Waffles and Syrup Wait for No Man

Oh, I’m sure they’ll hold the train for you now that they know what you’re having to eat tonight.

The conductor will just explain to everyone that the hold-up of the 5:45 was inevitable: you see, folks, Bob Bifferson needs to get home on this exact train because his wife is standing over a plate of waffles with a bottle of Vermont Maid syrup tilted and about to start pouring. I’m sure no one will mind, once they understand that!

Bob does seem to have been lollygagging on the platform though – the other commuter seems to know all about those waffles. I don’t know how the conductor is going to explain that.

[From Life, March 30, 1942.]

Bob and the Tuna Macaroni Loaf

See how much Bob likes that Tuna Macaroni Loaf? He has turned into a large, slightly glum disembodied head, that’s how much.

But the can of Star-Kist is convinced, even if the rest of us aren’t. It is so excited that it has learned how to talk. And also to hear! It thinks Bob’s head has told it it is the Best Tuna. But Bob remains silent, lost in thought.

And you know what he’s thinking? He’s thinking: how on earth am I supposed to star in “Fancy Pants” when I’m just a giant head?

Here is something the Star-Kist can could sing, to help jolly Bob’s Head out of its existential gloom – set to the tune of “Yankee Doodle”:

Bob Hope’s Head’s a giant Un-
Enthusiastic phony
Stuck some tuna in a mold
And added macaroni;

Bob Hope Head, just keep it up
Say that loaf is dandy
Lest the tuna can derail
Your modus operandi.

[From Life, October 16, 1950, big version here.]

The Hottest Thing You’ve Ever Seen

 Up until now, the hottest thing I’d ever seen was the weather report on any given day this month. Honestly, was this not the most extremely hot July we’ve had in a long time?

However, this 1949 toy is in fact the Hottest Thing – made by those well-know purveyors of fun, the Maryland Plastic Shade Company. It looks like a fan that you carry around on a bracelet – which is a great idea. But it is just a pinwheel that you carry around on a bracelet. That is not really very hot, you know.

Now when they make a teeny electric fan on a bracelet, then I’ll get excited.

[From Billboard, July 9, 1949.]

The Chocolate Cake Hussy

This is a story with everything: fast women, battling families, revenge – and, best of all, chocolate cake.

It’s 1938. Paula and her new husband Donnie (a Zeppoesque mummy’s boy, from the look of things) have just got off the train to go live in his hometown. And her new mother-in-law is right there, waiting to pounce, in a coat made of Kermit the Frog (who seems to have been the previous object of her disdain) and a Robin Hood hat. And she is glaring at Paula like she was pond scum. Uh oh.

You see, Mother Dear had already picked out a nice bride for Sonny: Nan Blaine from down the street. “She can cook,” Mother Dear muttered as Paula sashayed down the steps.

Anyway, it just so happened that the big church social was coming up. And there would be cakes on display there. The cakes were all-important. They would be judged. And the quality of those cakes had a direct moral correlation with the cake-makers’ kin. The Tell Tale Cupcake!

Mother Dear just knew that Paula was going to disgrace the family with some sort of hussified mess. Why, land sakes, she’d probably be daydreaming over a copy of Photoplay, and mix in a jar of mustard by mistake (or else because Hot Dan was her culinary advisor, in which case the mustard would be absolutely on purpose).

Well, what do you think happened?

This is an ad for Baker’s Chocolate, so we know things are going to end in a chocolate-induced haze of happiness. Yes, Paula’s cake was not a terrible mustard-laced culinary travesty, but was in fact the most magical thing the townsfolk had ever, ever tasted! Better even than Miss Perfect Nan Blaine’s cake! And after just one bite of that cake, Paula’s Kermit-slaying mother-in-law was slobbering over her like she was a delicious ice cream sundae. Paula just lowered her eyes and beamed modestly, the hapless Donnie at her side looking cluelessly happy – but you know that she won’t forget the way Mother Dear looked daggers at her. No, she won’t. Wait till the family tastes her next surprise dessert.

[From Life, February 7, 1938. You can see the big version here, which includes not only the mother-in-law's snappy first-person story, but also Paula's recipe for Golden Cream Chocolate Cake, which is pretty much a Boston Cream Pie made with chocolate cake layers.]

Jackie’s Jingle

Oh goody, a jingle contest! I don’t think that Mr. Gleason really wrote this, though. I think that his friends down at the ad agency did.

No one is going to win here, though – not really. Your taste buds will not win because that coffee is just a picture. And your eyes will not win because they are being harassed by Jackie’s eye-searing suit and beret. Mmm-boy! Those checks are really silly.

But let’s press on, since there are some cash prizes, apparently:

There’s no other coffee today
As good as the new Nescafé
Its flavor beats ground
Saves money per pound -

1. But doesn’t explain that beret.
2. Orange checks, though, are never OK.
3. And tastes better than Chesapeake Bay.
4. Not enough, though, to buy a Monet.

Please feel free to submit a last line in the comments! If only I had $35,000 in Nescafé prize money to award. But alas no.

