Oh, the heartache of ordering shoes online. Converse is where I get most of my footwear, because I’m not a guy who wants, or needs, expensive leather shoes. I live in Chuck Taylors most of the time. Even in winter. (I have some Chuck Taylor boots.) The problem is the sizing. “Our shoes run a half-size big, so if you’re a 7.5, order a 7.”

Why? Why the devil can’t you just make a 7.5 that’s a 7.5? I consulted the online sizing guide for each shoe, ordered away, and of course they’re all small. Now I have to send them back and wait for a refund card, after which all the shoes I wanted will be out of stock or discontinued.

This is a problem with this internet thing. Why not go to a store, you say? I hear they have shoes you can try on. True, but they don’t have these shoes. They just have the ones everyone else wants. And that’s a problem with the physical store thing.

Here’s something you don’t see every day. Or ever, for that matter: a discontinued Greyhound bus in full original livery, parked on a street in your neighborhood.

I’ve been meaning to put a note on the windshield and ask for a tour. That’s the Scenicruiser, of course - the famous air-conditioned split-level king of the road, intended to bring a little bit of jet-age glamor to the highways. The courteous, efficient drivers! The well-dressed passengers:





Product Tuesday is on a Wednesday this week. Comic sins as well. It's a topsy-turvy, mixed-up world.

Nothing particularly unusual about this one, except the name:



“Bohemian” had a bad rep, didn’t it? Bohos turned into “hobos,” after all. “Bohemians” had loose morals and hung around in garrets painting things that did not look like things. It there’s one thing Bohemians weren’t, it’s National.

Ninety percent of the stuff is sold in Baltimore. That fellow on the Label? Natty Boh. I had no idea:

The company's mascot, the one-eyed, handlebar-mustachioed Mr. Boh, has been a recognizable icon since his introduction in 1936. In an era when National Boh’s main competition was Gunther Beer, whose slogan was “Gunther’s got it,” schoolchildren would ask: “What happened to Mr. Boh’s other eye?” Answer: “Gunther’s got it.” While the mascot itself was retired in the early sixties, it is still a highly popular image, especially in Baltimore, where it is considered an unofficial city mascot.

As for Gunther, it had several slogans: “Get in the Gunther Golden Mood,” “Got that old Gunther feeling?” And the terse “Dry. Beery.”

"Beery" sounds like a word you'd apply to something that ought not to resemble beer.

Of course, someone's put up a collection of old Natty Boh commercials, including some animated by the Jay Ward studio. I think that's Paul Frees in the first one. The fourth ad was done by H-B, and features Mel Blanc.

Mel Blanc in a Hanna Barbera cartoon. DOGS AND CATS LIVING TOGETHER


You can find the second batch here. The Decline is noticeable in the first one, which forgets that it's selling beer and gets scoldy about littering. I believe that's Parley Baer, too.

It does seem as if the old days had about ten voice actors. Tops.

Here’s a coordinated ad campaign that introduced a new word to the English language:



Housepower! It’s the perfect word to sum up ad culture, the 50s, and suburbia. Housepower! It meant you had Fiberglas absolutely everywhere possible, and electrical heat and appliances.

I wondered about these folks:


There was a Stu Hahn who died in 2005 at the age of 85. He was a boat dealer. This was his building:




Jell-O: because happy kids always stick out their tongues like that in real life.


The musical notes were meant to remind you that J-E-L-L-O was a jingle on radio and TV.

Somehow we let a week go by without Jell-O. Again.

Stokely-VanCamp had a mascot, now forgotten: Easy.




Could anyone not hire Dickie Beals for those small mascots? Was there a Federal law? Wish I knew for certain who did the animation; it’s pretty good, and has a familiar look. The women walking into the store look rotoscoped, which might narrow down the production company if I knew more about animation history.

Finally: Waxtex.

Reminds you: "Tex" was a suffix applied to make things sound modern, scientific, and filled with the bounteous goodness of synthetics. As in: Playtex. Which meant "Perforated Latex," supposedly.



As if that's not enough: Comic sins now, and Lint & tumblr later. See you around.











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