We visited our local Halloween Spirit store tonight, where the strobe lights were a’goin and the overpriced disembodied latex heads were a’flowin. Picked up a few things worth writing about — but we’ll save those for another day.
In the same lot as Spirit was a Rite-Aid, and since pharmacies can be good places to find random seasonal crap, I demanded that our adventure continue.
Now, I’ve been hallo-hunting at this Rite-Aid for years, and I’ve always been certain this particular branch was the most depressing Rite-Aid in Rite-Aid history. I really can’t put my finger on it. It’s a little unorganized, but it isn’t exactly dirty. It’s a little stagnant, but it doesn’t exactly stink. There’s just something about this place that sucks the life out of me, and every time I’ve gone there, my splendid Halloween joy was immediately replaced with this really weird sadness. It doesn’t make for an interesting story to relay on the X-E Blog, but I’m happy to report that the streak is over!
This time, Rite Aid had VELVET TREATS!
Oh man. I sooo don’t have enough gusto to properly define my love and adoration for these wonderful Velvet Treats. Like the legendary Trading Card Treats, they’re another type of those rare “non-candy” items intended to be given out to trick-or-treaters.
We could have a long debate on whether or not costumed kids would enjoy these. I know I would’ve. I absolutely loved getting non-candy items in my treat sack. Money, stickers, worthless plastic doodads…they meant nothing on their own, but they just had this incredible ability to improve the worth of our overall haul.
On the other hand, I never received something called a “Velvet Treat” during my childhood trick-or-treatings. I can picture it now. I would’ve put on a big show, balked at the idea, and maybe even thrown the thing down to the pavement before inviting my masked compatriots to join in my stomps of protest. But I only would’ve done that to save face. On the inside, I’d be really pissed that I blew my chance to go home and color in a velvet Dracula.
No such missed opportunities tonight! Tonight I can color my velvet monsters without fear of sliding down the social ladder! I’ve already hit rockbottom! I wear black socks with sneakers!
For six bucks, you get 18 individually wrapped Velvet Treats, each with a small piece of velvet art and a single marker. For reasons unexplained, the stupid company decided to print the contents of the overall package on each of the individual treat packs: “Contents: 18 Packs of Velvet Art Card and Marker.” Verbatim. Grammatically unsound, and confusing in every which way. That would only make sense if each of the 18 individually wrapped Velvet Treats contained an additional 18 Velvet Treats. And even then, it really wouldn’t.
I wanted to stay true to what an actual trick-or-treater would be dealing with, so I only used a single marker to color in each of the velvet cards. (Each package contains one art card and one marker, remember.) Sad to say, but they definitely didn’t put much of an effort into giving you marker colors that make sense to use with their accompanying art cards. Notice how the card that features nothing but Frankenstein’s head came with a lame lemon yellow? And, if I’m being honest, I swiped the red from another pack to color in the devil guy — he originally came with a blue marker. I don’t know what I want to be for Halloween this year, but it isn’t fucking Andy Warhol.
The technology remains imperfect. The black outlines on the art cards crumble under the pressure of the marker tips, so you have to be especially careful not to scrape off everyone’s facial features as you color. But this is a small price to pay for such gloriously obtuse Halloween art! Check out the small sampling shown above, and note that some of the others were even weirder!
In the upper left, we have Frankenstein’s Monster, now hooded, and with some kind of Inca tattoo across his forehead. At the bottom, we have a spin on a Jekyll/Hyde scenario, which would be almost normal if not for the random crosses nailed to the dude’s wall. And the devil guy is just wacky in general. Velvet Treats are so awesome.
I like them a lot. They’re sort of horrible and few would share my enthusiasm, but they’re definitely something different. If I wasn’t so paranoid about needing to clean egg yolk off of my car on November 1st, I’d totally give these out to trick-or-treaters. They wouldn’t like it, but that’s just because kids are stupid. Maybe these were meant for thirty-year-olds.
*goes back to coloring in his yellow Frankenstein*
EDIT: I was planning to post again today, but I forgot about a family engagement that I must attend. I was flirting with the idea of posting in the late hours, but I’ll likely be full of tequila and not much use to my keyboard. Let’s call this one the SNT. (And also the last day to get your Die-O-Rama entries in. Got a bunch of them over the past 24 hours, and they are insane. I can safely say that it’s going to be very, very difficult to choose the winners.)