The Dollar Tree’s Surprise Bag

Arrrrgh. I was in Bethlehem most of the weekend, and spent tonight writing an article for the site. As I was rapidly approaching the finishing touches, all the electricity went out. For like one split second, for no readily apparent reason other than to teach me a lesson about not saving my documents. I can’t tell you how much I enjoy wasting four hours writing and then having it disappear, especially when I decided to miss half of the Sopranos season finale to do it. Furio would be disappointed. I am disappointed.

In accordance with the rule I made when I still had my crappy old computer that turned off much more frequently, I won’t be able to write this particular article for at least a week, until the memory of the electricity meltdown has waned. Right now, it’s all too painful. ALL TOO PAINFUL. So, in compensation, here’s something a little quicker. I picked up a good amount of items and pics over the weekend that need to be shown to the public, but while I’m much too electronically frustrated at the moment to do a full article, I couldn’t resist telling you about this right away. We hit a ‘Dollar Tree’ in Bethlehem, which is just a fancy schmanzy store name for your regular 99-cent store chock full of crap. Among the crap were many fine goods – boxes of staples, cookies shaped like Dracula heads, and even a few thermoses with ‘SPOILED ROTTEN’ written on ’em surrounded by purple hearts. All of these high brow baubles pale in comparison to the store’s ultimate offering: the ‘A Surprise For A Boy’ bag of mystery.

What could be inside? My mind quickly swarmed with possibilities. I felt around the sealed bag for a clue, and while I could tell that there were numerous things inside, I couldn’t tell quite what those things might be. Perhaps some new keychains? One of those pens with the retractable control panels that let you choose from different colors of ink tubes? Who knew! Who knew what wonders awaited! I snatched up two, and after perusing the rest of the Dollar Tree’s aisles, made a dash for the cashier. She was a lovely human who smelled only somewhat like stagnant dishwater. Once home, I ripped open the bag. What did I find? Take a look…

Wow. This was quite a steal. A pair of sunglasses that wouldn’t fit my cats, with the lenses shaped vaguely like hearts. Two Hot Wheels-inspired toy cars that seemed to disintegrate as I touched them, marked only by the word ‘CHINA.’ A toy pogo stick which shared the same affliction as the cars. Plus, a bunch of dark green balloons! Whoopee! What kid wouldn’t want this stuff? I mean, what were they thinking, hiding all these great things in a paper bag like that? This is treasure personified.

Defeated, I opened up the other bag. Maybe that one would have something better? Nope. In fact, it had the same exact junk. Only the sunglasses in the second bag had yellow lenses. So, in closing, I learned a few lessons today. Number one: save your work. You never know when your computer might explode on you. Number two: don’t buy mysterious grab bags who sell 1987 Quackers snack boxes as a ‘featured item.’ Number three: I don’t really have a third lesson. But nobody ever stops at two. Pretend I had one.

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18 Responses to The Dollar Tree’s Surprise Bag

  1. virgio says:

    I just wanted to be the first one to comment on something….but I do have something to say. I totally dig the whole "Can’t write after you lost what you originally wrote"…It’s too painful. You start writing and you’re thinking. "Damn. This was so much better before."…

  2. Retarded Joe says:

    I share the same policy when the power goes out. My updates turn sour very quick. I actually bought one of those "Suprise for a boy" bags and I got a small pad of paper accompanied by a green marker, some ghetto looking raisins and a blue balloon. I tried to use my small notebook to write down feelings of hate but the damn marker was dried up. Cheap Bag O’ Crap!

  3. Doc says:

    I word… (acronym, actually) UPS! No, not "brown", Uninterruptible Power Supply… I know you might feel violated shelling out cash for what amounts to a battery, but the first time it saves you from the horrors of losing all your work, you feel all nummmy muffin cocoa butter… (MST3K reference, god bless DVD)

  4. kennef says:

    the dollar tree is sent by god. they get pokemon stuff a lot! I got a pokemon neo gamboy carrying case and all of my neo figurines from there,woo!

