One Angry Chicken Is Worth A Thousand Laughs

See, this is why you should never smoke. It’s a psychological fact: smoke too many Camels and you’ll start hallucinating that a humongous chicken is driving your car. And not only driving: yelling at you, too! That is one mean chicken. Must have got out the wrong side of the coop that morning, huh?

It’s “mad as a wet hen” and wearing a smart little suit. I think he’s married to that chick. This might be the MCP ad of the week, actually.

And kudos also for the prize Duh Remark of the century: “pleasure helps your disposition.” Oh, is that so? Thanks, I had no idea.

Now Gene Nelson down there at the bottom seems not to notice the road rage that’s going on right over his head. Nor that the large pack of Camels that is about to attack him.

At least the Camels aren’t hiding out in the donkey of the advertisement below (same mid-50s vintage). Because the chicken with anger management issues is going to start looking pretty good, compared to the donkey. And when they say “unique jackass,” they mean the person who thought this would make a really good Christmas gift:

The cigarette ad with the big chicken is from Stanford University’s terrific Not A Cough In A Carload. And the Donkey of a Thousand Laughs (I’ll just bet) is from my beloved Popular Mechanics collection.


Thank you so so much to HotRocks at Hot Rocks Unique Designer Jewelry and to alwayswinner786 at Tips For Delicious and Healthy Eating, both for the Lemonade Award

Thank you also to Cen at Cen’s Loft and Tricia at papercages (I didn’t forget, Tricia!) for the meme about seven random things – which will be about seven random retro things, sometime in the next couple of weeks.

And thank you to my top Entrecard droppers for January:

Thinking Out Loud
Mommy’s Little Corner
The Work From Home Mother
Cinnamon Spice & Everything Nice
Computer Aid
The Ad Master
The Half-Life Of Linoleum
Holy Cuteness
Crotchety Old Man
Rocket Scientist

It’s A Branderful Life

Hey, thanks for sharing.

Really, we were all wondering about the state of your – well, how things were going for you. No, that’s not quite right. Let’s try again. We were all just talking about how overburdened you seemed to be – laden with care, and…actually, no – we weren’t talking about you at all!

We will be now, though. The boss will come through the office, maybe, scratching his head and saying, “Boy, Harold sure is happy about something! Wonder what it could be?”

Guess we know what to tell him.

And by the way, this will be just perfect for your next year’s Christmas letter. You know the ones I mean. Full of accomplishments and accolades and all the cool things everyone in your family did over the year.

Well, you’ve officially got them all beat, and it’s only the end of January.

You, sir, are in possession of the branniest, nuttiest cereal that ever found itself on the wrong side of a serving spoon.

And that’s not the only nutty thing around here, either.

This breaking news was from the Windsor Star (1959).

Mystery Shoes

There’s money in them thar shoes – one hundred sparklers a week, if this ad is to be believed. The operative word, of course, being “if.”

Among the fantastic and fashionable lot is something referred to as “mystery shoes.” None of the shoes pictured look particularly mysterious. But since the ad is from Startling Detective (circa 1964) perhaps one is supposed to sense which ones they are. And then you can wear them while taking one of the many at-home become-a-detective courses. Mind you, once you crack the case of How To Sell Boring Ugly Shoes in a shoe store you set up at home, you ought to be able to solve anything.

An Email With Teeth

Mais oui, sometimes you might like to open your mouth when you smile! Also when you talk. And c’est vrai, it helps a lot when you are eating les bonbons, to open up the mouth a little.

How dare Mr. W.A. Fox, a gentleman to whom you have not even been introduced, make a mockery of the state of your teeth!

He claims to have some “quite expensive” potion, beloved by the chic ladies over in France. That is where all the beauty secrets have been hiding, usually for at least 25 years (40, in this case) but are only just now becoming available. And why is that, Monsieur Fox? Is it because the chic ladies are sorry for you and your nicotine smile? Or perhaps it is because they have a new secret, one that actually – works…

But for now, let us say that this Email Diamant will make your yellow fangs acceptably white. Why, they will become so very, very white and bright that you might also see a sizable reduction in the electricity bill!

You too will become a Continental Sophisticate, lounging about feeling “amazingly gratified” (Sacre Bleu, I dare not imagine why). Soon you will be wearing dark glasses everywhere, zipping around in a blue convertible, trailing a scarf and laughing with your head thrown back. Don’t forget to look at the road though. And watch out for the scarf too, Isadora.

