Dipping into old wive's lore, grandmothers used to prescribe ear wax as the remedy for troublesome lip ailments. MELVIN recommends you press a pillow over your grandma's face and entrust your smackers to our little friend with the yellow cap: Carmex. Though its waxy texture and funky odor resemble its fabled ear-wax counterpart, its deep-down tingly sensation will remind you that youčre standing face-to-face with the sheer power of modern pharmacology. Carmex is rumored to be addictive, but if your lips shrivel and crack when deprived of a dip, simply dig deep into your winter coat pockets and swab them with another inexpensive and soothing fix.

MELVIN Tip: True Carmexians know the balm gets better as it ages, and they steer clear of the new round-tipped applicator designs that miss the mellow kick of the traditional jar.


French Coffee Press

True coffee achievers fear nothing more than the lull in their pulse caused by a lethargic pot of slow-brewing joe. That's why MELVIN, the definitive source of all coffee information, recommends the French coffee press. Though the press is about as French as fries, it's an artsy piece of kitchen decor that your guests are sure to mistake for European, especially if blotches of mold are making their slow creep up the side. By simply dumping ground beans into the filter/plunger, pouring boiling water into the carafe, and carefully sinking your filter, you can feed your burning ulcer in about two and a half minutes. MELVIN recommends that after you've gotten your fix, you leave the house in a feigned rush, avoiding a time-consuming clean-up job.



For thirty years now, young men across this nation have spent too much goddamn time in front of the mirror, primping like little girls. When that damn liberal Kennedy became the first president not to wear a chapeau, every horse's ass out their swooned over his slickity hair and charming smile--just like they fell for that numb-skulled Bay of Pigs plot, right? Well, MELVIN Operatives believe that you pretty-boys should march your girlie behinds down to the local barber shop for a regulation army haircut and spend a few dimes on a sharp, snap-brimmed hat. And make sure you choose that new hat with care. A snazzy fedora will impress the hell out of any self-respecting lady, but a cheap one will make you look like you're playing second fiddle for one of those hippie folk routines.


Lazyboy Recliners

Buying a soft, leather, Lazyboy recliner immediately crowns you house patriarch and sanctions you to pick your nose with an old man's poise. Donning your favorite flannel pj's--pipe and New Yorker in hand--and swinging your feet onto the Lazyboy's concealable ottoman is as relaxing as being cold-cocked by glass of Crown Royal. Unreclined, a Lazyboy is an ideal throne for pontificating strategy and cursing at lazy players during late night basketball games. And though Lazyboys eat more change than a 1-900 call, you'll worry about that later, after the chair ushers you into hours of nappy-time bliss.


Darlene Connors

Sure, Roseanne is fat and obnoxious, and that's reason enough to boycott her show. But life certainly wouldn't have the same verve without that punchy Darlene Connors as portrayed by Sara Gilbert? Week after week, your eyes have been glued to the set as you watched her grow from spunky tomboy through the disillusionment of her first menstruation to post-adolescent bitterness. She's a firecracker with a short wick, a stinging fastball in your catcher's mit, and she'll leave you rolling on the floor for a half-hour of gut-pinching laughter every week. With her contumacious spirit, endless wise-cracking, cynical intelligence and biting sass--Darlene is indeed an example for MELVIN readers everywhere to live by.


Two Taco Bell Bean Burritos

Next time you're driving cross-country and are looking for a cheap, quick meal to fill a stomach pitted by endless trekking, MELVIN recommends you stop at the nearest Taco Bell, uncrinkle a one dollar bill, and slap it down with some toll-booth change to buy yourself a sloppy chunk of Mexican heaven. At 59ą a crack, Taco Bell may have unearthed the Holy Grail of the fast-food world with its bean burrito. The stale, flour-shelled treats--lathered with delicious bean muck, decorated with simulation cheddar cheese, and doused with secret recipe hot sauce--look small, but are so chock full of fat that two will satiate even you hefty-types who strain to squeeze behind a car wheel. Rest assured, after downing two, hours of bloatedness will keep you trucking free of untimely hunger pangs.

MELVIN Warning: Roll down your windows. Your gas will reek. A lot.