I have to preface this by saying that something weird happens when you have a baby. Suddenly you start talking and singing and saying all sorts of stuff that a normal sane person would not. For example, lately we've started singing an old Nestle's jingle, substituting "Henri" for "Nestle's." It originally went like this: "Nestle's makes the very best ... chocolate." It was sung by a hideously scary dachsund with sharp teeth like a dolphin. So I was at Barnes & Noble the other day, and I saw this book on the discount rack. I picked it up and opened to a random page and there was an ad for Nestle's Chocolate Soda with the freaky dog who, as it turns out, is named Farfel. I had to get it, but it wasn't until later when I realized what a treasure this was.
The book is simply pictures of products from the 1950s-1970s, but holy cow! What memories they bring back! A few delicious examples:
- Mr. Wiggle, the Candy Flavor Gelatin Dessert From Jell-O: these little boxes have a wiggly dude on them and came in flavors like Candycorn Orange, Gumdrop Grape, Rockcandy Raspberry, Candyball Cherry, Lollypop Lime and Jellybean Strawberry.
- Life Savers Candy & Gum Fun House: I totally forgot that there used to be Life Savers gum! The box, decorated with kooky alien-like characters, had five rolls of Life Savers and five rolls of gum.
- Nabisco Chocolate Snaps: These cookies came in little individual boxes. My mom used to buy them all the time. There was a photo of a cookie on the front with drawn-on eyes, ears and nose to make it look like a bear. There were also the Zuzu Ginger Snaps and Lemon Snaps, but I only remember having the chocolate.
- Willy Wonka's Peanut Butter Oompas: These were like big M&Ms, only with peanut butter inside. They were pretty gross.
- Big Banana Bubble Gum: Yes! I remember this! I can almost taste the incredibly artificial banana flavor now!
- Quicksand Bubblegum: The package says, "The world's fastest flavor chew. It pours." I remember this powdery goo you'd chomp on until it turned into a semi-solid wad of gum.
- Little Monster Cookies: "A fright in every bite ... Flavor that will haunt you." If I remember correctly, the flavor was haunting.
- Pillsbury's Funny Face Soft Drink Mix: I don't think I ever had this-- my mom wasn't into giving us fancy drinks-- but I do remember going to Rugby Park down the street from my house and there was a teenage boy wearing a T-shirt with one of the Funny Face characters on it and I thought that was so cool. The flavors were: Freckle Face Strawberry, Lefty Lemon, Rootin'-Tootin' Raspberry, Jolly Olly Orange, Choo Choo Cherry and Goofy Grape. I'm pretty sure it was the Goofy Grape on his shirt.
- Wrapples: "6 neat sheets of caramel with sticks for making 6 caramel apples." These didn't really wrap around the apples very well. It was like eating an apple with a piece of plastic squished onto it.
I could go on and on. What a find! For only four bucks, this little book has offered me endless nostalgia.