When it comes to kitsch, there’s always an excellent chance of it thriving in a 99¢ store. Even more so when it’s a penny less:

Once it’s one cent less than the kitsch standard, there’s a guaranteed level of cuckoo-ness going on in many of the specially made products that suck up shelf space like muscles on a reef at these places. There’s so much wrong about this particular product that makes it makes my eyeballs spin.  First, I always love when essential information about the capabilities of the product are hidden once the product is inserted in its plastic packaging.

Also nice when the product name itself is covered once the product is secure in the package.

Even better is when the product in use is illustrated and there’s no clear connection between the graphic and the product.  I don’t know what this leather-like attache case and accesories are supposed to show about the prowess of contact cement.  Was the entire set fabricated using it?

Even better is the implication of the second “use”: gluing together an entire dining room set!

The directions on the back stress  to always avoid “cintact” with eyes.

As far as the rest of the jumble in the directions, I thought I was buying contact cement and not plaster…

The uses of plaster and contact cement are quite different. And I didn’t know that there was a materials such as “wood leather” or “cotton yamed”.  And I’m always wild about a misplaced comma as in “same or, various substances”. All of which leads me to conclude that this kitsch find couldn’t be more of this if it tried:

One of my favorite genres of kitsch is products from China with translations that have run hideously amuck. It’s not even that the products are bad – though in this case I may have hit the jackpot – so much as the language and packaging used to promote them is so confused as to be nonsensical. In this case, the Bath Thing is a “New century Sanitarian thing”.

The only definition I could find of Sanitarian is “environmental health specialists, (who) enforce government regulations and advise and educate clients.” I’m pretty sure that one of those people are not living inside this package. But so confident is the manufacturer of the Bath Thing that their messaging is clear, the back of the label, the only other place where anything about the product is written, is exactly the same as the front, with scant information about the product inside.

Another exceptional thing about the Bath Thing is that ‘Thing’ is clearly singular yet there are two thingS inside the package. First there’s this little netted Thing that I can’t imagine would be anything other than annoying when dragged over your skin:

Then there’s this  rubber thong looking Thing:

The weave on the flip side seems a little far apart to have loofah effectiveness:

So sure was the manufacturer that the product would sell itself that neither one of the Things are pictured on the label. Unless the almost- transparent mound of soapsuds this gal’s right hand is poking into is the thong Thing and the clearly airbrushed soapy mess around her left hand is the netted Thing.

It’s unbelievable to me that a manufacturer who was so confident about their product would identify themselves nowhere on the product. Then again, it’s/they’re the Bath Thing/s and once it’s/they’re on the shelves at a 99¢ store, all the better if you’re a Kitsch lover like me!


The concept of this “Foaming  Musical Hand Soap for Kids!” is really crazy. Theoretically kids can “wash & learn” at the same time. But the biggest thing they’re going to learn is that the quality of the speaker in this thing is so poor that the only one who could possibly hear the music clearly is an insect who somehow slipped through one of the speaker holes and got trapped in the goo, forced to listen to the nearly inaudible and annoying little gremlin voice singing something about washing around your face and continuously spelling S-O–A.–P.


Honestly, you have to hover so close to the bottle to hear anything that all most kids are going to get is a big squirt of soap in their mouths. In this case, it’s berry scented so perhaps there’s some nutritional value to it.


Not having kids perhaps this isn’t as novel of product as I think it is. What’s really novel these days though is having a hit in the music industry. I have a big fat hit right now, “Jungle Animal” by Pomplamoose and Allee Willis, but we made and released it independently so relatively few coins will accompany the constant viewing of the song on YouTube or listening to it on itunes or playing the game on my site. This is because I “washed my hands” of the music industry long ago.


I was much happier making music on my own so total creative control stayed with me and whoever I wrote with. The practice of getting songs on the radio often felt too “dirty” for my tastes, not to mention I thought most people in the industry were deaf, dumb and blind to the Internet throughout much of the 90’s, during which time had they not been so arrogant and clueless they would’ve had a chance to help define the medium and figure out how to derive income from it as the public more and more obtained their music for free. No one should ever turn their back on technology.


This was a big topic of discussion last night as I attended the ASCAP Love Fest, an annual party thrown to celebrate the ASCAP songwriters, of which I’m not one – I’m BMI – but have been lucky enough to be included in on the festivities every year as I write with so many ASCAP writers and love a lot of the people who work there.

I had an incredible time at the party because I go so far back with so many people there. The first person I bumped into was the first singer who ever heard a song of mine. In 1972, Bette Midler came to my apartment in Manhattan to hear the first two songs I ever wrote, “Childstar” and “Ain’t No Man Worth It”. She actually rehearsed both of them for her show but it wasn’t until years later with a song called “One More Round” that I finally got on one of her albums. I totally associate my first baby steps into show business with Bette. She was the first big global star that came out of my first show biz clique and that made it very exciting for all the rest of us as we struggled along to fame.


I know that photo’s a little blurry but I liked it better than this one:


Here I am with Allan Rich, Jason Gould and Marsha Malamet.


