I’m taking a break from Christmas today – both on the site and in real life.
See, my “office” (a spare bedroom) is in shambles and has been for years. I’m going to tell you that story in full, but not today. Just know that it involves severe confessions that I would never share if I wasn’t sure that the post would be epic.
My office has become a room that we simply cannot walk into. During this time, I’ve commandeered various other spots in our apartment as my “work station,” which is ideal for no one.
Well, we finally decided to take care of business, and the slow, exhausting process of cleaning out my office has begun.
Given that whole situation, we’ve been extra critical about the rest of our apartment. We have a decent amount of space, but it’s far from limitless, and when the people living in it tend to collect every damn thing in the universe, push comes to shove very quickly.
Don’t get me wrong: If you’re a normal human being, our place looks ridiculous. I’ve got a seven foot Jason Voorhees in my living room, and enough moai statues to make me appear anything but Catholic. Still, given our inclinations, it’s downright sparse.
Over the last few years, I’ve really lost my zeal for hoarding bullshit. As I’ve written before, the stuff you see on X-E nowadays is almost universally purchased because of X-E, and more often than not, I just chuck the stuff as soon as the articles are posted.
But old habits die hard, and even when I’m trying to be on my best behavior, there are still glimpses of the hoarding monkey I was born to be.
Case in point: The Kryptonite Crazy Box.
In 2003, I wrote a filthy tribute to Superman’s Kryptonite Rocks, which were crosses between pet rocks and, uh, kryptonite. Sometime after that, I actually managed to find one of the originals, still in its awesome little box. (Little, yes, but still much larger than it needed to be – you could fit ten of Superman’s rocks in there, easily.)
For years, that box has sat on a DVD shelf in our living room. For exactly as long, I’ve been sneaking small things that I really should’ve thrown away into it. It’s become my crypt for crap that Ms. X surely would’ve tossed on one of her many frustrated bouts of cleaning. Fortunately for me, she never thought to check the Kryptonite box.
Over the past few months especially, as we’ve grown even more critical of what we’ll allow in our apartment, I’ve come to rely on this box in a big way. The stack of shit kept getting taller and taller, finally outgrowing the box. It got the point where I couldn’t even remember half of what I’d put in there to begin with.
Well, in the spirit of growing up and moving on and being something more closely resembling human, today, I’m going to break the seal. The bright side is, I should get a pretty good post out of this.
It’s time to find out exactly what’s been hiding inside my Kryptonite Crazy Box.
Actually, once I poured the contents out and got a good look at the stuff, I realized that I’d never be able to list everything. There was simply too much in there. (And, frankly, I’m not sure the world needs to hear about random coins, or tiny plastic action figure guns.) Instead, we’ll focus on the highlights.
I have no idea what compelled me to put these precise items in the box. There’s no rhyme or reason. Some of it is junk I’ve written about, but most of it is just…well, junk. Of the dozens of things in there, there are only 3 or 4 that were truly were saving.
To fully appreciate the contents, you have to understand just how much nonsense I’ve accumulated through the years. It is absolutely legendary.
I’ll put it this way: Losing my job is no huge concern, because in a pinch, I could eBay my ass off for a solid five years.
With this world of bull surrounding my every moment at home, it's amazing that this was the crud I deemed “box worthy.”
Here we go!
#1: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Honey Ooze!
1st X-E Appearance: Edible Mutagen! (2008)
“Honey Ooze” was a freebie inside boxes of 1991's Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Cereal, and I don’t blame myself one bit for keeping it. As a searching-for-old-things expert, I can confirm that food items are impossibly hard to find. When you get lucky, it’ll rarely happen again. Throwing away my Honey Ooze is as good as saying “I’ll never own Honey Ooze again.”
I’m not ready to say that.
You were supposed to spread it over bowls of TMNT Cereal. It seemed kinda gross in 1991, but it’s way grosser now. The honey has gelatinized into a material nearing tar.
#2: Superman’s Kryptonite Rock!
1st X-E Appearance: Never!
When I wrote about these things all those years ago, I didn’t actually have one on hand, and had to compensate by painting my own rocks. This rock, however, is the real deal. It’s a 100% legitimate Superman’s Kryptonite Rock, and it’s what started the entire Kryptonite Crazy Box fiasco.
