Sucking on Eyeballs, Listening to Tapes

Oh yeah. Today the Surfing Pizza is sucking on eyeballs and listening to cassette tapes. But only half of that sentence is true because I have absolutely no way of playing that cassette tape. I haven’t had a cassette player since my double decker Sony boom box in 1992. Soon, CDs came out, and I never hit rewind again.

I found both of these at Dollar Tree, where I discovered you can still find a lot of that low-fi feeling of Halloweens past. Halloween, back when we watched fuzzy recordings of our favorite Halloween specials on VHS. Back when costumes were plastic sheets, with the thing you were supposed to be printed on the front. Back when Halloween decorations were simple flimsy pieces of cardboard you taped to the wall.

If you were getting fancy about it, you used a thumbtack.

But Dollar Tree still has the paper decorations, the El Cheapo costumes, and weirdly enough, cassette tapes. I couldn’t believe it—an actual brand-new, mass-produced cassette tape in 2010 that’s not in a Christian bookstore.

Tapes are way more Halloween-esque than a CD of Halloween sound effects. The CDs always have the worst cheese-ass covers. The tape looks mysterious. And the hiss of the tape would actually enhance the spooky sounds over the crisp, sterile playback of a CD.

I like the illustration at the bottom of the packaging, too:

I like how this guy is turned on and tuned in to the sounds of THRILLER/CHILLER. What an awesome, ominous name, which no doubt alludes to the Michael Jackson hit. Plus, there’s just a feeling of purity about cassette tapes that I love. Just as vinyl records are about warmth and soul, cassettes have this sincerity to them.

But if I haven’t convinced you of the pure awesomeness of this Halloween cassette tape yet, well then I’m about to send you over the edge: It was also only fifty cents. That’s right, fifty cents at the dollar store.

I’ll pause while you pull yourself off the floor and back into your chair.

My mind is always kind of blown when I find things that cost less than a dollar at a dollar store. Just being able to say that, “I bought something for fifty cents at the store where everything is a dollar,” is:

a) ridiculous bragging rights
b) a pick-up line
c) an equivalent of finding the Ark of the Covenant

And come on, it’s tapes, man. They’re bad ass. I feel like busting out the double decker right now. I wish I could review the awesome that’s surely contained within this tape. Alas, I do not own that double decker. I need to get on that.

In the meantime, let’s suck on some eyeballs:

Eyeball suckers! Then I found these at Dollar Tree as well. (They were full price.) I admire the craftsmanship of a well-made eyeball lollypop. The eyeball has a nice mouth feel. It’s actually a high-quality product for a dollar store item. They taste great, too. The flavor reminds me of banana Laffy Taffy and bubble gum.

The ghost dude on the packaging was also cool:

Like I said, I’m totally digging the lo-fi affair of Dollar Tree’s Halloween selection. In a world of Halloween animatronics and realistic-looking severed heads, it’s nice to find regular old cheap crap at the Dollar Tree.

And finding stuff at fifty cents? Well that’s a revelation of biblical proportions.

15 thoughts on “Sucking on Eyeballs, Listening to Tapes

  1. Not only did you find something for 50 cents at the dollar store, but you found a brand new cassette tape, which I is a technology that I was 100% convinced had died over 10 years ago (although I’m too scared to walk into Christian bookstores to verify). I bow before your greatness, sir.

  2. the halloween sound effects album i owned when i was about four was called “sounds to make you shiver” and the text on the cover read, “BLOODCURDLING! TERROR! HORROR!” — and this drove me to distraction, because i felt that “bloodcurdling” did not go with “terror” and “horror” (even though i did not know what an adjective or a noun was. i was more of a grammar freak when i was four than i am now).

  3. I think it’s because bloodcurdling is a really weird participle formed off the present verb of bloodcurdle, which isn’t even a word. but if you just isolate the word curdle, it makes sense.

    terror and horror could have been made into the participles of horrifying and terrifying, but instead they’re nouns.

    this bothers me too.

  4. I like how the dollar store lollipops come in green eye and blue eye varieties. And 50 cents for a cassette? Sweet deal! You need to get on finding a tape deck to play that on.

    Funny thing about cassettes….When I was in my early teens(12-14), I used to love making mix tapes. Not your typical crapfest like most of the people, I like my metal(Pantera, Metallica, Slayer etc). So I would always try to find a way to get blank cassettes. When your that age, you don’t have money, a job or many options. So, anytime we would go to Rye Playland, I would always hit up on of the 2 arcades to win enough skeeball tickets to get a blank cassette. There is no reason for me to give you a warning, but these were the most crappy, lowest of low-fi tapes ever! Even after you record over and over, there’s no change, crap sound and gurgling-like all around, and I must have got one on four separate occasions. Worst 60 tickets spent ever! :(

  5. I have a tape player walkman. Won’t help in thrilling/chilling the neighborhood kids unless you pull out your headphones and put them on every child that walks up to your door on Halloween night. That would be a bit creepy. Yeah.

  6. Holy Crap! I have that tape, but I got it with my family in like 1990. I wonder if they are still packaging the same copies that they made of that tape years ago for sale? I frequently use this tape in live performances and have been doing so since I started making noise music in about 1998.

    I run a cassette tape label(us wacky noise muscians) and have been putting all my work on tapes. It’s the new vinyl.

  7. I still have the CD layer I got for Christmas in 1991, which came with a cassette-playing component. I had to get blank cassettes for a medical transcription college class in 2001. And no surprise cassettes have turned up in thrift stores. But I find it weird that they would actually sell cassettes today at Dollar Tree. I worked there from 2001 (when they came to my town) until 2005 and don’t recall any cassettes ever being sold. VHS tapes I remember being sold then, right when DVD was starting to take over.

  8. I assure you, that tape is a miracle! It may appear new, but we have had THE EXACT SAME TAPE since 1997! I must inquire, does it open up with weird funeral music, segue into crappy thunder, bone munching, clanking, and gasping? I LOVE THIS TAPE WITH THE FEROCITY OF ALL CAPS.

  9. I had Thriller Chiller from back-in-the-day…probably from the early 90’s, and we used to use it in the old family yard haunt every year. I can’t believe they still make it and sell it at the Dollar Store. What an awesome find!

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