Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Here Comes Sanka Claus

Meet Uncle Joe. He is the 1940s edition of Scrooge - rich and mean - "a tight-fisted old grouch." Yeah, that sounds about right. So "we" - the cheery nephew narrating the ad -  thought it would be a "good joke" to get him to play Santa Claus at the family Christmas party.

"We" have clearly given up on that inheritance, haven't we? I don't know why Uncle Joe even agreed to it but he seems to have promised to wear a red suit and show up at 8 pm to do the Santa thing.

Guess what happens next? Uncle Joe is a no-show.

So Cheery Nephew bounces over to Uncle Joe's palace at 9:30 to find him fast asleep. Because Joe says he drank coffee the night before and didn't sleep a wink. And everyone knows that you need at least one wink of sleep per night.

After Joe grumbles and whines about coffee for awhile, the cheery young nephew suggests  - Sanka! But Uncle Joe does not get his Sanka until he has heaved himself out of his comfy chair and done a whole vaudeville ho-ho-ho act for the kiddies. He has to work for it, you know.

And the Sankafied version of Uncle Joe is able to sleep all night - untroubled by the ghosts of coffees past. He turns up again the next day, transformed into a happy, sappy bundle of goodwill, in the last picture. I see he brought at least one present, too.

Grinning and carrying one present isn't quite Scrooge on Christmas morning, cavorting and giggling and ordering large turkeys for poor folk, but it's a start.

And this ad also gives all you literary folks a little hint for your next research paper. For here is the true motivation behind Scrooge's initial bitterness and his amazing overnight transformation:

Scrooge just needed to be decaffeinated, that's all.

The great big version is over here - it'll be easier to see the whole ridiculous story there (if I put a huge image in the blog post it slows things down a lot, so it's better to do it this way). The ad is from Life, December 23, 1940.

******
Many many thanks to FeeFiFoto who suggested that I write about coffee today, in response to my Twittering about how much I needed coffee to inspire me to write another post.

And Happy Retro Tuesday! Please join my friend Tracy at The Crazy Suburban Mom for Retro Tuesday - she has an amazing Jell-O based post up today (how can you possibly resist that?)

By the way, I just noticed that Sunday's post, "Startling Detecto," was Kitchen Retro's 600th...Speaking of startling. I had no idea I'd been going on and on so much. And for so long! I know, I still need to bring the rest of the WordPress archives of Kitchen Retro over here - I'll be putting that on my New Year's Resolutions list, which is getting pretty long. We'll be talking about New Year's - well, nearer to New Year's.

17 comments:

Hairball T. Hairball said...

Congrats on your 600th post! Whoot!!

The only way the Sanka could make ol' Joe that happy is if there's a a big handful of mood-enhancing pharmaceuticals and some ENO's fruit salt ground in with the Sanka.

*ducks and runs*

Eric said...

Uh, I'm not a dumb guy, but I must be missing something. Uncle Joe is tired and 'decaffinated' coffee is what rescues him from this state?

Hey, was that back when they added amphetamines to decaffinated coffee?

Maureen said...

Oy vey! Some of these old ads are a hoot!

Lidian said...

Hairball - Thanks, and yum! (I am kidding abut the yum)

Eric - I thought the same thing - it is really strange. Makes no sense. I didn't know they added amphetamines to decaf - I must learn more! (will go off and do so)

Maureen - Oh, they were!

Tori Lennox said...

I had the same thought as you and Eric about how something with no caffeine perks him up. That just makes NO sense.

Vonlipi said...

Love Sanka Claus! It does make sense because now at night he will be able to drink Sanka and sleep like a baby....;)

Amy said...

LOL what the heck sort of name is Sanka Coffee, gotta wonder what they were on back then with the choice of product names that were made up.

Lidian said...

Tori - It really doesn't!

Vonlipi - Hence, a happy ending for everyone...

Amy - It really is a weird name, I can't imagine how they came up with it.

mike said...

Wow, I can barely follow this convoluted story.

So the very "idea" of coffee wakes him up. Gee, people sure were susceptible to the placebo effect back in dem days...

Lidian said...

mike - I'll say it's convoluted! I could just about follow it in the super-large version (hence the link for you all, I might have to go back to that Stretch template!)...I just don't understand, either. If only real-life crabby relatives could be confused/swayed by caffeine levels!

Richard @ The Bewildered Brit said...

Congrats on 600 posts! I'm on 82, so I'm a mere slip of a lad in comparison! Well done!

That ad's convinced me! I shall be tuning in to the Columbia Netword for the "thrills, drama, and pathos" as promised in the bottom right corner.

If this story's anything to go by, I feel sure I'll be in for a treat!

heidi said...

whoopie! 600? you are one witty bloggy inspiration. i'm afraid i'd have to swill a lot of coffee to keep up with you...

Lidian said...

Richard - You can have thrills, drama and pathos just by drinking Sanka, apparently.

heidi - I have to swill an awful lot just to get going in the morning ;)

DrJulieAnn said...

Congrats on your 600th post!! *raises my mug of Sanka to toast*

Jon Williamson said...

Nice ad

Lidian said...

DrJulieAnn - Thank you! :)

Jon - Isn't it? I love the old Life magazines, they are chock full o' nutty ads.

Keith said...

I remember we had this grumpy old uncle when I was growing up that would always play Santa. He looked like him. He liked to drink a lot of booze and chase skirts though.