Bedtime stories to help grown ups fall asleep in the deep, dark night.
Slippers and Pajamas for all as we pamper and page our way off to sleep.
Episode 1014 – JCPenney's Catalog No Toys
[START OF RECORDING]
SCOOTER: Friends beyond the binary, ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, and my patron peeps, it’s time to put yous to sleep, my patron peeps.
INTRO: [INTRO MUSIC] Hey, are you up all night tossing, turning, mind racing? Trouble getting to sleep? Trouble staying asleep? Well, welcome. This is Sleep With Me, the podcast that puts you to sleep. We do it with a bedtime story. Alls you need to do is get in bed, turn out the lights, and press play. I’m gonna do the rest. What I’m going to attempt to do is create a safe place where you could set aside whatever’s keeping you awake. It could be thoughts on your mind, physical sensations…so, thoughts would be stuff you’re thinking about or that your brain’s thinking about from the past, present, or future, whether it’s work or regular…work life or personal life, past life, dream life. I actually have a…I have a tangent to go on that I’ve made a personal…part of my personal journey that involves thinking.
But it could be thoughts, could be feelings; anything emotionally coming up for you connected to the thoughts or driving the thoughts or independent, independent from the dreams that I’ve known, as somebody did not sing about Albuquerque. So, thoughts, feelings, physical sensations, anything you’re experiencing physically, it could be something else. It could be changes in your routine, your time, your temperature, your weather, work schedule. Whatever it is that is keeping you up, I’d like to take your mind off of stuff and keep you company while you drift off.
What I propose to do is I’m gonna send my voice across the deep, dark night, I’m gonna use lulling, soothing, creaky, dulcet tones, pointless meanders, superfluous tangents, all to create a place where you could set aside whatever’s keeping you awake, so you can fall asleep and drift off. So, that’s the plan. Now, it does take some explanation if you’re new, and what I’ll do is I’ll explain things, then I’ll show things by just talking about my…what I call the old authentic method; being myself, and then I’ll wrap it up. So, a couple things to know if you’re new right away, and this is backed up by hundreds of thousands of comments, is this is a podcast that takes a few times to get used to.
So when you first get here, just like most sleep stuff, you might be skeptical or doubtful or you got that doubtful-hopeful thing going where you’re hoping it’ll work but you’re also like well, I’ve been through this sleep solution before, the old sleep solution washing machine rigmarole. If I could count the number of times my mom said did you put rigmarole in the washing machine? I say no, rigatoni, mom. I did put some rigatoni in there. Once again, I tried to create my own band and I was singing I Got A Pocket Full of Rigatoni Tonight. So, yeah, no, I didn’t put…I…is…what’s rigmarole? I thought…are you giving…are we experiencing rigmarole right now, mother, from me putting rigatoni…? I didn’t put rigatoni directly in the washing machine this time.
I did last week when I made a song I Got A Washing Machine Full of Rigatoni Tonight. I actually attempted to make rigatoni in the washing machine, so yeah. I…so, yeah. Believe it or not, I think it is a viable method, because the washing machine is like a colander or whatever. How come no one ever thinks about that? I’m sure there’s people out there that have made pasta in wash…if you’re listening, don’t do it, because it…unless you found a washing machine on…out there…somewhere out there like Fievel did. If you did…I mean, I’ve seen something recently where people use a washing machine for something, but you could…would you eat at a restaurant where the pasta was prepared in a rig…they say yeah, we got washing…machine-washed rigatoni and prepared…’cause think about it; if you had the right temperature water…I mean, that might just work.
Again, we’d want a food-grade washing machine. Well, last time I asked the store, they just looked at me and they said for getting food stains out? I said no, no, food grade. Restaurant-grade washing machine? I finally…they said, get Sandy to talk to this guy, ‘cause I persisted. Then Sandy came over and they said, what do you want…what are you trying to do? I said well, eventually I’d like to make rigatoni in a washing machine, but for starters, I’ll just start with cooking pasta. They said, why? I said, because I could. They said, what do you mean, because you could? I said well, I’d like to know if it’s possible to make rigatoni…or just cook pasta in a washing machine. I think it is. Oh, also, I’m making a sleep podcast, so Sandy, I’ll have to get back to you. So, oh, this podcast takes two or three tries to get used to.
I have no idea where any of that came from, other than it’s something I’d…like, now it’s on my bucket list. If there’s anything that YouTube’s good for, I guarantee that when I get off of here, I’ll look it up and somebody will be cooking pasta in a washing machine. They’ll be way more industrious than me. Talk about…they’ll say oh yeah, no, we found a food grade washing machine. I’d say well, now it’s a pasta machine, ‘cause you really…I don’t think I want to wash my clothes…most people would say I wouldn’t want to eat any pasta from a washing machine. I’d say, understandably; it was never used to wash clothes, and we got a filter on there or whatever. But I wouldn’t want to…would you want to wear clothes that were washed in pasta water? Wouldn’t that…? You say Scoots, how come you can’t move anymore?
Why is your…you say, are…where do you starch your shirts? They’re so crisp. I’d say, these are pasta water…yeah, there’s a lot of starch in my shirts because they’re washed in pasta water. Okay, so to get back; if you’re new, this podcast takes some getting used to. Another thing which I probably made clear, this is a podcast you don’t really need to pay attention to. You just kinda listen because most of the stuff I talk about only makes partial sense. So you say well, okay. How…water churning, water gets drained out through holes. All those things are somewhat like you would do in production of pasta. Or noodles; you could say yeah, we make noodles, too.
I wouldn’t want to do ramen…I would just…for the time being, I think we should just stick to straight cooking of noodles or pasta products in my…yes, definitely only in my imagination. Okay, so this podcast takes some getting used to. It’s a podcast you don’t really pay attention to. Also, it doesn’t really put you to sleep, believe it or not. I’m here to keep you company while you fall asleep versus putting you to sleep but you drift off. That’s why the shows are over an hour, to give you plenty of time to drift off, or if you can’t sleep, that you have some confidence or some reassurance ‘cause you know I’m gonna be here for you for the next hour. If you need more episodes, you could just queue them up, episode after episode. So, that’s part of it. What else do you need to know?
