Tag Archives: New Hampshire Magazine

Wacky Presidential Candidate in a Wacky Package

How did Vermin Supreme wind up getting immortalized as an animal cracker?

Any journalist who’s covered the New Hampshire Primary over the past 25 years has had multiple encounters with Vermin Supreme, the protest presidential candidate best known for wearing a rubber boot on his head. I first met Vermin at a Bob Dole rally outside Milford Town Hall in 1996 and I’ve been writing about him ever since.

I bought my first pack of Topps Wacky Packages stickers when I was in elementary school and thought the idea of calling Crest toothpaste “Crust” toothpaste was absolutely brilliant. My locker and lunchbox were covered with “Wacky Packs,” as we liked to call them.

So imagine my shock when I opened a pack of commemorative 50th anniversary Wacky Packages and saw Vermin Supreme smiling back from a circus cage. How did it happen? How did the worlds of Wacky Packages and Wacky Presidential Candidates collide?

In an exclusive report for New Hampshire Magazine, I found the artist and got the scoop.

The 50th anniversary edition of Wacky Packages put a modern spin on the original 1967 spoofs of consumer products.

You can read the full story here.

By sheer coincidence, I also stumbled across another Vermin-themed Wacky Package from a few years ago:

What’s the woman on the package smelling?

A PULITZER FOR INVESTIGATIVE JOURNALISM, PERHAPS?

 

 

 

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The Ugly Truth: Why I Really Won the T-Bones Restaurant Mascot Race

Dramatic action scene of the most critical turning point in the Steak vs. Cactus Restaurant Mascot Race. (Photo courtesy of New Hampshire Fisher Cats)

Dramatic action scene of the most critical moment in the T-BONES Steak vs. Cactus Jack’s Restaurant Mascot Race. (Photo courtesy of New Hampshire Fisher Cats)

So perhaps you’ve heard of the 1919 Black Sox scandal?  Pete Rose betting on baseball? Barry Bonds, Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa using steroids?

Hold on to your seat cushion, because I am about to reveal the most outrageous sports scandal in the history of outrageous sports scandals.

But you’ll have to read all about it in New Hampshire Magazine!

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Undeniable Evidence of My Undeniable Role in the 2013 Red Sox Turnaround

My first cover story for New Hampshire Magazine explores the die-hard subculture of Red Sox fans in the Granite State -- and their state of mind after one of the worst seasons in Sox history. (Cover design by J Porter)

April’s NH Magazine explored the die-hard subculture of Red Sox fans in the Granite State — and their uncrushable faith after one of the worst seasons in Sox history. (Double click to read the story)

Why yes, I am taking credit for the success of the 2013 Red Sox. Back in April, my New Hampshire Magazine story foreshadowed the Redemption, the Faith and the Realignment of the Baseball Universe.

Be sure to read the story as part of your pre-World Series rituals!

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Opening Day Meditation: How I Learned to Stop Hating the New York Yankees

(click to enlarge image)

New Hampshire Magazine’s Photoshop guy is phenomenal. Yes, I did go to Yankee Stadium for this story, but the yoga happened at their Manchester newsroom. That’s a Kevin Youkilis jersey in case you were curious. (Double click to read story)

It’s Opening Day: Yankees vs. Red Sox — and let the gloating begin!

Based on the injuries the Yanks are battling with A-Rod, Jeter and Texiera, there’s a fair chance that Boston and New York will be fighting each other to stay out of last place this year.

Sure, celebrating would be premature at this point, but fans in Baltimore, Toronto and Tampa Bay have to like their chances in the AL East where the Sox and Yanks used to trade off the division title and the Wild Card every season.

Before the Sox took their depressing nose dive, I surprised my son with a Yankee Stadium trip to see the home team when Sox-Yanks tickets at Fenway were simply unaffordable. To my surprise, I liked many of the people sitting around me despite my lifetime of regarding Yankees fans as arrogant, obnoxious punks. You can read my humble attempt at a Nobel Peace Price nomination in the April issue of New Hampshire Magazine, on newsstands now.

contributors New Hampshire Magazine Darren Garnick
I love this cover, especially since New Hampshire was recently ranked as the Least Religious State in America by the Pew Research Center. The Red Sox is a more popular religion around here than Christianity, Judaism, Islam and Hinduism combined.

