Saturday, December 15, 2018

K.A.C. 2018 - T - 10 ...

    
     Good morning! Ten days to go and look what we have here - we were just talking about the Yule Lads three days ago, and on Thursday, bing.com ran this picture as their wallpaper along with this snippet:

 Iceland awaits the Yule Lads

     "If you’re spending the holidays here in Reykjavik, be sure to keep an eye out for Sausage-Swiper, Window-Peeper, and Door-Slammer. They’re three of the Yule Lads, a group of 13 mischievous pranksters who—according to local folklore—visit homes one by one to leave rewards or punishments for children on each of the 13 days leading up to Christmas. Tonight, the Gully Gawk is scheduled for a visitation, waiting for an opportunity to sneak into the cowshed and steal milk. Modern versions of the lads sometimes portray them in a benevolent light, even dressed like Santa Claus, but other stories are dark. The lads are said to be the sons of Gryla, a mountain troll with an appetite for mischievous children. Let’s hope we’re on the nice list this year."

     
      The Lads could find better use for their time (or call their Mom and kitty in) by bedeviling the 1%, especially those who try to outdo themselves every year for bragging rights in the frivolous department. And every year, right on time, to HELP them spend their money on bizarre stuff, comes Neiman-Marcus and their annual Fantasy Book. This year's selections are way out there, including a "Larger Than Life Sculpture by Bjorn Okholm Skaarup" (designer of the Hippo Ballerina pictured at right) that STARTS at $200,000! Other choices include a solar powered yacht, ONE MILLION pieces of candy, including your own customized candy bar and my personal favorite (and I'm quoting here), "Fulfill Your Fantasy Of Becoming A Secret Agent"! To find out what that includes and to see the other offerings, click below:

     https://www.neimanmarcus.com/c/--Fantasy-9-cat70750770?icid=jp_FantasyGifts_101717

     But hey, why should N-M have ALL the fun? Want to see what happens when the idle rich come to their senses and realize they just bought WHAT? For HOW MUCH? Let's take a quick jump over to London and read about the uproar that went out when Harrod's tried to sell a Dolce & Gabbana DESIGNER REFRIGERATOR for £36,000 - the exact same make and model that usually goes for
£129 - just thrown on your hand-painted front door and voila! Instant markup! This didn't end well all around, as you can read here:

     https://www.thesun.co.uk/fabulous/7942449/harrods-36k-dolce-gabbana-fridge-cost-more-first-house/

     
      Next up, something a little more affordable for the rest of us, although WHY you would buy this is a complete mystery! Remember on December 9th when I reported on the Jimmy Dean Sausage-Scented Wrapping Paper (and as an aside, it could probably be used to wrap all that RECALLED SAUSAGE WITH METAL BITS that was reported on the 11th - if you missed it, details are here: https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/jimmy-dean-recalls-more-29-000-pounds-sausage-over-metal-n946381 ) - anyway, just throw that all out - that stuff's dangerous! We've got something EVEN BETTER! Try the Colonel's KFC Fried-Chicken Scented FIRELOG! The mind boggles while the mouth waters ... read it and weep:

     https://thetakeout.com/kfc-fried-chicken-scented-fire-log-buy-price-1831072141

     The best part of this olfactory absurdity comes with the item description: " ...the one-of-a-kind logs made with 100 percent recycled materials can burn up to three hours. They “may result in a craving for fried chicken” and “attract bears or neighbors who are hungry.”

     Again, THEY MAY ATTRACT BEARS ... fair price to pay for having your house smell like a greasefest, right? But here's the sad, almost unbelievable part ... they SOLD OUT within hours of being announced!

     https://www.usatoday.com/story/money/2018/12/13/kfc-firelog-smells-just-like-its-fried-chicken-but-supplies-limited/2293216002/ 

     Chin up - I'm sure they're rushing to make more! So get your bib on and your bear repellent ready!

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     Coming Tomorrow: We're down to the single digits and ramping up the crazyness - join us!

