97% Popability Guaranteed

That does sound exciting…With a name like TNT, how could it not be?

This reminds me of one of my favorite I Love Lucy episodes, “Lucy Does A TV Commercial.” Lucy is shilling a tonic called Vitameatavegemin, which has vitamins, meat, vegetables, minerals – and a ton of alcohol in it, which she doesn’t know about. “Do you pop out at parties? Are you unpoopular? Well, are you?”


Hope your New Year’s Eve is as much fun as TNT Popcorn claims to be, and safe too!

The Magic of Micro-Fluff

Just look what Micro-Fluff has done for this man.

You too can have the same frozen look of utter loopiness, as you hold masses of nylon fibers that mimic velvet pile. And you will also start speaking and writing in capitals, which is fun for you if not for other people nearby.

Sounds terrific, right? So you need to know more – lots more. So let’s check out this incredible career opportunity. I think you stand around mostly, like this, holding the fluff. And later, when you’re a trained professional – you glue it to things.

Many, many things.

Even the name of the career skill is fun: Flok-Kraft. Pronounce it carefully, boys and girls! No need to giggle and smirk, if you do you might get that Micro-Fluff all over the “basement, garage, attic, service porch or even a card table in your bedroom.”

You will be working at home, you see, pasting fluff onto – um, things. You can line silverware drawers with it! Decorate lamps and lampshades! Recover women’s party shoes! Line the car trunk! Apply it to toys and other “new objects” thereby increasing their value 500%. Allegedly.

So rush your name and address to Niels Irwin and he will free you from “time clocks and nagging bosses” with masses of “the most amazing material you ever saw.” Maybe you’re supposed to cover the boss with it, too.

“Every neighborhood needs a FLOK-KRAFTER,” you see. Someone needs to velvetize things, right? Like phonograph turntables and wall plaques and instrument cases and…things.

I just know that Kathy the Artex Queen is related to Niels. He must be her dad! Her role model and inspiration. Eventually everyone in their town got involved in decorating things first with Micro-Fluff, then with Artex 20 years later when the velvet wore off. When they had finished covering everything in their town, they all moved on. People in the surrounding areas became afraid, then they too became FLOK-KRAFTERS (or Artexians). Steven King ought to write about this. Unless he’s busy up there in Maine – no, it couldn’t be…could it?

Mint Cocktail Chewing Gum

Willy Wonka, please take note of this. It is all very well to invent a gum that simulates a three-course meal – lthough one would prefer not to pay for the meal by transforming into a giant blueberry. However, Wonka seems to have neglected the possibilities of the cocktail hour – unlike the purveyors of toothpaste, for example.

So into the marketing gap comes Warrens with this mystifying gum. Can chewing gum function as a cocktail? Oh, probably not, they did put “Cocktail” in quotation marks. Just in case we got confused.

Personally, I prefer, say, a whiskey sour or a vodka and tonic that is drinkable. Comes in a glass. Because holding onto a glass – as Margie very well knows! – looks fun and also just gives you something to hang onto. And holding onto a pack of gum just isn’t the same.

However, chewing this gum will turn you into a popular singer, it would seem. Although how you are going to belt out a few numbers while chomping on a wad of Mint Cocktail goodness is anyone’s guess.

The copy suggests that you will also become a great social success. And that the chomped-upon gum remains full of – and I quote – “zest and zing,” even after you’ve been chewing away like Violet Beauregarde. Oh, and also that everyone is talking about this gum.

If you hold the package up, instead of a drink, when you are out at a holiday party, they won’t just be discussing the gum. They’ll be talking about you, too. Guaranteed.

Many thanks to Wishbook for this wonderful 1945 advertisement, link here.

Dark Side Of the Spoon

One side of this woman’s face is pep-free. Dr. Chase thinks it’s just a matter of unimproved blood and weariness…but anyone who’s up on their horror movies knows better. This woman puts the noir in film noir!

The happy side is careless, which will not end well. It has neglected to inform the dark half about this chance they have to win Lots Of Cash.

That might work wonders. It would make me light up all right.

The Dark Side will want to know what the Happy Side is planning to do with all that money. Is she intending to run off to Brazil? Move to Paris and start buying up lots of jewelry? Will she try and make it as a plucky chorus girl who can really, really sing, on Broadway?

She won’t be escaping the Dark Side so easily though. She may think it is gone. She may spoon down a boxful of Nerve Food every day, and for awhile everything is fine. She becomes the understudy to the Big Star. Who of course gets bronchitis on opening night. And then just as she’s getting ready to go on – what should she see in the dressing room mirror?

The shadow that no amount of pancake makeup can quite disguise….

The Magic Neckline

Lounging is a good thing, especially right after the holidays. Old sweatpants and hoodies, slippers that look like big plushy black-and-white cows. A few glasses of something bracing. The box of chocolate that is morally OK because you got it as a gift, therefore you must have some.

