Men Are Funny

Men are funny – you never know whether you’re making the right move or not. Avoid disappointment, heartbreak!

Yeah, men are funny all right. So you’d think that telling them a few jokes might be enticing. You’d be wrong, though. It’s way more complicated than that.

This guide to hunting them down is also funny:

It’s Easy to Win Him…When You Know How!

In other words, this is sort of the equivalent of the electric bow tie, for girls – how to score with the opposite sex, for only 98 cents.

But what precisely are we going to be learning, and what is the goal? Is the goal here:

(a) To Win Him (“easy when you know how!”) OR is it in fact

(b) To Get Along With Boys. As in plural boys. What precisely does getting along mean, huh? Resisting the impulse to scream at him for that sexist wisecrack he just made (men aren’t that funny, sometimes) – or, ahem, what used to be called putting out? Probably something in-between the two.

In any case, you will also learn:

How to Get Him To Date You
How to Make Him Enjoy Your Company
How To Have Personality
How Not to Offend Him
How To Keep Men Guessing
How To “Make Up” With Him

Doesn’t that sound like a constructive use of your time? Feminist consciousness will be lowered all over the place! Guaranteed. But at least there will be “No more clumsy mistakes for you.” Nice to know the author has such a high opinion of her readership. She must be related to Madame Beatrice.*

Yes, this book was actually written by a woman. Her name was Henrietta Rosenberg; she used the pseudonym Walter S. Keating (I have a few ideas about what the ‘S’ stood for). Masquerading as the bon-vivant Keating, Ms. Rosenberg wrote some other spicy titles in the 1940s and 1950s. These include Marriage Mischief, How To Write Love Letters, The Omnibus Of Pleasure, Sex Studies From Freud To Kinsey, and perhaps (in this context) most disturbingly, How To Get A Job In New York.

Thanks, but I’ll think I’ll try the Acme Employment Agency first.

*Of course, if you use Madame B’s Secret Voice, you won’t need this book, will you? That list of How Tos is a precise description of what Secret Voice does. So maybe you should just get a few flasks of that instead.

Thank you to Comic Book Ads for this gem. You can click the link for a very nice full-size version of this ad, and read all the incredible things you will be taught.

Soup Is Stirred: Guests Are Shaken

It’s Retro Recipe Monday. How’s about a nice shake? Oh, good. So what kind of Campbell’s Soup would you like in it? Tomato or mushroom?

Good times with beverages, indeed. Talk about a surprise. I’m sure anyone you try to serve these to will be talking about the surprise they had, for years.

I can understand some kinds of hot soup in a mug, as part of a winter meal. Because a mug is sort of like a tall cylindrical bowl with a handle. But a soup milkshake? No, no. This is wrong. And soup nog? Try leaving a glass of that out for Santa and see what happens. Coal is the least of what you’ll be getting.

Many thanks to Janet at Found In Mom’s Basement, for the vivid visual; and thanks to J.B. Curio, whose Flickr site Janet found it on. A third hand find is what this is! But the cookbook scan is from my very own delightful copy of Wonderful Ways With Soups. Wonderful being a relative thing. No poll this week. I think we can all reach a soup shake consensus, don’t you?

Don’t Open This Bottle

…because there’s a whole miniature orchestra in there, and they’re raring to play syrupy tunes. And a tiny Lawrence Welk is raising his toothpick baton and piping out, ah-one anna two!

As you probably know, The Lawrence Welk Show was an exceedingly corny musical variety show that ran from 1951 to 1971. Geritol was one of the main sponsors, which should tell you plenty. It was known for (among other things) a disturbing plethora of fake champagne bubbles cascading over the set, and the opening credits. Pretty much whenever there was a lull in the excitement (relatively speaking).This was supposed to evoke elegance. There was also a Champagne Lady. She was the glamor queen of the show, but looked more the fanciest hairdresser in Levittown. GoRetroGirl has a great post on this show, so why not go over and read that. Then please come back and look at this terrific tie-in novelty!

Yes, you can have your very own Champagne Bottle Radio!* It is two feet tall so it will definitely stand out in any room.

It won’t be able to help you with homework, but it can sing and sing…and sing. Plus it has a “clever personalized label” which will read “Vintage of 1949 Bottled Expressly for Mary From Jane.” Too bad if your name isn’t Mary or Jane.

Lawrence was selling these himself, it looks like (check the bottom of the ad). For a whopping $24 each! The profits must have been wunnerful, wunnerful. You just know those people in the audience, in the clip below, each had at least three of these things back at home.

[From Billboard, March 26, 1949]

*There really is no special reason that I have three posts with bottles in them this week. This one was pure serendipity, it made me laugh when I was going through my bookmarks. So I said: OK, that one. As I am finishing up, I realize that: oh, another bottle. Next week will be bottle-free!

