Sauron’s Bathroom

BHG 1971 Sauron's Bathroom

Because he must have had one, right? They never write about this kind of thing in epics, but really now – don’t tell me they didn’t have to stop and wash their hands or see a man about a dog or however they might put it. See a hobbit about an Orc? No, that’s no good.

Anyway, direct to you from the Dark Tower in beautiful downtown Mordor – a very rare and exclusive look, here at Kitchen Retro, at Sauron’s loo.

Dig that dark blue bathtub! And the movie-star lights on the mirror over the sink. Because Sauron has a little ego to spare, doesn’t he? Everyone was always talking about him. Whispering. Rumor-mongering. All they ever saw of him was that humongous eye. But there was more to him than that – or possibly less! We know that now, because here is proof. He was probably the Wizard of Oz’s cousin from Yonkers.*

That was all Victorian in there. The previous owners? They just let it go. Did absolutely nothing with it! Sauron got it all redone. I believe Saruman was the lead designer. He subcontracted out to some Orcs (who knew they could renovate so nicely?) That was actually Saruman’s secret ambition – that explains why he was in such a bad mood all the time in The Lord of the Rings. Being in the wrong career can be really stressful.

* By the way, this is nothing against Yonkers! I love Yonkers. I have distant cousins who lived there. It just had the right sound, that’s all. Anyone from Yonkers, let me know, we’re practically neighbours (or were, when I lived in NYC, that is).

Sauron’s Bathroom

BHG 1971 Sauron's Bathroom

Because he must have had one, right? They never write about this kind of thing in epics, but really now – don’t tell me they didn’t have to stop and wash their hands or see a man about a dog or however they might put it. See a hobbit about an Orc? No, that’s no good.

Anyway, direct to you from the Dark Tower in beautiful downtown Mordor – a very rare and exclusive look, here at Kitchen Retro, at Sauron’s loo.

Dig that dark blue bathtub! And the movie-star lights on the mirror over the sink. Because Sauron has a little ego to spare, doesn’t he? Everyone was always talking about him. Whispering. Rumor-mongering. All they ever saw of him was that humongous eye. But there was more to him than that – or possibly less! We know that now, because here is proof. He was probably the Wizard of Oz’s cousin from Yonkers.*

That was all Victorian in there. The previous owners? They just let it go. Did absolutely nothing with it!  Sauron got it all redone. I believe Saruman was the lead designer. He subcontracted out to some Orcs (who knew they could renovate so nicely?) That was actually Saruman’s secret ambition – that explains why he was in such a bad mood all the time in The Lord of the Rings. Being in the wrong career can be really stressful.

* By the way, this is nothing against Yonkers! I love Yonkers. I have distant cousins who lived there. It just had the right sound, that’s all. Anyone from Yonkers, let me know, we’re practically neighbours (or were, when I lived in NYC, that is).

The Neatness Parade

House Beautiful 1960 Hallmark Sea Shell Thing

As wall fixtures go, it is perhaps moderately fascinating…Well, it’s fascinating to Hallmark, anyway. In fact, you’ve never seen anything like it before. Unless you’ve seen a drying rack.

Hallmark is the greeting card company, of course. And they probably should be sticking to that. Whatever possessed them to branch out into the world of Hosiery Drying Fixtures? What would possess anyone to do that?

We may never know.

So here is this shell thingie that you stick on the wall – and it holds stockings. It’s 1960 in this ad, so the ladies did need to wash ten pairs of stockings at a time. It also holds “sox” and gloves and lingerie, so you can really go to town and have a great time hand-washing stuff in the sink. I’m sold! You had me at Hello, Woolite.

The ad’s subtext implies (as subtexts do) that since you will no longer be co-opting the towel racks, harmony and sweetness will reign in your household (i.e. the Man of the House will no longer pop a gasket because the bathroom looks like washday out back of an Old Law tenement on the Lower East Side).

Still, the way Hallmark raves about their Sea Shell Thingie, you’d think they split the atom or something there in that “modern bathroom.”

And the tag line! “For The Proudest Lady In The Neatness Parade.” What the hell is a Neatness Parade and how many ladies are marching around being proud of their plastic underwear dryers? Are they marching down Fifth Avenue? Are they marching on Washington?

And if that wall fixture is really that fascinating, might the proud ladies not be hypnotized by it, and thus unable to march? After all, it IS a “Masterpiece in Plastic.” Said the Hallmark ad modestly.

The Neatness Parade

House Beautiful 1960 Hallmark Sea Shell Thing

As wall fixtures go, it is perhaps moderately fascinating…Well, it’s fascinating to Hallmark, anyway. In fact, you’ve never seen anything like it before. Unless you’ve seen a drying rack.

Hallmark is the greeting card company, of course. And they probably should be sticking to that. Whatever possessed them to branch out into the world of Hosiery Drying Fixtures? What would possess anyone to do that?

We may never know.

So here is this shell thingie that you stick on the wall – and it holds stockings. It’s 1960 in this ad, so the ladies did need to wash ten pairs of stockings at a time. It also holds “sox” and gloves and lingerie, so you can really go to town and have a great time hand-washing stuff in the sink. I’m sold! You had me at Hello, Woolite.

