The eating area at my workplace doubles as a calorie dump — i.e., a repository for fatty food items either cooked or received as gifts by some of the impossibly slender and attractive women in the office, who know that if they want to stay impossibly slender they have to get the things out of their houses muy pronto. So the items are placed in the workplace eating area, where they magically disappear by the end of the day.
Yesterday somebody dropped off a chocolate Easter Bunny only slightly smaller than one of the Easter Island statues, which was demolished in due course. But I cannot look at an Easter Bunny without thinking of the Chocolate Wobblies for sale at the Bob and Ray Overstocked Surplus Warehouse:
There’s good news today, friends. Good news for you, bad news for us.
We’ve done it again, and our loss is your gain.
In anticipation of the Easter season, we laid in a large supply of chocolate rabbits. These were the best chocolate rabbits money could buy. Each one was genuine chocolate, all chocolate. Each one had a purple bow tied around his or her neck. Each one was edible, real edible.
But, through the carelessness of one of our alert, uniformed attendants, these chocolate rabbits were stored next to the steampipes in our overstocked surplus warehouse. So, we are now able to offer, at a ridiculously low price, exactly twenty gross of genuine, laughably edible, all chocolate wobblies.
These wobblies are not only appropriate for any season, but the kiddies will have great fun trying to decide what the wobblies represent. Some of you imaginative youngsters will imagine dinosaurs, wombats, and anteaters. Others will see pterodactyls, vultures, and your mother-in-law.
But, friends, this is backed up by the unconditional Bob and Ray guarantee: Not one of the kiddies will know these were once rabbits. Any wobbly mistaken for a rabbit can be returned to the Bob and Ray overstocked surplus warehouse, where the full purchase price will be laughingly returned.
Never again do we expect to make this amazing offer. The warehouse engineers have already removed the steampipes, and with them, our alert uniformed attendant.
So be the first in your neighborhood to surprise your kiddies after Easter! And remember, each of these edible, all-chocolate wobblies has…somewhere in it…a real purple ribbon! And that makes an extra surprise that will really give the little nippers a bang…also pull out any loose teeth they may have been trying to dislodge.
So write immediately to:
Bob and Ray
New York, New York
And say, “We’ll bite.”
I think one of the great societal divides involves people who Get Bob and Ray and people who Don’t Get Bob and Ray. Their stuff was already a little dated when I heard them as a teenager, and it’s really dated now because the kind of radio broadcasts they made fun of no longer exist outside the walls of the Smithsonian. Their invincibly deadpan delivery, their slow-building routines, and their fondness forlong-running inside jokes have doomed them to ever-deepening obscurity. There may be a few souls left who realize that Bob Elliott was father to comedian and film actor Chris Elliott, or that Bob played the ineffectual bank guard in the Bill Murray flick Quick Change, or that Kurt Vonnegut was one of their most devoted fans, and they played newsmen covering the rocket launch in that great lost television film Between Time and Timbuktu, but I doubt that rings many bells nowadays.
Nevertheless, I am hard-wired to remember Bob and Ray routines forevermore. When The Woman Warrior and the Hellspawn see me cracking myself up with references to Wally Ballou and the Mary Backstayge House of Toast, they just exchange glances and keep quiet, no doubt thinking, Daddy’s having one of his little episodes again. Which has the ring of a Bob and Ray setup, now that I think on it.