Meet Uncle Joe. He is the 1940s edition of Scrooge – rich and mean – “a tight-fisted old grouch.” Yeah, that sounds about right. So “we” – the cheery nephew narrating the ad - thought it would be a “good joke” to get him to play Santa Claus at the family Christmas party.
“We” have clearly given up on that inheritance, haven’t we? I don’t know why Uncle Joe even agreed to it but he seems to have promised to wear a red suit and show up at 8 pm to do the Santa thing.
Guess what happens next? Uncle Joe is a no-show.
So Cheery Nephew bounces over to Uncle Joe’s palace at 9:30 to find him fast asleep. Because Joe says he drank coffee the night before and didn’t sleep a wink. And everyone knows that you need at least one wink of sleep per night.
After Joe grumbles and whines about coffee for awhile, the cheery young nephew suggests – Sanka! But Uncle Joe does not get his Sanka until he has heaved himself out of his comfy chair and done a whole vaudeville ho-ho-ho act for the kiddies. He has to work for it, you know.
And the Sankafied version of Uncle Joe is able to sleep all night – untroubled by the ghosts of coffees past. He turns up again the next day, transformed into a happy, sappy bundle of goodwill, in the last picture. I see he brought at least one present, too.
Grinning and carrying one present isn’t quite Scrooge on Christmas morning, cavorting and giggling and ordering large turkeys for poor folk, but it’s a start.
And this ad also gives all you literary folks a little hint for your next research paper. For here is the true motivation behind Scrooge’s initial bitterness and his amazing overnight transformation:
Scrooge just needed to be decaffeinated, that’s all.
The great big version is over here – it’ll be easier to see the whole ridiculous story there (if I put a huge image in the blog post it slows things down a lot, so it’s better to do it this way). The ad is from Life, December 23, 1940.
Many many thanks to FeeFiFoto who suggested that I write about coffee today, in response to my Twittering about how much I needed coffee to inspire me to write another post.
And Happy Retro Tuesday! Please join my friend Tracy at The Crazy Suburban Mom for Retro Tuesday – she has an amazing Jell-O based post up today (how can you possibly resist that?)
By the way, I just noticed that Sunday’s post, “Startling Detecto,” was Kitchen Retro’s 600th…Speaking of startling. I had no idea I’d been going on and on so much. And for so long! I know, I still need to bring the rest of the WordPress archives of Kitchen Retro over here – I’ll be putting that on my New Year’s Resolutions list, which is getting pretty long. We’ll be talking about New Year’s – well, nearer to New Year’s.