by Robert Smith
Here is more actual stuff that people buy and sell. It’s a cornucopia of values!
On the box of the health food supplement Swanson Kyoto Brand Chlorella Growth Factor: “Five-Diamond Quality.”
Every Croton watch comes with a “limited lifetime warranty”; others offering a “limited lifetime warranty” include quick-strut assemblies by Monro, many Fender musical instruments, and Balfour rings.
A legend on the somewhat ribald package of generic freezer pops we recently spied: “Freeze ’em, eat ’em, love ’em.”
While we’re on the subject, we can’t figure out which type of freezer pops to buy: Sqweeze Freezer Pops; Pop Ice; Freezer Ice; Mr. Freeze; Otter Pops; the generically titled Freezer Pops; Fla-Vor-Ice; Zoo Pops; or Gator Pops.
And while we’re still on the subject: Otter Pops has a website called OtterPopstars.com, where you can enjoy the adventures, hear the music, and read the interviews of various fruit-flavored ices in their quest for pop stardom. The band
member names feature Poncho, Lil, Louie, Alexander, and Kook. For some reason, there’s a little dog that scratches on a turntable that doesn’t seem to get any billing, though by far he seems the most talented.
A heartening ad slogan by L’Oreal for as far back as we can remember: “Because I’m worth it.” As if you use Jones Shoelaces for purely altruistic reasons.
In the 1970s, you could walk into Dairy Queen, and, with your head held high in your most dignified voice, say: “I’d like a Brazier burger, a Dilly Bar, and a Peanut Buster Parfait, please.”
There was an actual, no-holds-barred overnight infomercial for vibrators, dildos, and other sexual aids on the Oxygen Network recently. The show was set up as sort of a home shopping network for butt plugs. We are not exaggerating.
An Internet ad line for Natures Variety Prairie Homestyle Canned Cat Food (Lamb/Liver Flavor) notes the product features “home cooked taste.” The way the economy is going, Ed and Myrtle down the block might be able to prove that claim.
Is there a silk shortage? While enjoying a tall boy of Pabst’s Blue Ribbon, you can also sit on a couch adorned by a cover from California’s Blue Ribbon Quality Upholstery; if you need shingles, you can contact Blue Ribbon Quality Roofing of Colorado; east coasters can instead call upon Blue Ribbon Exterior Remodeling; Blue Ribbon Abrasives Co., Inc. of Minnesota makes cutting wheels; Blue Ribbon Quality Meats produces, we assume; meats; and Trucchi’s Supermarkets in Massachusetts assigns many of its products a certain emblem, according to their website: “Blue Ribbon items are distinguished by the blue ribbon quality seal that appears on the packaging. These items are unique to our stores. Only items that are prepared fresh daily in our own stores and meet the highest standards of quality are awarded our blue ribbon.” Oh, my, all these ribbons! We’ll assign a blue ribbon panel to check out all these companies.
Psychic sales: Many companies seem quite intuitive, to say the least. The label for a large bag of Spangler’s Dum-Dum Pop claims: “All Your Favorite Flavors!” In music, the legendary TV ad for a Roger Whittaker hits compilation showed the British singer looking into the camera and telling us: “These are the songs you really love.” Others who know exactly what you want to hear are John Gary (Sings Your All-Time Favorite Songs), pianists Floyd Cramer (Plays Your All-Time Country Favorites) and Roger Williams (Plays Your All-Time Favorites), and, of course, full-throated singer Jim “Gomer” Nabors (Sings Your All-Time Favorites). Easy listening artists can peer directly into your soul while performing “Hot Diggity, Dog Diggity (Boom What You Do To Me),” it seems.
During the 1970s, sportscaster Chris Schenkel appeared in a commercial touting the “good taste of beer,” but not for any particular brand – he touted that beer always tastes best in glass bottles in one TV ad. Later, he displayed a bottled product called “Good Taste Of Beer,” which was delivered on a tray to a bunch of happy folks singing around a piano in a bar.
A 1960s TV commercials touting the benefits of U.S. Savings Bonds featured The Three Stooges, surely a trio you’d want to take financial advice from.
We all know Ronald McDonald and The Burger King, but other fast food mascots from today and yesterday you might not be aware of include Carvel’s Fudgie The Whale (we know it’s not what it is, but it look as if he shows up at events wearing oversized boxer shorts), some sort of half rat, half hamster from Quiznos, “The Noid” from Domino’s Pizza, and a North Carolina yellow thing for a indie pizza place that doesn’t exist any longer. The most unappealing self-mascot we know of is veteran bad guy pro wrestler Abdullah the Butcher, who owns and operates Abdullah the Butcher’s House of Ribs & Chinese Food in Georgia. Abby is a gigantic and rotund 300-pound man with a horribly scarred forehead and a psychotic leer nicknamed “The Madman From The Sudan” who routinely stabs his opponents in their heads with forks. In his off time, he serves candied yams and mac and cheese to Atlanta residents.
Again, we are not exaggerating.