Actually, there were two rocks in the box, but it seems I’ve misplaced this one’s partner. Looking at it again, I see that it’s really no different from the rocks I painted myself back in '03. It’s just a rock with green paint on it. Simple, but elegant. Plus, now I can make Superman drop to his knees with a constipated grimace.
#3: Ancient Pack of Spearmint Dentyne Gum!
1st X-E Appearance: The Amazing Bag ‘O Crap! (2003)
For the same reason why I’ve held onto the Honey Ooze, I can never let go of this pack of Dentyne. Vegas odds do not favor me ever finding another pack of Dentyne this old.
How old, you ask? I’m not sure. Let’s say “20 years” and agree that it’s a conservative estimate, because a pack of Dentyne in that package style seems way older than 1991. I’m changing my hypothesis. This gum is four hundred years of age.
Also: I still pronounce "spearmint" as "spear-a-mint." Nothing can change this.
#4: Army Ants!
1st X-E Appearance: More Obscure ‘80s Toys! (2007)
While nowhere near as popular as MUSCLE, Battle Beasts or most of the other lines of “tiny ‘80s action figures,” Army Ants might’ve been my favorite of all. That’s not really true, but I find it so hard to look at ants in soldier uniforms and not call them “#1.”
There were teams of orange and blue Army Ants, who refused to compromise and would only settle their differences by blowing each other up. The real attraction was their aforementioned asses, which could be yanked from the figures and worn on the tip of your tongue, like pen caps.
1st X-E Appearance: The Beetlejuice Gross-Out Meter! (2008)
I was having trouble identifying this one, and my first impulse was to call it one of the small toys that came inside cans of Real Ghostbusters Ecto-Plazm.
I wish I could, because that’s so much more interesting than what it really is: A part of the dumbass Beetlejuice “Gross-Out Meter” from 1990.
See, this is the kind of thing I don’t need. I’ll never use it for anything again, and it’s not like I was some huge fan of those old Beetlejuice figures with the pop-off heads. There’s just no reason to let something like this frick with my feng shui. I’m tossing it.
No I’m not.
Yes I am.
No I’m not.
There’s gotta be a pill for this.
1st X-E Appearance: Madd Matt Vs. Trash Bag Bunch Video! (2011)
“Clutch” is a figure from the Trash Bag Bunch line, as discovered by my pathetic alter ego during his Halloween run of stupid videos. I don’t know why I keep making them. The few pluses are greatly outweighed by the minuses.
But if you’ve seen that Golden Girls rerun where Blanche’s father randomly became a country singer, you’ll probably remember his great speech near the end, which finally gained Blanche's acceptance and support. I can’t remember what his exact reasons were, but let’s assume that they apply to my thing with the videos.
I guess I’m doing it because my wife died and I’m a southerner.
#7: Trick and Boo!
1st X-E Appearance: Halloween Fizz ‘n Find Toys! (2008)
Ugh, again, why am I keeping these? It might not seem like a big deal to you, but when I can say that I own over a hundred vampire figures and not be lying, you see how this might be a problem. I’ve already written about these and never will again, and it isn't as if they’re so neat that my apartment’s entire ambiance would crumble the second I threw them out.
I’m taking a stand. These are getting trashed. Not “eBayed” (code for “keeping”) or donated. TRASHED. And don’t give me that “I’ll Paypal you $5 if you send them to me” crap, because this sort of absolving only works when you do it like a Band-Aid. Give me time to think about this, and Boo will be halfway up my ass even as I’m on my deathbed.
No. No more. Goodbye, Trick and Boo. You still smell like fizzy chemicals.
#8: M. Bison’s Severed Head!
1st X-E Appearance: Never!
The hell? What happened here? I can at least identify where this finds root, as I had a M. Bison figure which, for whatever reason, came with two interchangeable heads. I guess this is the “spare head.”
That doesn’t explain the black marks all over it. Apparently, at some point, I saw fit to draw wear-and-tear all over Bison’s face. I guess a decapitated head just wasn’t gruesome enough. It’s upsetting that I cannot recall doing this – a fact I can only attribute to the “lost time” phenomenon.
That means I was abducted by aliens. I hope they were good to me.
#9: Pumpkin Hatcher Bug!
