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Tacky Treasures Road Show 2023

Intro - Winners - Also Rans

After a four-year hiatus, the Tacky Treasures Road Show returned to the B&O train station in Silver Spring, Maryland on April 22, 2023. There were 13 fabulously tacky entries, which is about half of what we usually get. There were 31 attendees, a little lower than usual, but more than enough for a good time. It was nice to see so many tacky supporters show up after not having the road show for so long.

During the pandemic, I missed not having the show and tried to make up for it in innovative ways. In November 2020, I held a Virtual Tacky Treasures Road Show using Zoom. Only a small group was invited, because I wanted to test the concept. It was fun, but I was afraid it wouldn't scale to a larger audience. In October 2021, I tried an Outdoor Tacky Treasures Road Show in my backyard. It was also fun, but the weather did not totally cooperate. At one point, the whole group had to retreat under the patio roof and social distancing was temporarily abandoned. After that, I decided to wait until I felt comfortable having the Tacky Treasures Road Show at the train station again.

Before presenting the winners and the also-rans, I'd like to thank the following:

  • Our judges, Bob Cantor and Ellen Schwab,
  • Bob Cantor, who supports what I do in so many ways,
  • All the entrants in the show,
  • Everyone who contributed to the donation basket, and
  • The entire audience, whose participation is what makes the Tacky Treasures Road Show so special.

Key to the photographers' codes on the photos: BC=Bob Cantor; AG=Abbie Grotke. Photos not marked were taken by Julie Mangin.

The Winners

First Place: Italian-inspired anatomically correct pullover sweater

In the 1970s, Kathie Mack visited Italy. While window-shopping in Rome, she saw a sweater in the window that clearly was meant to emphasize the breasts of whomever wore it. Rather than be offended, she thought, "I could crochet one of those." And so she did. It's that kind of thinking that makes for a prize-winning entry in the Tacky Treasures Road Show. Bravo, Kathie!

Kathie's other entry was a memoir written by Madonna's brother. A brother banking on his sister's fame is tacky enough. However, I couldn't help being reminded of Madonna's "Blind Ambition" show, during which she pranced the stage wearing a corset with a conical bra. I wonder how it would have looked with Kathie's sweater over it?

For her prize, Kathie chose a book about the Pink Flamingo lawn ornament.

Jimmy Carter Roach Clip
Jimmy Carter Roach Clip
entered by Andy & Kathryn Porter

Second Place: Jimmy Carter Roach Clip

Ah, the 1970s. I lived through them, and during the last few years, I had an apartment with a bug problem. However, this gadget is for another kind of roach.

This entry reminds me of the Popener. Both it and this roach clip attach an image of an eminent personality to an item of mundane utility. I would have used the roach clip back in the day, but it has no use for me now. On the other hand, a bottle opener still has many uses.

For her prize, Kathryn chose a t-shirt with the slogan, "Who Invited All These Tacky People?" I'm sure she will wear it with pride.

Immaculate Abduction? No, it's religious shell art with some modifications
Immaculate Abduction? No, it's religious shell art with some modifications
entered by Mark Brochman

Third Place: Immaculate Abduction? No, it's religious shell art with some modifications

Shell art, in my opinion, is not inherently tacky. Religious shell art is another matter. I don't think there were seashells where Jesus lived. I have a nice example of a shell art Virgin Mary on my wall right now. Even though the juxtaposition of shells with her image doesn't make sense, it is kind of pretty.

Mark took an image of the crucifixion one step further into the tacky. He appears to have substituted an alien for whatever was there previously, earning himself a prize at the road show.

For his prize, Mark chose a chalkware ashtray of a dachsund smelling its own butt and saying, "I thought I knew all the dogs in town."

Coffee Makes Me Poop
Coffee Makes Me Poop
entered by Abbie Grotke & Denis Malloy

Fourth Place: Coffee Makes Me Poop

I wouldn't know, I'm a tea drinker myself. If I make a truly strong cup of tea, it might work. On the bottom of the mug, it says that it's not microwaveable, and it can't be put in the dishwasher (unless you are trying to get rid of the words). Abbie thought it would be a pain in the (pardon the pun) ass to clean it by hand.

For their prize, Denis selected a decoupaged box with four clowns on the lid and the slogan, "Comfort the Disturbed, Disturb the Comfortable."

Fifth Place: Chicken and Waffles Made With White Chocolate

Why do manufacturers do this? Food that looks like other food doesn't make sense. Fried chicken and waffles (with sparkly syrup, no less) are unhealthy enough. The candy version of these must be even worse. And don't get me started on so-called "white chocolate." It's not chocolate unless it has cocoa solids. Chocolate is brown, so there.

Jean's reward for her entry was a whiskey decanter in the form of a clown playing the banjo and wearing a fez.

The Also-Rans

Dancing Queen
Dancing Queen
A solar-powered novelty purchased in London at a street vendor on the day of the Queen's Funeral
entered by Abbie Grotke

God Save the Dancing Queen!

Bonjour Bitches Socks
Bonjour Bitches Socks
entered by Julie Mangin, Queen of Tacky

After making my entrance as the Queen of Tacky, I felt compelled to enter the socks I was wearing at the time into the show as an homage to my French heritage.

"Big Daddy" creationist religious tract
"Big Daddy" creationist religious tract
entered by Bob Cantor - Cover

This was a creationist religious tract Bob received during a visit to Charleston, South Carolina a few years ago (pre-pandemic). Making fun of science is tacky.

King Soul Phone
King Soul Phone
entered by Chip Py

This item may not actually be tacky. It's a Western Electric "Sculptura Donut" desk phone. I checked eBay, and the listings are in the $40-$90 range. Of course, we don't know what they actually sold for. What may put it in the tacky range is that Chip says it was used as set dressing for a King Soul video.

La Grivoise Naughty Cards
La Grivoise Naughty Cards
entered by Julie Mangin

Grivoise is translated into English as bawdy, naughty; ribald, salacious; saucy. These 1960s era playing cards are tame by today's standards. They were given to me as a wedding shower gift in 2007. Note the question and answer in the photo. It should appeal to the old-time musicians in the audience.

Also entered:

  • Million dollar bill acquired on eBay for a LOT less
  • Poodle Shoot & BBQ event purported to have happened in San Diego

That's all folks!

Copyright © 2000-2020, Julie Mangin. All Rights Reserved. May 1, 2023