Hi Deany Beanie! Remmer me? Still got that Pontiac GTO engine in the 55 gallon drum of oil waiting to be used? I only drove a Econoline extended van for the time I worked at "Citrus Methosky" as you called it, but I'm grateful for you teaching me the "SLIDE" method of driving a big van. It helped me through those drought months where I filled my Coleman 1/2 gallon cooler with the cold water I got at the Brunswick store. I know you'd been a Ford worker, out on a back issue and trying to survive, but soon after you taught me how to deal with rental folks, you left the company. You saw the writing on the wall. This post is dedicated to you Deany Beany. I haven't played the "CI-MOTHER F*CKING-TATION" game since I left, but I always think that when there is a rare sitghting of one still running.
...And to you my friend and manager Walt. The Escort GT was "hot and beefy" until crashed into by our cashier. You were the manager with enough guts to hire a friend and take all his s*it. We had been a team until you were moved to that East side location. Then when I was out of work, you offered me a delivery job for Curtis Mathes. You were manager of the two stores. One in the Color Tile strip center and one in the former Hardees with the converted drive thru wing used for the stores security equipment. You must have known our company was in trouble, and you did what you could to save money. I helped you go from two stores into the former Hardees. We had great times. You even started liking the bands I liked. Devo and Ministry. You walked into our store proudly displaying Ministry's newest release "The Mind Is A Terrible Thing To Taste" that you purchased from the Camelot music in the Midway Mall across the street. We fired up the nearest "Curtis Mathes SL" stereo system. (An all in one, plastic fronted, shiny box with big speakers that sounded like poo poo designed to be rented and re-rented and not fail.) You listened to a few tunes and we were both shocked at how dark and growly the songs were. You were frustrated and took the record off the rock on rock player and smashed it on the aircraft carpet over the concrete floor. Of course I bought it on CD and it quickly became a favorite. That's what we were. Best friends who didn't agree on most stuff but somehow, through retail experiences, we had a common ground. I also dedicate this post to you.
A smaller pic of Curtis Mathes badge I wore on my poop brown jacket. Truth be told, I had a fun time for the short time I worked there. Partly because I'd learned to deliver and repo all sorts of couches and refrigerators and "SLINTS". Partly because I worked with guys like Dean and Walt. It's fun to go out to dinner with your manager and drink booze and hang. Curtis Mathes was a great company. The were famous for having the "Four Year Warranty". When they "built" televisions in America, they had some of the best furniture in the business. If you got a console from Curtis Mathes, it was solid wood and the guts were extremely reliable. As the world moved to solid state and across the pond so to speak, Curtis Mathes kept building furniture in the US but the selection of chassis for the television changed. When I worked there, the electronics used in the majority of CM cabinets was made by NEC, but soon, NEC pulled out of the country. So, RCA was the last one to make TVs in America and CM used them.
Also by the late 80's, other than the few traditional cabinet TVs which could be ordered from our catalog, everything else was going really cheap. Curtis Mathes was becoming a rent-to-own place and did a brisk business in lower to mid income areas. While I worked there, CM came out with "Curtis Mathes SL" , a cheaper line of electronics with only a standard 90 day warranty. We were selling Gold Stars and Daewoo and Samsung VCRS and stereos and other crap, but rent-to-own was the ultimate result. We had the cheapest furniture as well. I used to pick up from a warehouse, deliver, and two weeks later need to go back to replace a cracked hollow plastic foot on a couch. When I had deliveries of re-manufactured Gold Star VCRS with "TNIX" pasted over the name with a sticky plate, I had to find a remote and a manual and deliver that. Many times when a customer asked "is this new", I wouldn't lie, but I would say "picked it up at the warehouse a few hours ago...". That usually got the job done but if the customer pressed, I'd just say, "check with your salesperson." That was my friend Walt. I don't recall he got much static.
