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Tacky Treasures Road Show 2017

Julie displaying Jeff Goldblum shower curtain
Here I am, in all my tacky glory, as host of the Tacky Treasures Road Show (EW)

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 year's road show took place on March 25, 2017 at the Silver Spring B&O Train Station. No longer used as a railroad 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.

There were 22 fabulously tacky entries and about 40 attendees. Due to a lingering cold, my voice wasn't what it usually is, and I was assisted on stage by my husband, Bob Cantor. His commitment to showmanship, as evidenced by his head wear, should be an inspiration to us all.

A big thanks goes to this year's judges, who were: Abbie Grotke and Steve Smith. While they made their deliberations, I displayed the five prizes.

Fashion Asian Tacky Socks
Here's Bob, wearing one of the entries on his head, looking like an Egyptian Hawaiian (MG)

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 for this report.

Finally, I would also like to thank all those who contributed to the donation basket. I recovered more than half of what I spent to rent the station, which is a big help. Again, THANK YOU!

Key to the photographers' codes on the photos: EW=Ellen Walsh, GS=Greg Scholtz; MB=Mark Brochman; MG=Margaret Gonglewski. Photos not marked were taken by Julie Mangin.


The Winners

Mr. Whippy wrapping paper
Mr. Whippy Wrapping Paper
entered by Anita Finkelstein (MG)

First Place: Mr. Whippy Wrapping Paper

According to Anita, "Life's a beach...and then there's ice cream!" She found this at the Arlington Civitan flea market, from a vendor who who sold cards and wrapping paper from England, and hasn't been there in a while. Too bad, I wonder what other interesting things he had to offer.


Jeff Goldblum with ape shower curtain
Jeff Goldblum with Ape Shower Curtain
entered by Ellen Walsh

Second Place: Jeff Goldblum with Ape Shower Curtain

Ellen writes, "It makes no sense...it shipped from China. I wonders what the Chinese person was thinking when he/she shipped it?"

This was one of many tacky products highlighted in the blog, The Worst Things for Sale, the Internet's Most Horrible Items. I see some future road show entries...


Barbie's Fantasy
Barbie's Fantasy
entered by Anita Finkelstein

Third Place: Barbie's Fantasy

"Elvis will never leave the building!" says Anita, who also won first place in the road show. The original artwork, which Anita found at a garage sale, is titled, "Barbie's Christmas Wish," and that wish is that Elvis is still alive. It's possible...ever see the movie, "Bubba Ho Tep"?


Jayne Mansfield shaped hot water bottle
Jayne Mansfield
Hot Water Bottle

entered by Julie Mangin

Fourth Place: Jayne Mansfield Hot Water Bottle

Something tells me that this product was cooked up in a hurry, the better to cash in on Jayne's fame. I say this because the blurbs on the box are pretty lame and cheesy:

  • "The 'Hugging' Hot Water Bottle"
  • "Designed with the Male in Mind"
  • "For the Man Who Has Everything, Including a Few Aches and Pains -- Preferred by Arctic Explorers."
  • "We Don't Know How, But They Say It Can Be Used As an Ice Pack -- Perfect As a Cocktail Shaker"

More about this intriguing piece of tackiness can be found here.


The First Supper
The First Supper
entered by Mark Brochman (MB)

Fifth Place: The First Supper

Mark describes this as "Sexy Jesus and his muscle-bound disciples." However, I can't help but notice that the symbol over his head is an Egyptian ankh.

This artwork by Alton Francis might be trying to depict Christian inclusiveness. However, the beefcake approach tends to distract the viewer from its intended message.


Honorable Mention: Instant Party Spinning Clownhead Light Show

This fascinating object came with no box or explanation, so Bob invented its name. Rather than try to explain what this thing does, Bob wrote in his description of his entry, "Demonstration required." And indeed there is no other way...it has to be seen to be believed. Behold, the Instant Party Spinning Clownhead Light Show in action. Our cat Dave was not impressed.

Jesus on My Team
Jesus on My Team
entered by Ed Engel

Honorable Mention: Jesus on My Team

Ed calls this "an inspirational painting." It reminds me of the sports inspirational statues I bought several years ago on CatholicShopper.com. Sadly, they no longer offer the figurines, so this is the next best thing.


Slop Bucket Repentance
Slop Bucket Repentance
entered by John Heins

Honorable Mention: Slop Bucket Repentance

If this is his best sermon, then I'd hate hear his worst. Thankfully, attendees of the Tacky Treasures Road Show were not subjected to the audio. The cover was weird enough by itself.


John Heins, displaying his entry and the prize he won
John Heins, displaying his entry and the prize he won, with Steve Smith (one of the judges) looking on approvingly. (MG)

The Prizes

The winners, in order of their rank in the contest, were invited to select from the array of prizes.

