Friday, November 6, 2009

Queen of theThingumajigs

Oh, Louise! Don't you know anything about those Tampax thingumajigs? Mary thinks you are a foolio for even asking.

You see, Mary, you're supposed to be polite to your so-called friends. And that means at least pretending that you think they do not ask dumb questions. Just consider Ms. Frizzle, if you will, for a moment. She is the cartoon star of the Magic School Bus - Ms. Frizzle, the science teacher who takes her class on field trips to the moon and to the interior of baking cakes and frog ponds (with nary a signed permission form in sight, by the way) - she is always telling her class to keep asking lots and lots of questions. Because no question is dumb.Strangely, Ms Frizzle's class never do ask the really important questions like: where are the bathrooms on the moon? And if we just got baked into a pie, are we going to have to go through a car wash on the way back to school to get the lemon meringue out of our hair?

Mary would not make a good cartoon science teacher, though, would she? She says if Louise truly doesn't know about those thingumajigs, "I'll give you credit for less intelligence than I thought you had."

That's harsh. If I was Louise I think I'd pack it in right there, give Mary a little accidental-on-purpose shove off the picnic bench, and go home. But she keeps on keeping on. She is surprised that Mary uses Tampax bcause Mary is "conservative."

Mary responds by saying "I'd be stupid not to use it."

And still Louise persists. Asking more questions. Hanging on Mary's every word, through the bragging about her friend the nurse, and all the up-to-date girls at the office who use these thingumajigs.

Mary is on the left in the ad, obviously. She has that Joan Crawfordesque look of sophisticated exasperation. Louise, at right, is straight off the cover of a pulp magazine for girls: she just didn't know!

Just like I don't know what's going on in the Teen Confessions cover story on the left. But there's the usual triangle: Catty in the background, Confused up front, with Dopey Guy stuck in the middle (he is sitting out the whole Tampax ad thing, which is wise). Added twist: a Christmas tree, which is taking it all in, and is about to make itself heard.

Maybe next time Louise would do better asking the Christmas tree for advice.

[1942 ad, from Ad Access. Ms. Frizzle from Scholastic. Teen Confessions cover from Cover Browser.]


Many thanks to Vickie at digivickie's word art for the Best Blog award!


heidi said...

the whole tampax ad reads like a bad 5th grade play about getting your monthly visitor.

you know, ads today don't include enough floating heads. we need more busts in advertising - not boobs!

Michael said...

For disembodied heads, these two are certainly caught up in those "thingumajigs." Were I a user of Tampax, I think this ad would make me question whether they were the best product for me. They seem to make the user into a know-it-all, condescending "fair-weather" friend. Calm down Mary! It is not as if Louise there is a murderer!

MoonDoggie said...

I love the idea of the Christmas tree 'about to make itself heard'. Nice one.

Eric said...

Ha, is Ms. Frizzle wearing a 'plane' dress? Or a 'plain' dress?

I'll be like dopey guy and avoid the other subject matter altogether.

Eric said...

Oops, never mind, it looks like butterflies and birds or something. Who would have thought that things that fly look so similar?

Tori Lennox said...

Mary really is a know-it-all blowhard, isn't she?

Lidian said...

heidi - I agree, I like the old disembodied head ads (as you can see!)

Michael - Yes, it does seem strange that disembodied heads are so concerned with this issue. And Mary does seem to have some strange hidden personal vendetta against Louise.

MoonDoggie - I really think it could end up being the voice of reason.

Eric - I think they may be lizards. She has a sidekick, Lizzie, who is a lizard.

Tori - She really is!

JR said...

wow is good post.....and nice story

Bill said...

Mary needs to get her face slapped off by Louise.
Hmmm...maybe that's why Mary is now a disembodied head. I'll bet her no-nonsense nurse friend didn't put up with her smug attitude.

(note: "I'll slap your face off" is one of my favorite lines from A Confederacy of Dunces, as said by Santa Battaglia to her little granddaughter)

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