When I started to slap this “Scrantonicity” together, it occurred to me that I, uh… “borrowed” the name “Scrantonicity” from Kevin Malone’s band way back from Season Two. What the heck, I figured, it was a great name and the show didn’t seem to have any more use for it. Why not revive the name for a column about Scranton? So I did, and now we find out that Kevin Malone has moved on to a new musical project, “Kevin And The Zits.” Now, there’s a name that’s reasonably safe from ever being “borrowed,” by anyone… for anything. “Scrantonicity” may have gotten swiped… but the name “Zits” will remain unblemished.
The episode starts out with Pam eating her Wegman’s house-brand yogurt. And practically everyone in the Dunder-Mifflin office is shown with a Wegman’s soda pop can in their hand. I even saw a can of “Dr. W,” which I didn’t know existed. It must be a “Dr. Pepper” knock-off. If any readers are familiar with this flavor, let us know… does it have that “doctor” taste? What is the secret of that “doctor” taste? Somebody told me it was prune juice, but Snopes puts that rumor to bed. Anyway, the scene in the break room has a can of Wegman’s soda in front of everyone, which is funny because the break room soda machine sells “Crystal Club.” Well, they may “sell” it, but apparently nobody there is buying it.
Wegman’s seems to be the 800 pound gorilla of Dunder-Mifflin product placements, which is why it was such a welcome sight to see Darry’s lunch bag emblazoned with the name “Gerrity’s.” That’s a small local grocery chain, and when I went back home to visit my dad for what turned out to be the last time, he was living in an apartment down the road from a Gerrity’s. My wife and I did my dad’s shopping for him there, so that store’s name will always a poignant meaning for me.
Here’s a mystery that I am working to solve: On Kelly’s desk, there is a stuffed moose wearing a purple sweater, with what appears to be the letters “IOI” or the numbers “101” embroidered on the front. I am actively searching for whatever or whoever it is that this moose is the mascot for. A logical guess would be the radio station “Froggy 101,” which has bumper stickers all over the place on the show. But the moose does not appear on the website; and furthermore, why wouldn’t it be a frog wearing the purple sweater? Or then, why isn’t it “Moosey 101?” It’s a mystery.
This was a neat discovery: a fictitious musician (and fictitious local legend) named Curtis DeRoux saunters into the warehouse, and Darryl fondly recalls going to hear him play at the “Deer Head Inn.” Well, not only is there a real Deer Head Inn located in the Poconos at the Delaware Water Gap, but the place is renowned for its famous jazz jams. I love knowing that the writers take the time and energy to weave fact and fiction like that.
The perky percussionist is also the sportscaster on Scranton’s Channel 7. As you can see here, there is no Channel 7 in northeastern Pa. I think the real mystery is why they didn’t take this golden opportunity to plug NBC, which is Channel 28. They have always done this in the past, like when reporting on the dirty deeds of the dastardly “Scranton Strangler.”
Speaking of the “Scranton Strangler,” Dwight is shown in a close-up reading the Scranton Times-Tribune. The headline on the front page is the rather innocuous “Fee Proposed For City Murals.” The story below the fold accompanies a photograph titled “Open Skate At Mohegan Sun Arena.” The show obviously just picked a newspaper at random for this scene. I think it would have been a hoot to have the prop department work up a headline about the Scranton Strangler, using some awful pun that I would have then found and reported here. That way I could have used an awful pun without getting blamed for it. That would have been fun, for a change.
The last scene of the show takes place at a “Good Neighbor” Pharmacy. I had never heard of this drugstore chain, but according to their website, there are 3700 branches all over the place, including one right down the road from our house! The closest “Good Neighbor” pharmacy to the fictional Dunder-Mifflin office would be “Andrew Brown’s” at 1502 Pittston Avenue in Scranton. When Pam is badgering Jim about his borderline hypertension, the small sign behind her reads “The Greater Scranton Chamber of Commerce.” I love that the show still cares enough to toss tidbits like that into a scene, even though almost no one sees them. And most people don’t care. But there’s a few of us that love finding hints of “Scrantonicity.” (OK, very few of us…) So… on behalf of we few… thanks again!