Elaborate Snow Hats and the Serpentine Confetti Girls

Do you have absolutely everything you are going to need to celebrate New Year’s Eve?

Do you have the right kind of hats? You need to have some Flat Crepe hats around. Also Metallic Cardboard Hats. And Metallic Hi-Hats that spell out “1952″ on the front (you can just change that to 2013).  It would also be hilarious to offer your guests both “head size” hats and miniature sombreros.

Most importantly, you’ll need Elaborate Snow Hats. If your Snow Hats are just the basic kind, you will probably want to upgrade to the Elaborate type. Because this is an evening for breaking out the fanciest cheap novelty hats (and other things) that you can! Team your Elaborate Snow Hat with a Fluffy American Lei for maximum fashion impact.

Metallic horns, both fringed and unfringed, are a nice addition to the party. Also Large Metal Noisemakers that will alert all the neighbors to the fact that you are the most fun people on the block. The Noisemaker Assortment includes Crickets, Blow-Outs, and Sirens – 500 of them to the carton. That is a lot of noise.

Library of Congress

For those of you not on a coast, the Midwest Noisemaker Assortment is guaranteed “All Large Pieces.” There are 1000 noisemakers in the Midwest Assortment cartons, so those of us on the East or West Coasts will be listening out for you.

Finally, please make sure that you have enough Serpentine Confetti on hand. The Sennett Girls on the left are demonstrating how we ought to enjoy Serpentine Confetti. These Girls, as you probably know, are the Mack Sennett bathing beauties of silent film fame. I am taking this image as my model for all New Year’s Eve celebrations from now on, by the way. The Sennett Girls know how to party, that’s for sure.

This advertisement, by the way, is from 1951 and comes straight out of my favorite source of tacky novelty ads from the past, Billboard. Here’s wishing you all a very very Happy New Year – I hope you have as much fun as the Sennett Girls tonight. And may your 2013 be as fabulous as the most fabulous Elaborate Snow Hat of 1951.

Modhouse Punch

Yeah, why not mix up a Merry Olde Bowl just the way they used to do it in the Good Old(e) Days – with plenty of Sprite and bright green lime gelatin. It’s the traditional way to celebrate the holidays!

Well, sort of.

Anyway, it is called The Modhouse, doubtless in reference to the truly traditional Fish House Punch (recipe given at the link).

Fish House Punch is made by mixing rum, cognac and peach brandy and pouring these over a block of ice in a punch bowl. The liquors are then diluted with black tea and adorned with lemon slices. It was invented by an 18th century men’s fishing club in Philadelphia, the Schuykill Fishing Company – which was nicknamed, you will not be surprised to hear, the Fish House.

This is the Modhouse recipe, just in case you have the urge to mix up something green and groovy from 1966.   They could have called it Limehouse because of all the limes, but it wouldn’t really work because Limehouse is a neighborhood in the East End of London, and – well, it just wouldn’t work. Modhouse it is, then:

1 6 ounce package lime gelatin
2 cups hot water
1/2 – 1 cup bottled lime juice
2 12 ounce cans frozen limeade concentrate
90 ounces!!! of Sprite (that’s nine 10-ounce bottles, for you mathematicians out there)
1 measly teaspoon almond extract (which will totally get lost in all the neon lime soda chaos)

Dissolve gelatin in hot water.
Stir in the limeade concentrate.
Add the lime juice.
Then to serve it you pour it over a huge tub of cracked ice – oh yeah, you are going to need a whole job lot of cracked ice – and then add the 9 bottles of Sprite. It will make 48 4-ounce servings.

Also if you want it to be even more mod and sparkly you can add a fifth of vodka. I probably would, just as a way of celebrating having put this whole huge thing together.

Three Cheers For Soup

Three cheers for Mother and three cheers for canned soup! Canned soup for lunch. Canned soup for supper. Oh, and for dinner, too. Three more cheers for Mother not serving it at breakfast, too.

Not only does Mother like strolling through the snow getting a few fancy wrapped packages all wet, she also likes soup cups. Notice that she has three kinds of soup cups. Probably there are more in the china cupboard. Because this canned soup thing is going to be happening all year round – not just at Christmas time, oh no! Because Mother is busy all the time. There will be other shopping trips and more packages and frankly she also really deserves to go out for coffee more often. Also for tea. And maybe she will also be going out for a few cocktails, come to think of it.

Not, you will note, for soup. She’s had enough of that stuff. Even though soup – in the words of the Seinfeld episode called, not surprisingly, The Soup: “Soup counts! This is the dinner.” And by all means, go ahead and crumble some crackers in it. That really could be a meal.