Oh, structure of the show can also throw new people off, so I’ll tell you about that next. The show starts off with a greeting so you feel seen and welcome. Then there’s listener support, like support resources for you in our community. Then there’s sponsors; that’s what supports the show being free, are the listeners who support the sponsors, then there’s a intro. The intro goes from about minute six or minute eight to about minute twenty-something. At first it could kinda be…some people really have strong feelings about it ‘cause they say, what is this intro? Is it an ad? Is it a…I’d say no, it’s kind of a show within a show. I mean, this one very clearly is a show within a show ‘cause you say holy mackerel, Scoots is serious about this pasta…fresh-washed pasta. Maybe I could do that.
I don’t think that would be a very good selling technique, but I could see myself out there with the buskers of the world, next to somebody selling newspapers. I could say, fresh-washed pasta. Starch your shirts, fill your belly, all in one machine. Not at the same time though, so I need about an hour and forty-five minutes for the complete deal. But you could eat pasta [00:10:00] with your shirt off while I wash your shirt. Then we air dry it, and while it air dries, it becomes incredibly starched and stiff. So, no takers? Okay, get back to the sleep podcast. So, don’t listen to me, no pressure to fall asleep…yeah, and if…I’m here to be your bore-friend, your companion in the deep, dark night.
So yeah, if you can’t sleep or you wake up or you need help getting back to sleep, or you just need something during the day, a friend to take your mind off of stuff, that’s my job. So, those are two things. Oh, structure. That’s what I was talking about. The intro goes on and on and on, and for new listeners, that could kinda seem a little pointless ‘cause you say, can’t you get to the point? I say well, that’s the point. The pointlessness is the point. Yeah, no, we’re…with this machine, we’re not multitasking; we’re working not in para…if I had two machines, I could work in parallel. I could drain…what if we did that? We drain the pasta water right into the shirt starcher? Shirt Starcher 5000, Gene. Oh boy, it starches your shirts with starch, actual starch, not Spray-n-Starch or something.
We use a…it’s…depends; we have a bunch of different starches available. You got some semolina, we got other kind…we got a buckwheat. Would you like some buckwheat starch in your shirt, Gene? Oh, so…oh, the intro…the intro for the new listener, it’s to introduce you to the show, but for the regular listener, one, they kind of enjoy this nonsense. They barely enjoy it because they’re just kinda listening. You say well, it’s half…it’s a half-brained idea. It’s both harebrained and half-brained, but I can see that someone with Scoots’…that he would believe…but think about it, ‘cause water drains somewhere, so…and it would already be hot because we would be using it to cook pasta. We may have to cook pasta in stages ‘cause I just thought of that; we don’t have a way to generate heat.
So, we could have about four or five…I guess we’d have to run it…well, it’s a work in progress. That’s like Sleep With Me. So, the intro goes on and on and on to ease you into bedtime, to give you some distance from the day. So, a lot of regular listeners are getting ready for bed or doing some sort of wind-down activity, or getting comfortable and cozy and drifting off during the intro. Then we’ll have the story. Tonight we’ll be paging through a catalog. When we talk about pointless meanders, holy moly…I recorded this episode yesterday; I said man, four hundred pages of catalog. It only felt like five thousand. It really did. I think ‘cause I was waiting to get to the toys and I never did. A lot of…I’d say what is that, a five-hundred page catalog?
What is that, a hundred and fifty pages of different kind of pajamas and slippers? They’d say come on, Scoots, it’s only fifty pages of pajamas and slippers. I’d say, was there that much demand? But I guess you just…you say, we gotta have pajamas for anybody that wants pajamas. That’s how you get them in the door; pajamas and gifts that you would give to someone that you don’t…that you know but you don’t really know what they want. So you say well, it’s a pipe and letter opener stationary set for opening letters, for your pipe-smoking, and your stationary needs. Thanks, thanks again. Also, it comes with aftershave. Wow. So, okay, so the intro goes on and on and on to ease you into bedtime. I guess that was my point there.
So, 3% of people start the show at twenty minutes or twenty-two minutes or twenty-one minutes and try to skip the intro. But for most listeners, it’s part of their bedtime routine. Then there will be the…then there’s business between the intro and the episode. That’s, again, how I’m able to bring you the show free instead of behind a paywall. Then I’ll talk about this catalog. I’ll go through it page by page while you drift off. So, I do the work so you don’t have to listen. Then the show ends with some thank-yous and goodnights, so that’s the structure of the show. The other thing you need to know is the reason I make this show is one, because I’ve been there. Tossing, turning; that’s where I was last night. Trouble getting to sleep? Yes. Trouble staying asleep? A little bit, but more trouble getting to sleep last night.
So, I know how it feels. Then also, the other thing is you deserve a good night’s sleep. You deserve a place where you can rest, a safe place where you could drift off so that you can live your life and your life can be fuller, and if I can help with that, it’s my honor. Now it does not work for everybody. I’m an acquired taste. Clearly, I would not call myself a visionary, but I would say I have out-of-the-box ideas because…while I don’t think I’m the only person that’s thought of cooking pasta in a washing machine, I will say that I probably am the one that talked to the most people about it, unless there’s a YouTube video with a million hits or views, because…like, I get…I mean, I…oh, the reason…oh, to wrap up that story is that when I talked to Sandy, Sandy explained to me that Sandy used to work in restaurant equipment.
Sandy said you know, washing machine’s five times as much as an industrial pasta basket cooker. I say, what’s that? It’s a bit like a deep fryer. You’ve probably seen it; you just didn’t notice it. It’s for cooking pasta. I say, you know what? I have seen it. Yeah. I say yeah, it’s just…those cost one-third of just a…and I say, really? Sandy said well, you’re imagining all this, so I don’t know, really. But that’s why I can’t sell you multiple washing machines to cook pasta in. Also, we don’t have food grade washing machines. That’s why they’re called washing machines, not pasta machines. I said, but in a pinch, if I needed to cook five thousand pounds of pasta…Sandy? Hello. Oh, okay. So, that’s how that story concluded. I don’t think we’ll see…I don’t think I saw a…oh, I saw a pasta maker in this catalog coming up, but it wasn’t a pasta cooker.