Friday, December 14, 2018

K.A.C. 2018 - T - 11 ...

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     Welcome back! Eleven days left - time is running out! Sniff, sniff ... umm, I don't mean to be indelicate, but did any of you 'step in something'? No? Well, let's see ... ah, never mind. It's only the scented 'wonderfulness' of our winner of Worst Toy of the Year, the POOPSIE SURPRISE UNICORN! How BAD can Poopsie possibly be, you ask? She looks cute enough, right? Try "A unicorn that POOS SLIME" bad - want to know the REAL horror of Poopsie? She's hugely in demand and is going to set you back somewhere in the ballpark of $50.00 !!! Poopsie isn't the ONLY ONE who's going to be pooing slime when you fork over your hard-earned cash! Read about her and the other biggest sellers in this year's UK toy roundup here:

     https://www.theguardian.com/news/shortcuts/2018/nov/26/from-defecating-unicorns-to-plush-carrots-what-the-years-biggest-toys-say-about-2018 

     Let's stay with this page for a moment and talk about the one character even MORE popular (poopular?) than Poopsie, Kevin the Carrot. Just go with me on this ... Kevin starred in the Aldi's Christmas ad (seen below - no, go ahead and watch it, we'll wait!) ...

     https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=npjWJNBEZE0 

     Cute enough, right? Well, something exceedingly weird happened next - people in Great Britain went INSANE over Kevin and HAD TO HAVE the Kevin stuffies that Aldi was promoting ... and promptly ran out, leading to RIOTING and price-gouging on eBay and the like! Over here, we go crazy on Black Friday for the last Big Screen TV - it was NOTHING compared to what happened over there for a STUFFED CARROT! Read it and weep!

     https://www.express.co.uk/news/uk/1049353/black-friday-kevin-the-carrot-aldi-fight-bootle 

     ... and here ...

     https://www.bbc.com/news/business-46301917 

     Again, folks, it's a STUFFED CARROT! What the Hell???

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     Let's check back in over at the UK - SURELY the folks who put on Santa's Grotty Grottos know they can't keep fooling the public every year, right? Allow me to introduce you to 'Santa's Enchanted Village' - if by 'enchanted' you mean bales of hay in a drafty warehouse ... and just wait until you see how much parents were charged for this!

     https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/7895938/christmas-village-bath-west-showground-complaints/

     But at least they HAD enchanted hay to stroll by! Consider the case of the creepy Brazilian Santa park Albanoel ... an idea whose time has long since come and gone. Originally planned as the beginning of a theme park, which would have expanded to different themes as they built upon it - think Westworld ... hmmm, maybe not the best example here ... but then closed down as the developers lost their shirts over the deal, the park was never torn down and now has some of the creepiest abandoned Santa photos you'll ever see! Read on!

     http://www.cnn.com/travel/article/brazil-abandoned-santa-theme-park/

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     Coming Tomorrow: With only 10 days to go, we take a look at how the 1% are gearing up to spend (read: waste) their money this year - and there are some doozies! Plus more surprises!

Thursday, December 13, 2018

K.A.C. 2018 - T - 12 ...

     Good morning! We've got an even dozen days to go and time is of the essence - so what better way to start your day by WASTING those precious moments watching these rare holiday oddities? I thought you'd agree!

     First up, we might as well get this out of the way right now. From the album Shatner Claus, it's the mellow tones (?) of Captain Kirk talking/singing (??) his 'unique' rendition of everyone's favorite red-nosed hoofer, Rudolph! 