The ad’s subtext implies (as subtexts do) that since you will no longer be co-opting the towel racks, harmony and sweetness will reign in your household (i.e. the Man of the House will no longer pop a gasket because the bathroom looks like washday out back of an Old Law tenement on the Lower East Side).

Still, the way Hallmark raves about their Sea Shell Thingie, you’d think they split the atom or something there in that “modern bathroom.”

And the tag line! “For The Proudest Lady In The Neatness Parade.” What the hell is a Neatness Parade and how many ladies are marching around being proud of their plastic underwear dryers? Are they marching down Fifth Avenue? Are they marching on Washington?

And if that wall fixture is really that fascinating, might the proud ladies not be hypnotized by it, and thus unable to march? After all, it IS a “Masterpiece in Plastic.” Said the Hallmark ad modestly.

The Missing Ring Mystery

LHJ Feb 1936 Ivory Snow 2

Paging Nancy Drew! There’s a missing diamond ring. Also possibly missing hands – I mean, what did happen to Betty’s hands? Don’t tell me they ran off with the ring!

Let’s go back and have a look at the evidence. George and Bess, please take note:

1. The gentlemen have a little socioeconomic rivalry going on: now Jim’s not the only one whose wife is flashing a big rock around town! Jim could have taken the ring so that his wife Joan remains the Diamond Queen. Keep an eye on Jim and Joan. It’s always the best friends, who are so eager to help out, that you have to watch in mystery stories.

2. Betty says she has removed the ring so that it does not show up her dishpan hands. Well, that’s what she says anyway! Maybe she sold the ring and is planning to run off to Mexico. Are she and Jim in cahoots? There’s a backstory right there.

3. And then there’s Joan, the Diamond Queen. She suggests that Betty switch over to Ivory Soap when she’s at the sink scrubbing that mountain of daily dishes. I suspect Joan too, just because she seems a little shifty. And jealous! Is this my pal Joan Crawford again? In which case is Betty really Bette, as in Davis? Because then we’ve got ourselves a little drama. I know those two didn’t get along! (Nancy, try and avoid being near the stairs when you’re around these two).

4. And finally, how about the old guy in the last section who doesn’t recognize Betty because of her “exquisite hands” – yeah, how about that? He noticed the ring all right. Everyone does – Betty’s holding her hands up in the classic “who-me?” pose. Very subtle, Betty. But if I were you, I’d cut it out.

5. Also, are these dames really washing the dishes with a bar of Ivory Soap? Because that may or may not make your hands soft but I’m not sure it cleans all the stuff off of dirty dishes. Mind you Betty isn’t washing dishes so much as gazing at her hands while holding a bar of soap over the dishes. (Betty, I think you have to get the soap and the dishes to interact).

Anyway, Nancy can probably solve this one.  She can get Bess to pretend to be Betty and Joan’s new neighbor. Bess can invite them over to play bridge or something.  George can play golf with Jim and his pals, or she could be the caddy – maybe that ring is hidden in Jim’s golf bag! And then for a twist, Nancy could actually find the ring and then she can run off to Mexico.

Additional suspects, solutions and Nancy Drew jokes are more than welcome in the comments!

The Missing Ring Mystery

LHJ Feb 1936 Ivory Snow 2

Paging Nancy Drew! There’s a missing diamond ring. Also possibly missing hands – I mean, what did happen to Betty’s hands? Don’t tell me they ran off with the ring!

Let’s go back and have a look at the evidence. George and Bess, please take note:

1. The gentlemen have a little socioeconomic rivalry going on: now Jim’s not the only one whose wife is flashing a big rock around town! Jim could have taken the ring so that his wife Joan remains the Diamond Queen. Keep an eye on Jim and Joan. It’s always the best friends, who are so eager to help out, that you have to watch in mystery stories.

2. Betty says she has removed the ring so that it does not show up her dishpan hands. Well, that’s what she says anyway! Maybe she sold the ring and is planning to run off to Mexico. Are she and Jim in cahoots? There’s a backstory right there.

3. And then there’s Joan, the Diamond Queen. She suggests that Betty switch over to Ivory Soap when she’s at the sink scrubbing that mountain of daily dishes. I suspect Joan too, just because she seems a little shifty. And jealous! Is this my pal Joan Crawford again? In which case is Betty really Bette, as in Davis? Because then we’ve got ourselves a little drama. I know those two didn’t get along! (Nancy, try and avoid being near the stairs when you’re around these two).

4. And finally, how about the old guy in the last section who doesn’t recognize Betty because of her “exquisite hands” – yeah, how about that? He noticed the ring all right. Everyone does – Betty’s holding her hands up in the classic “who-me?” pose. Very subtle, Betty. But if I were you, I’d cut it out.

5. Also, are these dames really washing the dishes with a bar of Ivory Soap? Because that may or may not make your hands soft but I’m not sure it cleans all the stuff off of dirty dishes. Mind you Betty isn’t washing dishes so much as gazing at her hands while holding a bar of soap over the dishes. (Betty, I think you have to get the soap and the dishes to interact).