Just thinking of a song; I’ve been a pasta maker, I’ve been a pasta cooker, but I never laid my pasta in the sun. I’ve been a pasta joker, I haven’t been a pasta toker, and I don’t eat my pasta on the run. So anyway, I’m glad you’re here. I really appreciate your time coming by and checking this show out. Give it a few tries. There’s nothing to lose. I mean, it doesn’t…if you don’t like the show, I hope you find something else. I got a ton of other great sleep podcasts listed at sleepwithmepodcast.com/nothankyou. But I really hope I can help you. I really appreciate you checking the show out. I appreciate your time. I really want to help you fall asleep ‘cause it’s gonna make our world a better place if you’re rested. Yeah, thanks again for coming by. Here’s a couple ways for you regular listeners I’m able to be here for you twice a week for free.
Alright everybody, it’s Scoots here and this is our style episode. We did one other one of these, so this is the second one in this cat…looking at catalogs. So, a catalog, once upon a time, is…it’s a bit like the thing you get…you can get at IKEA. It’s made of paper…or from B&H or Sweetwater, or maybe there’s other ones out there I don’t know about. But it’s like a magazine with a bunch of stuff you’d want to buy. It was the main form of marketing before the internet, I believe. These are not facts; these are just assumptions. So, I’m making a rear out of me and catalogs. I did another episode where I had a longer explainer about what catalogs are, so I’ll put a link in the show notes, too. We’re also relying on interesting technology. The next one I want to look at here is from 1993.
This is the JCPenney…oh boy, JCPenney holiday catalog, so I guess this will come out on the holidays. I don’t know if this is official, because this one I found on the internet and it’s just pictures. It’s from…I’ll link to the website; musetechnical.com or something. So, the proper things…and this doesn’t…if this is the cover of a catalog, I’m gobsmacked, and I don’t even know what gobsmacked means, because it is…it looks like it has a candle, a treasure chest, a crystal decanter full of some liquid…it is like something out of…wow. I mean, this could be…this can’t be the actual cover. I mean, I guess it could be. [00:20:00] If this is the actual cover, this is why there’s no more catalogs. So, this could be something you’d see in someone’s home.
It’s just strange for me to see it in a catalog, ‘cause…okay, so there’s a candle in a wooden candle holder with a winter scene painted on the candle holder. Then there’s some sort of open box full of…what do you call those things? Pine cones, like a treasure box full of pine cones. Hanging from strings are two angels from a nativity scene, or I’m guessing that would be seen in a nativity scene. But then as you move down, you see Tiny Tim and Bob Cratchit, a doll, or I’m assuming that would be what I would think of as Tiny Tim and Bob Cratchit; a Dickensian gentlemen and a boy on his shoulder. The boy does have a…one crutch under his arm. He also has a…what is that called, the thing you wear on your wrist? It’s a…not a bouquet.
But you know, a floral thing on his wrist, then a doll, a Miss Havisham-esque doll — so, talk about Dickensian — next to them, but it’s not Miss Havisham. I think it’s some other type of doll. Then on their left is another angel, but it’s a different…she’s lit from the inside possibly by a candle. She’s holding an LED candle, but this…LED’s didn’t exist. But maybe they did, some sort of battery-powered candle. Then there’s also two or three picture frames with black and white pictures of just individuals. Then there’s a assortment of dried flowers. Oh, boy. Is this really Page 2? Wow. So, back…once upon a time, I was asking my daughter about this; I said, do people still sell…is perfume and cologne still a thing that gets sold a lot? ‘Cause I said back in the 80s and the 90s, there’d be ads for perfume and cologne on TV.
It was a big deal, or at least as a kid I thought it was a big deal. I remember…anybody that was raised in the 80s or the 90s has heard of Drakkar Noir, which…it was just a popular men’s cologne. My friend’s dad wore it and then my friend started wearing it, and then I said well, if this is what…now I say this…never mind. I thought of a lot of jokes about it, but…and I know there’s a lot of non-perfume and cologne workplaces, so that’s a part of it. But my daughter said no, there’s still some the big brands still selling. She’s seen ads for cologne and perfume before. So, this one is…the first ad is for two women and they’re obviously enjoying the smell of Hals, H-A-L-S, which is a Halston. It looks like there’s two formulations; Halston 214 and Halston 212.
We don’t have any…this is…this…we don’t have the whole magazine. The next page is an ad for Toned 3. Oh no, maybe it’s Halston 3, like it was a two-page spread. Oh yeah, and they’re also trying to sell the clothes that the people are wearing, which is very 80s. But we don’t want to get too deep. I want to get to actual consumer products ‘cause I’m not qualified to comment on fashion. A lot of fashion still. Or, I don’t know if you’d call it fashion. Also, just…oh, this is all Halston 3, even the clothes, so I guess maybe they’re selling…Halston must have paid the big bucks. There’s a lot of memeability here, just the way…’cause usually it’s not…all of them have been three people. I’m looking at this one picture and it’s…oh, she’s looking at the gift.
There’s a man or a young man on the right, then his arm is around a woman, and then there’s another woman in the foreground holding a red Halston box. The boy, the young man boy, he’s kinda looking at the camera like…but then the woman in the middle is kind of looking up and over, maybe at the Halston box? Then more fashion. Oh wow, this is a couple with Halston boxes and great robes…blue robes. Very happy. A lot of pajamas. Let’s just see some of the costs here. We’re finally into the description pages. Blouse; $50. Shirt; $20. Here’s how much the cologne and perfume cost. Halston spray; $17 for an ounce and $23 for 2.5 ounces. Body lotion; $19.50. So I guess…I’m not 100% sure, but I would probably say that cologne and perfume has not been…like, maybe it’s doubled in price.
