Glymiel Jelly: The Musical

Oh, isn’t that a beautiful poem! Or maybe it’s a song. And just like the people in the old MGM musicals, they all seem to know the words.

How do they figure the probability of that? People in real life don’t burst into song (or rhyming verse) – well, not really for any reason. But certainly not because they have a little tube of pretend Vaseline on hand.

Wouldn’t that be a pain, to live with any of these people? They’d be bursting into song at 7 am because they had a bowl of cornflakes in front of them. Or because of the beauteous natural world out in the backyard. The sun shining, the birds making a racket. You know.

You know what we have out back in the morning? A squirrel who stores all his stale kaiser rolls up in the roof overhang of the back porch. Then he goes and sits on the fence and gnaws on a piece of kaiser roll.

Meanwhile there are similar things going on at the table. The bread is less stale, though. And we don’t burst into song, naturally.

Anyway – Glymiel Jelly. Use it and you will have fun, they say. But being out in the wind and dust and sun – I don’t see any pleasure in that. It sounds terrible, I don’t care how soft and smooth my hands might be.

How about we all stay far away from the wind and dust and sun, hire a gardener, and sit on the back porch with a lemonade? Now that could be fun.

And even if you’re just sitting out there, Glymiel would still make you so happy that you too will be reciting little poems all day long.

On the subway, in the deli,
When watching garbage on the telly
Or while digesting vermicelli

Treat your hands to Glymiel Jelly!

Just don’t start up before people have had their coffee, that’s all.

The Accident-Prone Tourist

Here’s a fun 1970s vacation opportunity….and Bob is the official Worrier. Which one of the guys is Bob? Probably the one who is sitting uneasily apart, perched on a sharp rock no doubt, trying to look relaxed. The sharp rock can’t be helping.

There’s a Worrier in every group, right? That’s what they do. And they are so good at sharing! Maybe they won’t have ginger ale on the plane. Maybe the hotel will be overbooked. What if I get sunburn? What if we all get lost and can’t find the hotel? What if we never find it?

Well, that could be an issue, from the look of these folks.

And oh God, what if they can’t find a place on the beach? What will they do? Where will they go? How will they cope! Because they don’t just need any old spot. They need a secluded picnic spot!

That’s because Bob probably doesn’t want anyone to see how he eats a sandwich. He’s a messy eater, I can just tell.

And I suppose the others don’t have any interest in seeing Bob mangle a PBJ either. But they might as well protect the rest of Bermuda.

Bob, jeez. Take a break, pal. And a deep, cleansing breath. Have a good look around. What do you see? Why, I do believe we’re the only people on the beach! So…I don’t think we’re going to have any trouble finding a spot.

However, Bob is not the only problem person here. His wife (or the other dame – I can’t tell who’s who, but they both have big hats, I know that) calls this a “delicious beach.” Did you see that? She thinks that that pink sand is delicious.

Cue the sand-in-the-sandwich jokes right here. You can just skim over that. But it had to be said, you know.

In any case, her concept of what makes a good meal is highly suspect.

No wonder Bob is so worried.

A Liquid Chemical Discovery

Who wouldn’t want to rush right out and buy this amazing concoction to put on your hair? Right on your head, where it will soak into your defenseless scalp, why not! An ad tells me about a new liquid chemical discovery, and I immediately think: you know, I could probably wave and curl my hair with that…not.

This lovely ad is from 1962. The things women did back then to their hair in the name of a good wave or curl! Or to straighten it out. We still do, even though the products are a little bit better. At least we’ve moved on from those huge cans of mousse from the 1980s – chocolate for brunettes, lemon for blondes. I think the redheads got strawberry. The concept: associate the hair goop with dessert (although this does imply that the manufacturers thought that women liked to put dessert on their heads).

But back in 1962, the brilliant marketing plan was to get women to associate hair goop with – what? High school lab experiments and exploding test tubes? Pharmaceutical nirvana (hmm, maybe not, a bit early in the decade for that)?

No – I’ve got it: being a scientist experimenting with your own head. Oh, that does sound fun!

But it sold, because whatever kind of hair you have got, you probably want the opposite kind.

My mother had very straight hair and she spent a full day every week trying to get it to curl. And then several times a year off she went to the beauty parlor to have them do unspeakable things with chemicals (no juniper berries involved though) to make it stay slightly wavy for a month or two.

Now I have the opposite situation. My hair is very wavy and curly. This is a polite way of putting it. On a low-humidity day everything’s cool. But when it is humid out, forget about it. Even with anti-humidity hairspray and products and whatnot. It’s going to do what it will. And not even a whole can of lemon mousse is going to stand in its way (trust me).