Many thanks to my new friend, Tracy (who really is wunnerful!) for the Weekly Blog Tiara. I always enjoy a good tiara, and will treasure this one! She is a retro ad collector, too – and writes the funniest things about them. Please go check out her blog over at The Crazy Suburban Mom, it’s a treat to read.

Voice In A Bottle

This is Madame Week on my blogs, I guess: there sits Madame Morrow, the wily Victorian fortune teller, over at the Dime Museum. And today we have, as a guest star over here, the lovely and equally wily Madame Beatrice, straight out of 1960.

Madame Beatrice has something fabulous for you today. Today and every day! Are you shy, left out, pushed to one side by some high-fashion sweet-talking lollapalooza of a floozy? Is she bewitching your guy?

Madame Beatrice understands. She’s been there, obviously: check out the brave smile, the Margaret Dumont iron matron vibe, the perky pearls. She’s duked it out, so to speak, with a bimbo or two in her day. And won.

Because Madame has a secret weapon. And that’s what she wants to sell to you. It is perfume that will actually speak for you. It is your “Secret Voice” and can say all the things you are too chicken to say. Can and will!

Hey, will you look at that loser flirting with all the girls? Is that him? That’s our boyfriend? Hmmm, I don’t know about this. Are you sure we want to get this one back? Because I’m not so sure.

Let’s use my Secret Voice and round up somebody new. Psst! You there, the cute guy in the corner. Come over here and talk to us. Now. I said, NOW. C’mon, move it, buster!

Please note that you will need “complete directions” on how to use Secret Voice perfume. Madame Beatrice thinks we’re not only shy and depressed, but really, really stupid. Don’t you feel much better now?

[Many thanks to Modern Mechanix for this one.]

A Post On A Postcard

Happy Friday! Postcard Day, too, over here. I may change it to Wednesday next week to spread things around the week (as we have a Monday Retro Recipe and, over on Dime Museum, a Friday Mystery – see if you can guess it!).

I adore old postcards and am happy to see so many on the internet. This is good, because my actual collection is quite small. I need to visit my favorite secondhand bookstore, which has piles of postcards in boxes, and get a few. When it is cooler, I will. This is my excuse for everything right now. When it cools off, I will! Fall and winter are better for my brain. How about you, do you love summer or are you just waiting for a little frost?

Another thing I’m aiming to do in the fall is write a few paid posts on this blog. Wait, come back! I promise, it will not be so bad! I love ads so much – and the thought of making a few dollars is also something I am fond of – that I think it would be fun. Promise: they will be different. I’d like to make them funny, if I can (you know, without mocking the product or anything). And I won’t do stuff I hate. And I know about Page Rank and it’s all right, really it is. Dime Museum and Kitchen Retro will stay the same as ever.

One more random Friday thing: we have not toasted one single marshmallow this summer. I regret it, but that’s the way it goes. I think it may be a first.

Now go have a wonderful weekend, and – well, what the postcard says.

The postcard, by the way, is from Wikimedia.

Diamond Life

The word ‘diamond’ comes from the Old French word diamant which in turn came from the Latin adamas. Adamas was originally used to describe several kinds of stone; later, the variant word diamas was used to refer specifically to diamonds. Adamas may have come in turn from the old Persian word aziman meaning lodestone (the mineral magnetite, a natural magnet; lodestone meant ‘leading stone’ in Old English).

So ‘diamond’ is a cousin of the adjective ‘adamant,’ meaning stubborn and immovable. Since the diamond is the hardest gemstone, this makes sense.

The Hope and the Koh-i-Noor Diamonds are two of the most famous diamonds in the world. The 105 carat Koh-i-Noor is supposed to have given the owner the power to rule the world. It originally belonged to the rulers of Persia; it is now in the British Imperial State Crown, in the Tower of London. The 45.52 carat Hope Diamond is greyish blue, and forms the pendant of a diamond necklace that is now in the Smithsonian (it’s on your right). People once thought that it had been stolen from an Indian statue, but it actually was cut from a blue diamond that was part of the French crown jewels. Legend has it that it was cursed, and brought bad luck to its owners. Wilkie Collins based the stolen diamond of his mystery novel The Moonstone (1868) on stories about the Koh-i-Noor and Hope Diamonds.

The Hope Diamond is one of the subset called fancy colored diamonds. They are the rarest diamonds, being not white, but nearly any other color: various shades of pink, champagne (beige), yellow, blue, purple, green, or black, for example. My favorites are the pink diamonds, not that I’m in the market or anything. I’m just looking, thanks. The gorgeous pink diamond above is the Darya-ye-Noor (Sea of Light), one of the Iranian crown jewels. It is rather nice, don’t you think?

