Saturday, 1 September 2012

Indifferent Luck

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If only Marina of Mayfair could have foretold for me that I wasn't going to be able to blog for a while. She's spot-on with my being 'Tired of Indifferent Luck'. Right at the moment, I'm concentrating on 'real' work, and my time is too short for blogging. Sigh.

But surely bringing Curious Objects to the world is more important, I hear you exclaim. Well, ordinarily I would agree, but I'm the afraid the pesky business of earning money to keep from starving is taking all my attention. Perhaps I would do better if I had that four leaf clover in its attractive plastic 'medallion'...

Monday, 16 July 2012

Cut-up Cakes

This charming recipe leaflet from 1959 was designed to promote Baker's Angel Flake Coconut as a cake decorating ingredient. Basically, whatever you want the cake to resemble, you cover it in coconut flakes.
This makes sense for a lion's mane, or a teddy's fur, but is less obvious for a reindeer, giraffe or fish.

 The cakes are ingeniously designed by cutting up a basic cake shape, and reassembling the pieces.
 Myrtle and Milton are nothing to do with Mickey and Minnie, of course.
 Tortie the Turtle is probably the least appetising, in my opinion.
 But most worrying of all are 'The Cut-Up Kids', who appear to have no arms, poor things.

Friday, 13 July 2012

Friday Postcards - Kittens, Kittens, Kittens!

Postcard kittens fit in many receptacles. Kittens in baskets.

Kittens in a fruit bowl.
 Kitten in a coffee pot.
I have no reasonable explanation of this phenomenon.

Thursday, 12 July 2012

Wherever There's Squirt...

 ...there's Fun! Well, who knew?  I assume Squirt was just fizzy lemonade, like 7-up. As if a soft drink called Squirt wasn't marvellous enough, they even have their own recipes for such delights as a 'Squirt-Kebab' or a 'Squirticle'.

I think this barbecue recipe leaflet dates from around 1959. Being about barbecues, it was written for men, including 'Falling-off-a-log Punch', which is "especially easy, because you get your wife to do it!". 
Hmmm, I think that little Squirt better watch out what his wife does with that melon baller....

Wednesday, 11 July 2012

Bat-Socks, Bat-Pants

When Tim Burton's 'Batman' film came out in 1989, an absurd amount of merchandise was released. Mr Kitsch was slightly obsessed at the time, and bought as much as he could afford., including this rather unlikely collection of items -Batman handkerchiefs, Batman swim shorts, Batman and Joker socks and Batman & Joker boxer shorts. Because of course you want to have Jack Nicholson's face on your underwear, with the words "Ha Ha Ha".

It's an odd phenomenon, isn't it, the marketing of character clothing to adults? On one hand, I tend to despise the wearer of a Simpsons tie, but on the other hand, what does it matter? Why shouldn't people wear cartoon characters? Well, like just about everything we wear, the actual garment doesn't count, it's the social construct we put around it.

So, what social construct do we put around Bat-pants? That to wear them would be very, very wrong. 

I am pleased to report that Mr Kitsch just kept these as collectors items, and in the end, sold them on Ebay. Yes, on Ebay, there's even a market for secondhand novelty pants...

Tuesday, 10 July 2012

Smoking Monkeys

 Back in the 1980s, when I was an art student, I used to love going into joke shops. They had such wonderful stuff, often in very old-fashioned packaging. It was brilliant when I was able to get a card like this, that the novelties were attached to. Just look at that packaging, with the monkeys in all their different poses, but all with fags hanging out of their mouths.

Today you don't really get joke shops, just those horrible places that sell novelties, the stuff of hen parties and tasteless Christmas presents from work colleagues. Maybe I'm getting old. Maybe the world is no longer amused by a smoking monkey. Mind you, I'm not entirely sure the whole world ever appreciated the fun to be had from sticking a fake cigarette in a plastic monkey's mouth. Did they really blow smoke rings like the pictures? And did they have health insurance?

Monday, 9 July 2012

Simple Direct Wording

This advert is from the 1930s. Although Mr Shelley Castle promises to send you his formula "in simple direct wording", I somehow doubt it. Can you imagine any advert these days being quite so wordy? Or using phrases such as "Mr Castle refuses to be considered as the author of an experiment or the promulgator of a theory"? Do today's life coaches and self-help gurus "eschew" connections with mystery?

I'd love to know what you got if you sent off for "the formula". Presumably not very much, but an offer of further information for a small fee. Ah yes, I'm sure Mr Castle understood modern common-sense psychology as far as that goes...