Yes, We Have No Bananas #socs

Image by Steve Buissinne from Pixabay

Let’s start with the commercial again this week. This post is brought to you by Jewel-Osco produce. It’s Fresh! Exciting!

My first real job at 16 was at the Jewel Food Store, where I was a produce clerk. I was really awful at it. I got written up a couple of times for not getting the job done right, and after a while I wished they’d just fire me. The money was good, sure, but the reason it was so good was that you had to deal with rotten and moldy produce and bugs, especially spiders. Everything, for whatever reason, had to be put in trays and shrink-wrapped, and I was just no good at that. Apparently, that was the law in Illinois for all produce except bananas, where you could get away with holding the hand (that’s what you call a bunch of bananas, apparently) together with tape, and watermelon, which could be sold whole, though we did used to cut it up and wrap it in shrink wrap, too.

Now, of course, if we need apples on the sales floor, you just bring the boxes out and arrange the apples nicely into a decorative pile. Same with everything else. No shaving the butts off the lettuce and wrapping it in plastic, just bring the whole heads out. Let the customer deal with their own produce, right? Made sense to me. Apparently not to the lawmakers, though, who were probably getting kickbacks from the manufacturers of shrink wrap and cardboard trays.

I should have quit that job when it became obvious that I didn’t have the aptitude for it, but Mom whipped out the old "J-O-B does not spell F-U-N" line and I stuck it out. I stayed with it until I was given a 37.5 hour week, when she decided that I needed to ask for fewer hours. I got the hours reduced to zero when I quit.

Linda brings us Stream of Consciousness Saturday every week. Now, George Formby with "I Like Bananas."

Sent From Heaven Above #socs

We start with the commercial this week: This post is brought to you by Heaven Sent perfume, by Helena Rubinstein. A little bit naughty, but heavenly…

"Suddenly, you’re an imp wearing angel’s wings"… love that line.

Helena Rubinstein got out of the scent business and sold it to Dana, who also makes a scent called Love’s Baby Soft.

Yeah, it’s creepy….

Rumor has it that most of the world is trying to get away from printing paper money and striking coins and instead using digital currency. It might sound like the new and modern thing to do, but I’m not sure I like the idea. I mean, there’s a lot of history and tradition tied up in paper money and coins. I mean, I used to go to the store for Mom, and the reward for doing that was ten cents, a shiny new dime that was just enough to buy a bottle of Coke at the drug store on the way home. Had to drink it at the drug store, of course, unless I had two more cents to pay for the deposit, which I would get back when I returned the bottle.

So many things were less than a dollar back then: the newspaper was a nickel, a Bic pen was 29 cents, a pencil was seven cents (because a package of ten was 69 cents), loose-leaf paper was a quarter for 25 sheets, a comic book was 12 cents, a big comic book (the one that was about 50 pages) was 25 cents. Ground beef was 59 cents a pound, steak was 89 cents a pound, a five-pound bag of potatoes was 79 cents…

I miss the old days…

Dan is sitting for Linda, who brings us Stream of Consciousness Saturday every week.

Advertisements as Art #socs

Linda told us "When you sit down to write your post, find a picture, whether in a magazine, newspaper, or even product packaging. Write whatever thought or emotion the picture provokes." We don’t have any magazines or newspapers around Chez Holton, so I did the next best thing: I visited the Vintage Ads group on LiveJournal (yes, some of us still have a LiveJournal account) and borrowed a couple of ads, because that’s what we do.

If you click the picture above, and anywhere in this post, the ad grows to full size. First of all, this is a lady’s boudoir, or at least an artist’s concept of one. I love the attention to detail in this. Many ads until about the 1950’s were drawn rather than photographed, so the artist could come up with whatever he wanted (and they were generally men who did the pictures). He could draw it however he wanted to. I look at this picture, and I can feel the pride the artist felt when he finished. This actually takes me back to the 1930’s, when ladies’ boudoirs were ornate like this, at least the wealthy ones.

It’s getting close to summer, a prime time for sherbets. The good folks at Sealtest came up with a unique way to give their customers a taste of three of the sherbet flavors: put the three of them together, like Neapolitan ice cream. I’d be apt to go buy this, because I like Neapolitan ice cream (and I’m probably the only person you know who does). This puts me in a summer mood, seeing the little boys in their striped t-shirts enjoying cones of the different flavors (this was an ad from the category "creepy kids"). Notice that the carton is a drawing rather than a photograph, which again shows the attention to detail.

We have members of the group from England, so naturally we get ads from there. Notice the drawing style, more like a designer’s sketch of the bride’s gown and the bridesmaids’ dresses. Now, of course, they’d get three models, one to wear the bridal gown and two others to dress like bridesmaids, but back in the ’40’s, that was expensive, so you lived with the drawing. It gave a prospective bride an idea of the sorts of dresses that were available, and got them into Harrods. Lord and Taylor in the US still features drawn ads like this, sometimes even more abstract. Abstract drawing notwithstanding, I think she’s a beautiful bride. Since June is the month for brides, this is thoroughly apropos.

Finally, we have this ad, from the category "unfortunate food." It seems that there are hundreds of ads for Jell-O that show it being transformed from a delicious gelatin dessert into something that, if it were offered to you, you’d take a hard pass. As you can imagine, my reaction is "Eww, gross!"

The first time I saw this ad, I said that if this were my bathroom, I’d never come out. I still feel that way.

Now a word about Betty Crocker cake mixes….

Ancient Chinese Secret #socs

I can actually remember the days before permanent-press clothing, and how happy Mom was when she didn’t have to iron anymore. She was a working Mom and didn’t have time to iron stuff. Dad’s shirts still needed to be ironed, so he would take to the Chinese hand laundry, run by Sam Woo. (Some of us wrote a little poem that we would yell out loud whenever we’d pass his laundry: "SAM WOO MADE A POO AND YOU CAN SMELL IT, TOO!" We didn’t feel bad about it until much later, by which time Sam had gone to that Hand Laundry In The Sky, where the water was always soft, even without Calgon.)

A lot of that changed after Mom remarried. My stepfather’s shirts were all permanent press, but Mom would iron them, anyway, along with a blouse for herself, the night before they were to be worn. We had gotten rid of the ironing board when we left Glenwood Avenue for the suburbs, so she would take a bath towel, fold it in half, and put it on the kitchen counter, and iron there.

She seemed to be proud of ironing. When I’d go to Chicago I’d stay with them, and she’d offer to iron my shirts. I’d tell her that it was OK, that they were permanent press, but she’d iron them anyway. Everybody has their language of love. Mom’s was freshly-ironed clothes.

Linda brings us Stream of Consciousness Saturday every week. Now a word about Calgon water softener. Helps get clothes up to 30% cleaner!

That commercial is from the ’70’s…I figured it’d explain the references above…