 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wF2rjriHphg&feature=youtu.be&fbclid=IwAR0k0AwO9gaeKoHkKhD8Kcmg5EkSKJoEehgQ8n2ZsNWKV3VSEraC4IYa_s0

     

     Next, we turn the Wayback Machine dial all the way to 1931, smack in the heart of The Great Depression, and this cheerful (?) holiday cartoon, Mickey's Orphans. As the link states: "A bunch of orphan kids (depicted as kittens) are left on Mickey's doorstep in a basket. They make life into hell as Mickey, Minnie, and Pluto try to give them a Christmas party." Or as I like to put it, "No good deed will go unpunished!" 

     https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PfQ8h7vKHeA 

     

     Back to the Wayback Machine and we move forward in time to 1955 and a Nativity film that is one of the strangest I've seen in recent memory, and that's saying something! Called The Little Lamb, this one has it all: Iridescent Infants, Awesome Angels of the Lord (who give a pretty good accounting of themselves just WHY the shepherds were scared to death when THIS appeared in the sky, booming down at them!) and the most absolutely comatose Mary you've ever seen! I mean, to be fair, she's got reason to be pretty overwhelmed (as we all know), but usually the Marys shown in paintings and film are always rather beatific and happy ... this one just wants a nap!  :)  What's even MORE impressive are the acting pedigrees in this short. First, Azar the Shepherd (who doesn't give two hoots if the titular lamb is alive or dead, he's just That Tired of chasing after it - which seems to me to go against everything being a shepherd is all about ... I mean, you HERD SHEEP for a living, man! Take some PRIDE in your work! Anyway ...) is played by an uncredited Morris Ankrum, a 1950's stalwart character actor in numerous sci-fi and horror films, and a genuine surprise here. But the BIGGEST surprise is our uncredited Mary - played here by none other than Hollywood icon Maureen O'Sullivan! I'd LOVE to know the back story to this short: my guess is they were both contractually obligated to do this, since they most likely didn't have veto power over what the studio assigned them, but that's just a guess. And they save the best part for last: how to keep Baby Jesus warm ... hmmm, WHAT is the name of this film again? Time to hit play and be amazed!

  
     https://gloria.tv/video/X9J7ERVaXKcf3YtAdrrdke1Gm

     
      Sticking with the year 1955, let's end on a high note with someone who is MUCH more attentive and involved with the holiday proceedings, Ms. Betty Lou Varnum! Who, you ask? Only the host of the longest-running children's show in American history, The Magic Window! The show ran 43 years and it's a nostalgic delight! This Christmas-themed show ran on December 16th, and is all over the map, with her dog Domino EATING the ornaments off the tree, a visit with her puppet friends that goes awry as only locally produced shows can, and visits with guests who talk holiday topics such as LIVE BATS AND GUN SAFETY, and more! I'm also including links about the show and Betty Lou (who is still with us as of this writing) ... take some time and watch this rarity. It's my favorite item I've found for this year's calendar and is full of holiday cheer of the oddest sort! Special thanks to the Special Collection Iowa State University Library for providing this - it truly IS a 'Magic Window' into Christmas Past!


     https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TFgC0Gg7Eos  - The episode

     https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Magic_Window - Wiki entry on the show

     https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Betty_Lou_Varnum - Wiki entry on Betty Lou

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     Coming tomorrow: Holiday Potpourri Day, featuring a scattering of stories from around the globe as only we can tell them!

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

K.A.C. 2018 - T - 13 ...

     "On the 13th Day of Christmas, my true love gave to me ..." - wait a minute, I hear you say - aren't there only TWELVE Days of Christmas? Not necessarily! Join me as we jaunt across the ocean to Iceland and let me introduce you to The Yule Lads!

     The Yule Lads (or Yuletide-lads, or Yule Men) are a long-standing folklore tale for Icelandic children; a variation on other persona (such as Krampus) who come for naughty children on the 13 days before Christmas - why 13? Because there are 13 DIFFERENT Yule Lads, all with their own personalities and specialties of keeping young boys and girls good little angels.

     While we haven't written about the Lads before, we HAVE written about their Mom and their house pet! The boys are all the children of the Gryla, the ogress who comes and finds bad children, throws them in a sack and takes them home to put in her stew! 

     The ones Mama Gryla missed would be scooped up by her cat, the 
Jólakötturinn ... and HE would eat you, sometimes for being naughty, but mostly if you didn't have NEW CLOTHES for Christmas! I know, messed up, right? The theory was the tale of the Icelandic Christmas Cat was a warning tale for lazy sewists and seamstresses to have their work done in time for the holidays - or else!