Halston guest soaps; $19. Halston for Men; $25 and a gift set. Yeah, and then more…a lot more fashion spread. Who knew that JCPenney in the 80s was where you got…I mean, I guess I don’t know what level of fashion it was considered, ‘cause I didn’t mean…I was…and this isn’t a joke; we were not shopping at JCPenney’s for clothes. We were one or two steps below JCPenney. So for us, I mean, if you have six kids, shopping at JCPenney…I guess it wouldn’t be aspirational, but…or I mean…but yeah. I don’t know what we would have shopped at. Oh, there’s somebody with their hand…a lot of people with their hands in their pockets. Some of these clothes, they may come back, but I haven’t seen them come back since 1980. I mean, some I have, but some of them, not exactly sure.
Maybe on another planet they’ll come back. If they do come back, maybe…Junior’s in motion. Oh, they have…oh, $39.95; they have these sporting watches in red, white, and black. That’s got me…my attention. That’s the kinda stuff that I say…that I’m aspiring to, like a royal blue watch or even a red watch. I say, that’s what Scoots…oh, a monogram sweater. Okay, here’s some Levi's 501 jeans. They don’t look like…holy cow, this is actually one that could come back. B; corduroy baggies, but they’re in a shade of purple. Let’s see what…oh, 46-wine is the color. I love that color. Those were $29.99, and the 46-wine 80-grey or 36-royal blue. So, since you’re…that’s why they need these things, ‘cause that’s how you were ordering it from the catalog. Then Levi's 501 jeans are $19.99.
I’m betting that at this point they’re probably like a hundred bucks. Here’s an interesting observation; I’m just kinda running through some of the stuff. A lot of the coats and jackets, they stand up…here’s a quilted coat. It looks really sharp. It doesn’t have a brand or anything. Polyester and nylon quilted, fiber fill. Water resilient, double-breasted, button-front sleeves, button and fab…tab trim, side pockets, tie belt, dry clean. That’s $150 to $170, but that one looks pretty timeless. Then some jackets. Okay, so I just saw a leather…pleather jacket that would definitely…you’d say okay, that may not…and then they have a lot of boots. I had no idea. Oh, here’s slippers. I bet you slipper prices have gone down. These are children’s furry slippers; $13. I’d probably say that I would pay $9 for them.
Here’s a deal they’re offering, and it’s a trademark brand that I want to learn more about; save 10% when you buy two or more pairs. Warming up with the Energy Boot, which is a trademarked word. Insulated, quilted boot, ripstop nylon. Upper lining is quilt stitched to two layers; celanese, Fortel, polyfill, fiber fill. Cushion nylon…I don’t see anything about the power of the Energy Boot. Like, I thought energy boots, usually in a game, [00:30:00] they do something. Like, either you can jump or you have…it powers your blaster or something like that. But so, they don’t seem to have anything that’s doing anything. Oh, I…my first branding sighting…there’s a Garfield nightgown; $13. Now, that’s a $13 well spent. It has a Garfield in a stocking holding a candy cane.
Here’s another one, branded; it’s Snoopy. How do they even describe this? Is this for bedtime? Snoopy jumpsuit. I would wear this out of the house, and it’s not…it’s available in Tall, too. It’s a two-piece look of brushed one…brushed acetate nylon. Yoke and sleeves of acrylic. Snoopy screen print on front, zipper front, ruffled collar, ties at the neck. Elasticized wrists and ankles, band and ribbon trim. Machine wash cold, tumble dry low heat. $18. Okay, then they have some gifts. Gift ideas under $25. These…no offense, but these are gifts I can’t imagine very many…there’s…well, this one’s cool; unicorn nightlight. A hand-blown bubble glass mounted on walnut wood. Uses a seven-walt…watt bulb; included. Delivery weight is 2.5 pounds. $24. If you buy two or more items on this page, you get it for $20.82.
Here’s another one; laughing pig nightlight. Porcelain, seven-watt bulb included. Five-foot cord, on/off switch. Buy one; $15. Buy two; $12.50. There’s also ones with cats, a lady with a fan, music box, a dove music box, and a clown with concertina music box; $24. Then some organizers. So, people were still getting organized back then. A lot of the same stuff you would see now, where you say okay, I gotta get my bathroom organized. A lot of it is in a lucite or a clear plastic. They didn’t even rebrand it yet; they just called it clear plastic instead of lucite. I don’t know if that’s a different thing. Umbrella and scarf set, matching; $12. The famous expanding bag of Oxford nylon. Double-handed tote, two front zipper pockets, easy portability; $10.
Clutch wallet and purse set with dancing horses and snap closures, embossed design…oh, unicorns. Though, I don’t…their horns are not very prominent. Only $9. I’d like to see some toys. I mean, if JCPenney doesn’t have any toys, this is gonna be…here’s another one; Chaz. These are colognes. Oh, Stetson. Stetson I remember had TV ads. Chaz Time Around the World set. 3 ounces of Chaz cologne and aftershave; $17 with a quartz alarm clock. Chaps, duffle bag gift set; $11. Then a Stetson memo pad gift set; $12.50. Oh, the famous…here…they even had massagers back then. Oh wow, this is gonna be a interesting one. So, this is their electronics stuff. A back massager very similar to what you’d get now, but with pleather. $49.99.
A foot massager just like you’d…the foot bath massager that you fill up with water. Regular; $32.99. Now $29.99. Air ionizer; $80 on sale. Air purifier; now $19.99. The filter though…six-stage replacement filter; $4.99. This is when people smoked inside. Then this thing, which I wonder if these things worked, because you’ve seen them…is the Deluxe Whirlpool bath for a luxurious massage. Water pressure, aerator varies the intensity. This you use with a regular bathtub. $199, and then you could get attachment hoses for $29. Those look…for bathing or…anyway, we better move on. Waterpik oral hygiene center is $57.99, and then brushes…oh look; okay, wait, we got something…the other stuff that still exists, too. A cordless, rechargeable toothbrush; $29.99. Deluxe SleepMate, sound a…this looks like a Marpac thing.
$35.99. You know, the fan; it’s metal. Then the Marsona travel sound conditioner. Rain or rushing waterfall; $69.99. A portable Casablanca sunlamp; $89.99. Then the famous Smoke Grabber ashtray from Polenex. Automatically inhales smoke. $19.99. Two-piece replacement filters; $5.99. Here’s something; I don’t know, this is straight out of a movie, at least the picture is. The Kaz thermo cap heat cap. Professionally reconditions hair that has dealt with blow-drying, beaching, tinting, sun and wind. Three heat settings. Sixty watts. $19…$17.99. Let’s see what else we got. More gifts you just…these are the kind of…I mean, I’m not trying to be rude because this is 1983, but these are a lot of gifts that you say when you stop caring, give somebody a gift with some cologne or a notepad or these.
