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Pezhead Monthly
August 2009

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Spring Loaded: A Message from the Editor top of page | cover page

Welcome to the pages of Pezhead Monthly!

It's hard to believe that two weeks have passed already since Pezamania 19, and eight years have passed since I started this newsletter. I had such a great time at Pezamania, as my extensive recap in this issue can attest. It was nice to see so many people and to pick up so many new Pez. There was a lot of Pez action going down in July- in addition to the multitude of scores I got at the convention, I also got a Hand Holding Earth from Pez.com, a Tweety and a Pez Truck from a friend in Israel, the new Marvel Heroes set from Wal-Mart, and to round it out, a vintage Pez Nurse from the Burlingame Museum of Pez Memorabilia. What a month!

This issue of Pezhead Monthly is bursting at the seams with Pez goodness. In addition to my comprehensive recap of Pezamania 19 (including some video of the live Pez Poetry Slam), there is also an interview with a winning Pez bingo card, a bunch of Pez Poetry, and a Pez Almost-Quote to warm your soul.

A big thanks is due to Kyle Colburn for contributing some Pez Poetry to this issue. You can submit your own Pez poetry, humor, artwork, photographs, videos, and more. For details, click here.

As always, thanks for reading and see you next month!

Joe Durrant
Editor, Pezhead Monthly


Pezamania 19, Oh What A Fine Scene top of page | cover page

My ninth straight trip to Cleveland for Pezamania, the epic destination for Pezheads around the world, was better than ever. While each year offers new and unique ways to experience the joy of Pez, Pezamania 19 took it to a whole other level. This year, not only did I buy and sell even more Pez, but I also got the chance to read many of the poems featured in Pezhead Monthly for a live Pez Poetry Slam. Mixed in along the way were hope, heartbreak, and a host of firsts.

Wednesday: The Fun Begins

Because I was performing at one of the Friday seminars, I knew that I could use any extra time I could get for the essential room-hopping component of the trip. So I did something that I've never done before- I arrived at Pezamania on Wednesday, a day earlier than usual even though some dealers are open as early as Monday.

On the way to the convention I was pulled over by a highway patrolman. Well, allow me to clarify: looking back, I think he was after the guy in front of me on the motorcycle, but my guilty conscience and overwhelming fear of law enforcement took over. Yes, I explained to the officer, I was exceeding the speed limit by (cough) 5 miles, but I was on my way to the Pez convention in Cleveland. I'd like to think that it was this last bit that convinced him to let me off with a warning, but in reality he was probably just after the motorcycle dude all along.

I was thinking that I would arrive much later than I actually did, by at least a couple of hours, which is strange considering that as many times as I've been to Cleveland I really should have an idea of how long it takes to get there.

As it turns out, I had considerable time to room hop on Wednesday. And one of the first items I got happens to be the most prized piece in my collection this far: A Thor! I had wanted to add Thor to my collection since… well, since I can't remember. He always was just a bit out of my price range for a dispenser, and he probably was this time around too. But I finally decided that if I didn't get him this time, I'd just want to get him year and year again. So get him I most certainly did! Today Thor stands as the biggest single Pez in my collection, not only in terms of price, but also in terms of coolness (for the biggest/coolest group of Pez in my collection, that title still goes to my shelf o'Batmans).

A big mistake I made this year was staying at the Red Roof across from the convention hotel on Wednesday, before staying at the main hotel Thursday-Saturday. I had decided a few years back that staying at Holiday Inn was the way to go, but I didn't think I'd have time to room hop at all on Wednesday so I thought I'd crash at Red Roof and save the extra $30. Never again! The inconvenience of having to unpack/repack/pack again far outweighs the extra $30. In the future, however early I may arrive, it will definitely be at the Holiday Inn.