     The stories the parents told must have been TRULY horrendous, as over time the consensus came to tone it down on the horror elements, since they were scaring their children to death with this army of ogres coming down from the mountains to find any excuse to EAT them! Oh, and also there were originally 82 Yule Lads! 

     The 82 devolved into 13, and their antics went from hair-raising to mischievous, mainly stealing small items from your house or eating your sausages ... ??? Yeah, it's a thing, just go with it. 

     For the full list of the 13 Yule Lads and what they do, check here:

     https://icelandmag.is/article/story-all-yule-lads-including-window-peeper-spoon-licker-and-skyr-gobbler

     For our original write-up on Gryla and her kitty, check here:

     http://www.conjurecinema.com/2012/11/kac-2012-t-29.html

     And finally, for more on Gryla and and her kin, check here:

     https://icelandmag.is/article/instead-a-friendly-santa-iceland-has-13-mischievous-yule-lads-and-evil-christmas-cat

     So make DAMN sure you've been good AND that you have some article of new clothing on Christmas Eve, otherwise ... CHOMP!

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     Coming Tomorrow: We couldn't be called Conjure Cinema and not spread some Christmas Cheer without more rare and off-the-wall films of the season - come back tomorrow for our cinematic time sink and prepare to be mesmerized!

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

K.A.C. 2018 - T - 14 ...

     Welcome to the K.A.C. Reader Submission Day, where we turn the entries over to you! A good crop this year, mostly photos and artwork (like this spectacular They Live holiday shot that Tim posted yesterday), so let's get right to it!

     


     Looking for that last-minute gift for the Whovian on your list AND want something in a holiday vein? Look no further than this Dr. Who audiobook featuring Paul McGann - it's called Better Watch Out and features our mascot KRAMPUS! Interested? The link below leads you to it ...

     https://www.bigfinish.com/releases/v/ravenous-2-1798?range=132 

     
      We covered Christmas Fails a few days ago and I meant to add the image at left to the list ... that's ONE way to get people talking about the new movie! I honestly thought this was a joke picture, but multiple people sent it to me and said it was an actual display. Good luck explaining that one to the tykes in your shopping cart!

     

      Also a Christmas Fails Classic, a number of you sent me this story (which I had already seen the day before) ... file under 'Ewe Asked For It'! I'll let this one speak for itself - read the link below!

     https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/7922019/mum-sends-son-school-blowup-sex-doll-accident/

     

     And now for a musical interlude ... 'HamilDolph' by Eclipse 6 - thanks to Gi for the song! Give it a listen!

     https://www.facebook.com/Eclipse6/videos/10154909971714924/

    

     Last but not least, EVERYBODY needs extra holiday money this time of year, even our mascot! Moonlighting from switchin' and sackin' bad little boys and girls, Krampus is working the register and learning a new skill! Thanks to Mark and others we sent this along! Clean up at register 9 --- from fright!

     https://www.facebook.com/EvinaHajek/videos/562884447391229/

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     Coming tomorrow: it's time to meet 'The Lads' --- they're NOT who you think!

Monday, December 10, 2018

K.A.C. 2018 - T - 15 ...

     A cheery good morning to you and yours this fine, cold winter day. Forget Winter Is Coming ... it's already HERE, if the temperatures and wind are any indication! With that in mind, it's time for our Annual Tacky Christmas Sweaters, 2018 Edition. And wouldn't you know it, just in time for you to prepare for the final season of Game of Thrones (and Christmas, of course!) come these SIX designs based on the show - and available at Target! I know, right? Click on the link to see the other designs, then  make your OWN dash for the Wall!
     https://www.popsugar.com/entertainment/Game-Thrones-Ugly-Christmas-Sweaters-Target-2018-45467299?stream_view=1#photo-45467303 

     Not to be outdone, the UK Sun has THEIR annual edition of Worst Holiday Jumpers (what we call sweaters on this side of the pond) and there are a few that are downright amazing ... take a look!

     https://www.thesun.co.uk/fabulous/7857018/naff-christmas-jumpers-cringeworthy/ 

     You know who else wears warm, festive jumpers this time of year? Santa's Elves! You know what ELSE they wish they wore? Try noise-cancelling headphones and ESPECIALLY blinders over the eyes ... why? To BLEACH OUT some of the horrible things they get to see and hear! But don't take my word for it - read their horror stories below! Heck, even the REINDEER look horrified!