  • 1st place, Elvis Pez dispensers
  • 2nd place, Pink flamingo bottle opener
  • 3rd place, The World's Worst: A Guide to the Most Disgusting, Hideous, Inept, and Dangerous People, Places, and Things on Earth by Mark Frauenfelder
  • 4th place, 99 Ways to Open a Beer Bottle Without a Bottle Opener by Brett Stern
  • 5th place, Freedom Socks, one is red and white stripes, the other is blue with white stars

The Also-Rans

Fashion Asian Tacky Socks
Strange Ceramic Object
entered by Betsy Fulford & Greg Scholtz

This object seems to ask, "What animal am I? What is this strange ceramic object?" Whatever this thing is, it has an animal emerging from both ends, the head of a weasel and the tale of a horse.

Hello Kitty Personal Massager
Hello Kitty Personal Massager
entered by Bev Stanton

I wonder what the intended market for this is, pre-teen girls? Bev called Hello Kitty a beloved Meow-sseuse.


Flying Glitter Pig Pencil Sharpeners
entered by Bob Cantor

Bob really has a way with naming his entries (see Honorable Mention, above). He also provided an excellent description: "If pigs flew out of a unicorn's butt and they were riding pencil sharpeners, this is what it would look like."

A Pair of Mugs with a Pair of Breasts
A Pair of Mugs with a Pair of Breasts
entered by Sandy Bostian

These were souvenirs from Atlantic City, a guaranteed source of tacky. In addition to the large bosoms, these ladies have an alarmed look on their faces, and their hand are raised as if to say, "don't shoot!" Maybe they are worried about the Trump look-alike to the right.

Lone Figure (D. Trump?) in a Seascape of Alienation (Study in Red and Blue)
Lone Figure (D. Trump?) in a Seascape of
Alienation (Study in Red and Blue)
entered by Ed Engel

There's something about the "boldly subtle" background that makes this painting even more disturbing than who it reminds me of.

Col. Sanders' Extra Crispy Sunscreen
Col. Sanders' Extra Crispy Sunscreen
entered by Julie Mangin

The warning label says this it is for external use only, so they can't claim that this is "finger-lickin' good." However, it does smell like chicken.

Are You Hungry Tonight?Elvis' Favorite Recipes
Are You Hungry Tonight? Elvis' Favorite Recipes
entered by Margaret Gonglewski

This ain't nothin' but a cookbook. I wonder if there's a recipe for fried chicken with sunscreen?

Coffee Time
Coffee Time
entered by Andrea Savada

None of the music, by four different orchestras, seems particularly coffee-themed. The last cut, "(When We're Alone) Penthouse Serenade" sounded like it would be risqué, but it turns to be a charming song from the 1930s. Here's a link to a 78rpm version of the song. But it has nothing to do with coffee!

Cutting Loose
Cutting Loose
entered by Mark Brochman (MB)

This anthology album from the late 1970s has some good music (tracklist here). But that cover! It looks like the rainbow goes in her butt crack and out her you-know-what. I guess there's a reason the artistic director is working at TeeVee Records, Inc., and not a real record label.

Keeping Time Down Under
Keeping Time Down Under
entered by John Sery

John says this is "perfect for your continental clock collection." I agree, but I couldn't find any other continental clocks on the Internet.

Merry Xmas from CVS
Merry Xmas from CVS
entered by Eli Savada

If you buy all your Christmas presents from CVS, then perhaps you would naturally want an ornament from them. Ornament is dated 1996.

Green Pound Cake and Orange Kisses
Green Pound Cake and Orange Kisses
entered by Margaret Gonglewski (MG)

Edible nuclear waste. It tasted better than it looked.

Peeps brownies
Peeps brownies
Made by Abbie Grotke (MG)

These weren't actually entered in the contest, but they were part of the potluck snack table. They're too tacky not to mention. Abbie used this recipe, but added extra peeps for a garnish.

Chez Kleenex
Chez Kleenex
entered by Margaret Gonglewski

I don't think this is tacky, it's kind of cute. Some may have noticed that Margaret had three entries, but it's because I insisted that the green cake with orange kisses be entered in the show. Her husband only had one entry, so it all worked out for the best.

Naked Couple
Naked Couple
entered by Fred Feinstein

I hope that this was a gift from one member of a couple to another. Otherwise, it would be kind of creepy.

Also entered:

  • Fashion Asian Tacky Socks, entered by Betsy Fulford & Greg Scholtz. Sometimes, the tackiness is in the packaging, otherwise this is just a pair of black and white tights (that Bob wore on his head). "We are to intoduce [sic] the health massage socks to you. The health massage contain special plastic."

That's all folks!

Julie the Queen of Tacky.

Julie, the Queen of Tacky (GS)

Copyright © 2000-2010, Julie Mangin. All Rights Reserved. April 2, 2017