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Tacky Treasures Road Show 2013

Julie, displaying one of the many entries in this year's show
Here I am, displaying
one of the many entries
in this year's show
(BC)

Intro - Winners - Prizes - Also Rans

The Tacky Treasures Road Show is modeled after the PBS program "Antiques Roadshow," except that in this case the question the appraiser always asks is, "Do you have any idea how tacky this is?" I love the sound of that, so I do it every year.

This was the first year that the Tacky Treasures Road Show took place outside of my home. It has outgrown my living room and dining room, where for the past few years, I haven't had enough chairs for all the people who have come. I think I've found the perfect venue: the Silver Spring B&O Train Station. No longer used as a station, it has been restored (by Montgomery Preservation, Inc.) to look as it did in 1945, complete with ticket booth, lockers, phone booth, and a waiting room with comfy benches.

We had twenty-four entries, down a bit from last year. I think it was due to my selection of the night before Easter and the middle of Passover and spring breaks. Even so, we had a nice turnout, and the slightly shorter show meant more time for old-time tunes to be played before and after the show.

This year's judges were: Jeff Chumley, Karen Collins, and Steve Smith. They are to be commended for their rapid deliberations. I had just enough time to display the prizes to the audience and also to demonstrate the Instant Underpants (more on that below) before they returned with their decisions.

This show would be nothing if not for the enthusiastic participants who enter the competition. There was stiff competition for the five prizes, and as far as I'm concerned, anyone who didn't win can rightfully say, "I came in sixth." I also want to thank, and give due credit, to everyone who sent me photographs.

Key to the photographers' codes on the photos:JM = Julie Mangin; BC = Bob Cantor; LR = Liz Roll; TL = Tara Linhardt.

The Winners

Watergate Era Poster signed by G. Gordon Liddy
Watergate Era Poster
signed by G. Gordon Liddy
entered by John Sery (JM)
Detail of Watergate Era Poster signed by G. Gordon Liddy
(JM)

First Place: Watergate Era Poster

This was one of the surprises in the show. The person who entered it had never been to a Tacky Treasures Road Show before. John Sery works for Montgomery Preservation, Inc., and handles the rental of the B&O Train Station on behalf of the organization. While I was working with him to set up the rental, he told me that he would be present at the station throughout the evening that we would be using it for the Road Show. I then encouraged him to make his own entry to the show. Little did I know that he would take first prize.

The poster was published in 1973, and depicts President Nixon with a pack of unruly dogs on leashes. The heads on the dogs are members of his White House staff or cabinet who played a role in the Watergate affair: John Dean, John Ehrlichman, H.R. Haldeman, John Mitchell, Jeb Magruder, and James McCord.

What made this entry even more special was that John Sery attended a twenty-fifth anniversary of the Watergate break-in event at the Kennedy Center, and had the presence of mind to bring this poster with him. He asked G. Gordon Liddy to sign it. Not only did he sign the poster, he added one word of commentary to it: He wrote "Liar!" and pointed the word at the figure of John Dean. What a tacky treasure!

Boob Lady
Boob Lady
entered by Chris Romaine (JM)

Second Place: Boob Lady

There's a fine line between folk art and artistic ineptitude. I think this piece of art straddles that line. When Chris Romaine brought it to the registration table, the first thing that happened was that one of the figure's boobs fell off. That could have spelled disaster for Chris's entry, especially since it took him several minutes to reattach the boob. Apparently, the judges were taken by its simple charm, and "Boob Lady," by an artist we'll just call "Susan," took second place. Chris won second place last year with his boar's head soup tureen.

Fluffy Bunny Wonders
Fluffy Bunny Wonders
plush wreath
entered by Abbie Grotke and
Denis Malloy (JM)

Third Place: Fluffy Bunny Wonders

I think this is the kind of Easter decoration that could make a child fear the Easter Bunny, and we don't want that to happen, do we? The creepiest thing about this bright yellow and white plush wreath is the plastic bunny head stuck in the middle. Maybe it's just me, but I thought the way the whiskers on its face reminded me a bit too much of Adolph Hitler.

Bed Pan Banjo
Bed Pan Banjo
entered by Cathy Fink (JM)

Fourth Place: Bed Pan Banjo

Cathy Fink, renowned banjoist, brought her bed pan banjo to the Tacky Treasures Road Show. It was made by Art Thieme, a Chicago-area folk musician who apparently has a tacky sense of humor, too. Cathy has played this particular banjo for many patients in hospitals, who I hope were moved (but not too much) by her playing.


Giant Inflatable Cockroach Pool Float
Giant Inflatable Cockroach Pool Float
entered by Clare Milliner and Walt Koken (JM)

Fifth Place: Giant Inflatable Cockroach Pool Float

Esteemed old-time musicians and documentarians Walt Koken and Clare Milliner definitely have a tacky side. Both their entries were inflatable, so that may give you an idea of where they are coming from (see the inflatable sheep elsewhere on this page).

I can't imagine who would think seeing a giant cockroach in one's pool would be appealing in any way. Truly, as the package says, "It's Insane." What a marketing strategy.

International Farting Contest CD
International Farting Contest CD
entered by Paul Buchanan (TL)

Honorable Mention: International Farting Contest CD

This is a very funny, punny recording of a "crepitation" contest, that is, a farting contest. The contestants are named Paul Boomer and Lord Windesmear. The play-by-play is delivered in a British accent, however, the announcer makes a reference to "CBC," the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. This recording was made in the 1940s, and has been floating around as a bootleg party record for years. Because we didn't have access to a CD player at the road show, we could only imagine how tacky the contents were.

