Friday, January 11, 2008

Grudge Match of the Damned

I actually thought they were both dead and had to find this cool picture of Hell. Oops.

Let's face it -- sometimes there isn't enough sport to go around in this city so you've just got to make some.


Challenger: Ray Szmanda, AKA The Menards Guy

Bio: Born 1926, iconic character linked to the Menard's chain. Hails from Wisconsin and attacks our fair city.

Interesting Fact: Goes by KB9JPB on HAM Radio. Seriously.

Strengths: Appeals to hillbilly redneck inbred trash with odd banjo music that plays behind every ad. Also talks loudly and excitedly for no particular reason. I'm sure he does a mean Harry Caray impression with those glasses.

Weaknesses: Tends to soil self from excitement. Also, I thought he was dead.

Wow: Great Nephew Eric Smandza is on CSI. He plays Greg. Wow.

Defending Champ: Lynn Hauldren AKA The Empire Carpet Guy

Born 1923, enthusiastic old man linked to Empire Carpet. Born and raised in Chicago.

Interesting Fact: Actually composed the Empire jingle himself and recorded it with the help of a group called The Fabulous 40's. I'm sure they're all dead by now.

Strengths: Selling carpet. Repeating monotonous ear-worm of a jingle. Maintaining a mustache that could clean my floors for weeks. Probably bent the Luna Carpet chick over multiple times back in his prime.

Weaknesses: Dressing up like a giant rabbit, pumpkin or other holiday related entity for holiday sales. Tends to spontaneously burst into song. I also thought he was dead. Again.

Wow: He has a band called Chordiac Arrest that has been performing until 2007. Hauldren got so full of himself that he started a new band called Chordplay. Both band names would have been much cooler if they weren't a barbershop quartet.

Vote for your winner in the comments (I seriously can't believe that they're both alive)!


Keggers said...

This is pure genius.

Sometimes, when I'm bored and it's quiet, I start to hum the "save big money at Menards" tune to myself. That hick crazy background song is amazing. Gotta go with Menards, although the Empire dude has been around FOREVER. Feels like my gradfather almost.

Except the Empire guy didn't touch me inappropriately.

Brad said...

"How did you know how old I was, Grandpa?"

"Because your mom told me earlier. NOW GET THE HELL OUT"

Gepetto said...

I'm leaning towards the Empire Carpet guy. I mean, he's Chicago pure-bred, so that has to count for something.

Also, there's that one commercial where there are, like, 50 of him. I'll bet he's been using a body double in the commercials and rocking some serious Jack LeLane training.

bloomerang said...

The winner of this contest has to be the guy who, although it is now 2008, still shoots his commercials on VHS, edits on BetaMax, and shows them on local stations to preserve that 1980's home video look.

What? They both do? Now I don't know who to choose. Fuck. Can I vote Ditka?

Mark said...

Empire Carpet Guy wins. By a landslide. Fuck Menard's. Empire Carpet Guy is a legendary piece of Chicago history, just, old hippie on JBTV, and....yeah.

What the fuck does this have to do with sports?

Trogdor said...

I still remember watching reruns of Diff'rent Strokes on Ch. 50 with Empire Carpet commercials coming on at every commercial break. Gotta go with the Empire guy.

Hey, remember that episode of Diff'rent Strokes when the Maytag man tried to molest Arnold and his friend?

Anonymous said...

I would say the Menards guy would win..he definitely has the weight advantage, although I'm not too sure who has the height. The Empire carpet dude seems to be short, but maybe that's me. On the other hand, the Empire carpet dude seems scrappy...I would plunk down some serious bucks to see this one to the end...good post

Joseph said...

im going to have to vote the empire guy b/c he even made it big and did his whole song in dance in NY when i came to chicago and saw the comercials ad nauseum i thought i remember seeing them before and i had. menards sounds and looks from the outside like more of a farm supply store than a hardware store competing with home depot so the east coast bias goes to the empire carpet guy.