Monumental Moments in Advertising, More Crap I Don’t Need, and Let’s Go to the Fair!

Or, if you’re poor and don’t have a dime for the pay toilet, just slide your skank ass under the door.

I haven’t seen a pay toilet since the Hills store got closed down in either 1981 or 1982.  Perhaps someone finally realized that the skinny girls simply slipped under the door and used the john for free, and the fat ones just dropped their deuces on the drain in the middle of the floor.  That was something very nasty to walk in on- someone’s steaming pile sitting on the drain, reeking and drawing flies.  Acck.   Back then I was one of the few who neither being waif-thin, nor coordinated enough to make it under the door, would generally either scrounge a dime somewhere or wait until I got home.  I am proud to say that I never stooped to dropping a deuce on the floor drain.

‘Tis sad if my list of greatest accomplishments has to include refraining from crapping on the floor.

There are certain odious advertising jingles that tend to stick on one’s head.  The Shower-to-Shower jingle has to be the all time most annoying of all time.  I do have to appreciate the fact that in this particular commercial they gave the Woman Who Forgot To Sprinkle her very own private dinghy so she wouldn’t stink up the yacht for everyone else.  That’s compassion for you.  It’s better than what the poor People Who Remembered to Sprinkle had to endure in the elevator with the Non-Sprinkler du jour.  (I should not be old enough to remember these commercials…)

Today for some reason someone mentioned Colt 45 Malt Liquor, which I’ve always thought to be glorified cheap beer, but then I’m not a drinker, and I’m certainly not a beer drinker, (I think all beer tastes like earwax smells) so how would I know if it’s tasty or if it’s pisswater, or whether or not white people do actually drink it?  So I had this lovely little tune running through my head for half  the morning.

The list of absolutely horrible 70’s and 80’s commercials is virtually endless.  The good point about them is even when they were horrible, they were at least original.  Today there is such a dearth of creativity in advertising- they just dig up an old Heart song and try to make it apply to the damned Swiffer thing that isn’t worth two shits to pick up dog hair- or anything else for that matter.   

I blame the popularity of free love and way too much LSD for this one, even though there’s (thankfully!) no jingle in it:  1970’s Chuck Wagon commercial.   They sure did make that dog’s hallucination look real and they sure did make that dog food look tastier than most of Taco Bell’s menu.  Despite the originality and creativity of this ad, I don’t think that particular brand of pressure-cooked lips and assholes and other meat by-products we humans would rather not know exist is still being marketed.  I am sure that Chuck Wagon, like every other cheap dog food of that era, was the end result of the final disposition of diseased livestock. I still wonder if it was the Chuck Wagon or Mom’s dreadful cooking that led to Suzie the Dachshund’s untimely death. Suzie loved the Chuck Wagon- but she also loved socks and underwear crotches, and Mom’s mashed potatoes with the big uncooked lumps and big black burnt flakes,  so Suzie wasn’t exactly a picky eater.  Most dogs aren’t terribly picky.

I have always liked Dr. Pepper and Diet Dr. Pepper, but this 70’s Dr. Pepper Commercial is almost enough to make one shoot oneself in the head to end the insanity.  It seems sort of Communist too- I can imagine the Soviet version: You must all be Peppers

Sometimes when I’m bored I find it entertaining to look at all the crap I don’t need.  Lighted slippers?   If you’re that freaking blind turn on the light. 

Jerry has decided I need to go with him and his sister to the fair next week.  I enjoy going to the fair, but I hope that the current stygian heat tones down a notch- hopefully somewhere below 90 degrees- otherwise they might end up having to call the squad on me.  I don’t tolerate heat worth a damn, and I’m pretty much confined to the Great Indoors when the temperature is much above 85.  So I really hope it cools down a bit.

I bet the chickens would be happier if it cools off some too.

Better yet, just leave me in the refrigerated room with the butter cow.

I think that most young kids in the Central Ohio area- the Columbus metro area especially- only get to see farm animals at the fair.  I don’t know if that’s entirely a good thing.  Even though I grew up in the middle of nowhere, I did live in town and therefore never really had hands-on experience dealing with livestock- except for the heifers in Taco Bell and Wal Mart, but that’s not quite the same thing. 

The only animals that (miraculously) didn’t scare the bejeezus out of me as a child were dogs.  Big dogs, small dogs, even dogs that other people branded as “mean,”  never gave me any trouble.  I got in trouble with Dad one time for climbing the fence and cuddling up to a neighbor’s Rottweiler, but the “mean” dog didn’t bother me at all.   He was quite friendly toward me, and the other kids were too afraid to mess with me when I was in the dog pen with the Rottie.

