What a strange way to serve Spaghetti and Meatballs

I am a big fan of the classic dish, Spaghetti and Meatballs. Noticed I said dish? That is because it is the perfect form factor for serving Spaghetti and Meatballs. Okay, so dish can be a pretty wide term. So a plate or maybe a bowl? Oh or one of those things that is halfway between a bowl and a plate? A powl? Those would all work very well for Spaghetti and Meatballs.

But in this retro ad for Chef Boyardee, we see the strangest attempt to class up this pasta dish since my ill-fated spaghetti gun. They put a heaping helping of Spaghetti and Meatballs in a parfait glass! Which is concept sounds interesting and it is interesting to look at, but I think if it does anything, it makes the food inside look less appetizing.

So this weekend, if you are trying to spice up a powl of Spaghetti and Meatballs, why not do something like add some cheese or red pepper and lay off experimenting with glassware. If someone had figured out a better way to serve this stuff, they would have done it a long time ago.


Connie Sellecca for Cachet Perfume

Cachet perfume, which I have never seen or smelled, is a long running scent. It is still being sold in stores today. So it must be good or cheap or both?

Perfume is an intriguing thing and they spend a lot of money advertising it and since it is so pricey to buy a “high quality” scene, I guess it all works out in the end. My experience with perfumes mostly comes from my time working in a pharmacy when I was a teenager.

When you were on the floor, you were told to watch that section carefully and boy were they not kidding. Almost daily someone would attempt to steal a box, usually successfully and the assistant manager would chew us out at the end of the night because we were not able to foil the “perfume bandit”.

One time a fairly large box of perfume was put into the trash compactor by mistake and for months afterwards the backroom smelled like “Charlie”, which made it impossible to take a lunch back there and stocking needed to be done in 10 minute intervals or you would start getting a headache.


What sort of deal would you get during this 1983 Commodore Computer Sale?

These types of ads would appear in all sorts of magazines in the 1980’s, both computer and non-computer. I would stare at these for hours when I was a kid, making imaginary decisions that were far beyond my financial reach. Commodore ads were particularity attractive to me since they were my first machine and I agree with the sentiment in this ad, “a real computer – at the price of a toy”, but for me in 1983, nothing on this page would have been a toy I could afford, but in many ways the fantasy of the buy was just as good as owning the real thing.


My First and Last Glass of Prune Juice

I love plums. Growing up we had a beautiful plum tree that would flower every spring and as the too small fruit ripened, I knew that it meant that much fatter and much tastier plums would start appearing at supermarkets. My fandom for the fruit even extended to the dried variety, the prune, and it made me think that I would also enjoy prune juice. This turned out to not be the case and I learned a lesson from it.

My Grandmother often kept prune juice in the house and every time I would ask for a glass of the stuff, she would rebuff me, telling me that I would not like it. I would pout and try again later. After many attempts to score some prune juice, she finally gave in, under one condition. No matter how much I poured into the glass, I would have to drink the whole thing. Naturally I poured myself the largest glass possible and quickly discovered that prune juice was not something I enjoyed. For the next four hours, I found myself gagging down the glass in tiny sips while my Grandmother watched.

To this day, I cannot bring myself to drink a cup of prune juice because of this life lesson my Grandmother chose to teach me. I am not sure that was her intent, but the consequence has been a prune juice free life.


Your hair will look great with the “Dry Look”

The Dry Look was a hairspray Gillette introduced in the early Seventies. It was for men who wanted to take advantage of the looser hairstyles of that decade, but still keep it all together with a spray for men. This hairspray lingered for years afterwards and was perfect for the eighties, sadly for the Dry Look, during that decade other hairsprays would become acceptable for use by men.

Dry look did not give up though and they would continue to run ads like they were the only male hairspray in town.

Here is an ad from the early 1970’s that does a great job of explaining what the Dry Look was all about.


Program your VCR using Bar Codes?

While I often found programming my family VCR to be a bit tedious, after a while it would become second nature. We held onto to that VCR for a decade at least, so I did not get to witness all the magical attempts at making recording easier. Things like VCR Plus+ made life easier for many TV addicts, but it was not the only attempt at using technology. This morning I found this ad for Panasonic’s bar Code based scheduler. Which they said made programming as easy as “drawing a line”. I could definitely see the appeal of this in the eighties. Bar Codes seemed like magic back then. If we had this in the home I would have been running over every item I could just to see if that UPC code on the can of peaches would schedule anything interesting.

Enjoy this commercial from 1987 that has a creepy set of silver hands demonstrating this tech magic (and making a disturbing hand face).


This 1970’s Miracle Whip Contest looked Amazing

When I go through old magazines, it feels like the 1970’s were a high point for product contests. This is a case in point. An amazing contest filled with fabulous prizes from a sandwich spread? Sure it still happens, but look at all these prizes and how eye-catching that hotel is.

This ad would have stopped me dead and sent me running to get the label off the jar.