We did a ton of business in video rentals. CM was one of the first companies to have video rentals for their Panasonic guts, Curtis Mathes VCRS. It even was free for a time when you bought a VCR from CM. Soon after, they rented to everybody and they became a rental factory. While I worked there, it was mostly video rentals and about two-three deliverys a day and shortly thereafter, the Brunswick store became part of my territory. Maybe an extra delivery every other day. They mostly did movie rentals.
Movie companies would provide a ton of freebies for us to promote their releases and we could give them away at our stores. We never did. We only got two or three of each item, and then I remembered there was a "glom box" with the freebies in a box at the video rental office. I had to stop in every day at our warehouse to get the latest releases so I usually glommed. Here's a few of my junk box additions.
Okay, I'm going to break this blog's rules to illustrate why we sometimes did and sometimes didn't give this crap away. I'm going to provide links. Why? I don't know. I don't care. I didn't remember this movie nor did I care. There was https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cop_%28film%29 , a movie called COP with James Woods that didn't do really well at the box office. However, this was a different movie which seemed to want to get viewers based on "COP"'s "success". This was COP: White Of The Eye, which had nobody of note in it. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0094320/ It was released by Paramount, and seeing the tie-in with CM, it leads me to believe it's the same flick.
It was a "nice" leatherette plastic case with a magnifying glass inside. I might have used this once or twice, but otherwise, I thought the gold lettering was nice. I never saw this flick and to this day, don't care about it. CM Logo in Gold. What a keepsake.
Here's a movie that I did see once. Yes, it's Stallone. He's on a mission to save X from Y and kills a bunch of Y in the process. I was being greedy when I glommed these, but I seem to recall we had a ton of them and couldn't give them away because they seemed to "regenerate" from a mysterious mushroom filled spring in the basement of our store. "I'm not going down there, I'm allergic to MOLD!"
Mr. Fat Hanz appears again in this blog holding one of the Rambo III key chains that I wouldn't call junk at all. Why? I wanted a Rambo III key chain to become one with my car keys. It did. For years and years I had this one on my car key ring, hence why it looks like a chew toy. Indeed it was used as a chew toy as I held my car keys in my mouth while using my house keys to get into countless apartments. I think I stopped using this when I got a car that came with it's own FOB. My 1999 Nissan Sentra had remote locking so to keep chewing on Rambo III seemed redundant. Besides, some of it was getting really thin and probably would have fallen apart. So, into the junk box it went, hence why two of the key chains look new while my used one is faded and well masticated. Masticating Music. Peh.
You know this movie. It's the one where a Sharon Stone crosses her legs to reveal some sort of device, usually used for urinating but sometimes used for sexual stimulation. Well, how de doo. 09/27/15 Update. Epic fail. The movie was Michael Douglas in some sort of situation. Shows you that I really don't look at blogs to find out what I'm telling you on this blog is not verified by a web search. The movie starring Sharon Stone was called Basic Instinct. THAT was verified tonight when I was at the bar and had a hunch that I had it wrong. So, because I made good jokes about the Sharon Stone vehicle, I'll leave it in. **** FAKE, NOT TRUE MOVIE TALK BY SOMEONE WHO TAKS OUT HIS ASS: "Yes, I know. It was a popular movie. In theaters, and in rentals. It really didn't need a promotional key chain. I have never seen this movie to this day. I am however familiar with that interrogation scene because it's one of the most parodied scenes in movie history. Everybody has an actress cross her legs and rather than PIE you see CAKE. I will see this movie some day. Hell I just saw "A Clockwork Orange" for the first time a few weeks ago. "You've never seen FATAL ATTRACTION?" Sharon Stone was pushed." *** END FALSE INFO BY THE NARD**** (I've never seen either flick)
Of course, as mentioned earlier in this post, I drank. Never mind that I was still under 21. Hell, I had reached major beer drinking achievements by the time I became legal age. I didn't go to college so after high school, a career at McDonalds or worse, RETAIL, seemed like the path I would take. Radio didn't occur to me until a bit later, so for those few years before and after my graduation from high school, anything to dull the pain was good by me. Hence, why I glommed this bottle opener. It would help me be on my way to advanced "CHUG". The can opener was good for the motor oil that I burned with my Monza, but that was another story. Many a beer was consumed either on my friend Leo's fake ID supplying our funeral pyre bonfires at my friend Pete's industrial rallies or the bottles of "Matilda Bay" wine coolers that my friend Walt and I consumed at his flat. On my 21st birthday between 12 and 1am when it was still legal to sell, I went by my lonesome to the North Olmsted "Finast" supermarket and bought my favorite beverage at the time. Segram's Peach Melba Rum wine coolers. (Another violation of this blog's policy, an article on wine coolers to prove that the above existed -- http://articles.orlandosentinel.com/1986-07-10/lifestyle/0230400134_1_wine-cooler-california-cooler-cooler-sales ) I drank three and passed out. Such a light weight. Such a depressing 21st birthday. I should have been sexxin and dopin'. It was a weekday. I had to go to work in the morning.