These are like office sets, I guess you’d say. Small, one-drawer valet. $8.50. A roll-top valet. The roll-top valet looks like a miniature desk. Chest with parquet top. None of these are real desks, though. Like, miniaturized desks that…I don’t know what you’d use them for. Let’s see…oh, here’s a slot machine game bank. $42.50. Holy moly. I remember going to people’s houses and playing with those. Some people bought them. What is this? F; 3-pack of handkerchiefs in a beer…beer cans. Each beer can contains six handkerchiefs. You can get Bud, Coors, or Miller. That’s $17.95. Briefcase; $51. Here’s a solar calculator. No batteries needed. $21.95. We got a few pages…or more than a few pages of jewelry, and then jewelry holders, then watches. Timely gifts. Seiko watches that…wow, went from $175, $115, $175.
Chronograph watches. F looks like a pretty classic watch. That’s $59.50. There was a seven…men’s seventeen something. It’s water resistant. Can’t quite read the printout, though. They had a JCPenney Christmas ‘83 gift box collection. Maybe that just means they put…twenty-one pages of just…I think this is maybe what we’re doing here…that are…that’ll be sent under the gift, ready to go under a tree. Got some picture frames and blouses, curved picture frames, more blouses. Wall plaques…dress up the hostess…oh, my god. This is why…this is where all our problems came from. Listen to this; dress up the hostess and the table in matching tartan plaid. Please don’t. Please don’t…if you did…if you have a time machine, go back and undo this.
So, they have a table with a runner and four place settings in tartan plaid. Then the hostess, also in a tartan plaid apron…but it’s not a apron; she’s wearing it like it’s a dress. They sell…they don’t sell it as a group, anyways. It’s $25 for the apron, $20 for the runner, $24 for four placemats. Wow, so some stuff does go down. Some nice coats and sweaters. [00:40:00] So, these are all…these would all come straight boxed. There’s some dress shirts, some shaving kits, and then we’re getting into some more dress shirts and…oh, a personal embosser; $25 by Royal Mark, Inc. Emboss your personal monogram on books or anything. Say, I’m a…I’m the…I emboss. I’m the boss; I emboss. Butter thing…oh, boy. You gotta be kidding me. I’m just gonna read this page and you can decide if the 80s should still exist.
8F; Nana’s…N-A-N-A’ apostrophe…Pet Styles. On these two pages, these are made for…exclusively for Penney’s. I don’t know why they’re called Nana’s Pet Styles, but there’s the two-piece bloomer set for toddlers, blouse of some kind of polyester; long sleeves, ruffled collar and cuffs, button-back, bloomers of triacetate nylon, panne velvet. Have bands…elasticized back, waist, and legs. Attached taffeta cummerbund-style sash; matches bow at neck. Infants; bloomer…it’s very similar for infants. Infant or toddler vest, pants, and shirt set. Vest and pants…vest is fully lined, button-front, short pants. Those are shorts; they’re not short pants. They’re shorts. Unless that’s A. Oh no; that’s A? What’s B? Oh, that’s the toddler one…infant one. All these are not an expense…$35, $30, or $30, but then they have Snuffles and Snuff.
Soft and cuddly toys filled with PVC. Oh no, that’s what they come in. Soft, polypropylene plush filled with PVC in cloth bag. $23 for Snuffles, which is a…like a polar bear, and Snuff is a baby polar bear; $11. These all can come gift-boxed. They have more clothes for grandparents to buy their grandchildren. What is C? Oh, this looks like a blanket. It’s more of a hooded poodle cloth robe. Polyester fleece, muff-style embroidered patch pockets. Hood, front zipper, and pink…machine wash. That looks pretty comfortable. More stuff to give people that like pocket watches and stuff like that. Some watches on…necklace-type watches. I guess they call them…oh yeah, pendant LCD watch. Lipstick pendant LCD watch; $12.95. Does not come with lipstick. Quartz LCD pendant watch. So, a lot of pages of different watches.
Some are on sale. Oh, we got some video game watches here. I remember when kids had these. Another thing I would fantasize about having. I have two of them. A Pac-Man game watch; $24.95. Quartz LCD…it wasn’t really Pac-Man, though. It was just a…twenty-four hour repeat musical alarm, features Pac-Man characters, electronic sound effects. Play with progressive levels of difficulty, automatically records the highest score. They also had a Frogger game watch; $24.95. Tank battle game watch; $16.95. Space Attack was $44.95; now $19.95. Roulette game watch; $19.95. Which one’s that one? M. The Space Attack game watch…oh, because it’s metal. Maybe that’s why it was so expensive. But it was on sale. Maybe I should go back in time. Simon watch.
Now, that’s the game that has repeatability just ‘cause it’s so hard and it does get progressively harder. That’s $19.95. Then a Sea Ranger watch. Ships, submerged rocks, falling objects…$16.95. Okay, here’s something that might be worth something. Six and seven…children’s luggage. Oh, no. Vinyl molded shells with vinyl lining. I don’t know. It says something on it. Kitty Pulman cases, it says. I don’t know. I thought it was something that would be a collectible, but I’m probably wrong. Imagine that I go back in time…you could get pipes, even, from JCPenney’s, and a genuine mahogany pipe cabinet; $24.95, with Sherlock Holmes on the glass front. Wow. How much does a pipe go for? Well, I guess it depends. These ones are around $13 to $20, but they come with a…it’s a gift set.
What about…assemble with three-piece suit; $99. I don’t know. A Lee Wright collection, Stafford…a lot of suits. Gentry…these people wore a suit once named Gentry suits. Wool sweaters…I can feel myself itching right now. Matching monogrammed wool sweaters? Botany 500; didn’t they used to supply the suits for hosts of game shows? McGregor collection, JCPenney belted sports slacks. Levi's action slacks. That’s what I could have used with my power boots, and then I would have action slacks. Fortel polyester treated with Staypress; $26. So…action slacks and power boots. Oh, what do they do? Oh, they don’t do anything. You just wear them. You just wear them when you go see nana. You’re supposed to wear your nana…Nana Pet clothes. Still more clothes.
