Monday, May 16, 2011

Tea and Antipathy

Life, December 4, 1939
Tea can't solve all the problems I can see here, you know. And it also can't solve the slightly blurred image. I would like to say that more tea would fix that, too, but it probably won't. You can see things a bit better here, though. And anyway, you can get the general idea from the title: Was Mark Really Mean? Or is it just that he has no pep, and needs a new beverage as suggested by the nurse in the middle left panel?

Guess what. He really IS mean. And it has nothing to do with a lack of pep. A lack of manners, maybe. Because when Mrs. Mark attempts to interest him in a cup, he says no and then "wait - you say you've really learned how to make it? OK, I'm on - but for a trial only -"

What a snarky dude you are, Mark. I would pour it right over your head, if it was me you were talking to like that. But Mrs. Mark does  not seem to mind. And whatever she puts in his tea, it seems to work. Because soon Mark is out making a snowman with his kid, and generally running around being happy. And he is possibly going to join the railroad*, because there is a happy folksy railroad guy slugging some down and saying it "digests easy" (yeah, it does, it is mostly water). He adds that it not only perks you up but also lets you sleep. Not on the job, one hopes, Mr. Railroad Guy.

At the bottom, you may notice that the teapot is a Mr. T. Pott - I thought that in popular culture teapots tended to be female and spoke with the voice of Angela Lansbury, as per the Disney movie Beauty and the Beast.

My grandfather worked for Burlington Northern - in the offices in New York, though - in the 1930s. I don't recall anyone saying that he was crazy about cups of tea. But then he didn't wear a striped hat either and never referred to things being "brewed hearty-like." His highest term of approbation was that something "wasn't half bad." I can't imagine the tea folks wanting that as an advertising slogan though, do you?

*I see what you're thinking, Mrs. Mark! Well played.


Barbara said...

I'll bet Mrs. Mark spiked his tea with amphetamines in the morning and barbiturates at night. THAT's what changed that sorry sack into a man.

IludiumPhosdex said...

IIBC, the Burlington Northern actually dates to 1970, when the Great Northern, Northern Pacific, Burlington and Spokane, Portland and Seattle (as was jointly owned by the first two) thus merged.

So which of its four component companies did your grandfather work for?

Janet Rudolph said...

Love this post. I love retro ads..even when they're just plan wrong. Says a lot about the times.

Kath Lockett said...

In my neck of the woods Mark would be preceded by the word 'SKID'!

Lidian said...

Barbara - I`ll bet she did too!

IluliumPhosdex - Thank you, you are absolutely right. I always mix this up...he worked for Burlington Northern :)

Janet - Yes, they are always fun and often incredibly informative about everyday life and social history.

Kath - LOL! Yes, indeed.