Now I know that hair products do, by their nature, contain chemicals. Unless they are from the health food store and all organic. However, there is no need to tell everyone straight out about your “liquid chemical discoveries.”

Not unless you are mixing us some delicious cocktails. In which case, please carry on! How about something from Cocktails By Jimmy, circa 1929 (I will have a link to my earlier Jimmy’s post later today) :

HOULA-HOULA: 2 parts dry gin, 1 part orange juice, 1 part Curacao.

LEAVE-IT-TO-ME: 4 parts dry gin, 1 part lemon juice, 1 part grenadine.

COWBOY: 2 parts Scotch whiskey, 1 part cream [that's a mighty fancy cowboy!]

Nothing themed to hair products though. That’s probably a good thing, though.

Really Light and Fluffy Yarn

For best results, use ingredients from your kitchen cupboards, not your knitting basket…

Advertisement from an early 1970s women’s magazine from Great Britain called the Woman’s Weekly, which is full of gently nutty ads. Although usually they do not involve making souffles out of leftovers from that sweater you made young Preston last Christmas with the big bumblebee on it (shades of Mark Darcy in Bridget Jones’ Diary!)

There was also a really good Ruth Rendell novel called A Sight For Sore Eyes (1998) in which the main character’s mother is a chronic crocheter but she uses a lot of weird 70s colors like lime and black and orange and pink and brown to make enormous hooded coats which she then trails around in looking very strange. She crochets all the time – all the time. And she is a pretty slovenly housekeeper to say the least.

This is exactly the sort of thing I think she would have served for dinner.

The Hostile Leggings

OK, now this is important! So listen up. The look for fall is fake-leather leggings. Wet-look, fake-leather leggings.

This is, in fact, “fall’s favorite leisure look.” I didn’t know that the season actually cared about what we were wearing. I guess it doesn’t care that vinyl leatherette plus a back zipper equals the need to carry a crowbar around in your purse so you can be efficient in the washroom.

Still, fashion is a cruel taskmaster. And when you team these leggings with that lovely nylon sweater on one of those starts-cool, becomes-ridiculously-hot fall days, you will know exactly what that means.

The model even has that unbreathing sweater tucked in! How can she smile? How can she possibly be happy about this situation?

And will you look at her friend! Her friend’s entire top half has disappeared. Now, that’s unhappy.

So here’s Frederick’s of Hollywood – blaming fall for these terrible clothes. How dare he/they claim that delightful autumn is responsible? Everyone knows that if fall has any favorite fashions, they are cotton T shirts, jeans and a cotton knit sweater.

Cotton! Cotton is fall’s favorite, Frederick. Not leatherette. And not nylon. I think you are projecting. I think that they are your favorites.

I can just hear the analyst now. Tell me – how long have you been projecting your own likes and dislikes onto inanimate representations of the seasons?

And the model – how much hostility is she concealing, do you think? And how much therapy is she going to be needing after the fashion shoot?

Never mind what sort of treatment her semi-apparent colleague will be requiring…

So This Is Matrimony

You got that right, sister. This is what it’s all about – in your case, anyway. Oh, it doesn’t have to be. But I think you walked right into this one, with all that talk of how much fun it would be to keep things shining clean.

Fun? What in tarnation is fun about that, I’d like to know. That was the wedding-reception champagne talking.

And who put up that twee little sign that says “Model Kitchen,” I wonder. Maybe he did that. That’s her first test – see if she picks it up off the floor! That’s clutter, is what it is. And then for full marks, she has to scrub the sign. After all, it’s been on the floor, right?

The honeymoon period lasted about two seconds, judging from the next scene. He’s turned into the Great Dictator, she’s scrubbing all day to no avail.

Having said all that, she’s probably just using spit on a dishrag – since the Old Dutch surprises her so much. “Do you mean there’s a difference in cleansers?” Yup, and in brainpower too!

To wit: instead of getting down to getting that layer of grime off the floor, our heroine conducts a test “that proves that Old Dutch is better” – with a plate and a coin and whatnot (to show that it isn’t gritty – you get the idea). Like she has time for that!

Like any of us have time for those shenanigans. Hell, I have some magazines to read and naps to take – I can’t be doing science-fair experiments with the cleaning products.

But anyway. Yeah, happy ending – thanks to that fabulous Seismotite (you may recall this amazing stuff from earlier posts – I’ll put in the link when I transfer the post over here, which should be in the next day or so).

Cue the condescending comment from the man in the last scene – and doesn’t he look like a real twit and a half. I’d like to see him scrub a few floors (or possibly scrub a few floors with him).

