Joker, Joy Buzzers, and Jersey

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I’ve just discovered that we actually are just a bunch of ball busters over here in Jersey. The man partly to blame for that is Soren Sorenson Adams.  You can thank his company, S.S Adams Co. for cheap gags such as the stink bomb, itching powder, and my personal favorite, the snake nut can! The S.S Adams Co. is also responsible for creating one of The Joker’s most memorable and ruthless pranks.

Adams was born in Denmark in 1879 and came to the United States at age four. His family moved to Perth Amboy, NJ where his father owned a bar. Sorensen was working as a salesman for a dye company when he discovered that the dyes he was selling had an ingredient that made people sneeze. Sorensen detected which additive created the effect and launched The Cachoo Sneezing Powder Company in Plainfield, NJ. In his Wikipedia entry, it actually claims that there was a “sneezing powder craze that swept the country.” Can you imagine walking around town and everyone is frantically snorting sneezing powder and sneezing like crazy everywhere you turn? That sounds gross. I wouldn’t walk out of the house without a motorcycle helmet on. I hate when people sneeze on me. What the f-ck is a “sneezing powder craze”? Was there actually a time when people thought getting sneezed on was so commonplace that they thought it was much weirder if they WEREN’T getting sneezed on? How did America end this craze is what I want to know. This is proof that Wikipedia is no Funk and Wagnalls.

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Antoine got a little hot under the collar!
Batman’s arch enemy The Joker should be indebted to Adams for providing him with one of his trademark lethal gags. The prototype to what would become known as the Joy Buzzer was designed in 1928. Then, in 1932, Adams copyrighted the final product and, unlike The Joker’s version, it wasn’t deadly. The Joy Buzzer brought S.S Adams Company huge success which lead them to move into a new factory in Neptune, NJ. In addition to the Joy Buzzer, Adams is said to have invented over 600 items, and patented around 40.  Adams has a long list of tricks and puzzles to his credit as well as other novelty items such as the squirting nickel, the money maker, and the bar bug in ice cube. Adams died in Asbury Park, NJ in 1963.
Go to to read more about The S.S Adams Company.

NJ T-Shirt Tuesday 36: Bugs Bunny in Atlantic City

Bugs Bunny Atlantic City
WB Bugs Bunny Atlantic City T-Shirt courtesy of eBay member imasin1978
“Ehhh…what’s up slots? That’s probably what our favorite wabbit Bugs Bunny says when he’s gearing up to play in A.C. I wonder if he rubs his own foot before he hits the tables? On the front of today’s t-shirt, Bugs is all duked out in a tuxedo, but when he hightails it down the Garden State Parkway for a weekend filled with booze, hookers, and baccarat, I’m almost positive Bugs dresses like a total schlub as not to attract attention to himself. Remember, not only live action celebrities strive to conceal their identity in public, but you can bet your ass that anthropomorphic cartoon characters do as well.

You might think that Bugs would get mobbed when visiting a casino in Atlantic City, but actually it’s only the tourists that bother him. You see, Bugs is a Jersey boy. I know what you’re thinking right now. “Oh my Lord! Here he goes again, bragging about how everyone is connected to New Jersey!!!” It is true though, aside from the Easter Bunny, the hometown of the most famous bunny of pop culture is Perth Amboy, NJ! If you don’t believe me, start Googling!

Considering he’s a Jersey Bunny, Bugs is no stranger to the ins and outs of Atlantic City. Keeping with the anonymity thing, Bugs rolls down to A.C in his piece of shit 1996 Ford Aspire which he bought new when he received his huge windfall from signing on to star in Space Jam. It turned out to be quite a good investment since no one really ever thinks to look over at a Ford Aspire on the highway to see if an animated rabbit is driving it. The only downside is that it doesn’t drive too fast. While the Aspire plods down the GSP, adjacent in the EZ Pass Express lane, Road Runner meep meeps right passed him leaving Bugs in a cloud of dust digging for change to pay the toll.

