Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Grouchy With No Chance Of Meatballs

Zeppo Lite: Hello, Dear. Um. Hello. Gosh. Now don't get mad but.... Is dinner ready?

Dear: What does it look like? Do you see anything set out? Do I have to cook up a big fat NO and put it on a plate for you?

Zeppo Lite: Look, this ought to cheer you up! I brought you a flattened paper bag* from the store with nothing in it. [pause] There was a box of candy in there but - I seem to have eaten it all on the streetcar. Har har!

Dear: Well, good, then you won't mind waiting a little. Because this sauce takes FOREVER to make! Do you have any idea how long I've been cooking this pot of spaghetti? Guess. Guess how long.

Zeppo Lite: Oh, let's see. I like a guessing game. Let me think. Two minutes?

Dear: Try two hours. HOURS.  I started boiling this stuff at four o'clock and - well, look! Just look at it. How STUPID of me! I thought it would save us money if I cooked at home but this is ridiculous.

Zeppo Lite: So...I imagine it'll be done soon.

Dear: It's going to take me another hour to finish cooking this horrible sauce. I HATE making tomato sauce! Hate it! All those tomatoes and all the seeds everywhere. And look at all the dirty pots. Next time you're getting Chef Boyardee out of a can, that's for sure.

Zeppo Lite: Too bad I don't have any Chef Boyardee in my paper bag. Har de har har! So just tell me which is the sauce and which...is the spaghetti. No, let me guess! They both look like sauce but... I'll guess the red stuff.

Dear: Congratulations, Einstein.

[This 1936 gem is from LiveJournal.]

* I know, it's really a newspaper. Poetic license! And it does sort of look like an empty paper bag. He would totally do that, you know.

13 comments:

Barbara said...

I guess she never heard of the concept of "starting it in the morning". I mean, really...if spaghetti sauce is soooooooo difficult for this woman - WHY MAKE IT?

Of course, she could just have PMS.

heidi said...

if only they'd had no-boil noodles back in the day. and it's no wonder men held their women in such high regard [har]. she's got the talent of a wet noodle [if only she had a wet noodle, instead of this uber-al dente pot of crap].

vanilla said...

Hardy-har-har, indeed!

Eric said...

Umm, ragu sauce is not difficult to make, even starting all the way back with fresh tomatoes, so maybe it's time to spend 3 cents a portion on some cooking lessons for the missus?

And, what's the deal with 'Franco' in Franco-American. Makes me think of the French, and what do they know of Italian food?

ps - does anyone else try to find that perfect balance of sweet and tart in their red sauce by adding sugar and garlic at the same time?

The Crazy Suburban Mom said...

Sigh, its always a surprise to me. well not so much anymore...to sell to men - they show smiling men having fun. to sell to woman they show grouchy woman being miserable.

Lidian said...

Barbara - PMS makes everything more difficult, so it could be that.

heidi - She would have loved those no-boil noodles! Born too soon, and all that.

vanilla - It's a fun ad, very 30s (they had some pretty funny photo-cartoon ads back then)

Eric - That is a good tip and I will remember it if I ever actually make my own sauce. For I am lazy and open cans (Hunt's actually). Even though we do not have a Zans for Cans. Hey, maybe I am the Zans! (as in Dr. Seuss, BTW)

Tracy - Yes, they do. I think that they are men who make these ads ;) I would show a woman enjoying herself while the Chef Boyardee boyardees itself into a meal. And also sets the table.

Richard @ The Bewildered Brit said...

Oh dear. They don't make 'em like this any more. Thankfully.

I mean, what is it trying to say? "Dear housewife, you're an idiot!" Not really the best approach.

If I were here, I'd have clouted Zeppo over the head with aforementioned canned spagetti (and made derogatory statements about how unfunny he is compared to his brothers)!

Lidian said...

Richard - Aw, poor Zeppo. He was a little bit funny in the one where he plays Groucho's secretary Jamison in Ainmal Crackers. There is a bit where Groucho is dictating a letter and Zeppo has a couple of good lines. I think.

That would be the exception that proves the rule, though.

mike said...

Look at all that stuff on the table. She was trying to make spaghetti sauce but used the 'how to bake a cake' recipe instead. No wonder it took so long.

Richard @ The Bewildered Brit said...

I feel bad for making fun out of Zeppo, now! He was the straight man, every act needs a straight man. And he's wonderful in Duck Soup. Mind you, *everyone* is wonderful in Duck Soup!

Georgina said...

My favourite line:

Dear: What does it look like? Do you see anything set out? Do I have to cook up a big fat NO and put it on a plate for you?

I love it. Too bad I don't actually cook because I'll never get to use it myself! - G

Lidian said...

mike - It's hard when you drop your reading glasses in the tomato sauce! ;)

Richard - That's true! And actually IRL Zeppo was the one who pulled all the practical jokes. My favorite Marx, Groucho, was rather morose off-camera (true to his name). I love him anyway! (or maybe because)

Lidian said...

Georgina - I cook, but I don't really like it. But sometimes I sort of do. Just not often. So that line just was sort of what I am thinking, Groycho-like, in my head sometimes (though you would never know it!)