perched atop the ’11’ towers, rather than (seemingly) flying toward them. That’s the clinker that struck me.

    If the chuckleheads from Nance’s “idiot file” (referenced last week) who were speculating on where the burning wreckage of that Northwest Delta flight would have augered in had any point at all – it may be the most general one: why did the doe-eyed terrorist (and/or whoever directed him) select THAT flight? Why Detroit, Michigan?

    Attempting to turn the good-spirited Americans of middle eastern descent against the good-spirited Americans of western European descent might have been the goal.

    Aside from that, Happy Birthday, LA Mary! Even though it’s YOUR day, I think you should give US the present:

    that particularly ageless story about the time you went toe to toe (cruel shoes, no doubt) with Leona Helmsley (over jam, as I recall) and lived to tell the tale

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  14. LAMary said on January 6, 2010 at 11:38 am

    The best part of the Leona Helmsley story is that Nancy got an unsolicited confirmation from a guy at the company that makes the strawberry preserves in question.

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  15. Kriesa said on January 6, 2010 at 11:46 am

    Will you tell the Leona Helmsley strawberry jam story for us newbies? Or, I suppose I could go exercise my search skills…

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  16. basset said on January 6, 2010 at 11:47 am

    A teacher in one of our local public middle schools told me a few years back about a refugee child, believe he was Cambodian, who was called to the office during Halloween season, saw the skeletons and black cat decorations in the hallway, and thought they were calling him to be killed…

    homecoming succubus and incubus? how do you know they weren’t, really?

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  17. LAMary said on January 6, 2010 at 11:50 am

    I googled it Kreisa, so here it is.
    mary said on September 28th, 2005 at 5:13 pm

    When I lived in NYC I was a sales rep for a fancy food com­pany. I spe­cial­ized in sell­ing to high end hotels, specif­i­cally the por­tion jars of jams and jel­lies, and the nice choco­lates one gets on one’s pillow.

    Leona liked Tip­tree straw­berry pre­serves. She liked “Lit­tle Scar­let” to be exact, which is made from tiny straw­ber­ries. Lit­tle Scar­let, at least then, was not avail­able in the 1.5oz jars. Por­tion jars were only made in rasp­berry, orange mar­malade, and reg­u­lar straw­berry. Leona wanted Lit­tle Scarlet.

    Her food and bev­er­age man­ager called me and said he would be fired if he didn’t get tiny jars of lit­tle scar­let. I said they didn’t exist. He said Mrs. Helm­s­ley insisted on them. I told him I would explain their unavail­abil­ity myself if he wanted me to. He wanted me to. I made an appoint­ment, and I was invited in to her office (lots of gilt fur­ni­ture, lots of plas­tic surgery.) She told me they would no longer use me as ven­dor if I could not deliver Tip­tree Lit­tle scar­let in por­tion jars. I told her there was no such item. She said her pantry man­ager knew of a source. I told her I would give her the next monthly order free if he could pro­duce one jar of the stuff to show me. She called him in. He said he’d have it by the next day.

    Of course he didn’t pro­duce it, and I came back with Jim McGil­loway, who was then the US bro­ker for Tip­tree. He gave her some Tip­tree swag, told her I was the most reli­able source of all things Tip­tree, and gen­er­ally schmoozed her. Her pantry guy got fired for tak­ing kick­backs shortly after that, and I bought my house on the com­miss­sions I made from Helm­s­ley Hotels. Well, I had Hilton, Sher­a­ton, Trust­house Forte and a few oth­ers as well. Bet­ter to say jam and choco­lates bought my house.

    I used to wan­der around the hall­ways of the big hotels in NYC and give the house­keep­ing peo­ple sam­ples of Lin­dor choco­lates. I fig­ured they ate at least a quar­ter of the ones they car­ried on the house­keep­ing carts for turn­down ser­vice. Best to get them hooked on my choco­lates so my orders would be siz­able. It worked.

    I miss that job. It was tough and fun.

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  18. mark said on January 6, 2010 at 12:01 pm

    Why Detroit? On average, international flights arriving from Europe and Asia at Detroit have a larger percentage of Muslim passengers than those arriving elsewhere and, in particular, O’Hare, which is the natural competitor. This is due to the large (relatively speaking) Muslim population in Detroit/Dearborn and the non-stop schedule of Muslim religious and educational events and seminars in the area. Statistically speaking, your doe-eyed terrorist had a much better chance of blending in with the crowd.

    It is also widely rumored that O’Hare’s internal security (separate from TSA) is much more rigorous than at Detroit, with contractual agreements between the airport and the carriers (largely United for the flights at issue) requiring the carriers to track and report certain information to O’Hare security (and TSA).