Welcome to Atlantic City! Maybe the initials on this shirt should stand for “We’re Broke,” because that’s what many people are saying when they leave, much like this couple:

DAN: “Umm…honey?’
DAN’S WIFE: “Yes Dear?”
DAN: “I’m not sure how to tell you this, but I gambled away all of little Emma’s college money…but I bought this really cute Bugs Bunny shirt with my comp dollars! It’s a little big, but you can wear it to bed!”
DAN’S WIFE: “WHAT?!?! Are you f-cking kidding me?!?! Do I have to call Rocky and Mugsy to fix this? And what in the name of Speedy Gonzales made you think I’d want a freaking Bugs Bunny t-shirt? You know my favorite is Hippety Hopper you broke bastard!”

*If you did any Googling to see if there is any truth to Bugs hailing from Perth Amboy, I commend you. If you didn’t and you simply don’t believe me, then believe this: Bugs Bunny Land resided at Six Flags Great Adventure in Jackson, NJ from 1988 to 2004. Presently, Six Flags Great Adventure features Bugs Bunny National Park in addition to a couple of rides in the Looney Tunes Seaport. So how do ya like them carrots?

NJ T-Shirt Tuesday 26: The Proprietary House

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Got Ghosts? The Proprietary House Ghost Tour T-Shirt

The Royal Governor’s mansion in Perth Amboy NJ, also known as The Proprietary House, is the only original Governor’s mansion of the original 13 colonies that is still standing today. New Jersey’s last Royal Governor, William Franklin and his wife, lived there from 1774 – 1776. The mansion was built in 1762, and since that time the Proprietary House has taken on different owners who used the mansion for various purposes. After being home to the Governor, it was a hotel, a resort, a home for disabled ministers, their wives and children of deceased ministers. The building also served as apartments, and a public restaurant, until ownership went to the State of New Jersey. The building is on the National Register of Historic Places, and is maintained by the non-profit Proprietary House Association.
As with many historic buildings like this, an abundance of ghostly activity has been reported throughout the years. Thanks to the concentration of paranormal activity there, every Halloween the Proprietary House and many gracious volunteers put on a Ghost Tour through the spooky old mansion. When I say “old mansion,” I’m not talking about a classic haunted mansion you’d see in a classic horror movie, this is a REAL haunted mansion.

Proprietary House, Perth Amboy
Your average volunteer probably couldn’t handle hosting a group of nearly 40 people on a tour through this rickety old mansion, they’d probably launch themselves out the window mid tour out of fear. Naturally, I’m embellishing a bit, but what makes a tour like this more memorable than running like mad through an insane haunted attraction that employs actors wielding fake chainsaws and breathing down your neck, is that you’ll be in the same spots where actual ghosts have walked. After having so many owners and inhabitants, The Proprietary House has no shortage of spirits materializing in it’s haggard halls.
Many prominent paranormal investigators have visited The Proprietary House. The Ghost Hunters have investigated the building on the SyFy Channel and The Halloween Ghost Tour that I took was hosted by psychic Jane Doherty. Jane’s expanding stomach is her trademark on ghost investigations. When she passes through the path of where the spirit has walked, her stomach expands widely. Doherty informed us that the phenomenon still goes unexplained by her Doctors. Currently, she’s working on a reality TV show called Ghost Chicks, a group of female paranormal investigators. For more info on the show click here:

Dunkin’ Donuts in NJ Goes All Out for Halloween!

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Dunkin’ Donuts: get your medium coffee and the shit scared out of you! Many of the Dunkin’ Donuts locations in New Jersey decorate for Halloween, but a relatively small D&D in Perth Amboy, NJ went beyond hanging a few cobwebs and the face of a cardboard witch, they transformed into a virtual haunted house! It’s awesome when the Halloween spirit even spreads to store owners. Enjoy some of the pictures I was able to snap!