These Pretzels Are Making Me Thursday

On Thursday I returned to BA Sweeties, a freakin' huge candy store just a short drive away from the hotel. Last year I found it by accident and was instantly mesmerized by the wall of Pez that greeted me as I entered the store. I picked up a bunch of the MLB Baseball dispensers there last year too. This year, I only managed to find one new dispenser, the new Boston Red Sox one. It was amazing and a little terrifying to gaze at the huge wall of Pez and know that I have them all!

After checking into the Holiday Inn and carrying in, easily, more luggage than ever before due in part to the Pez Poetry Slam, I room hopped a bit more, getting some more dispensers, reconnecting with some Pezheads that I hadn't seen for a year or more, and meeting new ones too. It was nice to see so many people; with the current state of the economy I was a bit worried that turnout would be lower.

After dinner I set up for the big Pez swap party. I had a lot of stuff to sell this year, and a lot of it actually sold! (adding to my Pez funds and allowing me to get even more Pez at the convention). I sold a lot of doubles for cheap, and also had some unique stuff that came out over the course of the past year, such as the Pez basketball and the lip balm set in the cool retro packaging. I also showed people the custom Pez set I made for my girlfriend for her birthday and handed out paper copies of Pez Poetry Slams from 2002 thru 2009.

After the swap party was a game called Pezamania Wars, which has been a staple of the convention ever since John and Linda Gliha took the reins for Pezamania 16. Last year, I made it all the way to the semifinals, and was rewarded with a golden Palpatine dispenser and a pin (which I later traded in towards a Jiminy Cricket dispenser). This year, however, I was eliminated in the first round. That was okay with me, as it left me more time to room hop and plan for the next day.

And what happened the next day? The Pez Poetry Slam, of course!

Friday: A Slammin' Good Time

Having attended Pezamania since 2001, I've always enjoyed the seminars. They've always been an informative and fascinating look at collections, new and upcoming releases, repairs, factory errors, the state of the hobby in general, and more. I wondered if I would ever get the chance to host a seminar.

It turns out that this was my year. A few months back I e-mailed John with a proposal- to present a live Pez Poetry Slam at a seminar, featuring some of the many poems that have graced the pages of this newsletter since its inception in 2001. I didn't expect that he would actually say yes! I was very excited to hear the news, of course. So over the last month or so I put a lot of time into planning the seminar- what poems to include and in what order, how to make it an entertaining event, and what other "extras" I could throw in there. I even did two rehearsals, to the bemused delight of my cat. Slowly but surely it all came together.

I put a lot into the presentation. I started with the poems themselves, because hey, that's where the magic begins, but I also included a PowerPoint slide show, props, and even a couple of costumes. A few last-minute things fell into place in Cleveland, including a new poem ("Thor," which is included in this issue). I am also extremely grateful to the Glihas for working with the hotel to provide a microphone, podium, and room setup for the event. It was much appreciated.

1PM came and I was ready to roll. I started the show with a brief introduction to Pezhead Monthly, and then I dropped the poetry bomb on y'all. I also stopped at various points to highlight some Pez Almost-Quotes and a selection of Pezhead Monthly cover images. The crowd was modest at first, but as the event continued more people came in. I invited others to come up and perform their own poetry, but did not get any volunteers. That's cool, I had plenty of my own to share.

For the grand finale, I donned a bandana, eye patch, and Jack Sparrow Pez dispenser to lead the audience through a rousing rendition of "Yo Ho, Yo Ho, A Pezhead's Life For Me."

Oh yes, and I videotaped the event! Here is my reading of "The Thumb That Tilts The Pez Back."


To see some more footage of the Pez Poetry Slam (including "Thor" and "A Pezhead's Life For Me"), click here.

All in all, performing the Pez Poetry Slam was a wonderful experience. I was fairly concerned going in because I am not exactly the most gifted public speaker. But as soon as I started reading the poems it was all good. I'd like to again thank everyone who sat through it, and for the positive feedback afterwards. It meant a lot and I am very grateful. I am not sure if or when I'll do another live Pez Poetry Slam, but I will always cherish this one for sure.

The Pezamania 19 recap continues here...

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