And then there’s the very glamorous Margie Douglas out in LA in the early 1960s…lounging in – this.

Perhaps a cocktail lounge is where you’d find Margie and her magic neckline. I don’t think she would be very comfortable lounging around the house in this getup. A skin tight Dynel unitard with a big belt buckle in the back? More than the neckline would need to be magic to get into that thing. And never mind trying to sit down in it.

The magic of the neckline, by the way, is that it always stays in place. No deviations in cleavage! I am sure that once you get this on, nothing’s moving around. At all. It must be like you were lounging in iron Spanx. Good times.

This lounger is “exclusively Margie’s” – she’s even marked it with her initials. That means that either this lady is Margie, or she’s borrowing the lounger – she’s going to be in big trouble for pinching it! How about the drink, is that Margie’s too?

I suppose Margie thinks we will all be able to lie on the sofa watching TV and eating delicious salty snacks in this thing. I just can’t see it happening though.

Note: I have just been informed that this is in fact an old photo of my friend Margie over at Margie and Edna’s Basement! I am not surprised to see that she was so glamorous – and I want to know what else she had for sale in the “free fashion catalogue”!


Thank you to my friend Carol who writes the wonderfully funny She Lives for the Your Blog Is Fabulous award!

The Hair Root Of All Evil

In the end it’s best to just rip it right out. It’s cathartic! There will be new beauty for you, after all.

The Mahler Epilator is here to help. It will bring permanent relief! From all sorts of things.

That sounds ominous. How will an Epilator help relieve this girl of her annoying roommate, her love problems, of the enormous bills she ran up at the beauty parlor? Perhaps the Epilator will march in and demand a refund of her money.

I certainly would.

Also, if you use this thing, you will be charming and have new freedom of mind. Oh, yes you will! You cannot resist the power of the Mahler Epilator.

And yet our heroine looks thoughtful – conflicted, you might say. She looks like charm and freedom of mind are not things she’s well acquainted with.

That’s the way it is in the film-noir world of beauty. And epilators.

Ad from Cosmopolitan (1966), where you can find all kinds of other things to worry about, too.

The Christmas Cannon

Ah, the good old days and the lovely old-fashioned, sensible toys that children used to have back in – well, back in 1907, for example.

How about this little Gas Cannon for your boy? It’s practical, lasting, realistic and “positively free from danger.” This probably means that it won’t break – it’s free from danger. Unlike – say – your house, your furniture, and your grandmother’s Lowestoft china.

Apparently “it can be fired in the house with absolute security.” That’s good to know. It fires 20 shots a minute and costs a penny for every 500 shots. All of which ought to take care of the service for twelve.

Extra bonus points to the clever boy who hits the gravy boat head on!

From Popular Mechanics (January 1907), thank you Google Books.

Packard Bells Are Ringing

‘Twas the night before Christmas, and old Packard Bell
Was aware that it had lots of products to sell:
So it prodded and badgered and advertised stuff
So that nobody felt they’d quite purchased enough.

In the living room, all the best families decree,
One must place a Deluxe Top Front Tuning TV;
There’s joking and drama, Lucille Ball and Eve Arden
And Santa’s appearing alongside Dean Martin.

A handsome clock radio by Mom’s bedside table
Means she’d better get up just as soon as she’s able
To wake up from slumber and summon the perky:
Come on, Mom, get busy attacking that turkey!

A Hi Fi for the den with three speakers will drown
Out the portable radio Sis never turns down;
Oh, such a cacophony of laugh tracks and drumming,
Pop music and tele-trash never stops coming -

The neighbors would hate it, but they cannot hear:
They’re knee-deep in Packard Bell toys over there.
All hail the electric, come partake if you lack it -
Merry Christmas to all, but please turn down that racket!


I wish you all a terrific holiday – whatever you’re celebrating – and thank you so much for visiting, for your incredible comments that make me laugh out loud and think (sometimes at the same time, which is quite a trip!) – and all that jazz. May your presents be charmingly impractical, and your dinners delectable – with enough leftovers to preclude cooking for several days.

[1956 advertisement from Duke University's Ad Access.]

Guys And Tools

The first question that springs to mind is: what is that bear doing in town, window-shopping? Shouldn’t he be up at the North Pole, drinking Coca Cola with the penguins and the other bears? Is he with the guys? Are they even aware that there is an enormous bear behind them?

In any case, none of these three should be getting anywhere near tools of any kind.

The boy is eyeing that drill with an excess of glee that is most disturbing. The guy on the right wouldn’t know what to do with a drill (or any other tool) if he tripped over it. And from the look of him, that’s just a matter of time.

Finally, there’s the large, strange, gleeful polar bear. He’s definitely about to go in to Miller’s Tools with them. He’s looking pretty happy about the drill. And about the guys. Either he’s got a little home-improvement project up in the Arctic or he’s thinking about dinner.

I don’t like any of it one bit.

Advertisement from Popular Mechanics, November 1959.