Friday, February 12, 2010

The Kleenex Habit

If only Helen had made a habit of Kleenex, instead of - goodness, what HAS she been using to blow her nose? Those burlap handkerchiefs were clearly a big mistake. And now she has a Heavy Date. What can she do, besides coat her honker in layers of pancake makeup?

Luckily, she has - as do all 40s-ads cartoon gals - a "helpful" friend hanging around her boudoir.Who let her in, anyway? Did she climb through the window? At first I thought this was Helen's mother, but her mother definitely would know what was wrong (see #3).  Here's a quick guide to being a 40s Ad Friend:

1. Point out the obvious: "Gracious, Helen, your nose is red..."

2. Don't forget the unnecessary insult: "...as a stoplight!"

3. And then the - dare we say, nosy - follow-up: "What's wrong?" Bonus points: sound as if you are hoping for a Juicy Story.

4. Look appalled and bored at the answer: "That's what a cold does to me...raw red nose and dozens of hankies to wash." Eww, thanks for sharing.

5. Insult your friend's intelligence by acting as if she was a complete moron not to know about the Advertised Product: "Silly! Don't you know Kleenex Tissues are soft and easy on your nose during colds?"

6. Bonus insult: "Kleenex ends washing, too!" So don't put them through the wash, Helen, duh.

7. Wait for the desperate acceptance: "I'll try anything! I'll die if I'm not at my best for Prom!" Hand over giant sized box/tube/bottle of Advertised Product. (Odd note: Helen is already dressed up for the Prom, so the Kleenex won't help unless she makes a fake nose out of it and wears that.)

8. Cue the Happy Ending (Friend either disappears or becomes disembodied head): Date is (ironically enough) attracted to the very feature/thing/body part that the Moron was all worried about. Wow, he is so attracted to her "cute pug nose." And then she jokes that she "won by a nose." These two are made for each other: witty, Kleenex-loving, and obsessed with noses.

9. The Dénouement: Friend or Strange Lady We Never Saw Before tells us one last thing about the product. Like, for example: you can have Kleenex in your car! In a special Auto-Serv dispenser. Helen's date probably has several of these in his little roadster. He'd better.

[From Life, February 19, 1940; big version here.]

9 comments:

Barbara said...

Geez, I'm rolling here!

I had the same problem and the solution was just the opposite - use hankies, they're softer!!

I guess I forgot that all important "wear a prom dress always", which is why I have no man. *sigh*
__
Barbara
http://ifididnthaveasenseofhumor.blogspot.com

Georgina said...

Ok, am I the only one who thinks that buying Kleenex to blow your nose at home is silly when there is always a roll of TP around? I never understood why people had both Kleenex and TP in the bathroom. Isn't that redundant? LOL - G

Tori Lennox said...

I'm sitting here worrying about her going to the prom when she has a cold and spreading her germs!

Bill said...

I love your analysis of these ads with the helpful yet condescending friend.
The friend who is sitting at home without a date, wailing into her box of tissues, because the boys are afraid of her acid tongue.

The Lucy and Dick Show said...

Maybe it's Christmas and she's going to play Rudolph? Maybe the power will go off and she can light the restaurant for everyone. Maybe her date will take off his jacket and she can use that? I don't know.... maybe my suggestions aren't good ones?

Kath Lockett said...

I dunno, I reckon she should be more worried about her HEAVY date. Why, is she required to *lift* him at some stage during the evening?

Mr. Stupid said...

HAHA. She won by a nose. This is hilarious. The Ad was great BTW... lol
Lovely post...:)

Shay said...

And you can't crochet an edging around a Kleenex...

SPEAKING FROM THE CRIB said...

several things - i love retro, i love books written in the victorian era, and i love this sentence

These two are made for each other: witty, Kleenex-loving, and obsessed with noses.

I rarely and I mean RARELY laugh out loud at a post but this one got me.

Great stuff and now following