Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Au Côté de Chez Tom

Boys' Life Nov 1935You want to know why the gang is always over at Tom's?

Come on, have a guess.

Does his mom make really amazing cookies? Madeleines perhaps, or maybe she is a genius with chocolate chips.

But no.

It's because he's really popular at school.

And do you know why that is?

He isn't very smart or athletic, apparently. But this ad says that he would win a school popularity contest hands down.

Wherever Tom is, things seem to happen.

Um, OK. That sounds - interesting. What sort of things?

And what are the gang talking about in the picture? Are they planning to open a speakeasy? Are they going to try and make bootleg gin on the back porch with a tin washtub and a few bottles of Tom's dad's apple cider?

No, no, no! You've got it all wrong!

It's much more exciting than all that:

Tom has a Remington typewriter.

Calm down. I know, I know. It seems so obvious in retrospect.

If you want to have a bootlegging gang and be the most popular person in the school, you know what to do now. Go out and get a typewriter. Make sure it is a Remington, though. Invite all your classmates over. Then start tapping out some homework assignments. That ought to do it.

[From Boys' Life, November 1935]


vanilla said...

Haha. My first purchase when I went off to college was a Remington typewriter. Didn't do a thing for my popularity.

Anonymous said...

Only $4 down! That was a lot of clams back in the day. Tom is going to need to sell a lot of term papers to break even on that thing. (He's obviously not a math wizz, so I think he should have considered spending that money on a calculator.) - G
PS - Love the new green layout! How are the renos going?

Stephanie Barr said...

I know that's been my experience. Nothing equates with popularity like a good typewriter.

No, wait, that didn't happen to me. I wasn't popular. How could that be?

Bill said...

This explains my high school years.
I wasn't allowed to go near my mother's Remington typewriter without permission. Damn her.

Lidian said...

vanilla - Neither did my electric typewriter, which was pretty exciting for the early 1980s ;)

Georgina - I wish there was a Blogger Template Designer thingie for house renos! It is...going. Getting there. Kind of.

Stephanie - Tom must have some other magic we are not hearing about.

Bill - I had a manual typewriter as a kid but it was not a Remington and I was kind of a social schmo (I am quoting an old Cosmo? article from the 50s, I keep meaning to write about it, it is entitled 'Are You A Social Schmo?'). Sigh.

The Crazy Suburban Mom said...


too too funny

Kath Lockett said...

I wasn't allowed near my Mum's Remington in the 1970s either and, come to think of it, she was always a very popular lady...

These days though, you'd be popular out of fear. 'Come to my house or I'll smash your head in with my dead grandpa's Remington!'

Janiss said...

I'm a writer and even I couldn't be inspired to congregate at someone's house because of a typewriter. Not even a Remington.

Anne said...

That ad explains a lot. I blog on a Mac. Apparently I should have been using a Remington typewriter all these years.

Relax Max said...

The gang always hangs out at Tom's because he has a Remington? Maybe that's code for something else. You know, when I tried to guess this one by only looking at the picture, I was thinking maybe it was because his sister (foreground) put out. But no. Goes to show. I must start reading the text of the ads as well.

Marcheline said...

From the looks of that floozy sitting on the edge of the table, Tom's been tapping something... and it ain't his Remington typewriter!