A Shoe Christmas

…Watch his eyes light up when you give a Roblee Shoe Gift Certificate…

Yes, that does sound like fun. Who doesn’t want to get a Shoe Gift Certificate for Christmas? Well, maybe the creepy little Santa-in-the-Box, for one. He doesn’t have any feet. I think. Which is why he is giving those super shiny shoes a look of wide-eyed horror. Maybe he can see his reflection in them. That would explain the look.

But it wouldn’t explain the shoes. I am also wondering why the guy already has the shoes if he only just received the Shoe Gift Certificate. Did Santa somehow conjure up those shoes? Seems unlikely.

The gift tag that Santa is holding is also giving out a little side eye. To a drawing of another Jack-in-the-box. Lots of silent commentary going on here. And the guy wearing the shoes just has no idea.

But do you know why the Roblee Shoes Gift Certificate was such a great idea? Aside from the obvious reason that everyone loves shoes that look like they were made of black licorice that has been varnished. The answer lies in this 1939 ad for Roblee Shoes on your right, which has one of the best taglines ever: because they are shoes that make a man proud to stick out his feet.

No matter how many people trip over those feet on the train, in the office, or at home – whether they are waiters carrying trays of drinks in restaurants or innocent relatives trying to get to the presents under the Christmas tree – that Roblee-shod guy is going to be sticking his feet out because….Because those shoes are so darn fabulous. Best excuse for being passive aggressive and annoying, ever.

Turkeys On Parade

There’s a lot of things I associate with Thanksgiving: the turkey dinner at my aunt and uncle’s house, the after-dinner walk to the park to feed the ducks at the duck pond, and, when I was really little, the traditional attempt on my part to go for a swim with said ducks (P.S. I didn’t get very far, thanks to my mother’s firm grip on the situation).

But one thing I don’t think of during Thanksgiving is underwear.

This year, however, I am pondering this wonderfully ridiculous ad from 1952 and trying to figure out how someone came up with this – err – concept.

A dad and his son, both attired in silly, politically-incoreect headgear – and Carter’s underwear – are going out hunting. Presumably for turkey. But they are being led by a turkey! Who is also wearing Carter’s underwear. And who is using a poultry lacer as a baton. Poultry lacers – I recognized this thing but I had to go look up what the official name was – are used, as you probably know, to truss up a turkey before you roast it. Why oh why is the turkey joking around with that thing?

I can’t think of a good scenario that fits this picture, can you? It is startling though. Hard to forget. I guess that was good for Carter’s. I’m not sure it was so good for the turkey, though.

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving, and if you do happen to see any turkeys wandering around in their underwear, do not follow them.

Hypnotized By Ham

It’s all about the ham in this 1940 advertisement. More, more, more!

We want more ham.

We will never get enough ham.

In fact, we are totally focused upon Armour’s STAR Ham. That still point of the turning world stuff  that T. S. Eliot was going on and on about? Is actually an Armour STAR Ham. Academicians, please take note. You have some literary criticism to rewrite.

After Easter dinner, that is. If it ever ends.

Because everyone in this little family has been hypnotized by ham. They have been at it for some time now.

Are they really, truly chanting “”We want more! more! more!” Probably. I mean, look at them. These people are completely nuts.

You’ll notice that there isn’t anything else for dinner in this house. Just – ham. Lots and lots of ham.

Also a small Easter bunny and two eggs. All three of which are frozen in fear that the ghoulish ham fiends will finish that ham – this is inevitable, really – and cast their terrifying, beady, excessively bright eyes upon them.

The bunny is considering making a break for it. Why is he even on this table, anyway? This is just not a safe place to be.

Run, little bunny. Run like the wind.

The Easter Blonde

Give your husband a gorgeous “Blonde” for Easter. Or maybe he prefers a luscious Redhead or Stunning Brunette.

Gee, I don’t know, why don’t we ask him? It’s 1953 and I’m sure I have nothing better to do than dye my hair whatever color Biff prefers, as a little present for Easter. Thank you Tintair (which sounds like an airline where they color your hair on board so you can surprise the people waiting for you at your destination), for one of the weirdest Easter ads ever. Clearly, they think that this idea is really clever, and that  all us little ladies out there will love it:

On Easter morn, when you greet “him” in your new Easter suit and bonnet – why not introduce him to a gorgeous blonde? Or redhead? Or brunette?

I don’t know, I’d really rather not. Plus anyway, back here on Planet 2012, I’ll be greeting “him” in my lovely pajamas and cardigan combo. And asking him (politely, but with a tiny note of firmness/desperation) to introduce me to a mug of coffee.

Carrot Top: even more surprising that the Easter Blonde

But supposing I did use Tintair – with “self-timing pure ‘Vegetable Catalyst D’” – in Canary Diamond, Jet Brown or Carrot Top. That way he would probably think I am somebody else.

