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