Thank you very much to Uh…Bob over at Flickr for the amazing ad! I’m guessing this is 1950s vintage, as $2.98 doesn’t seem that expensive in a 1960s context.

The Plastic Sandwich

An enormous money maker, from 1955. The tagline makes one think that they are getting excited about Barbie and Ken’s lunch counter menu, but no. This is just like the machines you see in the drugstore sometimes, only at home. And apparently you can make $18 an hour, sandwiching things between bits of plastic. This racket is not free, unlike others – you do have to cough up $35** for the machine. I believe it’s the people selling the machines who are making $18 an hour, provided they unload two per hour, less a dollar or so for shipping.

**That would be “$35 and up” – there’s money in laminating PHOTOS and CARDS for sure!

A Long Time Between Roasts

Alice: Psst! Helen, there’s something I must speak to you about! Shhh! Over here.

Helen: Oh hello there, Alice, I didn’t see you there. You must have been lurking behind the canned vegetables. I see there’s a special this week on canned corn and -

Alice: Never mind all that! I must speak to you in confidence, dear…

Helen: It isn’t Grace Foster running off with the milkman again, is it?

Alice: Why no it’s -

Helen: Because I happen to know that you got that bit of juicy gossip from I Love Lucy. I was suspicious as soon as I realized that we don’t even know anybody named Grace. Or Foster!

Alice: Oh do shut up for one ever-loving minute, Helen! I must speak to you about GRAVY.

Helen: Gravy? What about it?

Alice: When was the last time you served up some delicious gravy?

Helen: Well, the youngsters, they love gravy. But – mostly I serve up those newfangled TV Dinners from Swanson. I’m a busy lady! I have things to do and – and things to do! Speaking of which, I really have to -

Alice: Helen, don’t let it be such a long time between roasts! Just buy some of this canned Franco-American gravy. Try it! Please! Your family will love it!

Helen: But -

Alice: Just put it in some nice big bowls and voila! Dinner is served! It’s even grand on bread for children’s snacks! Just look at the ad there – bottom line. That’s what it says. And also, it adds glamour to economy foods…I think. Maybe not glamour, precisely. It does add gravy though, I know that much.

[Pause for dramatic effect. Helen sees what is sticking out of Alice's purse and suddenly realizes why she is listing to one side.]

Helen: You just bought a job lot of canned gravy from somewhere, didn’t you?

Alice: I did not!

Helen: Just like the time Lucy and Ethel buy all the meat and try to sell it at the butcher’s out of an old baby carriage.

Alice: I never did!

Helen: Uh huh….sure. Well, maybe I’ll buy a can or two. Couldn’t hurt the TV Dinners, I suppose. But you have to promise me you’ll cut down on the sitcoms, all right?
Turkey Gravy on Foodista

Siroil Slick

Mirror, mirror in my hand
Who’s the oiliest in the land?
Behold the clever ageing miss
Who defeats psoriasis
With a secret stain-free potion
Which demands complete devotion

You will follow the scary gal
Sir Oil of Canada has in thrall,
Queen of problematic skin
With pointy nails and troubling grin
Her magic compact poised to rage
If you should merely turn the page

So buy a bottle, maybe two -
Her booklet tells you what to do!
Self-marinate for fourteen days
This is the Secret that repays
All who pay homage to Siroil
And with its unctuous virtues toil:

The Queen with profits will be fed
And you can toboggan in your bed.

The Curtis

This is not going to motivate anybody to watch TV. Who turns on the television so they can look at a shirt collar?

Also Lew Magram must think we’re all dopes. He thinks he has to tell people to watch the TV screen. Look at the screen, folks – not the rabbit ears, not the ceiling, not the bowl of chips. The screen.

It isn’t even an exciting shirt collar. I’m not sure you can even make a shirt collar that interesting, really. Even if you covered it in sequins and sparkles, it’s not going to be able to carry a TV show by itself. Shirt collars don’t sing or solve mysteries.

I don’t know who the guy is, but I think we’re supposed to know and be impressed. He is the “STAR” – although given the insecure vibe of capital letters plus quotation marks, I think he may be an imposter of some kind. He looks sneaky (well, boring too, but definitely sneaky).

Note that you can buy this cutting-edge fashion in “TV blue.” Maybe it makes you glow in a dark room. Perhaps that’s why they tell people to look at the screen – wear this, and your family’s going to try watching “Car 54″ on your torso.

I guess there was a show called “Curtis” and this was the exciting shirt worn on the show. Wow, I hope that’s out on DVD!

I checked Wikipedia and TV Party for possible shows and actors. I got nothing. Anyone know about this show or the “STAR”?