My first cover story for New Hampshire Magazine explores the die-hard subculture of Red Sox fans in the Granite State -- and their state of mind after one of the worst seasons in Sox history. (Cover design by J Porter)

My first cover story for New Hampshire Magazine explores the die-hard subculture of NH Red Sox fans — and their fragile psychology after one of the most disappointing seasons in Sox history. (Cover design by J Porter)

We left no New Hampshire baseball angle unexplored, even tracking down Carlton Fisk’s 1963 high school yearbook. He’s the guy holding the trophy on the far right.

What if Carlton Fisk had decided to pursue pro basketball instead of pro baseball?

What if Carlton Fisk had decided to pursue pro basketball instead of pro baseball?

You can read the full story here.

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Filed under New Hampshire Magazine, Red Sox, Red Sox Schlock

Who is America’s Worst PEZident?

Even if you know WHO this president is, odds are you have no idea WHAT he accomplished. The historians say very iittle.

Even if you know WHO this president is, odds are that you have no idea WHAT he accomplished. According to most historians, not much.

Quick: Name the U.S. president immortalized in plastic above.

Baffled?  Of course you are.

Being turned into a PEZ dispenser may be the greatest thing that ever happened to this 1800s-era Commander-in-Chief.

I explore why with Brady Carlson at NHPR’s “All Things Considered” and in the upcoming February issue of New Hampshire Magazine. Brady deftly steered the conversation where all meaningful conversations ultimately go: To the 1970s Saturday Morning classic cartoon, “The Super Friends.”

And that may tap me out for comprehensive coverage of Presidential PEZ. If you’re as smitten by the topic as I am, check out the candy company’s plans to conquer elementary school minds (The Atlantic), and why Barack Obama will have to wait for his moment of sugarcoated glory (The Hill).

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Filed under PEZ, Political Satire, politics

The Leaning Tower of Tupperware… and Other Tourist Attractions Coming Soon?

The Leaning Tower of Tupperware — Click on the cartoon to see what those wacky tourists are trying to do. (New Hampshire Magazine illustration by Marc Sutherland).

The New Hampshire tourism bureau just spent $130,000 on a slogan (“Live Free And…”) that I would have sold them for half that price.

But we don’t need any more coffee mug mottos to lure more visitors. We need more tourist attractions!

Luckily for state officials, I’ve laid out the perfect economic development plan in the June issue of New Hampshire Magazine (“Tourist Attractions We’d Like To See“).

Cash Cow Idea # 1: The Leaning Tower of Tupperware (Berlin, NH)

Plastic bowl tycoon Earl Tupper doesn’t generate the same reverence as NH native Franklin Pierce, but what did our 14th President ever do to preserve sandwiches? An unstable tower of Tupperware containers, simulating how they never stack right in the cupboard, would become a must-take tourist photo at the inventor’s birthplace. (Inspiration: JELL-O Museum in Le Roy, NY)

Take a look inside NH Magazine’s crystal ball for some other roadside attractions hopefully coming to a highway exit near me!

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Weight Loss Innovation: Ignore Reality

Scales are banned at Planet Fitness --Tootsie Rolls are not. (NH Magazine/Brad Fitzpatrick)

Forget about counting calories…  Here’s a New Year’s resolution you are guaranteed to keep: Don’t weigh yourself.

Scales are banned at Planet Fitness, an otherwise stellar institution that gives out free pizza and purple Tootsie Rolls and doesn’t screw you with outrageously high membership fees.

People who say they don’t want to be defined by a number are living in La-La Land. Find out why by reading “Weighting for Validation,” my latest “Last Laugh” column for New Hampshire Magazine.

(Note: Brad Fitzpatrick is the same talented illustrator behind the clever Forbidden Fish Pedicure cartoon for NH Magazine).

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