The Zanies Are Coming
In his latest book, Zanies (New Century, $15.95), Chicago's pint-sized and prolific crime chronicler Jay Robert Nash profiles 172 of "the world's greatest eccentrics," from quack doctor Albert Abrams to munitions tycoon Basil Zaharoff, the "mystery man of Europe." Babe Ruth, Charlie Chaplin and Huey Long are also in there, along with courtesan Anne de Lenclos, who founded a Parisian school for sex education about 300 years ago. What's so zany about than?
Years ago, the kind of comics men liked were stashed at the bottom of their underwear drawers. Today, they're the apple of an Apple II computer's eye. In other words, if you own an Apple II computer with a 48K memory disc, Computer Products International, 3225 Danny Park, New Orleans, Louisiana 70002, has available, for $25 each, four double-sided discettes (French Postcards, Bedtime Stories, Dirty Old Men and Comics, Old and New) of X-rated automated activity that will knock your black socks off. Very naughty, naughty, naughty.
Soccer Balls To You
No, that's not Gulliver about to drop-kick the 1982 World Cup team from Lilliput into a soccer net. It's just the playing field for Subbuteo, a nifty table-soccer game in which your fingers do the whacking as you move miniature men and ball in an attempt to score goals and block your opponent's wrist action. The F.I.F.A. World Cup Edition of the game, available from Jokari/U.S., 4715 McEwen Road, Dallas, Texas 75234, for $41, postpaid, contians two 11-man teams (including movable goalies), two goals with nets, two miniature soccer balls, four corner flags, a playing surface, a gold-colored winner's trophy and even a special World Cup poster to tack up. Ain't that a kick in the head!
Not The Wheel Thing
We don't want to start any negative balls rolling, but the flip side to owning an expensive car stereo such as one of those pictured in this month's Power Trip! feature is the possibility that somebody will permanently borrow it one dark night. That's where Incognito steps from the shadows. Incognito is an inexpensive-looking plastic radio cover that instantly turns your snazzy radio/cassette player into a cheaplooking factory installation. And the manufacturer, Incognito Mfg. Works, 881 Richmond Avenue, San Jose, California 95128, is asking only $8.95 for its clever stick-on hoax. That's what we call a real steal!
Wits, wags and practical jokers of all ages will be sprinting to their checkbooks when they read this: For only $4.95, postpaid, Ultimus Toys, P.O. Box 141, Sea Cliff, New York 11579, will send you Shark Alert--a fake shark fin that moves through the water propelled by a battery-powered motor. Order a whole school for your hot tub and watch uptight friends walk on water. It's more fun than a Baby Ruth bar in the swimming pool.
Most portable boats take half an hour to pump up and are about as easy to handle as a hollow log. Not so the Porta-Bote, a puncture-proof polyropylene-hulled floater, available in three lengths (eight, ten and 12 feet), that almost instantly folds to oly four inches flat, thus enabling you to tote it under arm or over head like a surfboard. (The 12-footer weights 59 pounds.) Prices are $695, $795 and $895, respectively, F.O.B. the boat's manufacturer, Porta-Bote International, 1074 Independence Avenue, Mountain View, California 94043. And for an additional $389, you can get a kit that turns your Porta-Bote into a minis ailed skimmer that even Winkin', Blinkin' and Nod would really dig.
Got To Get You Into My Life
Imagine! After A Hard Day's Night, you discover that The Long and Winding Road leads to Beatlegraphics: ten greeting cards inspired by Beatles songs that only The Fool on the Hill wouldn't want to send to his Honey Pic. To order, All You Need Is Love and $10 sent to Lyric Art Productions, P.O. Box 3517, San Rafael, California 94912. If you're broke, Lyric Art says, "We Can Work It Out." Maybe with a little help from your friends.
Now You're Smoking
The classic Victorian smoking jacket, with its quilted-satin collar and cuffs, is designed for fireside, not seaside, but if it's a custom model you want, now's the time to get your tailor cutting. Our tailor for custom vintage threads is Nelson Arriaga, who operates Victoriana Revived from his home at 418 Grand Avenue, Brooklyn, New York 11238. Arriaga's $3 catalog includes everything from Victorian collars and cuffs to nightshirts. At $300, his custom smoking jacket isn't something to spill ashes on.
If last night's cry was "Keep them coming, bartender, until we tell you to stop," then the first sounds you wish to hear the moanin' after may be tones emanating from your Antache, an antiheadache device that works on the principle of biofeedback. Strap on Antache and you hear a high-pitched tone that descends as you relax. Stay relaxed and your headache--let's hope--will disappear. Edmund Scientific, 101 E. Gloucester Pike, Barrington, New Jersey 08007, sells the Antache for $162, postpaid. We tried one on and woke up every dog in town.