Land of Soap and Glory

I’d just like to see the Coal Tar Soap look after this kid.

Just picture a giant bar of soap running after him on that scooter, shouting “Billy, watch out for that tree root! Billy, don’t run over Mrs. McGillycuddy’s ornamental garden! And who said you could ride into town and buy candy, it wasn’t me or your ma!”

Or perhaps the giant soap is hurrying up to Billy and his gang, as they are about to smoke homemade cigars. You think it’s embarrassing to have a parent coming after you? Imagine how you’d feel if your new babysitter was a big cake of Wright’s Coal Tar Soap. Billy’s going to be in therapy in 25 years, talking about the giant soap. They’ll have to write some new self-help books about the Coal Tar kids.

Billy’s going to lose all his street cred. Not that he ever had much from the look of him. His friends are all laughing hysterically at the enormous Coal Tar Soap, in a frilly apron, running after Billy, screaming and scolding.

That’s the point where the giant soap always threatened to wash their mouths out with – um, soap.

What Good Is A Party?

Well, what good is anything if you don’t feel well? How about just staggering around the house, or going to work, or trying to do regular stuff. Also no good.

And as for things like cleaning the oven, what good is that, I’d like to know, no matter acidic your stomach is?

Conversely, what if that party’s no good even though you are OK? Maybe it’s a really boring party! That could happen. Or what about if the food is lousy, or there aren’t enough potato chips?

Maybe they’ve run out of vodka. That would make me a little bit sad. Although I will gladly have some Harvey’s Bristol Cream if you have any over there in the cabinet. I’ll bet you’re hiding it!

No…no Harvey’s Bristol Cream?

But I’m standing here talking to some really very boring people and – I can’t get away. We’re talking about – oh what are we even talking about? Their latest purchases? Their last cruise? Insurance plans? I don’t know…my stomach seems to be upset.

Maybe it is having an existential crisis (or else it could be the guacamole).

Or maybe I made it take one too many exam.

Well, at least I have an arsenal of Tums with me. Three rolls! That ought to fix things up. Enough Tums, in fact, to offer them to those cruise-happy insurance agents over there. And while they are crunching on handfuls of Tums, I will be able to sneak away and go on home. Nothing works like Tums!

My stomach and I feel happier already.

The Mystery of the Magic Nail Polish

Look, look! The Cutex is in a spillproof bottle. It did not spill out, when the lady was playing Nail Polish Dominoes.

But let’s look into this a little bit more. Soon a new theory will emerge. Leaving the bottle tops off and playing games with your makeup may cause it to dry up. And then it will be – spillproof!

Next mystery: how to paint your nails with solidified Cutex.

Solution: go buy some more!

Now that’s a clever ad.

The Kandy-Colored Cranberry-Jelly Streamline Turkey

Dear Ocean Spray Cranberry People:

I appreciate that it must be difficult to think up something to do with your canned and jellied sauce besides either (a) scooping it out of the can in messy spoonfuls or (b) tipping the whole thing out and letting your guests slice it or take messy spoonfuls.

However…If I tried to cut little turkey shapes out of what is really a very soft jelly, my friends would have to be told what I was trying to do.

And then they would probably laugh themselves sick. They would not, not, not say (and I quote) “What a clever idea!”

As a matter of fact, I would certainly feel like a turkey myself trying to micromanage your product. So could you please knock it off and stop offering your little Cranberry Cutters?

For that I will give thanks, as I take a nice freeform spoonful of…that stuff.

Sincerely yours, Lidian


And continuing the holiday theme, I have some friends to thank:

Thank you to Laura for the I Am Fabulous award. And thank you to Carol and to Karin for the lovely Lemonade award. Please check out their blogs, which are terrific!

And thank you to Preston, who also has a wonderful blog, for the meme – which I promise to do quite soon. I would like to do it with a kitsch and retro twist, so I need to give it some thought. I’m looking forward to it!

I hope that you are all having an amazing Thanksgiving, if you are celebrating it today. We had ours back in October here in Canada, so it’s business as usual and leftover chili for dinner – sans cranberry-jelly turkeys, of course.

[PS: To my Humor-Blogs pals - Is anyone else having feed trouble? My feeds (FeedBurner and original) work fine everywhere else, but not at HB. Oh wait - it says I have 19 readers so unless more than 100 people gave up on me overnight, maybe there is something wrong. I am working on it, anyway, so please, please save any smileys you might have and I hope to be copacetic ASAP... ]

That Heirloom Patina

Well, all I know is, that when you have a nice patina on your metalware, the absolute last thing you want to do is polish it.

That is because the patina will, um, come off.

So this makes absolutely no sense at all.

Nice try, though.

Tomorrow I have some people to thank for awards and memes and stuff, plus a Thanksgiving-themed ad – oh, and it will also be Thanksgiving! So I’m going to work with that.