I haven’t seen anything…maybe JCPenney’s only sold clothes. This is quite a…here’s more jeans. Wrangler jeans are $19. Levi's; $20. They competed in jeans for a little while. Then they had plain pockets jeans. Maybe those…I think I had a pair of those, ‘cause I can…the tag on the back looks familiar. It’s probably the JCPenney brand; $15. Then some collection called Peter B. Kinda looks like if you were into Devo, you’d wear those. Best-selling corduroy in America, again…oh, same price. Levi's and Wrangler corduroy were the same. So, wow, I guess at some point Wrangler fell off and I would associate it with lower prices. Then plain-pockets corduroy; $15. Oh, then they have a velour collection from Peter B.
Quite…I mean, we’re talking one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten, eleven, twelve, thirteen different velour shirts and sweaters. How much do they run from? $30, $20, $24…somebody holding their…a lot of people holding their pants up. If people…if the…oh wait, what is this jacket? A. Chintz…a shirt jacket by Sergio Valente. Sergio Valente was famous. C-H-I-N-T-Z. Trim-cut, polyester cotton, stand-up collar, strap, and buckle. This looks like what…in that movie Drive with the main character. His jacket was cooler than that, but the slight influence…$25. That’s something that only comes back…here’s something; B. Oh, corduroy Chintz jacket by…so, that one before looked good.
The one in B looks like somebody that would only be performing Thunder Down Under on stage and the jacket would come off, or they were in a home space…or, I guess the same thing, like some sort of home movie based on space. That was $80. It literally looks like something on a early episode of Star Trek. There’s a…I wonder how many people were employed in…as…did the fashion modeling collapse for people that…say oh yeah, no, I model for catalogs on the side. Do you buy plain pockets pants? [00:50:00] That’s my rear you’ve seen before. Got even people shirtless here. Oh, this is…oh, this is polyester. I’m looking…oh, terrycloth. That’s what I’m looking for. Got some couples even in matching terrycloth outfits. My temperature…oh, my…my temperature’s starting to rise.
They’re like, half-towel, half terrycloth, or half-robe, half-towel. They must have some sort of…what is that stuff called? Velcro? Maybe I should read the description. It’s too intense. Terrycloth shave shorts. Elasticized waistband, patch pocket, machine washable, and…or the terrycloth velour wraparound; elastic waist patch…pocket. Hooded monk’s robe; that’s what I’d like. Terry velour; $61.95, though…of thirsty. So funny. Heavyweight cotton terry velour. Oversized pockets. Even some of…and people even had abs back then. I didn’t know that. Oh, Sesame Street slippers; Mickey Mouse and Garfield. Those are only $4.50 for the Sesame Street ones. The Disney one’s $4.50. Garfield; $5.40, so Garfield was getting…and then insulated Energy Boots, but again, those don’t give you any kind of energy.
Oh, Smurf slippers and socks. Smurf plush slippers were $12. Smurf slipper socks; $5. Smurf puff slippers; $6. Then a fluff and push…plush; $7. Sesame Street pajamas. What in the heck is this? B. Big Bird pajama bag. Striped nightshirt…it’s a Big Bird pajama bag, so it looks like a Big Bird, but Big Bird looks a little down because it’s only like, 40% of Big Bird. Then E; Sesame Street globe lamp. $31. Wood base. It says Sesame Street, then it has Big Bird on a streetlamp. Oh, wow. Ewok nighttime stories from kid’s sizes half to six. The Ewoks; that was a show, I think, for a little while. They have different Ewok pajamas with Ewoks on them, including Wicket, the most famous of all the cute Ewoks; $7 to $9. Now you could do that with Baby Oso. Is that a Care Bear? Care Bear jumpsuit sleeper; $8.50.
Here’s one called oversleeper. Care Bear’s oversleeper. I think that maybe it just means it’s oversized? I don’t know. Quilted robe; $11. Soft and cuddly pajama bag. So, I…oh, these were stuffed animals you’d put your pajamas in. Footed sleepers, a cat and bear, Garfield, Smurfs, all $9. Looks like there’s one with a Smurf playing…can’t tell if they say Smurf Ball. You know, Smurfs used to say Smurf for everything. I don’t know if it was a noun or a verb. I think it was a verb. What the Smurf are you doing? I’m just Smurfing around. That’s a verb, or no? Snoopy gown and pajamas, a Belle pajama bag, some other ones. These might be just JCPenney attempts at IP. Here’s one; exclusively ours by Her Majesty, trademarked. Her Majesty nightgown and robe; $13 to $20.
Then more robes, then some more Return of the Jedi and Superman robes and pajamas. Oh, then Smurf round-up, Q*bert, Knight Rider, A-Team, Spiderman, Masters of the Universe, and Popeye. Popeye playing a video game, though. Knight Rider’s goodnights, the A-Team wants you, be as strong as He-Man, Spiderman of many talents. 1984 Olympics team…Smurf snores above all others. That’s interesting, the copyrighting. Then we’re getting into other…some stuffed Peanuts characters, Sesame Street pajamas…wow, pajamas were a big business back then, as were clothes, I guess. Still more and more pages of clothes. Oh, here…how much does a diary cost from JCPenney, with a lock or without? A one-year diary with a lock; $4.
Multi-color hearts, gold tone metal lock and key…covers laminated paper over a cardboard. Oh, the other one’s a photo album. It’s $3.50, and then a desk…matching desk set is…bulletin board; $8.50. Desk set; $12. Oh, Hello Kitty; this has gotta be worth something. Hello Kitty toothbrush and cup set is $4.75. Snoopy umbrella; $7.50. Herself the Elf. Never heard of that, but that’s cool. $6. That was a backpack. Hello Kitty travel set; $6.25. Oh, here we go; presenting Herself, the Elf. I don’t know, this must have been…maybe this was their IP. Maybe not. Maybe I just didn’t…it was before my time. Oh yeah, Herself the Elf; 1982 American Greetings Corporation. So, one of the greeting card companies. Cabbage Patch Kids. Oh boy, let’s get some pricing here. Matching Cabbage Patch clothes; $8 to $12.