Here's the other side. "Action Jackson" It starred none other than Carl Weathers and the aforementioned Sharon Stone in addition to many others. I may have seen this one in passing or on television. I don't recall anything about it though reading the WIKI gives some insight. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Action_Jackson_%281988_film%29 What I think is the best thing about this is, the cheapness of it. If it wasn't Action Jackson, it would be Total Recall or Lethal Weapon in the circular plastic overlay of this obvious promotional piece of crap. I'm sure hundreds of others exist with different movie titles or bands or company logos. Ahhhhh, the cheap promo crap.
Finally I'll end this on more musings of CM and a piece that is NOT JUNK because I see it every day. That's Leslie Neilson from his movie poster for Police Squad. Through the years, the poster got torn up so I just cut out his likeness and he's donned every door of every bathroom I've had since I got him. When I was really young, I LOVED the six episode POLICE SQUAD show. ABC was really having a bad time of it so they pulled the series not knowing what to do with it. Zucker Abrams Zucker produced it, and because it didn't have a DUH laugh track DUH DUH it baffled middle America. Now, critics look at it as one of the funniest show ever on TV because it was such a tongue in cheek parody of the police procedurals from the 60's and 70's . A few years later, it was announced there would be a movie made. Indeed it was one of the funniest movies I'd seen. Nordberg's character played by Peter Lupus (of Mission Impossible! fame) was replaced in the movies by none other than O.J. Simpson. It still remains one of the all time funniest movies I've seen in the theater. Granted, I didn't see Airplane! or Airplane! 2 in the theater because I was too young. Still "Naked Gun" was the only movie I laughed at all the way through as was Sandra Berndhart's concert film "Without You I'm Nothing" or more recently "The Other Guys" which starred Will Farrell, but don't let that stop you from watching it.
So, I got this and several other movie posters from CM and I got a few movie poster frames to put them in. I don't remember why I left working at CM but I think it was after the writing was on the wall. Rumor had it that another major rent to own company was going to buy us out, but when that company imploded upon itself, it left us in a shambles. I think my friend Walt and I didn't see eye to eye for a time either so I left to begin a fruitful career at Tokyo Shapiro. *cough*
After CM's demise, the big Hollywood flick starring the TERMINATOR came out and was a huge hit. Total Recall was a fun flick to see, and again , with the Sharon Stone in it. Before the end of CM came, there was talk of a big budget Hollywood film coming out that Curtis Mathes had received exclusive electronics "product placement" rights. Indeed CM appeared in that movie on all sorts of high tech gadgets that they would never sell because they were DOA a few months before the flick came out. A piece of movie history that nobody cares about except us Citrus Methosky veterans.
A few years later, the trademark "Curtis Mathes" was purchased by a company and K-MART became the exclusive retailer. Curtis Mathes TV's and VCR's were available exclusively at K-MART??? A sad end to a very proud name. Now, they sell LED light bulbs. No link. That would violate blog rules.