1st X-E Appearance: Halloween Pumpkin Hatchers! (2011)
One of the latest additions to the Kryptonite Crazy Box, I’m happy to report that I was a good boy: That Pumpkin Hatchers kit came with five monsters, and I tossed all except this one. Now that I read the review again, I kinda wish I’d kept the rest. They were beautiful. I could’ve done such great things to watermelons next summer.
Even so, if I was going to keep just one Pumpkin Hatcher, I don’t know why I chose this one. I mean, one of the others looked like Gorga the Space Monster. I made a really bad call.
#10: Squirmles Worm!
1st X-E Appearance: Squirmles Video! (2008)
It pisses me off that that’s my most watched YouTube video. Nothing else even comes close. I’m lucky if 500 people hit the things I want them to, but the damned Squirmles video has almost 170,000 views.
And because there was stray music playing in the background, I can’t even monetize it.
God, that video was posted in 2008, and nothing I’ve produced since has achieved more than the smallest fraction of its success. It’s a debilitating thought, but at least it’s kept my total upload views from being too depressing. Thank you, you stupid worm.
#11: Tiny Moose Mug!
1st X-E Appearance: X-E’s 2009 Christmas Season Has Begun! (2009)
Hey now, a little Christmas! Now I don’t feel like I’m messing up the formula.
This tiny plastic moose mug was one of the many freebies given away with a special Blu-ray version of Christmas Vacation. (Which was hideously overpriced, especially considering that I still don’t own a Blu-ray player. The standard version was exactly the same in every way, except for the moose mug. But I’d rather own a tiny moose mug than what would've been my seventeenth working copy of Christmas Vacation.)
In the great keep-or-toss debate, I’m in the middle. Do I need it? No, but I spent $40 to get that tiny mug. If I throw this away, all I’ll have to show for that $40 is a poor quality coaster with Beverly D'Angelo’s face on it. Not that that’s nothing.
Maybe I’ll “eBay” it.
#12: Freddy’s Bubble Gum!
1st X-E Appearance: Elm Street Bubble Gum! (2004)
YES! I thought I'd lost this! The corresponding article was no X-E classic, but it’s still one of the coolest things I’ve ever found for the site. “Freddy's Bubble Gum” was and remains just too perfect. It’s so symbolic of my childhood’s material world in every which way. Cartoony but dark, candy but not. It says it all, and I’m so glad that my Kryptonite Crazy Box kept it free of sun damage.
And the gum? Yeah, it’s still in there. But the gum was never the draw. You bought this because it had a “THE FREDDY NOBODY KNOWS” sticker on it.
The meaning behind that phrase still keeps me up at night. Was Topps implying that Freddy was actually a pretty chill guy when the cameras stopped rolling, just as prone to kicking back and chewing gum as he was to murdering children? That sounds delicious.
#13: Bumblebee Figure!
1st X-E Appearance: Transformers Robot Heroes! (2007)
There’s no way I’m keeping this. So long, Bumblebee.
I know I used to gush about Transformers constantly, but the truth is, I fell off that wagon years ago. My love turned into indifference, and here’s the proof: I still haven’t seen any of the Shia-era Transformers movies. Not because I hate Shia, or even because I’m one of those people who can’t stand re-imaginings. I just didn’t care enough to bother.
I’m sure Autobots and Decepticons will still pop up every now and again, but it’ll always be because of what they used to mean to me. There’s no big in-the-now interest. And, honestly, with Bumblebee, there never was. That punchy little dirtbag. Looking back at the review and seeing those cute little Megatron and Soundwave figures, I can’t believe that Bumblebee is the sole survivor.
#14: Weird Ball Mini Collectums!
1st X-E Appearance: You Have Never Heard of Weird Ball Figures! (2007)
I get why I kept these. All “Weird Ball” toys are rare, but these “Mini Collectums” would be impossible to find again. On the other hand, so what? I wasn’t a Weird Ball fanatic.
It’s almost never accurate, but with a lot of this stuff, I get the suspicion that I own things that are the last of their respective kinds. I might be right in the case of the Honey Ooze, but I doubt I’m the only person left with Weird Ball Mini Collectums.
And if I’m not, then the attraction is gone. I don’t need these. I can use that inch of space for, I don’t know, Shrunken Apple Head.
#15: WWE Championship Belt!
1st X-E Appearance: Never!
The only wrestling figure I can recall buying in the past decade is Kamala’s, but to the best of my recollection, he came with a headhunter’s mask – not a title belt. The bright side is that I can now christen Freddy’s Bubble Gum as world champion.
