There's a nice little back-to-school battle heating up inside the Target store in Ventura . . . between sales of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle lunch boxes and sales of Chipmunk lunch boxes.
"The Ninja Turtles seem to be the runaway leader, but we're also having a revival here," store manager Kerry Baichtal said. "Alvin, Theodore and Simon--they're back."
Who or what is in third place at Target? The New Kids on the Block. But they are doing much better at the Oxnard K mart.
"You wouldn't believe how many kids come in here asking for them," said Tijuana Wade, an assistant manager. "On lunch boxes, telephones, sheets, comforters, anything."
Meanwhile, Henry Fayter, the manager of the Thrifty store in Santa Paula, would like to be able to report any leader whatsoever in the lunch box race, but no such luck so far.
"They aren't selling at all," he said. "It seems over the years lunch boxes are selling less and less. Either children are brown-bagging it or they are buying lunch. It depends where you are."
According to some guy in Michigan, Monday is officially National Boss/Employee Exchange Day. It's a day set aside each year for the two parties "to share each others' points of view." We were going to write more about this, but we were afraid our bosses would say no.
Folks planning to attend the Buckwheat Zydeco performance at the Ventura Theater on Wednesday would be well-advised not to make the mistake of using the terms zydeco and Cajun interchangeably.
"When people start saying 'Cajun' you can see Buckwheat start cringing," said Sandy Sawotka, the national marketing director for Island Records. "Cajun is a different culture. It's different music. It's different food, and Cajuns are white descendants of the French settlers of Nova Scotia. Buckwheat points out that his roots are Creole. He's proud of being Creole, proud of being black and proud of being French Canadian."
In fact, the musician is so concerned about this misunderstanding that his contract with promoters, producers and club owners states that using the word Cajun in promotional material is "strictly prohibited and will void" the contract.
By the way, Buckwheat had to cancel a couple of shows at the end of last month because his wife was sick. She is recovering and he is expected to make the Ventura engagement.
What's the most requested song on radio station KXBS these days? An updated version of the 1950 Don and Juan hit "What's Your Name?" with a Middle Eastern slant to it:
What's your name?
Is it true that you're certifiably insane?
I hope it's been worth it
For your 15 minutes of fame.
What's your name?
What's your name?
The song was performed by a group of Ventura County musicians, with the idea coming from KXBS General Manager Ed Kramph.
"The response has been that it is very patriotic," Kramph said. "It echoes the feelings that county residents have. Hussein is wearing thin. I think people think he is basically holding the world, holding the county, hostage."
Number two on the most-requested chart? "Unchained Melody" by the Righteous Brothers.
Charles and Yvonne Miles, directors of a 3-month-old organization called Concerned People for Animals, are trying to round up members. They've held introductory meetings in Simi Valley and Thousand Oaks, and a week from today will hold another meeting at the Camarillo Public Library.
"There are so many good, committed animal activists in Ventura County," Yvonne Miles said. "But as a county we're not seen as too active because most of the actual activity is in Los Angeles or Santa Barbara."