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these dudes clearly didn’t get their coffee this morning

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the snake slithering down from the vent was really creepy!

Classic WWF/WWE Event Cards from New Jersey #2


For the 2nd installment of Classic WWF Cards we go back to July 7th, 1988. I didn’t expect much this time since the event took place at a local high school. For those of you not from around here, Perth Amboy isn’t necessarily the ritziest town, but then again it’s not that much better than the swamp the Meadowlands is built on.

Nearly one year later from our last installment of Classic WWF cards, Dangerous Danny Davis is still feuding with George “The Animal” Steele. It goes to show how long feuds used to last and how the WWF would squeeze every drop of excitement out of them that they could. I believe George Steele consumed 433 lbs. of turnbuckle padding during this feud.

Our local son Bam Bam Bigelow vs. Haku is one of those matches that doesn’t sound spectacular at first, but turned out to be one of the more exciting on the card. Those two wrestlers always managed to exceed expectations. When Haku went out on his own I thought, “O h g r e a t h e’ll t a k e t h e w r e stling w o r l d b y st o rm for s u r e.” in my most dry, sarcastic inner tone. I didn’t care much about Haku unless he was tag-teaming with Tama in The Islanders. On the other hand, the late Bam Bam always intrigued me since he carried a lot of weight, but was super quick and agile. Seeing him come down to the ring, menacing, with flames on his outfit and his bald head all tattooed up was quite a sight. His cartwheels and diving headbutts made for an entertaining attraction, although he remained underrated throughout his career.

I never caught one of Leaping Lanny Poffo’s frisbees, and as gay as it sounds, I always wanted to. I don’t know if it was because I just wanted to catch something thrown from a wrestler in the ring, or if it was really because I thought it was a cool concept. Printing a poem he wrote on a frisbee and throwing it out to the crowd: cool or uncool? Nowadays it seems like an insanely silly idea, but at the time it was fun for the kids. Poffo’s later turn as The Genius seemed to have been more successful, but nowhere near the caliber of success that his brother “Macho Man” Randy Savage attained.

The card is finalized with a statement that throws salt in the wound: All NON-Title Matches! Regardless of the lack of headlining WWF superstars, I fondly recall my dad taking me to this event and having an awesome time. We sat only a few rows from the ring with a seat near the entrance, so I got to slap some of the wrestler’s hands. Be quiet…it’s thrilling for a young wrestling fan.

So Long, Burger Express

Was it the giant sign protruding out of the parking lot that says Cheese Fries emblazoned in yellow and black that made it so special? Perhaps it was the fact that sitting inside made you feel like you were back in another era? Even though it was known as Burger Express, one of the most famous items on the menu was their Chicken Sandwich with Cheese Fries. Of course, when you’re drunk at 2 am, any type of food ain’t too shabby. You’re 17 years old and the only place you can really drive to with your friends when everything else is closed is a 24 hour burger joint. For 30 years, Burger Express was just that for many of us. B.E. in Carteret, NJ has been a fast food staple, and a local legend of sorts for the entire local area. Recently we got wind that B.E was being forced to close it’s doors. (Something about the NJ Turnpike authority making Exit 12 bigger.) Last weekend we had our last taste of B.E., at least for a while. The lines were literally out the door. It’s said that the classic Cheese Fries sign will rise up from the ground like that missile in Wyatt’s house and once again rule the fast food cravings of many.

In a similar sense, Sciortino’s Pizzeria (the greatest pizza in history) in Perth Amboy, N.J showed the state that they couldn’t keep a good restaurant down. They were forced to close their doors by the city, they re-opened in South Amboy, and now they’re doing better than ever. I think it has something to do with the obligatory newspaper article hanging on the wall commending the unique cuisine and vintage atmosphere. If an eatery has one of those hanging it might give them the extra fortitude to survive amongst all of the chain restaurants that pop up all over the place which no one bothers to actually ever write about. It’s probably cause they’ve got no personality.