    A good friend in a position to know assures me that a one way ticket purchased with Cash for travel from Yemen or Nigeria to O’Hare, by a man traveling alone, would have been flagged by United and forwarded on. Independent of TSA, O’Hare might require further investigation, such as a follow-up report concerning travel companions, bags checked, etc. at departure. I’m told that the absence of checked bags would typically then trigger a further intensive search by United personnel (or it’s partner) at the time of boarding in Amsterdam.

    The conventional wisdom is that Chicago values it’s skyline more than it fears offending Muslim sensitivities. Detroit, not so much. Different customer bases and skylines.

    I have many reasons for preferring O’Hare over Detroit for international travel. Security is down the list a ways, but it is on the list.

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  19. brian stouder said on January 6, 2010 at 12:06 pm

    THAT is a marvelous story*; Mary – thanks! I feel like I just finished a generous portion of tip-top (not to say tiptree) silky birthday cake and vanilla ice cream.

    *it is more than the sum of its elements; the adamant, hard-driving customer, the lying weasel pantry manager, your reliable backup vendor, and the repeat sales from the win/win solution. There’s more than a little wisdom in there, for any sales person – or anyone else, for that matter

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  20. ROgirl said on January 6, 2010 at 12:07 pm

    Why Detroit? The Aztek (or the Hummer, or the Escalade, or the Excursion, etc.).

    Sorry, couldn’t resist.

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  21. mark said on January 6, 2010 at 12:13 pm

    ROgirl. That’s funny. The Aztek. Yeah, I want to own a chunk of the company that thought that was a good idea.

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  22. brian stouder said on January 6, 2010 at 12:23 pm

    Mark – an excellent point about the airlines themselves shouldering some responsibility for the more obvious red-flags; since afterall they have their own ‘skin’ directly in the game.

    Leaving aside the millions of travellers, the hundreds of thousands on any given watch list, or the dozens or hundreds who would match this or that ‘profile’ on any given day –

    a guy with no bags and no coat flying one-way to Detroit in the middle of the winter – even before we get to the other factors (the guy’s stop in Yemen, chief amongst them) would get my attention, if I owned the plane

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  23. paddyo' said on January 6, 2010 at 12:25 pm

    Sounds like Cooz is trying out his next title in the series:
    “Succubus my Razor Wire Butt Plug, Faggiest Incubus”

    BTW, anybody else taking note of spineless Dem rats deserting the party’s listing, if not quite sinking, political ship? Here in CO, the first-term gov will announce in half an hour that he won’t run again. So much for the state’s red-to-blue conversion last election. Meanwhile, in CT, Sen. Christopher Dodd’s sticking a fork in it today, too . . . and so did ND’s Dem Sen. Dorgan.

    Love the LA Times political blog’s headline over a piece about the three: “In the event of an emergency, please proceed calmly to the nearest exit”


    Pathetic . . .

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  24. moe99 said on January 6, 2010 at 12:49 pm

    What a great story, LA Mary. One I will think about for a long time.

    First place I remember finding chocolate on my pillow was a very nice European style hotel near the UCLA campus, Hilgard House. Would love to go back and see if it is as nice as I remember. And I could stay there on a government rate!

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  25. LAMary said on January 6, 2010 at 1:23 pm

    Remembering the pink grapefruit mention, I smelled a new eau de parfum last Sunday. Hermes Pamplemousse Rose. It smells like the best pink grapefruit you’ve ever had.

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  26. Dorothy said on January 6, 2010 at 1:46 pm

    I like grapefruit but I don’t think I’d want to smell like it all day long.

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  27. LAMary said on January 6, 2010 at 2:43 pm

    You’d be surprised, Dorothy. It smells very nice. If you have a spare 125 bucks go buy a bottle.

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  28. Sue said on January 6, 2010 at 2:44 pm

    Grapefruit, huh? All right, Oldsters, who remembers Love’s Fresh Lemon?

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  29. jcburns said on January 6, 2010 at 3:25 pm

    I thought it was just me. No, now a blog collects Angry People in Local Newspapers Arrgh. Rrrrr. (arms folded.)

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  30. brian stouder said on January 6, 2010 at 3:34 pm

    Well, I gotta say – this thread has taken a decidedly more pleasant turn since Carlton Mellick Jr

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  31. paddyo' said on January 6, 2010 at 3:59 pm

    JC, if APLN is now here (brilliant!), can GNGCPPLP be far behind?
    That would be “Grip ‘n’ Grin Check-Passing People in Local Newspapers” . . . surely still a dependable staple of small-town paper photography across the land.

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  32. Jeff Borden said on January 6, 2010 at 4:16 pm

    I, too, am pretty appalled at the fact that the young Nigerian gentleman traveled so far with so many suspicions hanging over him. We’ve spent billions on security since 9/11, but like so much of our spending, it’s not at all certain we have gotten what we paid for.