Lady – you might be smarter about cleansers. Maybe. But about everything else – not so much.

And check out the creepy promotional ad at the bottom of this tragic-comic tale – you know, the old send in fifty thousand labels and get a little piece of junk by return mail sort of thing. It’s for silverware, which is OK – but who the hell is handing her the flatware, Beezlebub’s PA? What is the backstory here? Maybe I had it all wrong…Maybe this lady is just biding her time with Mr. Clean – waiting for the right moment to transform into her evil other self!

LHJ 1937 So This Is Matrimony detail

Doing Unspeakable Things To Berries

Tell me, what exactly DID Sir John Gielgud do to juniper berries? Not all of them, of course. Just some juniper berries.

He was in between performances of Macbeth, it looks like. And had some time on his hands. He knew all his lines, so why not make some gin? A refreshing hobby!

However, he IS looking rather worried here, don’t you think? Glancing off to stage left, as if an enraged sackful of “Italian juniper berries” have just exploded out of their burlappy confines and are bearing down on him like a hive of angry bees.

Now if they were Canadian juniper berries, they would just hang out in the sack and feel a bit annoyed. Maybe write a letter to the newspaper.

Run, run like the wind, Sir John! Those juniper berries do not like it when you do things to them – especially, ahem, unspeakable things.

He looks like he needs a wee nip of the profits.

But of course it is not Gielgud after all. It is a man pretending to be Alexander Gordon, he of the Gordon’s Gin. Not Gielgud’s Gin.

You’ll notice just what a saucy ad this is when you get to the bit about him taking the berries “and…well, something exciting happened.”

Yeah, like what? I really want to know. The end result was gin, but – why be so coy? What unspeakable things is this ersatz Macbeth doing to – to juniper berries?

I’m trying to imagine it, but it is hard. Whatever floats your boat, I guess. As long as it’s floating on that Distilled Dry London Gin.

Advertisement from a 1967 Reader’s Digest.

A Side Order Of Salmagundi, To Go

First of all, many many thanks to Julie at Frugally Retro for the lovely “I Love Your Blog” award! I get to pass it along to seven other blogs, and naturally this is difficult because I love a lot more than seven blogs…So here goes:

Lily’s Licorice
Months Of Edible Celebrations
Found In Mom’s Basement
Chica & Pumuckl
Daisy the Curly Cat
Grr Midnight and Cocoa

You may notice from this list that I adore cats as much as I do retro advertisements and weird vintage books. Though they are outside the scope of this blog (except when one of them walks across my keyboard as an editorial comment) we live under the aegis of two beautiful grey cats.
I am quite silly-sounding when I talk to them and cuddle them – I’ll spare you all that. Anyway, I do love all the above blogs and always look forward to visiting them.

So that was the first thing to do today. Check it off the list, sister!

And secondly: you will notice that I have got the Foodie Blogroll back on my sidebar – a happy result of the move back to Blogger. You see, Kitchen Retro started out in January as a weird-retro-recipe repository, and since then has become a veritable – what? A melange, a salmagundi, a potluck of the kitsch and the retro (ahem). It has got, in fact, as many ingredients as one of those terrible 1940s make-do casseroles had in them.

In any case, I will still be writing about the retro recipes and the kitschy cookbooks – waving hello, metaphorically, to the Foodie Blogroll! – but of course will also be throwing in all the other things. Makes for a nice balanced retro diet. And you can never have too many weird vintage ads, I always say.

Speaking of which (she said, clearing her throat and coughing uncontrollably in a vain attempt to make a transition)…speaking of which!

It is Wordless Wednesday – though here it seems to have turned into a rather contradictory, wordy Wordless Wednesday. So I am going to follow this post up with a Wordless one.

One visual to go, hold the mustard! I’ll get right on that.

Celebrity Hearing Glasses

I think I can hear Elvis talking to Greta Garbo right now! But she wants to be alone. She’s telling him to get the hell away from her.

And – er – I think I can hear Eddie Fisher at the jewelry store. He’s buying Liz another diamond keychain. No, not a keychain. She has one of those. An emerald studded Kleenex-box cover. The jeweler is telling him that the Duchess of Windsor used to own it.

Also, Frankie Avalon has a bad sunburn…gee, that’s a shame! Too many beach movies, not enough sunblock.

Wait…wait a second! It’s 1962, we don’t even have any sunblock.

And I’m not sure – are these really celebrities I’m hearing? Or is it the neighbors whispering about me and my new glasses! I can’t hear what they’re saying now. This really IS a – what does the ad say? “An awkward nuisance” – that’s right.

Just what they call me when I go to the movies and talk back to the screen…