I go as far back with Allan and Marsha as I do Bette. By night I was the hat check girl at Catch a Rising Star which, along with the Improv, was the biggest comedy club in NY. By day, I slapped posters on telephone poles for the acts at Reno Sweeney, the most popular cabaret at the time. Allan sang at both clubs and Marsha played piano. When I moved to LA in 1976 I left my hat checking gig to Marsha. A few years later when Allan finally moved to LA he got his big break when he sold a pair of shoes to Barry Manilow, who we all knew from when he played for Bette, and slipped him a cassette with some of his songs on it.

Here I am with Holly Palmer, aka Cheesecake of Bubbles & Cheesecake, and Jon Lind, who I co-wrote “Boogie Wonderland” with.


I’m very proud of my technique of being able to take a photo with three people in it without having to ask someone I don’t know to take the photo.  It works a little better with two people in it though as I can hold my arms a little lower:


Stephen Bishop and I both had an excellent run of hits in the 80’s. Every time we went to a big songwriting event they seated us at the same table because we were always the sharpest dressers.


Having seen so many old friends I’m really glad that before I left the house I smacked the top of my Soap Tunes – not because I got to hear the annoying, barely audible song again but to make sure I was clean and smelling nice.  The part about using the soap is true but the part about smelling nice isn’t. As many people as I hugged last night I was completely aware that I smelled like a car air freshener the whole time. Thank God they all knew me for decades and know that a) I can write a good song and b) I’m capable of not smelling like a fruit orchard.



I love Japanese convenience products born out of blended east and west needs and Pop Culture, especially ones by way of Vietnam as this toilet product is. In this case, not only are the translations awkward but the product is too. You affix these strips that look somewhere between oversized sanitary pads and shoe inserts on the rim of your toilet seat and then peel them off after you remove your “bottom”, only to use them again the next time you rest on the porcelain throne. Apparently, this saves you the trouble of washing the toilet seat or worrying that you’re going to be sitting on someone else’s nasty stuff. I, personally, would still be concerned as I don’t want to be bending over the facilities trying to flick up the end of some reusable Paper Toilet Seat Cover Paste. And what does that name mean anyway?


Are the pads/shoe inserts that are looking more and more like strips of sticky fly paper a toilet seat cover or are they paste? I don’t know that I want to be hovering over the bowl to come to a final decision. Besides, the full name of the product appears to be Paper Toilet Seat Cover Paste Well Type with Pattern. This would take an entire day of sitting on the toilet to try and figure out and I have a feeling that more solid fact would end up in the toilet than in my head.

One of my favorite things about this product is the slogan that equates a toilet with life itself.


I haven’t really found that there’s that direct of a relationship between the two.

“Unlike a conventional toilet seat, installation and removal is very easy.”


Well, uh, yeah, a toilet seat is an actual part with some weight and mechanics involved ensuring functionality and stability whereas the Paper Toilet Seat Cover Paste Well Type with Pattern is just two confusing strips of paper that forces one to make contact with the actual toilet seat while assuming that perhaps the person whose “bottom” occupied it before you did not have the benefit of owning their own Paper Toilet Seat Cover Paste Well Type with Pattern. This is not where I would want to be placing my hands to retrieve my fly strips.


For cleaning, just rinse with warm water. However, to most efficiently dry your seat covers one must find a “spin-drier” as opposed to using “a drying machine”.


What is a drying machine? A microwave? I don’t know about you but I don’t want anything I just pulled off my toilet anywhere near where I tweak my food.

It also says that if you choose natural drying you must keep the strips in the shade, paying attention “not to allow dust on the backside”.


It seems to me that the whole point of the strips in the first place is “not to allow dust on the backside”.

Further instructions for correct usage of Paper Toilet Seat Cover Paste Well Type with Pattern prove just as confusing as the name of the product itself. “Do not use clippers since use of such items results in traces on the absorption surfaces”.


I would be constipated by the time I really figured out what that meant.

And then there’s this: “be careful when washing or drying the sheets with the absorption surfaces facing each other that they do not permanently adhere together”.


Am I supposed to get inside the spin-dryer with the strips in order to prevent this?

All in all though I’m happy to own the Paper Toilet Seat Cover Paste Well Type with Pattern as it goes very nicely with what’s hugging my toilet right now, the “Warm Cover Of Toilet Bowl”, another toilet sensation from the Orient.



Thank you, aKitschionado Margaret Lewis, for your generous contribution of one Paper Toilet Seat Cover Paste Well Type with Pattern to The Allee Willis Museum Of Kitsch at AWMOK.com!


If one were to pick up doing crafts as a hobby one of the easiest things to make would surely be this happy little gal toilet paper cozy. A ratty piece of fake fur stitched together with a plastic doll head and adorned, if you’re lucky, with a little satin bow and some kind of cheap necklace, usually with the glue the ‘jewels’ are nesting in sloppily poking out of the sides.

I first saw this particular style in the 1970s when fake fur surged in popularity. Through the years the hairstyles became more ornate and streak filled. I’ve received so many of these as gifts I can’t tell you as it’s surely an item that no one can mistake for anything other than kitsch. I like them because all the toilet girls look so happy.


