Dick Tricks, Obscene Interiors, and Shoparooni

(originally posted 10/18/2008)

If you ever get a chance, you need to check out this store called Shoparooni.  You, yes, whoever you are, reading this, should check it out.  The website is cool, but the store and the owners are cooler.  It’s in this neighborhood that undergoing revitalization (crime-ridden).  Seriously though, there are a bunch of funky little places right around this store.

I saw a few articles about this place in some local publications and it just had such an odd array of merchandise that I needed to go.  I initially tried stopping in at lunch, but they don’t open until 2 pm on weekdays so that didn’t work.  But, one day I stopped on the way home from work – I really needed some funny that day.

The store is gorgeous.  Everything is white and minimalistic and there is a huge skylight in the middle of the store.  So, just walking into the store made me happy.  But then, the assortment of odd products really made me happy.

They have fake plush moustaches!  What could be cooler than that?  The moustaches have eyes.  And if you buy one of the bigger moustaches, the moustaches have moustaches.  The store also has a Cinco de Moustache celebration.  I don’t know what would be involved, but next year, I’m so there.  I had to buy a pocket ‘stache, because it really made me laugh.  So I spent about two weeks taking pictures of this stupid moustache in unexpected places.  All through the grocery store, my husband kept saying, “don’t get us kicked out, I have to shop here!”  Poor guy, covering for me while I put the moustache on the vegetables!  Kept me amused and occupied in a relatively harmless manner for a short while.

There was a really cool assortment of vinyl, collectible dolls.  I’m so into these limited production runs of these bizarro figurines.  I am coveting the Hana dolls by Viva Illustrations.  Unfortunately, not only were they made in small batches (there were only 200 of one of the 4 Hana dolls), they have been out for a while and are a bit hard to find.  Shoparooni has a lot of Kidrobot dolls.  I don’t collect Kidrobot stuff, but the Kidreaper is pretty wicked looking.  Actually, I don’t own any of the vinyl collectibles, and I really shouldn’t start buying them because I spend my money on enough frivolous stuff already.  But I like looking at it.

You have to love the plush poo dollop that they carry.  I might have to buy this as a Christmas present for someone.  How messed up would that be, to give someone a stuffed pile of poop for Christmas?

Aside from the pocket ‘stache, I was compelled to buy both copies of this book called “Dick Tricks”.  Yes, dick as in penis, not dick as in a man’s name.  The Full Title is “Dicktricks: The Art & Science of Genital Sculpturing”.   The book contains instructions and illustrations for making things/formations with one’s penis.  Some of them, I’ve heard of.  Others are clearly impossible, improbable, or totally dangerous.  Take for example, the pose (?) called the Elephant.  I’ve heard of this before.  In fact, my husband said that one night, while out with me and my friends, he was going to get really hammered, perform this “trick” than pass out and crack his head open in the bar.  Totally sexy.  God, everyone would be able to see why I keep him around.  Anyway, the trick is that the guy pulls his penis out through his fly, creating the elephant’s trunk, and pulls his pants pockets inside out, creating the elephant’s ears.  And there you have it, the Elephant.

Then there are the improbable tricks, where the contortions required to perform the tricks could only be accomplished by the most “gifted” of men.  And then there is the totally dangerous, such as the Olympic Torch.  This trick requires a man to set his pubes on fire.  While I’m sure I could convince a guy or two to try this for me, I don’t want to see it.  The book contains 35 tricks.  The best part is the writing style; it’s written like a serious instructional guide.  And the tricks are rated based on difficulty!  So strange.  I’m going to give my two copies as gifts, but I have no idea who I’m going to give them to.  So many male friends and relatives, only two copies of the book.

The book that I didn’t buy was called Obscene Interiors.  The authors took photos from gay dating websites, grayed out the men in the photos and then critiqued the rooms in the pictures.  There are silhouettes where you can see the outline of the cowboy hat and one where the man was lying on the floor with his legs spread and in the air.  And the text that goes along with the pictures just ignores the men.  It is the funniest damn thing. The owner was showing me and laughing with me.

The store carries funky t-shirts and shoes, jewelry, greeting cards, and other tchotchkes.  And, according to an article I read just the other day (I literally mean just the other day, Wednesday I think, not the just the other day that people use when they want to express some vague, undefined period in the past – it could have been 42 years before and some people will still attempt to convey this by using the phrase “just the other day”) about the store and it’s owners, the husband (owners are husband and wife) is some hardcore, totally skilled yo-yo-er.  Apparently he was dong his thing on the Warped Tour at one point.  I would love to see that!

I swear I’m not in anyway affiliated with this store.  I just love stuff that’s just slightly (or sometimes entirely) off-kilter.  And just about everything at this place is at least a little bit off.  I really need this place to be open on my lunch hour, because right now if I need some retail therapy at lunch, I have been heading over to Ambiance (alright, the Obama condoms are funny and the nipple cream was interesting but not very effective, I didn’t feel any tingling at all) but I’m getting bored with that store.  I guess I could stop being uptight and finally visit Adult Mart when I’m bored, but I’m just not ready to make that leap (my husband insists that there’s no difference between Ambiance and Adult Mart, but in my mind there is). Plus, I’d be embarrassed if someone from work saw me coming out of there.  Maybe I’ll go and use my pocket ‘stache as a disguise, no one will recognize me then (um, that’s sarcasm, you know, just in case you’re thick and didn’t pick up on that).

Actually, it’s probably a very good thing that Shoparooni isn’t open during lunch, I would be coveting (and then of course eventually buying) all kinds of strange toys and t-shirts and shoes. Funky t-shirts and funky shoes.  Those are two of my favorite things.

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