What fun that would be, to see him so pleased that I am not me but some Easter Blonde who wandered in from the Land of Tintair. I’m Canary Diamond, the Easter Blonde. That’s a good name. Sounds like a retro exotic dancer, doesn’t it? Or Jet Brown, International Woman of Mystery – specializing in stealing jewels from the Jet Set (of course)* – all the while never letting go of my cigarette holder and champagne flute.

Or he might even think I’m – Carrot Top. That would be really interesting, don’t you think?

*Flying, but of course, on Tintair – what else?

A Basket Full of Raisins

Gallery of Graphic Design

I love old Sun-Maid Raisins ads. They are invariably cheery and self-confident. Yes, the kids are going to be so happy to see boxes of raisins when they are trick-or-treating. Remember that one? Well, Sun-Maid is ready to bet the farm (or the vineyard) that everyone longs to look into their Easter baskets and find – not delicious chocolate bunnies, or jelly beans, or malted milk eggs.

They want boxes of raisins.

Oh, those cunning little youngsters. They love finding that their Easter baskets are packed with boxes featuring a gal in a huge bonnet grinning at them – because they know that this can only mean more raisins.

Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against raisins. Really. They are good things, packed full of iron and vitamins and things. And they are just the ticket when you are making, say, a raisin cake.

But please: think of the delicious malted milk eggs. Or whatever seasonal treats you like. What’s your favorite? Do tell!

Betty Drinks the Kool-Aid

Vintage Ad Browser

Oh look, Betty’s Mom left her an Easter surprise!  And a note, explaining (perhaps) what is going on here:

Betty - 
Any girl who says she has the prettiest mother in the Easter Parade deserves something special
– Mom

I’m sure that Betty was not expecting a special pitcher of purple-flavored Kool-Aid, though. I am trying to imagine the Mom coming home and thinking: what is the most amazing thing I can do for my daughter who is so full of compliments? Oh, I know! I will make her some colored water full of sugar and artificial grape flavoring that is sometimes used to dye Easter eggs, because the dye is so potent and annoying…

Yes, that will be perfect!

So Betty supposed to come home, shriek with delight, tell Mom she is not only the prettiest but the nicest, best, most thoughtful mother in the Easter Parade. Yes, of course. And then she is supposed to start slurping. I don’t see any glasses on the table. Perhaps Betty is meant to pick up the pitcher and glug it down in one go.

Hint to Betty: try drinking from the spout end. It will be slightly less messy. And if you make a mess with the purple Kool-Aid, Mom won’t be quite so happy, will she? She might even make you try some of those multi-colored mini squash she put in the Easter basket for you. Yes, I know that they are supposed to be eggs. They look like mini squash, though.

The copy at the bottom of the ad says that the packet makes 2 quarts. That is a lot of purple Kool-Aid, Betty. I guess Mom thinks that you talked about how great she is for so long that you are really, really thirsty. So drink that Kool-Aid, sister. Just make sure you don’t get any on your fancy pink dress and little white gloves. Mother will not be so pretty and friendly then, will she?

Jerry’s Valentine Vision

When you look at life through rose-tinted glasses – or rose-tinted Valentine’s eyeglass frames – you just feel better. Unlike Jerry and Jane. Jerry used to be so romantic on Valentine’s Day, but now – well, now he’s just a big grump to poor Jane. A big grump, apparently, with indigestion. And she really just wants to be his Valentine. And him to be a little more like Valentino.

Well, she also would like some fancy chocolates in a heart shaped box, but that’s just a corollary, really. In this little 1941 saga, Jane solves her problem (i.e. Jerry’s unromantic indigestion) with a little Milk of Magnesia. Yes, not only does Milk of Magnesia calm the GI tract, it also inspires romance! It is just amazement in a blue bottle, is what it is.

But you know, there are probably better ways to inspire and recharge your significant other. Because maybe he or she just needs to be able to see better. Maybe they need perking up with some new eyeglasses frames. So instead of heading for the medicine cabinet, why not try some of Zenni Optical’s cute Valentine’s Day themed eyeglasses? These frames with little sparkly hearts on the sides would be just ideal. They have lots of other Valentine’s-themed frames, too. All at prices that won’t upset your stomach – or your pocketbook.

Zenni is the top online eyeglasses store where you can get prescription glasses for amazing prices. You can go check all the different colors and styles of eyeglasses that they offer and be sure to find one that will put you (and anyone else you have in mind) in the right sort of holiday mood. And not only that, but your Valentine-visioned Valentino will be able to spot just the right box of fancy chocolates to get you.