They Blinded Me With Science Humor

When I was researching my Chicago family travel book (Wait. You didn’t know I wrote this book? Huh.), I found all kinds of places around the Chicago area that my family had never experienced before. One of my (and my boys’!) very favorites was American Science & Surplus.

This is not a sponsored post, by the way.

The store contains what you would expect: science stuff and odds and ends. Lots of it is VERY odd, in fact.

You can get test tubes and bottles, but you can also get little motors and paper and maps and crime scene tape and marbles and lava lamps and frames and military stuff and literally thousands of other things that you didn’t even know you might need, lots of it older than dirt.

I used to take my boys to the West Chicago/Geneva location (on Roosevelt Road) when they were younger and give them a $5-10 spending limit. They LOVED shopping for their own stuff and would come out with a bag full of treasures that kept them busy for days and cost them, err me, very little.

I stopped in over the weekend because I was in the area (and I’m usually not!), and I had a blast walking through the aisles all by myself. I was there for nearly an hour and even found a few things to bring home with me. The best part was the fun I had reading the shelf tags, which are written by the hilarious employees there.

Forgive me, but I’m showing you eight of them. I took about twenty pictures so at least it’s not like I’m forcing you to look at my vacation slideshow but really, you should just go and see them for yourself, in person. Right after you finish this post.

"Catheter: Red rubber catheters...or really awesome drinking straws?"
“Catheter: Red rubber catheters…or really awesome drinking straws?”
"Shiny Happy Notebooks with pens of questionable quality"
“Shiny Happy Notebooks with pens of questionable quality”
"Rolling Ruler: I have no clue how this thing works but it does come with instructions, which is coolio!"
“Rolling Ruler: I have no clue how this thing works but it does come with instructions, which is coolio!”
"Bunsen Burners: Actually, you should let them cool before handling"
“Get ’em While They’re Hot! Bunsen Burners: Actually, you should let them cool before handling”
"Make your cheap last minute gifts look better. We both know you didn't really spend any time or thought on that gift, but we can make it look like you did!"
“Make your cheap last minute gifts look better. We both know you didn’t really spend any time or thought on that gift, but we can make it look like you did!”
"My Anaconda DON'T want none unless it's double-sided permanent glue tape, son"
“My Anaconda DON’T want none unless it’s double-sided permanent glue tape, son”
"Make your own Meat! Then sell it out of the back of your windowless van!"
“Make your own Meat! Then sell it out of the back of your windowless van!”
"Hey. Bet you can't guess what this is...it's a bottle! I know, I didn't see that one coming at all. This bottle is extra special and not at all like our other bottles."
“Hey. Bet you can’t guess what this is…it’s a bottle! I know, I didn’t see that one coming at all. This bottle is extra special and not at all like our other bottles.”

American Science & Surplus has one other Chicagoland location (on Milwaukee Avenue) and there’s a store in Milwaukee (on W. Oklahoma), too!

Grab ten bucks and head over there with your kids. Or without your kids. In fact, call me. Maybe I’ll tag along!

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