  5. Nemesis says:

    One of the dollar stores by me (Long Island NY) has Rambo weapons still packaged and in mint condition. Another one had a Batman paperback from the early 90’s. Both very sellable, if eBay didn’t require you to have both a checking account and a credit card. DAMN YOU eBAY!!!!!

  6. frank sinatra says:

    I like the heart shaped glasses. They make me feel like dancing. I want to dance the night away.

  7. asruidet says:

    Hate to complain Matt but i really wish the archive section was up and running, any word on that?

  8. jest says:

    don’t the shades fit your chincilla?

  9. Casey Jones says:

    Heart shaped glasses in the boy bag, eh?

    I think Shawn Michaels must be responsible

  10. corey says:

    i actually used to work at a dollar tree here in providence doing stockroom work. I packaged quite a few of those "surprise" bags. company policy is to fill them with items from opened packages or unsellable goods (read: expired food)so its no surprise that they were the same, or that they were crappy. on the plus side, they wont stop you from stealing. Youd have to take 2000 itmes to make it a felony, and they wont bother for a simple misdemeanor. take revenge for your crappy surprise bags by stealing generic pop rocks and pez flavored popcorn!!!!

  11. Milke says:

    I just lost 30G of stuff after a format went very, VERY wrong, and got the wrong drive, so I’ve got sympathy. I mean, I lost everything, from C64 games to a gig and a half o’Devo. Not that too many people are going to be sympathetic if I put it that way, but hey, maybe our computers just thought the stuff was in bad taste.

  12. Cristofer says:

    Matt, my power was out for four days this week. I didn’t lose anything i was writing, but, man, i was cold. Even 3 blankets, 2 comforters, 4 layers of clothing, and Duraflame logs didn’t help. Brr, i say!

    And i love when you buy this weird stuff from dollar stores and such. I’m poor, and can’t do the same right now, but i’ve always loved buying stuff like this, and some day, when i’m rich, i will do it weekly. I will have the biggest pile of crap ever known to man. It will consist of little plastic frogs that jump when you press on their butts, those rubber monster finger puppets, pencils with big wild heads of hair, and small objects that glow in the dark. GLOW IN THE DARK! Someday, it will all be mine. Until then, i live vicarously through you. Matt, you are my hero.

    What i wouldn’t give for a $50 mystery box of Matt’s old stuff. Maybe i can con someone into buying it for me for Christmas. I can dream, can’t i?

  13. mike says:

    i live near bethlehem, and i go the the dollar tree on a regular basis. yesterday i got boxes of pez flavored popcorn(?!). i stopped getting mystery bags when i got a rubber ball and a bag of chips from 1987 (true!) once. shame. shame on the dollar tree.

  14. corey says:

    the best part about the pez popcorn is that it is flavored (strawberry, orange, lemon, or grape) AND buttered. so not only do you get the joy of lemon flavored popcorn, but its mixed with buttery goodness…mmm…

  15. Jensen Bohren says:

    A UPS box is a GODSEND!

    When you hear it beeping, YOU SAVE THE WORK!

    A gig an’ a half of DeV-O? You poor, poor man! Thankfully, all my Devo is burned onto CD(well, justabout).

    And to those of you who don’t know Devo– shame on you! Download an .mpg of Peek A Boo!


  16. D. says:

    I just bought these items at Dollar
    Tree in Livermore, CA with the
    following results:
    Hot Tomales (candy) – very good
    Stephen’s Festive Favorite cookies – fresh and pretty good – similar to animal crackers.
    Awesome Plummer liquid – doesn’t work.
    Back scrubbing brush – very good.
    Powerhouse Furniture Polish – good.
    Also, a (2) deck package of poker cards and a bottle of Ajax dishliquid. **All pretty good, except the Plummer liquid.

  17. Patrick says:

    I wish my dollar tree had Pez flavored popcorn. In fact they haven’t had anything too good lately.

  18. Anonymous says:

    Besides getting pens that dont work due to the ink being dry, and pencils that erasers are so thick they tear a whole in the paper when you try to erase, I get pretty good cleaners for the house. You know, the ones that should have a skull and crossbone on the bottle because the smell is very toxic.

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