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November 21, 1996 - Image 13

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1996-11-21

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

16B ,.The Michigan Daily Weeken Magazine - Thursday, November 21, 1996
About Town
Middle Earth delights,


offends with variety of gifts

By Josh Herman
For the Daily
Shopping List:
1. Plastic penis pen-topper
2. Half-clad Chairman Mao doll
3. 30 small rubber pigs
4. "Hard Candy" nail polish
5. Phrenology chart
6. Alien paraphernalia
7. Soap
8. Drag dress-up doll.
No, this isn't a shopping list written after
Hash Bash, but a legitimate one from any per-
son who plans on doing their shopping at

"My roommate hates the stuff - but it smells a
lot better then them!" joked first-year student
Adam Schwartz.
Across from the cosmetic booth, artifacts for
the Day of the Dead (a Latina/o holiday) line
the wall. Colorful skeletons from around the
world smile devilishly - no doubt at the phal-
lic statues around the store. Either that or
they've been reading the "special" cards that
line the back of the store - let's just say that
you won't find "Hallmark" written on the back
of them. That's not to say that children won't
enjoy the cards - there are many bright bug-
filled cards and art postcards in the store as
well. One card, for instance, has a "mom arche-

Middle Earth.
"It's named after the J.R.R.
though it doesn't carry any
merchandise related to that,"
said Cynthia Shevel, Middle
Earth owner and founder,
with a laugh. When asked
why. tbh store was opened,
she stated, "Well, you
weren't alive in 1967 - it's
what it was like!"
Going into the store, one
could probably guess that the
owner had a pretty good sense
of humor - a gargoyle with
the head of Richard Nixon
greets you upon entering (can
anything be more scary?).
"Harming only the humor-

Tolkien trilogy,

type" teaching

Middle Earth
~ What: A variety of gifts and
candy - from toys to toi-
~ Where: 1290 S. University
~ When: Monday, Tuesday,
- Saturday, 10 a.m.-7 p.m.;
Wednesday, Thursday, Friday,
10 a.m.-9 p.m. and Sunday,
12-5 p.m.
~ Phone: 769-1488.

the physical gestures of sexual
Around the top of the
store hang T-shirts that
scream grunge. If you want
to show your love for "Fat
Albert" or "School House
Rock," this is the place to
"They truly do have a great
selection of 'grunge' T-shirts!"
said Alana Berlin, a
Farmington Hills High School
"I don't really consider
myself 'grunge' but those who
do will definitely want to visit
this place," Berlin said.
at will most likely offend some-

Employee and Ann Arbor resident Jim Ford shows off the original T-shirts Middle Earth sells.

"educational," interesting books can be found near
the back of the store. Satan worshipper? Middle
Earth has a book all about the big horned one.
Hormones in overdrive? Books about redheads
and bikinis can offer some off-hour entertainment.
Perhaps you want to show your appreciation for
cross-dressers everywhere by adorning the walls
of your dorm room with drag dress-up dolls (my

you're not one of those people that likes to suck on
their pen for embarrassing consequences may
The candy is just as weird - giving it out for
Halloween would result in a few phone calls from
parents to your house, and / or projectile vomiting.
That's not to say the candy isn't interesting - any
kid would love it and it will intrigue most people

less since 1967 - that's our motto!" Shevel pro-
However, Nixon gargoyles are only a piece of
what makes up Middle Earth. A cosmetic counter
is foundj in between the two entrances to the store.
There, one can pick up nail polish, soap, Dog
Polish (for lathering Fido up) and a tasteful pot-
pourri of shampoos.
However, bathing might not be necessary for
some time after visiting the store, as the smell
from the incense sticks to your body and clothes
for at least a week. For those who don't want to get
their incense directly from people in front of the
Nickels Arcade jumping in front of their bike,
Middle Earth does sell a wide range of smells and

If T-shirts th

one when worn in public aren't your style, then
the jewelry section might be more to your lik-
ing. In the other half of the store, jewelry from
around the world and around the weird is show-
cased. Everything from Pooh pins and neck-
laces to yin-yang bracelets and star-studded
earrings (which can be placed wherever your
piercings may be) are there. The jewelry is
quite interesting and a piece can be found to
suit most any budget and style.
With all this selection, Middle Earth gets, as
Shevel said, "quite a diversity of visitors - from
football games, seminars, tours and many stu-
For those who want something a little more

roommate is still giving
me a hassle, but I swear
they're going up!) Many
more books, most likely
those that can't be bought
at Borders, or at least
bought with a straight
face, can be found among
the shelves of Middle
"You really could buy
every single book here
and never be bored again,"
Molly Harris.

"You could buy
every book here
and never be bored.
- Molly Harris
first-year student

- it may just be too interest-
ing to eat.
Regardless, most of the
children passing by were
awestruck and began the
whining that ends in them
getting the candy or being
ushered out by security. If
the candy isn't tasty, it sure
is tasty to the eyes and worth
checking out.
Middle Earth has some-

said first-year student

Near the front of the store, small trinkets and an
assortment of odd candy (Willy Wonka would
have a fit) abound. Waiting in line to pay, one can
make any last-minute additions to their purchase
- say, a fortune-telling fish or as mentioned
before, a plastic penis topper. Note: If you actual-
ly plan on buying this small wonder, make sure

thing for everyone - whether you're perverted or
an innocent child (which you won't be after visit-
ing the store!).
"It can be very dangerous here," said junior
Tracey Jackier, "'cause you could buy every-
Even if you don't buy everything, most people
leave with a hint of a smile on their face and a hint
of incense on their clothes.

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