Thursday, January 1, 2009

Lifebuoy Meets World

"Look what happened when we STOLE DAD'S SOAP!"

Yeah, look what happened. For one thing, Dad's been reduced to a smiling shell of a man, hiding behind a pipe and newspaper. When was the last time he had a bath, anyway? Nobody knows. OK - uh, let's just leave him over there for now.

Ma doesn't seem to mind, because she's busy following the kids around. She needs to talk about Dad's soap with them. They stole it, after all! They are soap thieves, and the guilt is consuming them all...Wait. No, it isn't.

In fact, life has become positively lush for them since they began this life of crime.

Sis has become popular with some guy named Jim, because she no longer stinks of perspiration. Her mother (who may be Donna Reed's evil twin) leans down to point this out: "men do like a girl to be dainty!" Also they like them not to be soap thieves, ma.

But never mind, dad is so thrilled that little Johnnie hasn't had a cold all winter that he just doesn't care. Kid's not sneezing on the Herald Tribune and coughing into the pipe tobacco, so it's all good. And the older brother no longer has "warworker hands" - I guess that's like dishpan hands, only more patriotic.

Do these people only have one cake of soap in the whole house? If so, why is it designated to be dad's - that's a misnomer! Dad won't see that soap until it's a little new-moon crescent, the kind that boomerangs right out of your hands and head for the drain.

Why is ma suddenly at the side of each child as they gush about the soap? Is she bribing them? Why is she dressed up in her Sunday best? The finale will explain all: she's conniving to steal the soap for herself!

Because in the last panel, ma's jumped in the bathtub. She says she's been perspiring in a hot kitchen but frankly - I don't think so. Not in that little suit and hat she wasn't. She has no time to go in a kitchen, hot or cold. She's too busy needling the kids about how they used to be stinky, sickly and scratchy.

Meanwhile, dad is just sitting there smoking - well, whatever he's got in that pipe. Must be terrific stuff. Maybe it's Lifebuoy.

This 1943 saga is from Duke University's Ad Access.


Stephanie Barr said...

Ah, yesteryear's dramas.

Nope, don't miss 'em. I'm clearly not old enough to remember when there was only one bar of soap per household. In our house, there's usually more than one form of soap per sink/shower/bathtub.

Bill said...

Well, sure there was only one bar of soap! Back then, most homes only had one bathroom. The kids had to do the P-Dance outside the door until Dad finished shaving.

Dad has probably appropriated the only safe & quiet spot in the entire household, in his chair with a newspaper shield. I wonder if he smoked that cherry-infused tobacco like my Grandpa did?

Phyl said...

This just has me shrieking! Hilarious.

Laane said...

Happy new year!!!

I'm one of your entrecarddroppers and I'm sending you my best wishes.

May many dreams come true.

mincognita said...

Happy New Year Lidian!

BTW ~ I find it hard to believe that the "lady" of the house would actually use the term "B.O." in 1943. Shameful.

Carol said...

I love that the whole reason the daughter has a boyfriend is because of the dad's soap. maybe the boyfriend REALLY likes the way Dad smells?

Happy New Year!

Lidian said...

Stephanie - Multiple bars of soap = a good thing. And I am a great fan of your blog, I am working up to commenting! :)

Bill - I think there is something up with Dad, and the soap is, I don't know, symbolic...and I have no idea what I mean, either.

Phyl - It is a fun ad, isn't it?

Laane - All the best to you too, I always enjoy reading you as well.

mincognita - I think that 'B.O.' was a 'polite' semi-euphemism back then, but it does seem a little - harsh! Happy new year to you, too!

Carol - Oh my, that would be some kind of drama. Happy new year!

The Fitness Diva said...

Just dropping by to wish you a Happy New Year!

Health and much prosperity to you in 2009!

Fitness Diva

Prefers Her Fantasy Life said...

Unfortunately in those days, women didn't include candles and wine in their bathing rituals. Nope, you can have those good ole days. ;)

Lidian said...

Fitness Diva - Happy New year to you too!

Prefers Her Fantasy Life - Things are better now. With baths anyway!

VintageGent said...

Yeah, my mom grew up in a home with 5 kids + parents + one bathroom. then, my grandfather put a toilet in the basement so he could have some peace and quiet. You had to wash your hands in the stationary tub, but it certainly solved his problems. They must have advertised the home when they sold it as having a bath and a quarter versus a bath and a half!

Lidian said...

Vintage Gent - I like the bath and a quarter - even a fractional washroom (we call them washrooms in Canada) solves many problems.