But alas! We here at Torrential Equilibrium are devoted to upholding our code of laziness and half-hearted reviews. We also hate that fact that we are such poor typers and have to fix like every second word. It literally doubles article production time to stamp out all those lieks and smoethigns.
But alas again! I’ve gotten off track. Story time, young ones.
A long, long time ago – June 30th of 2006, to be precise – I was in the town of Lac Du Bonnet to attend one “Canada Day Parade and Festival.” The parade was lackluster, to say the least. The average age of the participating people was “deceased” and the various “Miss Whatever” girls were all fat. It wasn’t cool. The festival part was much better, with rides, food, and those horribly addictive carnival games that promise great prizes, but rarely leave you with anything more than an armful of shitty little stuffed animals.
It was only on the way out that I realized that my beloved The Bargain Shop had closed down. It was there that I had acquired many great things, such as Nintendo Surprises and the Dick Turtle surprise bags. I was shocked and hurt. My soul was crushed. I tuned around slowly and dramatically, as if out of a movie. Then I looked up and saw it. It was The Bargain Shop! Only it had been freed of its strip-mall confines and moved into its very own at-least-10x-as-big building!
The Gods God was smiling on me that day, and I happily entered the haven that was the huge new The Bargain Shop.
Long story short, I figured I was going to find a new surprise bag of some sort. I bet you figured that too. And if you did, you’d be wrong. Wrong like a guy who thinks metal sucks. ‘Cause metal is awesome.
The other thing that really compelled me to pick up a surprise cone was the price. Five bucks for the thing. Five bucks. It sounds like a total rip-off, and most of me assumed it would be, but a small part of me was completely reassured that the high price tag meant either good stuff inside or at least a shit-ton of crappy stuff. I was clearly more than ready to take my chances. After all, I’ve won several trophies for unnecessary/compulsive spending.
So that’s that, and here we are. I cracked this baby open the day I got home, and the pictures have been sitting on my hard drive collecting cyberdust up until now. It just seemed like such a monumental task, and like I said earlier, me lazy. But now I’ve sat down and begun to write, so I might as well get it all done. Then again, even if I stopped here and came back to it three months later, you’d never know, now would you?
I just noticed that the cone seems to be mostly in French. I mean, yeah, “surprise cone” is English, but it’s only got “bonbon et jouets” all over it. nowhere do we see a satisfying English “candy and toys” exclamation. What if an Anglophone has never seen a surprise bag before and wonders just what the surprise is supposed to be? He’ll probably think there’s a hooker in there or something and the surprise is which STDs she has.
The picture is unacceptably blurry, but you can make out a small football, a styrofoam airplane toy, various stickers and junk. And wonders of wonders! What is that which I spy with my little eye? Could it be… a coozy? I didn’t even notice that one there until I went to open the thing. For various reasons, having a coozy intended for a small child would be like a dream come true. Well, perhaps less magical than that, but it would still be neat. I still have yet to acquire a coozy of any description, and I was certainly hoping the surprise cone could remedy that problem.
…Oh man, I just got the awesomest idea. Heh heh heh. Awesome. Damn, this article just keeps getting more and more inappropriate.
You know what’s the worst part of it all? Now I’ve got a colouring book, but I haven’t got a crayon to colour in it with! Whatever shall I do?
Seriously though, this is crap. Four crayons? What the snap am I going to be able to colour with four crayons? Unless they can change colour at a moment’s notice, I just don’t think they’re going to be cutting any kind of mustard. And of course it’s just the primary colours and green to boot. So if I were to colour Caillou, I’d have to make him either yellow or red, and that wouldn’t be ethnically correct. You can’t imagine the anger I felt when they made The Honeymooners black. Not that I’m racist, but you can’t arbitrarily change an established character’s race. Jackie Gleason was probably rolling over in his grave when they announced that. So the point I’m trying to make is that there’s no way in Hell that I’m going to be turning Caillou into a rice picker or a feather head.
The way I see this thing, you put the elastic band on your finger, pull the dart back, and then let ‘er fly. But it usually just crashes into my finger and then dangles there while onlookers laugh and point. But It could very well just be me. I have a bad track record of using hand-powered projectiles such as rubber bands, darts, and boomerangs. The foam dart is clearly no exception.