The Prizes

The winners were invited to reach into the prize bag, in order of their rank in the contest. Therefore, the prizes were:

 

Instant Underpants
Instant Underpants
by Archie McPhee (LR)

Instant Underpants Demonstration

I received this as a gift, and decided to demonstrate it for the Tacky Treasures Road Show audience while we waited for the judges to return with their decisions. To say that the slogan on the can, "Just Add Water" is misleading, is an understatement.

I filled my hillbilly wine glass (which is, by the way, a much better gag gift than instant underpants) with water, and dropped the underpants into it. It looked like a giant aspirin tablet. It just floated on top of the water, and didn't absorb it at all. I pushed it below the surface with a pen, but that didn't help. I took the tablet out of the water, pulled it apart a little, and stuck it back in the water. No dice. The thing just wouldn't absorb any water at all. I finally set it aside. About an hour later, it was still floating in the water, looking just the same as it did before. I will never buy this product, and the forty people who watched this demonstration probably won't either. I was so disappointed that I poured the water out of my hillbilly wine glass and got me a drink. So there.

After a while, someone pulled the still tightly-compressed pair of underpants apart. It was completely dry inside. Here are some silly poses some of the Tacky Treasures Road Show participants made with the allegedly instant underpants:

Bob
Bob (LR)

Mary Jane
Mary Jane (LR)

Clare
Clare (JM)

Denis
Denis (LR)

Liz
Liz (LR)

Ellen
Ellen (LR)

The Also-Rans

Dukes of Hazzard lunchbox banjo
Dukes of Hazzard lunchbox banjo
entered by Cathy Fink (TL)

If you are going to make a banjo out of an old lunchbox, I can't think of a better choice than a Dukes of Hazzard lunchbox. Marcy Marxer actually made music on this thing.

Mount St. Helen's whiskey decanter by Jim Beam
Mount St. Helen's whiskey decanter by Jim Beam
entered by Liz Roll (JM)

This belongs in a special category of items marketed to take advantage of a disaster. There's even a vial of "Actual Mt. St. Helen's Ash" attached to the back of the decanter.

Ice Nudes
Ice Nudes
entered by Neil Gladd (JM)

If you like to have female torsos floating around in your drinks, this is the ice cube tray for you. Ingeniously, they have figured out how to replicate the female form, front and back.

Bikini Girl cocktail picks
Bikini Girl cocktail picks
entered by Neil Gladd (JM)

Companion to the Ice Nudes, these figural toothpicks are sadly lacking in the third dimension.

Twist My Nose Clown Print
Twist My Nose Clown Print
entered by Julie Mangin (JM)

This is a print of Clown Hall of Famer Lou Jacobs, of Ringling Bros. Circus. The nose is a wooden ball, and when you twist it, a music box plays "Send in the Clowns." I guess that's better than a "Pull My Finger Clown Print."

NASCAR Bible and Daily Devotions
NASCAR Bible and Daily Devotions
entered by Ellen Walsh (TL)

This Bible contains the Old and New Testaments interspersed with inspiration messages comparing race car driving with religion. I think it's tacky the way they are pandering to the NASCAR crowd. I'm glad there isn't a version comparing old-time fiddle tunes with Bible verses, although I'd sure like to know what they'd do with the lyrics to "Johnson Girls."

One sick mug
One sick mug
entered by Liz Stevens (LR)

That's one ugly mug. It belongs in my collection of Mugs I'll Never Use.

Happy Indian Ashtray
Happy Indian Ashtray
entered by Bob Cantor (JM)

It's a goofy, un-PC cariacature of a Native American. But it's at least more pleasant to look at than the ugly mug to the left

I (heart) My Weiner T-Shirt
I (heart) My Weiner T-Shirt
entered by Linda Julien (LR)

Aw, that's sweet, not tacky.

The Grapes of Laugh
The Grapes of Laugh
entered by Bob Cantor (JM)

I thought this was sweet, too. Bob's clever title for his entry made it a tacky treasure.

Doggie Mug
Doggie Mug
entered by John and Ellen Schwab (JM)

I thought this was sweet, too, until I was asked to imagine where the other half of the dog might be in this mug, and what it might be doing.

Snake Ash Tray
Snake Ash Tray
entered by Julie Mangin (JM)

The center of the ash tray reads, "Do you remember when you didn't have a pot to hiss in?" Of course, this will go into my Ash Trays I'll Never Put My Smoke Out In collection.

After the road show, tune session with Walt Koken, Clare Milliner, Cathy Fink, and John Schwab
After the road show, tune session with Walt Koken, Clare Milliner, Cathy Fink, and John Schwab (LR)

The Tacky Treasures Road Show audience at the Silver Spring B&O Train Station
The Tacky Treasures Road Show audience at the Silver Spring B&O Train Station (JM)

Fiesta Dress
Fiesta Dress
entered by Liz Stevens (LR)

Liz found this in a family member's closet. The amount of rick-rack on this thing is remarkable. So maybe it's rick-racky, not tacky.

Boob purse
Boob purse
entered by Sandy Bostian (JM)

Nothing says tacky like a purse shaped like a woman's torso. But if it came in turquoise, it might go well with the fiesta dress on the left, no?

Christmas Wreath Cookies
Christmas Wreath Cookies
entered by Janice Goldblum (JM)

Janice preserved these for three months so they could appear in this year's road show. They are made with Rice Krispies, Red Hots, and lots of green food coloring. Yum!

Erotic Love Ewe inflatable sheep
Erotic Love Ewe inflatable sheep
entered by Clare Milliner and Walt Koken (JM)

Just say, "EW."

 

Not pictured:

  • Dirty Girl Teeny Take Alongs (Fred Julien)
  • Two-headed cow bobblehead (Liz Roll)

That's all folks!

Copyright © 2000-2010, Julie Mangin. All Rights Reserved. April 2, 2016