The Soda Jerk

It’s back to school time (not quite yet for some of us, but soon enough) and here is a little retro homework tip for you all, from Ginger’s older brother:

1. Make friends with a giant bottle of Seven-Up. Tell it you like it. You can sense that it also likes you! (Maybe there is some bizarre dating opportunity in here, but let’s just leave that one alone for now).

2. Sit down together with your homework. Open up a few books and place them decoratively around the desk light. Try not to knock them over with your elbow.

3. Put your arm around the Seven-Up bottle and give it a smoldering look of desperation. Gosh, I thought you said you knew how to do long division (burp).

4. Realize that you have been transformed into an awkward line drawing with strangely proportioned arms and hands, and a tiny sunburned head. What in the world are they putting in Seven-Up these days?

5. Wait for the giant soda bottle to answer you. Read a few comic books while you are waiting.

6. Tell the teacher the next day that you couldn’t do the math homework because some strange Seven-Up bottle wandered into your room and spilled soda all over the desk.

7. Next day: see if Pepsi is any good at American history.

Thank you Janet at Found In Mom’s Basement, who found the ad at Community LiveJournal (link is on her page).

Dances With Hollywood Wolves

We’ve had some advertisements about this sort of thing before, a little item called the Wolf Whistle. You can go have a look at them here and here.

But this is the ultimate version; the top end of the line. This is the original Hollywood Wolf Whistle. It not only makes a “wolf call” but also “other weird noises.” One can only imagine what that must be like.

How enchanting.

You too can look like a cartoon animal in a bowtie, chomping a cigar. Maybe you can pretend to be working on a few movie scripts, too (that is probably where ordering the Descriptive Literature would come in handy).

It works not only in cars but in trucks, on motorcycles, in motor boats and “outboard motors, too.” So basically, you can harass women with your obnoxious and weird noises everywhere, on land and sea. How impressed they will be!

If they are not sufficiently thrilled (and I suspect that they may not be) – just tell them Cecil B. DeMille sent you. And that he has one of these on his limo, too. He gets the chauffeur to do the wolf whistling, though.

Ad from Popular Science, June 1948.

Hairku Off Face

Stubble and trouble:
My face was hairy, all right.
And life was lousy.

Beard, lady, circus:
Thoughts ran their vicious cycles.
I tried many things:

Even Brad, smirking,
Lent his electric razor,
And some Barbasol.

Then Annette Lanzette
Rhymed grandly into my life,
With something simple:

A Mystery Thing,
A method that is painless,
Yet not electric!

Tweezers and a sign
Stuck to the back of my head
Saying: Hair Off Face.

Brad laughs at Madame.
He has just made a bad joke,
About vain women.

I am smiling now;
As I turn quickly towards Brad.
Watch those sharp corners.

Flaming Globes of Paté

A long time ago I used to write about horrid retro recipes over at Kitchen Retro, which began as a blog about strange old cookbooks from the past. Although I am always trying to find ways to avoid cooking, I do like to read cookbooks, especially old ones, and have a large collection of them. I prefer the retro, the tacky, and the strange. Eventually KR evolved into a retro advertising blog and I thought of changing the name, until it struck me that one could also read the title as Kitsch and Retro, so maybe it would be OK.

The Doubletake, being a blog for anything I find interesting, can encompass all sorts of retro fun stuff, so Horrid Retro Recipes have returned! Only sometimes they will not be totally Horrid. Sometimes I can’t really decide what I think of something. Is it awful, or maybe – just maybe – weird enough to work? So you be the judge! I am going to try to put up a weekly poll in one of the sidebars. Things are still under construction, as you see. But I will try! :)

This exciting appetizer is from my latest find, the 1969 opus June Roth’s Fast and Fancy Cookbook. Just from the title, you know it will have plenty of extraordinary things in it! The subtitle is “Glamorous Gourmet Dishes From Inexpensive Quick-Fix Foods.” Uh oh, that sounds a little dubious. So may I present Flaming Walnut Paté Balls, just over there, to your right.

Is this a good idea, to set fire to little chicken-liver-curry-and- walnut spheres?

I keep thinking of the Seinfeld episode (“The Heart Attack”) in which Jerry has seen some Late Late Movie and found something in it so hilarious that he wrote it down in the middle of the night, when he was half-asleep. Of course now he can’t read the scrawled note. It turns out that he was watching some old sci-fi thriller (a fictitious one). Finally, the great comedic line is revealed to be “Like flaming globes of Sigmund!” As Jerry remarks, “That’s not funny.”

I think that these may be the actual Flaming Globes of Sigmund. Sigmund can have all the leftovers back, too.