Thursday, November 18, 2010

The Sassy Curmudgeon's Holiday Gift Guide Part Deux: Moonlight (And Vibrators) in Vermont

This is a repost from last winter, but I just got the Vermont Country Store catalog in the mail and I seriously think I will be doing all my shopping there this year. Get excited, friends and family!

A few years ago, I was looking to buy Jeff a Monchichi doll for Christmas (since that was his childhood nickname—seriously, he was born with a full pelt of fur head of hair), and I stumbled upon the website for The Vermont Country Store. Not only did I get the Monchichi, I also bought like six packages of delicious lebkuchen—German cookies that are like pillowy discs of chocolate-covered soft gingerbread. The site was weird and wonderful, selling everything from maple syrup to underwear to sock monkeys. And thanks to my purchase, I got on their mailing list.

Isn't it magical? I mean, look at that table of contents:


Move over, Wal-Mart!

Seriously, check out some of the insane goodies on sale:

I must disagree that nothing delights a young child like a Jack-in-the-box (nothing HORRIFIES a young child... well, me, anyway, more than the tinkling keys of Pop! Goes the Weasel as I wait for a freakish clown to spring into my face) but I can vouch that nothing delights an adult more than chocolate-covered booze!

They also sell my favorite cookies: The mealy, almond-flavored, neon-colored bars you are most likely to find rotting away on a dusty shelf in an Italian bakery. Yummy. (They age like fine wine; dust only adds to the flavor.)

While we're on the subject of old, musty candy, take a gander at this:

Skybar! Zagnut! Walnettos! If this isn't the cutest little country store I've ever seen, I'll eat...

Well, I'll eat this hat.

Um, a felt fedora with an attached burka? YES, PLEASE, SANTA.

Haven't left your house since the Ford administration? How about a record player, a cassette recorder, a handheld slide viewer, or a typewriter?

Watch your slides while you listen to Benny Goodman 45s and type an angry letter to the Beatles for wearing their goddamn hair so long and smoking too much reefer. Good times!

Another blast from the past:

Man, how much would someone make to do a remake of this for hipsters? I'd call it "Fuck! Your Hair Smells Like Magic." Potential investors may contact me in the comments.

You've got to love a store that sells cassette players, children's toys, cookies, and ...

Vibrators! Accompanied by a photo of a sexually robust Wilford Brimley doppelganger. He knows that you'd rather order your "German massager" along with your ribbon candy from a nice family establishment instead of "run down to Sex World or visit some uncomfortable website." And fucking how, dude.

Of course, who needs sex toys when you can wear scents like Woodhue, Tigress, and Ben Hur?

Rrrrowr. There's also one called "Persian Wood." Snicker.

Here's something you don't see everyday: a miniature cast iron stove!

Here's the best part of the description: The set "includes a miniature iron cooking pot, kettle, frying pan, spatula, griddle holder and coal bucket that you can arrange to taste." [Emphasis mine]. I like to imagine someone coming over to my house and seeing my miniature cast iron stove and going, "Oh...oh my GOD. What were you THINKING putting the kettle on the LEFT BURNER??? YOU DISGUST ME." and then storming out.

Anyway, yeah. The Vermont Country Store. I guarantee that you'll find something awesome—and hopefully kind of inappropriate—for your loved ones within its bizarre warehouse. I recommend a gift basket consisting of Ben Hur cologne, a package of Walnettos, a Hitachi Magic Wand, and a handheld slide viewer. Keep that special someone guessing this Christmas.


  1. Pure awesomeness. :)

  2. I'm subscribing immediately.

  3. hahahahaha hat burka

  4. Dear Lord this stuff is expensive! I'll bet the makers of the Big Ben alarm clock would have fallen over laughing if someone had told them that one day people would be paying $40 for their creation. Ditto with the shampoo.

    It's so weird how much I want it all anyway. :-/

  5. every summer when I was a kid we'd go to a lake cabin in Vermont, and then proceed to wheedle our parents incessantly until they finally let us go to The Vermont Country Store where we were each allowed to fill an entire (small) paper sack with penny candy (and this was in the 70s and 80s, not in the 50s). I went back a couple years ago - looks exactly the same. They're my mother's go-to source for old-fashioned but excellent kitchen items like the very easy non-electric and not-a-stone-are-you-crazy knife sharpener, and also my flour sifter and nut chopper. I adore the Vermont Country Store!

  6. Ironically my grandmother and my Mom love this silly catalog, I've spent many a bathroom reading experience with this in hand. I mean come on, anything that sells strange cookies, chocolate covered liquor and underwear all within pages of each other has to be pure gold!

  7. not enough people actually have a flour sifter. i have one that may or may not have belonged to my greatgreatgreatgreatgreat aunt or something, because the typeset seems very ye olde fasioned. someone told me they use a sieve to sift their flour. i tried that ONCE and my fucking counter looked like a winter wonderland. or a counter in a coke heads wonderland.

    either or.

  8. If you're going to make a version of that shampoo for hipsters, you should instead call it "Fuck! When was the last time you showered, man?" or perhaps "Smells of Haight Street."

  9. To really enjoy it, you must visit the actual store, and there are samples to taste all over the place!

  10. They should send you a large gift certificate for that awesome plug! I want a magazine for my bathroom! I "pursed" a SkyMall mag a year ago and I'm gettin' pretty tired of looking at all those fun gadgets and wishing I had a little doggie so I could purchase the pet staircase that would help him get up on my freakishly high pillow top bed! I'm gonna have to disagree on the chocolate liquor bottles though. I overdosed once and there is NOTHING worse than feeling hungover with never having gotten drunk!

  11. Okay. Not even 2 clicks into browsing and I'm already dying with entertainment! Have you checked out the men's sleepwear? The sleepshirts? HAHAHA. Too much fun already!

  12. Click three lead me to "TIRED OLD ASS SOAK". This is too good to be true. I'm gonna go broke now. Thanks Una. Catalogue has been ordered!

  13. Audrey Blackwell1:34 AM

    I accidentally stumbled across The Vermont Country Store's website for the first time just tonight, and after spending about an hour browsing in amazement, I then accidentally stumbled across your blog while Googling "What does Ben Hur smell like?". Thank you for writing this about TVCS, because now I can just direct people here instead of trying to explain my new addiction. Two very good Internet finds in one night, yippee!

  14. posts like this totally deserve re-posting. love it.


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