What is not working at the moment is my Humor Blogs feed. The feed is like Wright’s Silver Cleaner (straining for analogy here) because “its popularity comes from the results it gives.” Yessirree.

Maybe I took the patina off it by mistake.

Jell-O Central, Give Me Seven

Seven boxes, that is. Or really, however much is around.

Picture this:

It’s 1947 and there are still wartime shortages and rations up in Canada, where you live a tranquil, normal life (save, as we shall see, for a raging passion for a certain dessert).

And then you hear through the grapevine (which apparently is not rationed, it never is, is it? there will always be a grapevine!) that your third cousins twice removed who live in Saskatoon have – well, gosh, they have Jell-O.

Great day in the morning!

So you pack up the kids and the wife – and the dog too, of course. Old Spot probably has a hankering for Jell-O too, he’s in that family, why not.

Oh, and don’t forget to bring the wife’s hatbox, the kids’ toys, the newspaper, maybe some work from the office – and set off. Who knows how many days you will have to drive, but just thinking about Jell-O gives you extra energy. Yummy, delicious, exciting Jell-O.

And how pleased Cousin Gert will be to see you all, ready to stay, oh, at least a week – maybe more!

Because when you get there with all your luggage – and no hostess gift that I can see, incidentally, to sweeten the moment – you don’t say “hello” or “we were just in the neighborhood and thought we’d pop over”(better keep the suitcases in the trunk for now if you say this).

No, no. You say, “We heard you have some JELL-O!”

Won’t they be pleased to “share the thrill with guests”!

Wait just a minute, what exactly is in this Jell-O? I know it was scarce – you can hardly read the ad and not get that.

But “magnetic attractiveness” sounds like the box of dessert mix ought to be out in Hollywood making movies, not sitting in a glass dish on top of some stale old cake.

Must be the “locked-in Jell-O flavor.” Hmm. Maybe it was better back then, more fabulous. Because no Jell-O in my memory ever made me want to go careening all over the country, banging on people’s doors.

This ad suggests that if Cousin Gert didn’t want tons of visitors, she should have brought the Jell-O into her house under cover of darkness and then locked it up in the safe. You brought it on yourself, Gertrude! Next time, put the box straight into a steamer trunk. With a padlock on it.

Otherwise, there’s no telling how many gelatin-dessert fiends are going to be on the doorstep, acting like it’s a combination of Halloween and the annual family vacation.

Mildly interesting note: This is from a 1947 issue of Chatelaine, the Canadian woman’s magazine. Does anyone know if Jell-O was such a rare commodity in the US back then?

Where The Wild Things Eat

The night Max redid the dining room

And made decorating mischief of one kind and another

With aqua chairs and curtains and a strange moderne hutch

To say nothing of the peculiar daisy-candle thing about to fall off the edge of the table,

His wife said “Wild thing!

What was wrong with English Colonial?”

And left him in the room without any supper.

And because Max had built a bizarre windowbox in the room

That very night a forest grew

And grew

Until Max couldn’t even see what he was eating or who had come over for dinner

Which, given the sort of Wild Things who tended to go to Max’s dinner parties

Was probably Not Such A Bad Idea.

And when he finally located the leftover Kraft Dinner he had heated up

Amazingly enough

It was still hot.

What Do Kiddies Want?

What do kiddies want?”

Well for one things they would prefer not to be called “kiddies.” That’s just for starters. And also to assume that every single young person wants a toy car seems unwarranted, at best.

Then there’s the financial misinformation:

“Health insurance – that’s what you buy for your children when you give them Skippy Racers.”


So the next time one of the kids needs to go to the doctor, I drag this thing in. And when they ask for our insurance, I hoist the Skippy Racer up onto the counter and beam expectantly?

Oh, that’ll work out well.

What We Talk About When We Talk About Nerve Fatigue

Those jumpy, irritable, tense feelings that she has when she sees you? That’s not nerve fatigue, mister.

That’s from you being a big pain in the neck, that’s what. A fussbudget.

Where’s my dinner, why didn’t you make gingerbread from scratch the way I like it?

Where’s my pipe?

Why is the dog looking at me like that?

Why are you looking at me like that?

Why don’t I have any clean shirts?

Oh…but they don’t have starch in them. You know I like them starched.

Oh, she’ll starch you, all right.

Thank heavens for Dr. Chase and his Nerve Food.

What sort of food do you suppose that it could be? Chocolate, maybe. That always helps nerves. It’s a scientific fact. Dark chocolate, filled with medicinal brandy.

Or maybe it’s ice cream! Yes, that’s it. Ice cream with a side of industrial-strength ear plugs.

That is why she is looking so happy. He’s been reduced to a cartoon head, floating up there babbling. And she has those earplugs firmly entrenched.

The Nerve Food is just, er, icing on the cake.

And that’s not an O-K sign, she’s just sort of pointing out her raised middle finger in a polite, smiley sort of way. That’s what Dr. Chase’s Nerve Food does to you! You’re still mad, but it just feels so much better, somehow.