20 Percent Of Area Man's Income Spent Ironically

In This Section

Vol 38 Issue 35

Temp Replaced With Cheaper Temp

SAN BERNARDINO, CA—In a personnel move expected to save the company $17 a day, Cyntrel Fiberoptics replaced longtime Manpower temp worker Paulette Riordan with lower-paid MetroTemp employee Don Sendelbach. "Paulette was a familiar face in this office who we all very much liked," departmental supervisor William Youmans said. "But with the economy the way it is, tough decisions sometimes have to be made. Don's really learning the ropes well." Riordan's plans for the future include calling Manpower to inquire about openings in other offices.

B*A*P*S Rented On Strength Of Academy Award-Winning Stars

IRVING, TX—Blockbuster Video customer Stephanie Campbell rented the 1997 comedy B*A*P*S Tuesday, swayed by the presence of Oscar-winners Halle Berry and Martin Landau. "Wow, this is a pretty impressive cast," said Campbell, studying the back of the video box. "Talk about heavy hitters—it's even got Ian Richardson." Campbell ensured an evening of top-notch movie-watching by also renting Loaded Weapon I, which features Oscar-winner F. Murray Abraham.

American Idol Winner Already Complaining About Pressures Of Fame

NEW YORK—Kelly Clarkson, the winner of Fox's American Idol, griped about the pressures of her weeks-old celebrity Monday during an appearance on Live! With Regis And Kelly. "Being a star is amazing, and I wouldn't trade it for anything, but sometimes it's like, 'Can I please have, like, one second to myself?'" Clarkson said. "Everyone wants a piece of you, and there is zero privacy." Clarkson, who performed her debut single "A Moment Like This" on Live!, said she plans to spend the next month "recharging at a secluded desert spa."

Hotel Bar Really Hopping Tonight, Says Hotel Bartender

GRAND RAPIDS, MI—According to George Fontana, the Grand Rapids Hilton's Tiki Town bar and lounge is "really hopping tonight," the 46-year-old hotel bartender reported Monday. "Usually, Mondays are pretty slow around here," Fontana said. "But it's been non-stop since about 10. To be honest, I'm not exactly sure why. I'd say it was the dental-supply convention, but most of those fellas are staying over at the Radisson." Fontana added that if the rush keeps up, he may have to unlock the supply closet to get a fresh box of olive picks.
End Of Section
  • More News
TV Listings
Just Like Everything Else!: Fox 8 p.m. EDT/7 p.m. ABC Pete's wife is still on him about building that darn shed, these kids are going to be the death of Sheila and Dave, and the hot next-door neighbor is up in EVERYBODY'S business! Sunday nights on ABC couldn't be any more familiar!

Special Coverage

Healthy Eating

Good Times

Man Considers Nodding Approvingly After Friend’s Drink Purchase

MEQUON, WI—Seeking to convey his endorsement of his acquaintance's selection at local bar Coney's Draft House this evening, area man Thomas Dodge told reporters that he was considering nodding approvingly at his friend’s alcoholic beverage pur...

20 Percent Of Area Man's Income Spent Ironically

LOUISVILLE, KY—Alex Vartan, 24, a Louisville-area convenience-store cashier and part-time DJ, spends 20 percent of his income ironically, sources reported Monday.

Vartan in his irony-filled apartment.

"I know I should really try to sock away some cash, but there's just so much funny shit out there," Vartan said. "Like, just yesterday, I passed by this Christian bookstore, and in the window they had those statues of Jesus playing basketball and a bunch of other sports with little kids. Now, how are you supposed to pass something like that up?"

Though his job as a cashier doesn't provide much in the way of disposable income, Vartan spends roughly one-fifth of his $21,000-a-year salary on such ironic items as Future Farmers of America jackets, Successories posters, and Knight Rider lunchboxes.

Vartan's love affair with irony-based shopping began in high school, when he bought a used sitting bath at a hospital surplus sale.

"I just thought it would be funny to use it for a chair," Vartan said. "Plus, it was only $3. At a garage sale a few days later, I found a bunch of copies of 'The Super Bowl Shuffle' for a dime apiece, and I gave them all out to my friends for Christmas. From that point on, I was hooked."

The habit grew worse in the spring of 1996, when Vartan discovered eBay.

"Man, that blew my mind," said Vartan, who combs the popular auction site for ironic items almost daily. "I couldn't believe the amazing stuff you could find on there. Like, about a month ago, I found this bootleg Wendy's employee-training video from the mid-'80s where this black kid does this how-to-cook-the-burgers rap. I shit you not."

A typical trip to the supermarket for Vartan involves the purchase of at least one ironic foodstuff, such as Frank's Kraut Juice or Uncle Sam's cereal. When he returns home, he often pops open a can of Schlitz beer and unwinds with his prized laser-disc copy of Leonard Part 6 or a book of Lockhorns comic strips.

A small sampling of Vartan's possessions.

Even when his financial situation is dire, Vartan has a hard time resisting ironic purchases.

"Last June, I found a $20 bill on the street," Vartan said. "I was totally psyched, because I was seriously hurting for cash at the time—I think I had, like, $5.85 in my checking account. I was going to put it in the bank, but on the way home I saw this shirt in the window of Ragstock that said, 'It's Not A Beer Belly, It's A Gas Tank For A Sex Machine.' Of course, I got the shirt and lost seven pounds that month because I ate nothing but rice and beans, so it was even more ironic."

Though he tends to gravitate toward pop-culture artifacts from the '70s and '80s, Vartan has recently taken to investing in contemporary items that he speculates will have future kitsch appeal.

"I spent $200 on a rare movie poster for the Italian version of The Adventures Of Pluto Nash," Vartan said. "I emptied out my bank account to get the money, and then I had to call the electric company and make up some excuse why I couldn't pay them this month. That kinda sucked, but it's gonna be worth it in a few years when Pluto Nash is recognized as a classic on par with Battlefield Earth and Showgirls."

Despite his misgivings, Vartan said he does not have any immediate plans to change his spending habits.

"I know I really should save for my future, but it's almost impossible with all the great crap you come across," Vartan said. "If I ever do manage to save enough money, though, I'd love to get a house in Celebration, FL, that freako Disney-planned community near Orlando. That place sounds so unbelievably weird and depressing, it'd be hilarious."

Next Story

Onion Video

Watch More