I’m not sure why toilet paper cozies became so popular as it’s easy enough to leave a roll of toilet paper in its plastic cover until ready for use. I understand that one aspires to make such a product look more attractive in the bathroom for guests but I still think most guests would pull their host aside to tell them they’re running out of toilet paper before they would disrupt the decorations in the bathroom to see if perhaps a roll of the white stuff was hiding under the head.

Just as popular as the doll’s head toilet paper cozy is the full doll cozy. 1950’s crafts books were filled with instructions for how to make these:


A good friend of mine has quite a collection of the gals in his bathroom:


But toilet paper cozies come in all shapes and forms. Here are some I found from a just few seconds of surfing the web:

toilet-paper-cozy-sushi toilet-paper-cozy-3 TP Cozy-6 TP Cozy-3 TP-Cozy-5

I’m rarely the type to think anyone has gone too far but in this case I think the toilet paper cozy fabricator may have done just that:


Should you not have time to take up crafting on your own, this site even sells gorgeous toilet paper and matching tissue box wardrobe:


Whatever the case, toilet paper cozies seem to be something that almost anyone can make that are sure to bring a sparkle to the bathroom even if you haven’t been down on your hands and knees all day scrubbing it clean.



I’m not sure what flavor of liquid came in this bottle but the Sweetie logo featuring an early ’50s extra-pert secretarial type sucking on a straw that looks more like a striped cigarette would have had me buying this drink no matter what it tasted like.  Beautifully designed with the concentric circles on the pyro-glazed logo echoing the raised flanges of glass above it, the aesthetic effects of this squat little 8″ Sweetie bottle would make anything taste good.


There had to have been at least two flavors of Sweetie soda as some of the bottles are only two colors with the red and white reversed in the graphics. I think Sweetie’s hairstyle is shown off far better in red.


Even with nothing in it the Sweetie bottle weighs over a pound. Which means that no matter what it tasted like Sweetie was one heavy drink!

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Ten years old and Italian, this diver plunger is only about half the size of a normal one but performs his duties ably. Although I’m not about to plunge it into a toilet because of its diminutive size, it rests under the bathroom sink where my cat, Niblet, loves to drink water and waits patiently for hours until I dole out a few drips. As cute as that is, her fur eventually clogs the pipes and it’s then I reach for the diver, always perfectly poised to make the plunge. He delivers every time!

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This goldplated bejeweled hunk of plastic air freshener is without question the greatest of its ilk I’ve ever seen.  I, thank God, had the presence of mind to buy the entire stock of two when I saw them at a Pic ‘N Save in the mid-90s and one rode around on the dash of my ’55 Studebaker Commander until I just couldn’t take the glut of sticky sweet strawberry fumes any more.  Which was a blessing in disguise as I almost killed myself several times when the glare from the sparkling gold multifaceted fist almost blinded me.


Made  in Taiwan by Allison Industries, this “powerful car and home air freshener” is activated by holding the wrist with one hand,  unscrewing the fist with the other and exposing the openings in the bling to adjust the amount of fumes I mean fragrance you want choking I mean filling the air.


One jewel was missing from both fists though on different fingers and no jewel was loose shaking around in either box.


It’s amazing to me that someone would pilfer a jewel leaving these beautiful fists behind but I’m sure glad they did or I wouldn’t have their beauty (and stench) to behold today.

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Anyone who knows me knows I love Reality TV.  Of all the contestants on all the nutty dating shows I went especially nuts over Chance and Real, aka Ahmad and Kamal Givens aka The Stallionaires, real-life brothers and finalists 2 and 3 on season one of VH-1’s I Love New York. I liked them so much that I co-wrote and co- produced the theme song,  “Does She Love Me”, to their spin-off VH-1 show, Real Chance of Love, with them and younger brother, Micah.

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As trillions of young girls will tell you, Real is known for his long silky locks.


So much so that last week he launched his Real Silk line of hair care products at the salon that bears his name in Long Beach.


After an hour of tooling up and down Lakewood Blvd. trying to make sense of the googlemap directions I finally made it to the salon minutes before the opening was over where I was meeting my fabulous friend and Borat hooker, Luenell.


Normally I would have been pissed arriving this late anywhere but I was very happy to find this giant bunny building while I was busy being lost.


These are four of the funniest people I know. And we all have great hair.

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You can too if you pop down the coin for a bottle of this:

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In the kountry of Kitsch, there’s no higher honor bestowed upon a President than that of being commemorated as a Chia Pet. Now Chia Obama joins Chia Washington and Chia Lincoln in achieving that honor.

This Special Edition “Chia Obama” comes in two different moods, Chia Obama “Happy” and Chia Obama “Determined”.


Both come with with enough seed packets for three separate plantings with full growth expected in one to two weeks.


My hope on this President’s Day is that things like job creation, health care and other aspirations of Actual Obama get the watering and tender lovin’ care they deserve so they can achieve full growth too.  Come on now and hail to the Ch-Ch-Ch- Chief!

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