Doesn’t have pricing on the dolls yet, so that’s what I’m more interested in. Garfield…more Garfield active wear. Levi's for kids. I can’t believe how many clothes there are. Right now we’re in the toddler…young…kids that are somewhere between four and twenty. Oh, Olympics 1984. They have gloves, hats…that’s another collectible stuff. A personalized belt that says Mike. So, if you’re named…oh no, here; only the 1980s. You could get it Mike, Jason, Chris, David, Brian, Jeff, Scott. Anyway, we don’t need to get too deep, unless they have those gloves that would change colors; Freezies or whatever? Some more winter stuff with Smurfs and some of the DC and Marvel stuff. A lot of NFL stuff; jackets and…these jackets kids in my class had, with an unzipping hood.
An NFL athletic jacket; some kids had that. $30. Then a NFL parka; $35. I remember seeing kids with that. I don’t know if I knew anybody, though. They had NFL stuff with…that was more child-friendly like cartoonish things. Wow, they had a lot of stuff. Oh, go for the goal with NFL equipment from JCPenney. An NFL football helmet; $17.99. Is it real? I don’t know. A stadium seat; $11.99. That’s just for sitting on a seat…on the seat on…like, it’s not a actual seat. Wow, they sold ice skates back then. Skates were on sale for like, $19. You could get a ice skate case or socks. Who would have known? Actual football pads and stuff. So, I guess we didn’t have…for places that didn’t have a lot of options, you could actually get shoulder pads; $24, real footballs like for actual practice and stuff.
But I gotta tell you, this is exhausting going through all these clothes and…I’m like, where…oh, bowling stuff. I’m not a bowler, but…Budweiser bowling ball and bag. If you really want to show your love of Bud; $54.99 for the ball and the bag, I think. I don’t know. Yeah, $24 and $40 independently. [01:00:00] Bowling shoes…wow, this is another way to save money with style. You could get bowling shoes…Nike bowling shoes. How much are those? $2. This is what I’d use my time machine for. Bowling bag; $20. Golf clubs, exercise clothing, bags for exercise stuff, chess sets. Okay, we’re getting close, maybe. But a chess set…and a chess board and chess set; $60. They’re a limited edition, hand-painted one with…looks like Weeble Wobbles. Say, they have a chess challenger, electronic chess; $169.99. Whoa, magic kits. Oh, boy.
This is another one I’d go back in time for. The Great Magic Show. Seventy-five magic tricks; $17. Junior magician’s magic show for a young child; $9.99. Hat full of magic. I might have got one of these for Christmas or at a garage sale. It’s $14.99. So, those are some…those are some gifts that’ll keep on giving. Dart boards. Oh, what are these called? Metal detectors. This is…these are popular even now. $259, $179, $119. You definitely…if you’re gonna get a…you might as well get the most expensive one. You could also buy headphones for them. They were like, $10. Pool tables; $9.99, $12.99, $5.49. Balls and stuff; $50. I mean, how much would it cost to get it shipped? Does it even say? It doesn’t. Table tennis…between…not that bad; like, $200. Snooker tables, Vitamaster, running…what is that thing called?
Treadmill. $299. Workout stuff…wow. Gym pack fitness system, too; $299. Olympic weight set; $299. Basic unit H…oh, that’s another cast iron weight set; $129. Oh, sleeping bags. They have Strawberry Shortcake, Care Bears, Smurfs, Herself the Elf, Knight Rider, and Sesame Street. They’re all around $20. I guess Slumbermaid…oh, and then the carrying bag you gotta buy is $10. Astrosinks? What the heck are those? I’m not familiar with those. Atari, Care…is that…? Oh, Shirt Tales. They were like the Care Bears but not the same. Pac-Man…Astrosinks? Astrosniks? Something. Astrosniks. Those must have been…not familiar with those at all. Play tents for indoor or outdoor fun, He-Man, Pac-Man, Pac-Land, actually, technically. Then real tents; between $50, $60, $90.
Then a bunch of pages of tools, like serious tools and stuff. Some people are probably saying that about me while they’re listening. A cassette tape adapter. I don’t know what you’d use that for. For a 8-track? Car stereo systems. Oh, the Dust…the original DustBuster Plus. Regular $49.95; now $39.95. Okay, they have a bunch of different gumball machines. Yeah, a gumball machine and a stand. Nostalgia conversation piece. How long’s the conversation gonna be? Is that a gumball machine? Yeah. Do you have a penny? Costs five cents. Okay. How much did you pay? Can I have a gumball? The machine is $20 and the stand is $19. There’s also a copper-plated gumball machine; that’s $29.99. Gumballs…for 1,250 pieces of…here’s what I would have asked for for Christmas.
Not shown; for 1,250 gumballs, $12.99. Five hundred gumballs; $7.99. Sugarless gumballs; 510 of those, $9.99. Then there’s a jellybean machine; $7.99. For a pound of jellybeans, it’s $2.50. Then they have a bunch of nut machines. I didn’t even know that was a thing. $21.95. Most of them are branded after sports teams or beer. Then plates, like painted plates for holidays, and doilies with holiday trees and stuff on them, silverware and place settings, Blue Danube poinsettia and holly print. Oh, those are…is that for each plate is $35? I feel like I need a shower after this. I don’t know why. I feel like I’ve gone too far into…this isn’t a criticism of the 1980s, but this is kinda what the 80s were like. Say man, I gotta go floss or…I need some mouthwash. Convection ovens; $139.
