In the days before laxative technology had been wrested from the dark ages, you had your choice:

1. Bland, timid, move-along-li’l-dogies brands that just didn’t do the trick - everytime you headed upstairs, magazine under your arm, you’d stop on the fifth step and think: nope. Dang.

2. Caustic blow-’em-out bowel blasters that worked, but damn near left you bedridden for a week - to say nothing of the bump on your head you got when the laxative slammed you into the ceiling.

The world cried out for a gentle, yet effective laxative. And unto them was given Ex-Lax.

This ad campaign from the early 50s gives us the Laxies, three stool-hastening imps of varying tempers. Here we meet Tuffy, an Brooklyn-based imp who has not only scoured Billy’s innards, but accompanied him to school.



Now Tuffy reveals himself as a bully as well, as he upbraids the father for giving in - even though Tuffy himself, in the previous panel, acknowledges that the caustic aftereffects of the STRONG LAXATIVE were responsible for wiping the kid out.

Next panel: why, it’th Meeky, the thithy little imp proposing an timid, useless brand. It’s labeled SISSY, and he lisps, so you know what that means.

Junior will have none of this stuff. Although it’s unclear why he needs it now, since the harsh stuff supposedly cleaned him out stem to stern, and he’ll spend the next week passing sloughed-off intestinal wall lining.