Kay's Gag Shop

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Caitlin Corless

Danbury, CT

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#1
Jun 24, 2006
 
A friend of mine just moved to Plainville and while I was giving him a brief overview of life in Plainville I recalled Kay's Gag Shop, which used to be on Farmington Avenue. After googling "Kay's Gag Shop" and getting no results, I found myself a bit sad to see that there was no evidence that this place ever existed. It's the quirks like Kay's Gag Shop that make me think so fondly of my hometown. I know no place like Plainville, CT. I'd like to learn a bit more about this shop, about the woman who ran it. If anyone has any stories they would like to share about the place, I would love to hear about them.
Bill

West Haven, CT

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#2
Jul 4, 2006
 
I do remember Kay’s gag shop but never stopped there. There was a gag shop in Bristol, on Prospect St that I visited frequently.
Greg

Boston, MA

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#3
Jul 7, 2006
 
I once stopped at Kay's Gag Shop with my dad when I was about 12. I remember that it smelled terrible in there, the woman who ran it was about 9000 years old, and she had a shelf full of fake penises. Overall, I was traumatized by the experience.
chris

AOL

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#4
Jul 12, 2006
 
I also visited Kay's Gag Shop. It was crammed with dusty, musty old gag gifts (steaming pile of shit, whoopee cushions, fake cigars). The stench you refer to was from years of cat urine soaked into that filthy rug. As I entered, Kay approached me and showed off the extensive rubber wang collection. She appeared to really delight in terrorizing me with her penis and vagina collection. She had two teeth in her head and matted filthy hair. But she was always friendly and invited me to visit her again soon.
aln

AOL

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#5
Jul 20, 2006
 
I used to go to trade comic books, sell them and buy used ones. This was in the early 50's. I recall she had lost a finger in an industial accident and this prompted her to start the business. She was the only local scource for masks and grease paint make-up. Much later on I recall a shooting took place in a trailer she "rented out" behind the shop. The redhair was her trademark-I guess-she was pleasant and joking to us kids though.
Stankevich

Elmont, NY

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#6
Jul 1, 2007
 
I once went there with my grandmother when i was about 12 or so, "Kay" answered the side door entrance to her shop/home, and it smelled cat urine and feces (a nice dump right on the countertop). I didnt get a tour of any fake wangs-but she directed me toward to only place of the store that contained anything-fake butter etc. Everything was really old and dusty, obviously out of legit buisness long LONG ago. She told me her husband was away in China, and was stuck there due to an earthquake? Obviosuly false-the whole experience really tramatized me - she even asked my grandmother if she had any extra clothing, and to drop it off on the side of the house if possible. I'd be suprised if shes still alive now. What is thew exact address? Does the building still exist?
Patti

Simsbury, CT

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#7
Aug 15, 2007
 
I started looking up gag shops after my nephew who is turning 5, showed an interest in a hand buzzer that we saw in a book of vintage toys. I too googled Kay's gag shop to no avail. I remember going there after swim lessons at the YMCA. It was small, smelly and cramped, I think I remember a manequin too. My sister and I bought 'loads' there. Small little explosives you put at the end of a cigarette, that when lit, blew the end of the cigarette off...my dad was the victim, he didn't think it was as funny as we did.....
MLL

United States

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#8
Aug 31, 2007
 
Boy, all the comments I just read sure do bring back the good old days.
I have to agree with each and every comment I just read..........No, the place is not there any longer.
Sure do miss Plainville and surrounding towns.
CTM

San Diego, CA

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#9
Oct 26, 2007
 
"I once stopped at Kay's Gag Shop with my dad when I was about 12. I remember that it smelled terrible in there, the woman who ran it was about 9000 years old, and she had a shelf full of fake penises. Overall, I was traumatized by the experience."
My experience exactly.

Since: Aug 07

Minneapolis, MN

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#10
Oct 26, 2007
 
kay was a great lay....but did smell a fowl
Brendan Sullivan

South Richmond Hill, NY

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#11
Dec 22, 2007
 
Even now I can smell the cat urine. The old lady sold me her dead husbands pants! Why did I buy them??
Marie

New Britain, CT

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#12
Jan 4, 2008
 
Kay's was torn down a few years back and I am not sure if she is still alive. We used to go in there to buy comic books. She was a little different but always pleasant. She had a picture of her daugher whom she said died in a car accident. Her son lived with her but I believe he was murdered. She loved cats - I think that got out of control. I heard most of the stuff in the shop got thrown out when they tore it down.
Dan M