Fat Chance Records

First, of course, you have to get your fat to listen to the record. Because it is probably lying around, having a nap, enjoying life on your hips. Having a few party snacks, too. It’s like the guest who never leaves, despite all the hints and pointed looking at watches and talk of needing to get up for work the next morning. You know what I mean.

Wallace and his magic records to the rescue!

This item comes in a plain wrapper, which immediately makes me suspicious. Suspicious of what, I don’t know. But I don’t like it.

The record is supposed to make you thin. I understand music, exercising to music, and exercising to a voice bossing you around (“do five hundred sit-ups…starting now!”).

But what could the Wallace Method be that makes this record so special? They call it a “reducing record” and you also get a “reducing lesson.” Maybe it is special music that makes your “bulging hips” shrink.

What sort of music would that be? Maybe John Philip Sousa marches. The extra fat gets charged up and parades away, just like that. That would be easy, but not exactly natural.

Maybe it’s “easy listening music” that drives your fat mad and so it just packs up and leaves. Fat only likes jazz and big band tunes. This is 1950, so there isn’t any rock music yet.

And the special lesson must teach you what to say as you play the record: Party’s over, subcutaneous fat! We are only playing this special music now, and there’s no more good snacks. It’s getting late, anyway. Then you tell it you’re glad it could come by (you are lying, of course) and you’ll call it sometime (as if!). What a great method!

But what do the Wallace Records people do with the bulges of the 500,000 women they have helped? Because it has to go somewhere. Hope they have access to a storage facility, that’s all I’m saying.

The badly scanned ad from Ladies’ Home Journal, 1950 scanned by me (lovely microfilm, shame about the library scanner). The really nice ad is from the supremely boss Duke University Ad Access collection (click the link for a bigger version, it is quite good and shows Mr. Wallace, a disembodied head who had a Get-Thin-To-Music radio show, too).

The Pie-Eyed Banana

Here’s the weekly* Retro Recipe that puts the Kitchen in Kitchen Retro! This one is a banana cream pie, suitable for throwing if you are Lucy, Ethel or one of the Three Stooges (or just in that kind of mood) – or for eating, because it is probably an All Right Recipe. Not outstandingly exciting, but not innately disturbing either.

First I want to talk about the strange little banana, then we’ll run through the pie-making.

So, the banana. What is she planning on doing with that box of pudding? She wants to marry it, I suppose – in a metaphorical, pie-eyed sense. The My-T-Fine does not look too enthusiastic though. This may be because boxes of pudding are not known for their expressive natures. She seems to be taking it somewhere and no one’s going to stop her! This banana is in love. It’s a little one-sided, but she means business.

Also she is wearing bows on her – I guess they are legs. And she has an apron on. So maybe she is planning on making a pie out of the My-T-Fine and – some of her banana friends. I just don’t know what’s going to happen, but I am uneasy about this.

Moving on to the pie – before you make it you have to digest some nauseating motivational copy: “Want to make a hit with your he-man? Serve him the pie voted ‘tops’ by GIs.” Since this ad is from 1953, they are either referring to Korean War vets or possibly to their Gastro-Intestinal tracts. And who wouldn’t want a pie rated so highly by those? He-men (snort) have got to watch those delicate GI tracts.

Anyway, here’s how you make this therapeutic dessert:

1. Get a premade pie shell out. Put it on the table and stare at it for a minute. Yeah, go on, you really do want to do this.

2. Cook up the My-T-Fine or whatever vanilla pudding mix you have in the house. Use a cup and a half of milk and two egg yolks – just dump it all in the pan and cook it. Maybe you had better beat the egg yolks first though.

3. Slice up a banana and put the slices on the bottom of the pie shell. Then dump the pudding in on top.

4. “Allow to cool.” Yes, little pie, you have permission to cool off! Take it easy, now.

5. After it is all calm, cool and collected you may put meringue on top or whipped cream. If you have an extra banana, now would be the time to slice it and stick that on top too. Hey, knock yourself out.

But if the banana you have saved for the pie runs off with the box of vanilla pudding – make something else.

*Weekly in the sense of “if I feel like doing a Retro Recipe that week.” A loose definition of weekly, really. If I don’t find anything that entertains me that week in a culinary sense, we’ll just skip it, OK?

A huge thank you to Webfixer, who kindly helped me, via the Blogger Help Group, to be reunited with my blog titles! He has a blog over here at Webfixer which I have now bookmarked – although I expect those titles to settle down now that they have had a vacation!