A pasta machine…fourteen…$99, down from $140. Oh, here’s something that…I just found a waffle maker on the street. I don’t know, when you’re hearing this, it’s probably later than that, but a Belgian waffle maker; $29.95. JCPenney brand, and then a waffle baker grill; $34.95. Air popper; that’s a classic machine, that thing is, the hot air popper. $17.99. Espresso cappuccino maker is $70. DrinkMaster from Hamilton Beach; $34. Fondue pot by Regal; $30. Then a couple different ice cream makers. $39 for a wood tub one, and then a polypropylene tub; $20. Coffee makers. This is interesting ‘cause I didn’t really…these are all drip ones. $60, $20…what is this, D? Electric tea kettle; $19.99. It doesn’t look like…it’s shaped like a bowl, though. A dehydrator; that’s not on…must not be shown.
That’s $120, but a $20 rebate. But yeah, your typical coffee maker is B. That’s $19.99, the simplest drip one, like the ones with the grinder…oh yeah, there’s the food dehydrator with all those shelves and stuff. Microwave ovens; another thing we don’t buy very often. $349. Who would have known, though? You’d say, you buy one for $349, it’s gonna last thirty years. Sewing machine; $179. That’s about it. Let’s see, I just want to see what they got here. I guess JCPenney’s didn’t have toys, so it’s a bit of letdown for me, but I’m sure it put everybody to sleep. Ask for home delivery. Wait a second. Okay, so order by phone coast to coast, all fifty states. Ask for home delivery. When you ask for a home delivery service, shopping’s even easier. Most orders reach you a day or two later and cost only seventy-five cents per order.
What in the hey? That’s by UPS. You gotta be kidding me; seventy-five cents. So, maybe this was because they had so many locations. Most orders from the more than six hundred pages of gift in this catalog can be sent anywhere you wish, even out of town; friends or relatives. Oh, items under fifty pounds. Fifty to seventy pounds…and sent to Alaska and Hawaii are delivered by parcel post. Everything you buy at JCPenney is guaranteed. They have all their phone numbers there. Seventy-five cents? Maybe this is where…no wonder I had Penney’s and Besos in line. Is that really how much it is? [01:10:00] Okay, transportation and handling charges for all Class A items…please note home delivery for all Class A merchandise is available at a reasonable cost; only 75%…seventy-five cents per order. You gotta be kidding me.
If your delivery takes Class C items, you can usually save on delivery charges by having it sent to the catalog department nearest your home. Even if you arrange for shipping from the catalog department, it might be lower than home delivery. So, that’s interesting. Then they tell you how to return merchandise. They say if you’re shopping by mail to have all the local places to send your order. They even have a delivery of your order. You put your name…oh, it’s moving on me. Oh, do you have a JCPenney charge account? Important; put your home phone number to help us with your order. If you want to send it to another person, put that address. Please list an alternative phone number. Orders for APO or FPO are sent parcel post unless you indicate something else.
Then you have your page number, name of item, how many, catalog number. You need the letters, the numbers, the letters, the size, the number for the color or finish, then the name, the price, the total price, and then the delivery WTS. I have no idea what that means. Credit order…put in your Visa or MasterCard number. Is it gonna be a regular purchase, a time payment, or do you want to open a Penney’s charge account? If you do, then you gotta fill something out. Or is it a cash order? Then there’s a JCPenney charge application. You gotta print and sign that with a ballpoint pen. Do not use a felt tip pen. Probably ‘cause it has more than one page. Interesting stuff here. Use your JCPenney charge card for regular charge and major purchase time payments. Time payment is reserved for major purchases over $200.
That would be installing installment credit, I guess. Of course you can charge it. Oh, they even have…the APR back then was pretty much the same it is now. I mean, really not that different, or at least from what I see. It actually breaks out your minimum payment depending on your balance. Yeah, interesting. So, a lot of information there. More information…this is all part of that thing. Toys are much more than fun. I didn’t see any toys in there, though. Here’s help in finding the right toys for your children. There’s a consumer guide to buying toys for different age groups. Interesting. For infancy, first…play is your children’s way of exploring and learning to deal with the world around them. Good toys are toys that help them develop and practice physical, mental, and creative, and social skills.
Each child develops at their own rate and is unlikely to be more advanced…is likely to be more advanced in some skills than others. They have the infants, newborns, toddlers, nursery school, young school, older school…that’s nine to twelve. Final note; look for opportunities to play with the child. Giving a child time and attention will make finding suitable toys easier, and playing together makes the play experience richer for child and adult alike. So, also consumer facts on their prices. JCPenney gift certificates, factory shipped items, Penney Pointers…look at that. Penney Pointers; I like that. Garments on a hanger…when we say garments are on hanger, we mean it is shipped from the manufacturer or our distribution center on a hanger, stored in a hanging position, and finally at a catalog department, you pick it up on a hanger.
In addition, you receive it in a plastic bag so it’s neat and fresh and in most cases comes ready to wear immediately. Many of our garments are handled in this way, and all of our ultra-modern distribution centers have a on…hang their clothing. A special offer for catalogs; you can have a copy of this catalog if you send $2 plus sales tax by November 19th, 1983 to their catalog department. That’s for new customers. Regular customers, you’ll get your catalogs as long as you make two purchases total $30 in a six-month period. Then they have the sizing. Let’s see, measuring for a perfect fit…toy index. I did not see any toys at all in here, so I don’t know…I mean, I went through every single page. Index of special favorites; they do have the pages the Care Bears are on, Garfield, Herself the Elf, and more. That’s about it for now. I mean, that’s a interesting little journey into JCPenney, and we’ll see more about it soon.
[END OF RECORDING]
- Rigatoni Rigamarole
- Portable Casablanca Sun Lamp
- “I’m gonna read this thing, and you can decide if the 80s should still exist.”
- Drakkar Noir
- The Ewoks TV Show
Notable Talking Points:
- 400 pages in a catalog? It only felt like 5,000
- The Wrangler vs Levi’s Jeans Battle
- Where were the toys?
Listen to the latest episodes
Hi, you can call me Scooter.
Drew Ackerman is the creator and host of Sleep With Me, the one-of-a-kind bedtime story podcast featured in The New York Times, The New Yorker, Buzzfeed, Mental Floss, and Dr. Oz. Created in 2013, Sleep With Me combines the pain of insomnia with the relief of laughing and turns it into a unique storytelling podcast. Through Sleep With Me, Drew has dedicated himself to help those who feel alone in the deep dark night and just need someone to tell them a bedtime story.