Jamaica Plain, MA

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#13
Jan 8, 2008
 
I went to Kay's Gag Shop as a boy fairly regularly. She used to tell me what a pretty girl I was, despite being an obviously pudgy boy. She was old and senile but not especially malicious. My dad used to buy her McDonald's when delivering items to the Goodwill bin outside her house / store. She was fond of the hamburgers and clearly not the wealthiest or most capable senile old woman. The place reeked of cat urine and dusty gifts. I'd heard her daughter was murdered in the '70's and her son sometime thereafter, possibly the mid-90's. Her yellow sign was so iconic. If all traces of her place weren't destroyed it'd bring back that good old smell of musty litterboxes.
Chris P

United States

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#14
Aug 29, 2008
 
I used to frequent her shop and was fascinated by the crowded, dusty surroundings. I do recall her eccentricities as well. My father would take me and I'd purchase glass stink bombs, hand buzzers and cigarette bombs. And I remember it was slightly risque for a child. The guy that was murdered in back of the shop was the brother of a guy that used to work in my father's store Al's Market. I think his last name was Winters. She's got to be long dead.
Chris P

United States

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#15
Aug 29, 2008
 
Oh and does anybody remember the restaurant across the street called Mediterranean Gardens? You could sit in front of a big window and watch the pasta being made.
Chris P wrote:
I used to frequent her shop and was fascinated by the crowded, dusty surroundings. I do recall her eccentricities as well. My father would take me and I'd purchase glass stink bombs, hand buzzers and cigarette bombs. And I remember it was slightly risque for a child. The guy that was murdered in back of the shop was the brother of a guy that used to work in my father's store Al's Market. I think his last name was Winters. She's got to be long dead.
robby s

United States

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#16
Sep 11, 2008
 
back in the sixties. we all would go to kay's gag shop after school (wheeler school) that was right behind it. i actually think we would cut through there on our walk home. the only thing i remember is playing pinball after school and buying packs of those candy cigarettes that had bubble gum inside them.
Michael Vermont

Brooklyn, NY

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#17
Sep 15, 2008
 
We used to go to Kay's with my cousin Neil from Plainville. We would get the exploding cigarette loads as well as the powder you'd put on cigerette filters that made them taste like shit when you smoked..... then head back to torture our grandfather Emilio, uncle joe, larry and frank. The best one of all was the pack of gun with the spring loaded snapping stick of gum..... can't remember if it was my middle sister or younger brother I pulled that one one, but dad kicked my ass big time and i never saw that gum gag again.....
Dave B Berlin CT

Berlin, CT

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#18
Mar 19, 2009
 
I was just visiting my uncle the other day with my mother. Some how we got talking about Kay's. I used to stop in there when I was in high school in the early 90's.

I remember walking in to buy stink bombs the terrible smell of cat urine would hit you right in the face. There was cat feces here and there including on and around the counter. Cat's were everywhere as you walk through, the cats would slowly move out of your way, jump down from shelves, and disappear under or behind something.

A thick layer of dust covered everything. The place was very crowded with all types of gag gifts, masks, and magic tricks. As I would make my way to the counter trying not to lose my lunch from the smell Kay would slowly emerge from the back of the shop from behind an old curtain. I could see in back an old couch and an old black and white tv with barely any picture coming through pretty much all snow and an old floor lamp with a very dull yellow glow comming from it.

Kay was something else eccentric senile Alzheimer's you pick it. Someone else wrote 9000 years old their prob not too far off. Bright red lipstick all around her mouth barely touching her lips. Her hair all crazy, But she was always very pleasant.

She would always ask if i was someone she knew,or talk about her husband as if he was away on some business trip. I remember a few times she would start to talk about the beach and she would ask if my friends and i would like to see a picture of her at the beach last year. She would then pull out an old picture probably from the 1800's of a very good looking girl maybe in her early 20's in an old style bathing suit laying on the beach. She would insist that it was from the year before.

My uncle was telling us about one time he was in there Kay kept asking him if he was the bread man and he politely said no and then they would talk about something else about 5 min later she would ask again and this went on and on she kept asking him over and over. After about 40 min as he was leaving a lady came in with a bunch of bread from G'nazzos food store. He said thank god your here.

I've heard she had over a hundred cat's because people would just pull up and drop them off. Some people would drop food off for her and /or the cat's. She and her son did live on the property.

My uncle says he has a newspaper clipping from something that happened there like a shooting or a beating. If he finds it I will try and post it on here. Kay's was definitely a strange place that is burned into my mind for ever.
Robert Ierardi

New York, NY

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#19
Mar 20, 2009
 
I guess Kay's went the way of Palace Sweets, and Klink's Dog House.
Robert Ierardi

New York, NY

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#20
Mar 20, 2009
 
I guess Kay's went the way of Palace Sweets and Klinks Dog House.

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