Hokie Pokie Sound Machine, purchased on eBay in February 2012. This was my entry in the Tacky Treasures Road Show 2012, which to my surprise, didn’t win anything.
This is the worst-designed phonograph record player I have ever seen, and yet as soon as I found out about it, I knew I had to have one. It is so ridiculous, it makes me laugh just thinking of it. A conventional record player has a turntable on which the record sits, and the stylus or needle is drawn across it. The Hokie Pokie Sound Machine has the record sitting on a flat surface, and the stylus is on the bottom of a little plastic truck that drives over the grooves!
I found out about the Hokie Pokie Sound Machine from Who would buy this? : the Archie McPhee story by Mark Pahlow, an essential reference work in my growing library of tackological research. It was published by the Accoutrements Publishing Company in 2008.
There is so much wrong with the way this concept was executed.
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Tacky German Postcard, purchased March 2012 at the Mt. Vernon Antique Center
I wish I’d had this postcard for last year’s Toilet Week. It would have added an international flair to the event. It depicts a man with a bottle of schnapps in his hand about to flush himself down a toilet. The caption reads, “My life’s last station hangs on this chain.” Wow, that is certainly more clever than what we Americans usually come up with: “Goodbye cruel world!”
This reminds me that my first encounter with the concept of tackiness involved postcards. Way back when I was in college, one of my friends conducted a tacky postcard contest. People sent her the tackiest ones that they could find, and after a while, she would declare a winner. The first year I remember this contest happening, the winner was the picture of a dead cowboy in the desert with a vulture on his back, with the caption, “The End of the Road.” Ah, memories!
I found the tacky German postcard at the Mount Vernon Antique Center while on a tacky quest. The Tacky Treasures Road Show is coming up soon, and I hoped that day for a big find. And in fact, I did find something fabulously tacky, but unfortunately it was way out of my price range. It was a stuffed macaque monkey in its own glass display case, holding a small ceramic pitcher and a red wine glass. The sticker price was an unbelievable $3,500.00. Even when the sales person said helpfully, “It’s 30% off today,” there was no way that I could afford it. On the other hand, at that price, I don’t think it’s going anywhere soon, and I might just head back to Mt. Vernon one of these days to visit it. Unfortunately, I do not have a photo of the monkey worth posting. My cellphone camera is horrible, and most antique malls actually forbid the use of cameras. The only reason I took a shot of the monkey with my phone was in case someone doubted my story and I needed proof.
Back to the tacky German postcard…it’s now on display in my downstairs bathroom with rest of my toilet and outhouse collection. Thanks to John Heins for the translation of the caption of the postcard.
Republic Mug by Fishs Eddy, purchased on eBay February 2012
Although this is a sturdy ceramic mug, it belongs in my collection of “Mugs I’ll Never Use,” because it has the faces of eleven Republican politicians imprinted on the side. My objection isn’t that they are members of the Grand Old Party. I’d probably drink out of a mug with Lincoln’s face on it, and probably already have. But the people on this mug are curious, and sometimes objectionable, choices. History has not been kind to most of them, such as Joe McCarthy, Strom Thurmond, and Spiro Agnew. Whatever their accomplishments in life might have been, they will probably be most remembered in history for abuse of power, racism, and corruption.
The makers of this mug also made a Democratic version, which I haven’t been able to locate. But I do know that it features Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt, and John F. and Robert F. Kennedy. These are political figures to whom history has been kinder to than their G.O.P. mug counterparts. I guess we know what party the manufacturer belonged to.
Smoking Elephant Cigarette Dispenser, purchased at Unique Thrift in Hillandale, Maryland, February 2012
Maybe this is enough to make a smoker quit. Seeing a cigarette coming out of an elephant’s butt should make anyone reconsider their dirty habit. I have similar dispenser which dispenses cigarettes out of a donkey’s butt, so now my collection is officially bi-partisan.
The wooden donkey cigarette dispenser was hand-made in America, and it still works. This elephant is made of cheap plastic, and was already broken when I bought it. If it weren’t for the cool illustration on the box, I wouldn’t have come home with it at all.