No problem at all with the dogs.  If only other humans were as easy to interact with…

Antique Cartography, Funky Facts, and I Don’t Take Requests


To satisfy my curiosity,I had to see if I could find any early 20th century railroad maps of the US and more specifically, Ohio, so I could see the five points railroad connections in Marion for myself.  The proof I was looking for is here in a 1914 Ohio railway map.  The five points where the rail lines come together in Marion are clearly visible on the 1914 map.  It is still possible to see the Five Points area today, only now its primary identifying landmark is a beer drive-thru.  There is a big difference between the 1914 map and the 2009 map .  Many of those old rail lines were abandoned and pulled up in the early ’80’s.

I like to look at old maps, especially 19th century ones, because they are relatively accurate as far as topography and scale, and they are painfully detailed in the inclusion of place names.  They are also hand-drawn and far more aesthetically pleasing to look at than modern maps.  Of course some of the place names on the old maps are nothing but someone’s cornfield today, but it’s interesting to see the population shifts.  Everyone wants to live in the city.  I can’t say I blame anyone for that.  Living out in the middle of nowhere has its advantages- especially that of privacy and not having to contend with crowds and traffic and the assorted accumulations of dingleberries one encounters in the city, but the major disadvantages come into play when the weather is too bad for road trips and/or one is ill.   Getting health care is bad enough in the city- where you get the royal runaround to get care, you have to deal with way too many people and way too much bureaucratic BS, and when you finally can get things scheduled and arranged, you pay out the wazoo for it.  But health care in the rural backwaters is even harder to get (try finding a Dr. that speaks remotely intelligible English – if you can find a Dr. to begin with-in the sticks) and a good deal of the time basic health services are either non-existent or pitifully inadequate.  Most of the time if you live in the sticks, it’s worth the drive to the city for health care.  Make the road trip, trust me.  But if someone in the sticks needs trauma care, that person is pretty much SOL if the nearest trauma center is 100 miles or more away. 

Sometimes I find the trend to centralize everything to be a bit aggravating.  I understand that it makes better sense to have a large amount of resources in one location, but the logistics don’t always work out as planned.  What’s the point of  “one stop shopping” if the one stop is unnavigable because of the sheer size of the place and from the volume of the teeming crowds who are also trying to squeeze in to get their crud?  When I go to the grocery, especially when I am on time constraints, it’s always my luck that the two old bitties standing around socializing in the dairy section are standing directly in front of the milk cooler door, in front of that gallon of  2% that I need to get.  If you’re going to piddle around in the store, stand in front of something nobody buys, or at least stand in front of something I don’t need to buy.  Go hang out in the condom aisle, or in the candy aisle, or the adult diaper section, or somewhere other than in front of the 2% milk, if you must stand about and chit-chat.  Please don’t block the staple items…but they always do.  Sometimes it takes an Act of God to keep my mouth shut when I want to simply scream, “Would you mind moving your fat asses! I’m trying to get my shit and get out of here!”   Going to the behemoth Kroger store is an undertaking.  I can get almost everything I need there, but sometimes I don’t need to get everything.  Do I really want to wander about for half a mile through this behemoth store, dodging screaming, uncontrolled rugrats, and trying to evade the free sample ladies because I need a gallon of milk, or because the Dingleberry decided he just has to have the one entree item that I don’t already have in the freezer?

I can hear it now. “But I don’t want tilapia filets.  I want catfish nuggets!” 

Never mind that tilapia was on sale and catfish wasn’t.   In my mind it’s logical to get the sale meat or the sale fish rather than to pay up the wazoo for catfish when it’s not on sale, but tilapia is on sale.  I get chicken breast when it’s on sale, pork chops when they’re on sale, beef roast when it’s on sale.  I don’t like paying retail for meat.  If pork chops are on sale then it’s pork chops instead of beef roast or chicken if they’re not on sale.  How hard is that?

Bucko, you’re getting tilapia. Eat it and like it.  It’s raised in the farm ponds just like catfish is.  Maybe catfish will be on sale next week, but for now, improvise, adapt and overcome.  As Mom always used to tell us:  “Thank God you have food.”  If I could learn to thank God for mashed potatoes with big burnt black chunks in them and a vile version of tuna casserole that I strongly believe killed Suzie the Dachshund at the relatively early age of seven, (I still feel guilty about that, because I liked Suzie,) then you can thank God for grilled tilapia.  You can also thank God that, unlike my mother, I can actually cook.