what i can't live without

What R.L. Stine Can’t Live Without

Photo-Illustration: The Strategist; Photo: Getty

If you’re like us, you’ve probably wondered what famous people add to their carts. Not the JAR brooch and Louis XV chair but the hair spray and the electric toothbrush. We asked R.L. Stine, whose new book, Goosebumps House of Shivers #1, is available now, about the pens he prefers for signing autographs, his favorite coffee, and the comedy shorts he loves.

Every once in a while you crave a roll of Strawberry Mentos. I just got back from Green Bay on Sunday. I was doing author appearances and had to have a roll of Mentos.

Zabar’s is a big famous deli that’s in my neighborhood. They have this amazing coffee, and the Vienna Roast is very strong. You can almost put a fork in it. It’s very strong coffee — I like that.

This is my costume. When I first got scary as an author, actually, I was going on the Today show for the first time and I didn’t know what to wear. We were in the store, and my wife said, “Maybe a black shirt. Maybe if you dressed in black, you wouldn’t just look like somebody’s dad.”

It’s by this guy, Richard Osman, a British guy, about an old folks’ community where these old, great characters, really interesting characters come together every Thursday and solve murders. The mystery’s good, the characters are wonderful, and they’re just very entertaining books. I read mostly mysteries and thrillers, and these are really top notch.

These are perfect for autographing. They just flow very smoothly and you
can write really fast. They’re smoother than Sharpies.

I brought my son up on Laurel and Hardy. Here’s how I knew that I was a good dad: One day, when my son, Matt, was little and had a couple friends over, they wanted to watch some movies. And Matt suggested something, and I’m in the other room listening and his friend says, “We can’t watch that. It’s in black-and-white.” And Matt said, “That’s when all the funny people were alive.”

New Yorkers will know this one. It’s very creamy vanilla ice cream, and it’s just a great combination sandwich.

People scorn us pineapple-soda drinkers; we have to stick together.

My dog won’t play with tennis balls that don’t squeak.

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What R.L. Stine Can’t Live Without