     


     
https://www.thesun.co.uk/fabulous/7922796/confessions-christmas-elf/

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     Coming tomorrow: we turn the Reindeer Reins over to you for Reader Submission Day! 
     

Sunday, December 9, 2018

K.A.C. 2018 - T - 16 ...

     Good morning! We're all geared up for another fine day here at the K.A.C. and today we're featuring one of my favorite annual topics - a look at Christmas Fails! Yes sir, a LOOK ... at ... ummm, well, that is ... we WOULD be looking at it ... if our REINDEER didn't have their ANTLERS COMING OUT OF THEIR EYES !!!

      The SUN (UK) has found a particularly good crop of Fails this year, from Elf Hands and Cruella De Vil (?) climbing out of ladies' crotches (just let that sink in for a moment) to Unfortunately Named Wine to a horror-filled child's mirror (that I'm particularly not fond of) to Nipple Wreaths (yes, you read that right) ... just the thing for the Holiday Party, or Grandma Joan! These are MUCH MORE can be found at the link below:


     
      https://www.thesun.co.uk/fabulous/7735112/toy-reindeer-design-flaw-leaves-shoppers-horrified/
       You're going to need something to WRAP these monstrosities in, right? Not to worry, we've got you covered there, as well - with colorful AND stinky Jimmy Dean Sausage Wrapping Paper! Just THINK what you're living room is going to smell like after this sits under your tree all night ... it'll get rid of that pesky pine tree scent once and for all! But there's a catch - to get this 'special' paper, you have to submit a recipe - read more here!

     https://geekologie.com/2018/11/jimmy-dean-sausage-scented-holiday-gift.php 

     But Christmas Fails don't ALL have to come in a box, tied with stinky wrapping! Consider the case of  Lady Lumley's School in Pickering, North Yorkshire, who decided not only to BAN Christmas altogether, saying it had become too commercialized and that students had forgotten the true meaning of Christmas, but also to give students DETENTION if they were found celebrating! And the salt in this particularly Grinchy wound? The notice of X-ing Christmas was delivered by Father Christmas himself! Read all about it here ...

     https://www.express.co.uk/news/uk/1049477/christmas-2018-banned-school-lady-lumley-pickering-yorkshire

     ... but wait for it ... can you guess the followup to this story? Try outraged parents going on social media and SHAMING the school so badly that they received over 500 letters (and perhaps someone with a bell, shouting, "SHAME! SHAME! SHAME!") for their actions ... so badly, in fact, that the school had to REINSTATE Christmas festivities and squirm like the proverbial worm on the hook, calling it all a "learning moment". Read this bit of humble pie below:

     https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2018/dec/05/yorkshire-school-that-cancelled-christmas-reinstates-it-after-hundreds-of-letters

    
     Let's stay with the school theme here, as we save our best Christmas Fail for last. Closely observe the picture at right and consider the lack of wisdom used by one primary school teacher who thought it would be fun and informative to set up an 'Elf Murder Scenario' for her students to solve - take a moment and read that again, then click on the link to see even more amazing photos and read all about the Ultimate Christmas Fail of 2018, also known as FRIGHT CHRISTMAS!

     FRIGHT CHRISTMAS Furious parents say kids ‘traumatised’ after primary school staged elf murder scene complete with fake blood

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     Coming Tomorrow: While not impossible to top this batch of stories, we'll give it our best shot with our annual look at horrible Christmas Jumpers (that's sweaters to you) and more!