Thursday, October 8, 2009

You Want Me to Put What? Where?

I get a huge kick from some of the old, whack print ads that can be found in the intertubes. I especially enjoy the ones I actually remember seeing back in the day when we all thought they were completely normal and appropriate. The Tareyton ads always weirded me out, though; as a very young and extremely literal child, I couldn't make the connection between the black shoe polish under the eye and a real black eye.

There's one particular 'vintage' ad I just can't let it pass without comment, even though I am blessed not to have been exposed to it at an impressionable age. I know it's been blogged to death, but every time I see it, or one of its variations, I have to read it again. It holds a horrible fascination for me. Surely I misread it last time. They really can't be suggesting what I think they're suggesting.

You tell me.

I think we can all agree that this is wrong on every level, so I won't bother to expound. However, I would like to take this opportunity to point out to the youngsters out there that as fetching as the styles of the day were, overall it was not a good time to be a female. Consider that your PSA for the day.

Anyway, dysfunctional culture aside, the main reason this ad has a particularly horrific hold on my imagination is because I have an eye-watering, gut-wrenching, drool-producing aversion to the smell of Lysol. And I'm guessing that right about now you're bouncing in your seats, simply dying to know why.

When I was a teen, we moved into a four bedroom house. I immediately claimed a miniscule -- maybe 8' by 8' max? -- office in the corner of the partially-finished basement as my bedroom so I wouldn't have to share a room with any of my three younger siblings. I loved my little hole in the corner, even though it had sheets hanging where two doors should be and all I could fit in there was a cot, a chair, an armoire, and a TV tray to hold my turntable. What else could I possibly need?

We almost always had pets. At that point we had one (maybe even two) dogs and at least one cat. The dog(s) decided they preferred to do their business in the basement. Luckily, the few square feet of floor space I had was usually buried under at least a foot of clothing so my little slice of heaven was spared.

Well, my family of origin was/is full of, uh, colorful and strong-willed characters. It didn't take but no time at all for everyone to decide that it was not his/her job to pick up the fucking poop. Instead, someone would spray the newest pile of warm, fragrant, rust-covered soft-serve with Lysol and drape a paper towel over it. Because, obviously, a pile of shit that reeks of Lysol and is obscured by a paper towel is much less offensive than a plain pile of shit. And there would sit until the smell has dissipated and the mass had dessicated to where it could be handled with, theoretically, less grossitude.

And, because of this very important curing process, the atmosphere in my magical subterranean hideout of teen-aged angst was, at any given moment, positively redolent of aging canine feces and Lysol spray. Even though I only lived in that house for maybe five years, that odor became imprinted on my brain, and not in a good way. Even now, 35 years later, a whiff of Lysol can take me right back.

Mmmmm. Good times. Anyone have a mint?

Hey, if you too enjoy seeing how fucked up the early/mid-20th century was, check out these babies. Then tell me how much better things were in the Olden Tymes.


  1. Who else read the headline and heard the voice of HAL 9000?

  2. It's funny. My sister in law, who is a nurse, has a daughter who is just about a year younger than mine. Once, my daughter slept overnight at their house and sis in law bathed the two girls together that night. The next day when my daughter *then five* came home, she related to me about this elaborate set up for washing one's 'coochie' (a word I don't use with her)... there was a totally separate scrubby for each girl for choochie washing, after one use it was thrown away. My daughter asked why this is,and my sister in law (reminding you, she's a nurse) responded, "Because coochies are FILTHY! You don't want that skank on the rest of your body, do you?"

    Not only did my daughter correct her and tell her that they're called 'vaginas', not 'coochies', but she explained that "My Mommy doesn't scrub my vagina. She says it isn't dirty." 'Tis true. A soak and rinse in the tub is more than enough, I'd think.

    Just a WTF moment I wanted to share. Maybe I'll print this ad and give my sister in law a gallon of Lysol for Christmas. XD

  3. "No greasy afteraffect"???

    C'mon, people, isn't that what we're all going for when we reach a "certain age"?

    I'm sure my Dad was delighted to put his sword into my mother's delicately-scented, germ-free scabbard.

    (Sorry, sis)

  4. TBB: No. Way! Sounds like your SIL might need some Vagisil and a trip to the gyn. I swear, it's almost like people think Satan strapped some sort of nasty rotten hell-flesh betwixt their legs when they weren't looking.

    ET: HA! IKWYM - those of us of a certain age buy greasy stuff in industrial quantities.

  5. OMG, LYSOL?! "Hi, Gene. Wanna fool around?" "Mmm, not tonight honey -- you smell like the office restroom."

    As if the ad wasn't enough, Evil Twin's comment made me spit my coffee.


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