I’d like to take a little stop here to mention that we’re about halfway through the article. At least as far as pictures go. I don’t know what lies in store for us where a word count is concerned, but unless I think up another relevant story to tell, it’s probably going to wrap up quicker than it started. Of course, I could go all Something Awful and talk about things that are only vaguely related, but I don’t really have the imagination required for that kind of thing. I mean, I guess surprise bags are kind of like Final Fantasy games in that they’ve always got different stuff in them but in essence they’re all the same, and even though they all kinda suck I keep playing them. But I don’t think I could draw that out for three and a half paragraphs.
So now that I’ve buffed up my word count quite nicely, it’s back to reviewing this surprise cone. Which is not at all like Street Fighter, because Street Fighter is always awesome.
So anyhow, I had a farkload of these planes back in my day. Not all at once, of course. The things are made of styrofoam, after all. This is their weakpoint, and will often lead to massive damage incurred by little boys playing a bit too rough. sometimes they don’t even make it past the building stage, when said little boys get frustrated that the wings won’t go in as easily as they assumed and end up crushing the thing in a fit of rage. Sometimes I still cry at night, thinking about my poor styrofoam planes and how they never really had a chance at life, being thoroughly crushed by pudgy, cotton candy-stained fingers. I am slightly comforted by the fact that these planes haven’t changed at all since my childhood. Even the packaging is designed the exact same way. In a world that is so unstable and constantly changing, it’s nice to know that some things will always stay the same.
I’m not currently sure where this particular plane ended up. A quick scan of my surroundings confirms that maybe I should turn the lights on, but the light switch is like halfway across the room, and I’ll be damned if I’m getting up.
“What the Snuckey is this?”
“I couldn’t tell you, buddy” I replied nonchalantly.
“Do you think it has anything to do with that dumb cup?”
“Probably, but I really don’t care.”
So guess what. I was a little off about the whole glowing cup deal. Turns out the cup itself isn’t s’posed to glow, but you’ve gotta pop these dumb glowsticks into the rim on the bottom. Yeah, dumb. And they’re those lame snappy ones that all the losers bring to their lame rave parties. Ugh. Just having these things in my possession makes me feel so inferior.
Well I don’t know what else to say about the penguin marker/weeble. it’s yellow, which makes it undesirable and impractical. I guess you could use it as a highlighter, but if you’re going to be toting it around, the penguin shape doesn’t lend itself very well to the task. I like it as a decoration, but beyond that it’s pretty useless. The second best thing in the cone by far, but only because it’s too adorable to dispose of. Even that’s cut really close too, just look at the sloppy-ass paint job. It’s a little disheartening, to say the least.
Thankfully, that’s the end of that little endeavor. Not that I don’t appreciate the styrofoam plane and the penguin weeble/marker, but having to slog through the rest of that crap to get to them wasn’t easy. Or enjoyable. Particularly the candy. At least the candy in some surprise bags is so terrible that it warrants discussion on its own. The crap in this one was just plain boring. And shitty. I mean seriously, who the snap like sour stuff? It’s all about spicy, my friends. If it’s not pastry or it doesn’t cause a ring of fire, it’s not worth eating, I say.
I would also like to mention that my youngest brother also bought a surprise cone. The only actual surprise came from the fact that we both got the exact same junk. Okay, to be fair we got planes with different designs, but that just barely counts. So, you know, if you see a surprise cone that looks the same as this one out there somewhere, don’t even bother looking twice. I bet they’re all the same, and the only difference is that the girl cone has a toy pony or something instead of a plane. The dart is probably still in the girl cone too. While it may be intended to be a toy weapon, I’m sure girls could find some way to appreciate it. Please excuse me for that, it slipped my mind for a moment that these things are meant for three-to-ten year olds, and as such, that innuendo there is totally inappropriate. It’s totally awesome if you imagine Marisa Miller buying it though.
In conclusion, the surprise cone was totally not worth five bucks. I normally don’t mind spending a dollar on a surprise bag for a cheap thrill, but five for this load of junk? I don’t think so. The plane alone would have only run me like 50 cents, and I could have lived my life without the penguin markeeble. It’s a sham and a half, that’s what it is.
As a thrilling epilogue to my story, I should note that there was a lot of other great stuff in the new The Bargain Shop like boxes of salt water taffy for 50 cents and all-day suckers. There’s awful computer games and movies just itching to be reviewed too, but my The Bargain Shop budget was pretty much shot by the surprise cone. It’s a mistake I will be sure never to make again. Until they redesign the cone and I’m fooled into thinking it’s a new cone, allured by the possibility that this new one might contain a coozy, and then when I get home and open it and see that it’s all the same junk at which point my eyes fill with liquid rage and I snap and take down as many people with me as I can. That’ll be the day…