    That said, I am very much in the David Brooks camp (ugh, I hate admitting that) about how infantile we have become about threats. We live in a nation where something like 30,000 people die every year in car accidents. We live in a nation where a half-million people die annually because they use a perfectly legal product in tobacco. We live in a nation where thousands are gunned down every year with easily obtainable firearms. None of this causes the least little disturbance in the marbled halls of Congress. But let one dumbass would-be terrorist show up and we are all piddling in our pants, with our politicians and our media folks cheering us all to get scared, get upset, get angry.

    Fuck the terrorists. We still have a better chance of being struck by lightning on the day we win the lottery and make a hole in one than we do of falling victim to some dickhead jihadist.

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  33. Jen said on January 6, 2010 at 4:23 pm

    Ha, GNGCPPLP! We try to get away from the Grip’n’Grin photos at our paper, but sometimes it’s just what we do. It’s especially hard because nobody ever wants to cooperate and actually get in the photo, and if you try to say, “Just do what you’re doing and I’ll take a photo,” they completely freeze up. The grip’n’grins often look better, sadly. *sigh*

    We have been instructed not to take ribbon-cutting photos, though, and instead take more candid photos of people at the store/restaurant/insurance office/new walking trail. You usually have to snap a photo during the ribbon cutting, too, because they won’t cut the ribbon until the photographer is up front, snapping away.

    ‘Round these parts, we still get to take photos of old ladies running church rummage sales standing around tables full of rummage sale crap, holding rummage sale crap. Those are a favorite of ours here in the office. I did like the one where one of the women put a lampshade on her head. Ahh, the glamorous life of a reporter at a small-town paper.

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  34. paddyo' said on January 6, 2010 at 4:30 pm

    And don’t forget ground-breaking ceremonies, Jen — with or without hard hats and shovels spray-painted gold and tied with a bow . . .

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  35. Jen said on January 6, 2010 at 4:52 pm

    Oh yes, I’ve covered a number of those in my three years here. I love watching women in spiked high heels trying to maneuver a shovel with a hard hat on.

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  36. Sue said on January 6, 2010 at 5:11 pm

    Oh, come on, guys. You love the upside of this, admit it: taking pictures of the 1 – 2 dozen rotating big fish in the small-town pond, knowing who is sleeping with whom and which ones got caught driving drunk one county over. Reporters and others in the know get all the best dirt even as they have to be polite to these self-satisfied dolts.
    I can’t look at one important lady in my own City without thinking “orange underwear”.

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  37. Little Bird said on January 6, 2010 at 5:27 pm

    Love’s Fresh Lemon smelled just like Lemon Pledge if I recall. I remember getting a set of Love’s perfumes for Christmas or my birthday one year. The only one in the whole set that smelled good was the lilac one. I sort of wish they still made it.

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  38. coozledad said on January 6, 2010 at 5:35 pm

    Anne Coulter weighs in on the cut vs uncut debate, and in an additional leap of logic infers that because she carries her own head up her ass, others may opt for something even nastier:
    Edit: Money quote:”I don’t see a clear angle on the anus.”
    Get.A.Hand mirror. Anne.

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  39. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on January 6, 2010 at 6:10 pm

    Fond memory — line of women in heels at a groundbreaking on prepped soil, all slowly leaning backwards as the heels slowly sank into the dirt. They had to pair up like a line dance, a man to each lady, pulling them forward until they had drawn clear . . . but there was one more soloist before the “grab a shovel, smile for the photog” finale, and most of them had to be heaved forward one more time.

    I think it was for a Rotary playground. There were bows on each gold spray painted ACE Hardware shovel. Good times.

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  40. LAMary said on January 6, 2010 at 6:43 pm

    I have one of the gold shovels in my garage, a gift from a former professor who posed with it when ground was broken for a new video studio or something. We used to use it for scooping dog poop. A golden pooper scooper.

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  41. Deborah said on January 6, 2010 at 9:46 pm

    Happy birthday LA Mary. Great jam story. And as they say in many small town newspapers, “a good time was had by all.”

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  42. Joe Kobiela said on January 6, 2010 at 10:27 pm

    Hay all,
    May be checking in with daughter Jen from Disney this week leaving in the morning for Orlando, running the Disney Marathon Sunday morning. It’s cold but 60 and sun beats 10 and snow.
    Pilot Joe

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  43. Jen said on January 7, 2010 at 7:31 am

    Sue, I do love knowing all the gossip in town! And, between work, my parents and my husband’s family, I feel like I know just about everything interesting going on in our fair city.

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  44. Dorothy said on January 7, 2010 at 9:11 am

    Next time I’m going thru Macy’s I’ll be sure to stop and take a sniff of the grapefruit scent, Mary. And I remember Love’s Fresh Lemon, Sue!!

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  45. LAMary said on January 7, 2010 at 9:42 am

    Iremember Loves Fresh Lemon, but Loves Baby Soft was more popular when I was in college. I remember the bottle looking something like Johnson and Johnsons baby powder.

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  46. MichaelG said on January 7, 2010 at 10:07 am

    Loves Baby Soft. Wasn’t that a toilet paper?

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