Way back when I was in high school (I'm talking 1981-1982) I discovered this incredible, wonderful, awesome mail order company called "Jerryco." Part of their charm was the newsprint catalogs with black-and-white line drawings and the witty, sarcastic, tongue-in-cheek descriptions of the products for sale. The rest of their charm was in what they sold: random surplus. Little bottles. Ribbons that were used for WWI medals. Accupunture dummies (I still have him, on my desk, as I type...at least 24 years later). Navy-issue non-tip inkwells. Eyewash cups. Dummy missles. Ceramic denture tooth-samples. Really strong magnets.
I loved getting a new catalog. I'd pour through it, circling what I wanted to buy. Some things were useful...others, just weird and/or cool. Everything was inexpensive.
Somehow, after college, I lost touch with Jerryco. They'd changed their name...and the catalogs weren't the same anymore.
This week, for some reason, I was reminded of Jerryco, and I went to see if they were still in business, with that new name whatever it was.
To my delight, I discovered they are. They are called American Science and Surplus
now. But the online version of their catalog is just as I remember the newsprint hard copy to be. In fact, a couple of the items and their illustrations are exactly the same as they were in the 80's (The Dandiest Donut in the Domain
and the Lambie Leftovers
are two I found that I remembered; I actually bought a couple of the Dandy Donut magnets, and they're probably in a box in the basement somewhere).
And the prices? Still cheap.
It's like running into your high school sweetheart, only better, because no one's gotten married, fat, or bald in the intervening 20-some-odd years.