Finally, here’s Jackie in The Honeymooners, playing golf with a pin cushion, wearing the pants he’s got on in the ad -  but a different silly beret. Address the ball, Ralph. Hellloooo, ball!


Thank you to Retro Ads and Graphics for this one! And to MTV for the picture of the album cover. Mr. Gleason really, really liked checks, didn’t he? The album cover suit is made out of Alice’s old tablecloth, I think.

Hollywood Try-Ons

What a thrill!

Yes, isn’t it.

Try ‘em on! Pick your favorite! Hollywood “Try-On” Hairstyles To Make You A Glamour Queen!

Send away for these pieces of cardboard with different hairstyles drawn on them, that have a hole cut out for your face. Then stick your face through each one for an instant, glamorous pretend makeover!

But what do you do once you have picked your favorite? How, oh how will you become a Hollywood Glamour Queen? Are you going to have to walk around like that all day, holding a piece of cardboard up to your head?

No, of course not! Simply “cut and style your hair” to look like the cardboard cut-out. Easy peasy! They include instructions, after all. And also “Professional Gel and Setting Instructions.” Oh, and maybe you will have to dye your hair, too. But the dye is not included.

And if you are not thrilled, you’ll get your dollar back! What a terrific deal.

[From LiveJournal.]

Get Into the Circle of Joy!

Just grab your hula hoop and your fabulous new Xylorimba, and define your Circle of Joy, why don’t you? Because (according to this 1933 ad, anyway) Happy Days Are Here Again! And you are going to have a rich, full, interesting life as a Zylorimbist. Just like the slightly frightening man baring his teeth over there on the right, holding a mallet (no wonder his friends look so uneasy!).  He must be thinking about how he is going to make “big money playing at lodge meetings.”

If that isn’t the definition of fun, I don’t know what is.

Speaking of definitions -  what, precisely, is a Xylorimba? Well, it’s sort of like a xylophone with more of a range. That link goes to Wikipedia, and will tell you more than you ever wanted to know about the Xylorimba. But really, all you need to know is written all over that guy’s face, in the ad. Look at him! He is not going to let anything get in the way of his Circle of Joy.

You see, Xylorimbists have fun everywhere because they stun and bore people into listening to endless plonkings on “the most spectacular of instruments.” What larks you will have!

Below there is a lovely bonus recording from 1925 of a waltz called “Sweet Hawaiian Dreams” from the “Xylo-Rimba Orchestra (With Incidental Singing).” And you know what? It is kind of catchy and – well, fun. The Incidental Singing is fun, too – lots of enunciation going on.

[The ad is from Popular Mechanics, October 1933 - and the place where you could send away for away for all this circular joy? Where else but - Chicago?]


The Corn Cob Hat

Towards the end of the summer, corn goes on sale – ten ears for a couple of dollars. I can’t remember the exact price but it’s cheap. You have to pick through a bin of them, and there’s corn silk all over the place and it is sort of a mess (can you tell that I am not a fan of sorting through bins of corn?). And then, of course, you go home and after a restorative nap you boil them. Or better still, get someone else to fire up the barbecue and roast them. You don’t even have to buy ten! It is not compulsary.

So please, please, please – don’t lose your grip like this lady, and make a hat out of them. And don’t make a dress out of plastic strawberry boxes, either.

Because unless this is a still from some lost episode of I Love Lucy in which she connives her way into starring in a Kellogg’s commercial on one of Ricky’s TV shows – there is no excuse for this.

From Life, July 21 1958.

The Dextrose Fairy

The Dextrose Fairy wants to make sure that you get plenty of SUGAR! Not just any old sugar but food-energy sugar. It is food, people! And it will give you energy.

Dextrose is just a fancy retro word for – um, sugar. And only the finest canned fruits and juices contain – sugar. Wow. Impressive, no?

The Tinkerbell of Dextrose has been working hard (just think how much dextrose she had to chow down on to get this beautiful ad set up for you. She had to go out and borrow Uncle Sam’s top hat, Dale Evans’ cowgirl boots and Sonja Henie’s wedding-on-skates dress so that she could direct your attention to the monster bowl of grapefruit. Although really, I think we would have noticed that on our own. Yes, we can see it there, thanks.

[Life, May 22, 1950]

What Not To Wear: Magical Edition

Oh, Luther – your magic is improving! Well done on splitting that tree! You and your wife, who is hiding there behind that purple rock, will have plenty of firewood this winter, that’s for sure.

But your fashion sense has not improved. Yellow satin jammies, gladiator sandals and a green cape are just not the right look for you. This is far more of an issue than what you like to do when you go out for an evening with The Guys.

I won’t be posting like this every single day but I did want to post now because I am going to be super busy for a few days – I know, it is silly to start dropping Entrecards and then stop again but I will be back at it around the middle of next week. And I am scheduling a couple of posts too, so there will be some new stuff up while I’m gone.

Luther and Co. are from the wonderful archives of Cover Browser.