#16: X-E Magazine Clipping!
1st X-E Appearance: X-Entertainment in Stuff Magazine! (2005)
Near the bottom of the Kryptonite Crazy Box was a folded up piece of paper, and I was expecting something so much less exciting than this. This was a score.
The story I related in the original blog entry was 100% true. Stuff Magazine contacted me about featuring The Worst Game Room Ever in an upcoming issue, but they needed a better quality photo than the ones I'd included the article. The original pictures were long gone, so I mocked one up using a Pac-Man arcade cabinet that was conveniently stationed in the break room at one of the production houses I used to shack up with.
I really should make a separate page with all of these little X-E clippings. There had to be at least ten of them. I also have around 50 clippings from my old X-Entertainment column with the Delaware News Journal. (I don’t know why I didn’t plug that more. For years, I was writing three articles a week for that newspaper, under the X-E banner, and I don’t think I mentioned it on the site more than five times.)
And as for the Worst Game Room Ever? Perfect little lesson for me, there. I didn’t go looking for that game room. I was out, living my life, and it found me. So maybe I should stop choosing day trips and vacation destinations just because they seem post-worthy. Live my life, and the posts will come to me.
#17: Autographed Marc Singer “V” Trading Card!
1st X-E Appearance: Never!
I have absolutely no idea where this came from. I became obsessed with all things “V” several years ago, but it never hit the point where I would’ve chased down Marc Singer’s autograph. This is maddening.
At least he signed it in silver. I love silver signatures. I just wish he’d signed a more interesting trading card. Surely there were others depicting Donovan fighting aliens, or manning futuristic ships. Cameraman Donovan is so boring.
#18: Vintage Star Wars Scented Erasers!
1st X-E Appearance: Star Wars Combs, Candles & Other Crap! (2005)
I’m glad I kept these. These Star Wars figure erasers (from 1984, I believe) still smell heavenly. They don’t smell like fruit or candy, but it’s still a great stink. With every whiff, I’m ready to tackle a new day. Plus, it will be interesting to eradicate my mistakes by way of Max Rebo’s elephant head.
Can you blame me for keeping them? I have an Ewok eraser that is older than many of you. There has to be something to that.
#19: Ghost Dots!
1st X-E Appearance: Halloween Ghost Dots! (2007)
During the regrettably short 2007 Halloween Countdown, I introduced “Ghost Dots” – delicious candies that were just begging to have faces. The package showed them with faces, but it lied, so I decided to draw my own on the Dots.
That’s all well and good, but it was also over four years ago, and these are the exact same Dots. Now they’re sticky and partially melted, but the larger issue is that there’s really no reason to keep four-year-old Dots on a shelf in my living room. It’s sick and twisted. I openly admit this.
I’m sending the Dots away. I love them, I really do, but the time has come. If I’m unable to toss slimy, four-year-old candy, I’ll never make a dent in my office. Can I get a moment of silence of Inky and Clyde, please?
#20: SanDisk Memory Card!
1st X-E Appearance: X-Entertainment in Stuff Magazine! (2005)
Finding an old memory card is always such a moment for me. I never know what’s going to be on there, and that’s the thrill. I just wish that memory cards were the standard for digital cameras ten years ago, because I’d kill to reclaim the thousand images that I now only own in three-inch, grainy resized forms.
I wouldn’t have bothered including the memory card here if it was empty. Oh no, there were pictures on it:
The photos are from X-E’s 2008 Christmas season, easily identified by the many photos of Playmobil figures walking around a circus.
Now I remember why I ditched the card. It had a 1.0 gig capacity, and when I was doing that year’s Advent Calendar, it simply wasn’t enough. I’ve since upgraded to beefier memory cards, but the point is, when a 1.0 gig card isn’t enough to hold more than a few days’ worth of Advent Calendar photos, you can probably understand why I dropped that shit like a bad habit.
Still, it’s nice to know that if anyone requested a 20” version of the “Waiterbot yelling at elephants” photo, I could comply.
Kryptonite Crazy Box was pretty awesome. I’ll miss it.
Or maybe I’ve already reassembled it, with total faithfulness to the original layout.
I’ll never tell.
This was fun, but tomorrow, I’m getting back to Christmas. There are only like 17 days of it left.Posted by Matt on 12/07/2011. E-mail me!