Afraid of Stale Coffee

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People should be afraid of stale coffee.

Or maybe they’re just afraid of Helen. One or the other.

When the theme of a 1930s cartoon ads is caffeine – and nerves – and whether a delicious cup of coffee is really to blame for some dame’s sourheaded snappery – well, you know it’s going to be fun. To read, that is. Not to be there or anything. Because Helen is in a very, very bad mood.

Mind you, I kind of understand. It does look like hapless Jim is deliberately dropping cigarette ash on the carpet. Look at his bemused expression – he could care less! It’s even kind of amusing to him, in a passive, Ashley-Wilkes (there’s the pun in the post, right there) sort of way. That would make me mad, too.

And then Helen is mad because she knows those other gals are gossiping about her behind her back – looks like they’re right there in the same room. In fact, I think they are all at Helen and Jim’s house. How rude of them! Can’t they wait until they get down the driveway to pity Helen’s future sister-in-law?

Still, I love how one of the catty gals says to Helen “I was only thinking how nervous you are. Why not try dated coffee? Stale coffee can give people nerves.” Yeah, that’s it! Quick thinking, Lucille. Barely polite, you see, but with a little zing at the end about “people” and their “nerves.”

But the ending…the so-called happy ending where Helen is now grooving on nice fresh Chase and Sanborn. I don’t know. Now she has “too much pep.” Uh oh. And just look at poor Jim. He looks kind of exhausted – and on the verge of hysterical giggles. That’s no good, is it?

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