Anyway, Nancy can probably solve this one. She can get Bess to pretend to be Betty and Joan’s new neighbor. Bess can invite them over to play bridge or something. George can play golf with Jim and his pals, or she could be the caddy – maybe that ring is hidden in Jim’s golf bag! And then for a twist, Nancy could actually find the ring and then she can run off to Mexico.

Additional suspects, solutions and Nancy Drew jokes are more than welcome in the comments!

The Golden (Brownie) Ratio

It has been awhile, I know, since we had any recipes or – well – kitchen-related retro, around this joint. I know, I know! It gives the blog title an ironic twist, which can be fun but it only goes so far. Whatever that means. Anyway, there will be kitchen kitsch and kitchen retro, sometimes. And look what we have here on Vintage Thingies Thursday (for that is what Thursday means around here, thanks to the Apron Queen, who reigns supreme over this weekly Retro-palooza) – why, I do declare! It’s an old advertisement AND a recipe!

Cocoanut Brownies ad 1953

Oh, and also we have a cutesy play on words. Golden-brown and golden-brownies. I get it. That’s mildly amusing!

The recipe is notable for its use of melted coconut candy bars which “are rich in natural shortening” (that would be the coconut – pardon me, cocoanut – but I think they might put in extra lard or Crisco or something in the bars, too).

The actual bar looks more fun than the brownies, which pale quite literally in contrast to the dark chocolate bar. I prefer dark chocolate myself. I can imagine setting out to make this and then just saying the hell with it and serving the Welch’s Cocoanut Bars as they are.

This is a “kitchen-tested recipe” – why are they so proud of this? I guess we should be glad they didn’t try to make the golden-brownies over a campfire or in a hotpot or something. I once tried to make Kraft Dinner in a hotpot (I was living in a dorm, don’t ask). It didn’t work out, let’s just leave it at that. The hotpot was never the same again. (And this is why this is not a straight cooking blog, folks!)

Finally, we also get a Happy Hint. Who doesn’t love a Happy Hint! The Hint being that the Welch’s people would be really Happy if you bought a lot of their candy bars and forced them on your friends and relations pretty much ’round the clock.

No, you know what, I want to see an All Right Hint: “This product is – well, it’s all right. There’s probably better candy bars out there, but ours are OK and they’re pretty cheap, really. Just buy a couple of bars. Please. If you feel like it.”

The Golden (Brownie) Ratio

It has been awhile, I know, since we had any recipes or – well – kitchen-related retro, around this joint. I know, I know! It gives the blog title an ironic twist, which can be fun but it only goes so far. Whatever that means. Anyway, there will be kitchen kitsch and kitchen retro, sometimes. And look what we have here on Vintage Thingies Thursday (for that is what Thursday means around here, thanks to the Apron Queen, who reigns supreme over this weekly Retro-palooza) – why, I do declare! It’s an old advertisement AND a recipe!

Cocoanut Brownies ad 1953

Oh, and also we have a cutesy play on words. Golden-brown and golden-brownies. I get it. That’s mildly amusing!

The recipe is notable for its use of melted coconut candy bars which “are rich in natural shortening” (that would be the coconut – pardon me, cocoanut – but I think they might put in extra lard or Crisco or something in the bars, too).

The actual bar looks more fun than the brownies, which pale quite literally in contrast to the dark chocolate bar. I prefer dark chocolate myself. I can imagine setting out to make this and then just saying the hell with it and serving the Welch’s Cocoanut Bars as they are.

This is a “kitchen-tested recipe” – why are they so proud of this? I guess we should be glad they didn’t try to make the golden-brownies over a campfire or in a hotpot or something. I once tried to make Kraft Dinner in a hotpot (I was living in a dorm, don’t ask). It didn’t work out, let’s just leave it at that. The hotpot was never the same again. (And this is why this is not a straight cooking blog, folks!)

Finally, we also get a Happy Hint. Who doesn’t love a Happy Hint! The Hint being that the Welch’s people would be really Happy if you bought a lot of their candy bars and forced them on your friends and relations pretty much ’round the clock.

No, you know what, I want to see an All Right Hint: “This product is – well, it’s all right. There’s probably better candy bars out there, but ours are OK and they’re pretty cheap, really.  Just buy a couple of bars. Please. If you feel like it.”

Get This Party Ended

1977 Newsweek Gin And Anything

Uh, no. I will NOT get you another Gin and Anything.

You have done enough smoking and nibbling. And if you do any more gabbing the remaining three guests behind you will leave. After they have finished laughing behind your back.

Let’s just put this guy in a cab, OK?

But what if he’s the host, ordering his wife to bring him another Fleischmann’s?

Then she can have the cab.

Get This Party Ended

1977 Newsweek Gin And Anything

Uh, no. I will NOT get you another Gin and Anything.

You have done enough smoking and nibbling. And if you do any more gabbing the remaining three guests behind you will leave. After they have finished laughing behind your back.

Let’s just put this guy in a cab, OK?

But what if he’s the host, ordering his wife to bring him another Fleischmann’s?

Then she can have the cab.