This week is all non-standard stuff, with the usual strictures thrown to the wind.

Let us consider the restaurant ads of newspapers, possibly because it’s the last thing you expected to do today - and for good reason! What can one possibly learn?

Well, for one thing, the way language changes.

Another thing we learn, aside from the general inability to spot a nomenclature double entendre a mile off, or rather the general agreement not to notice that the fellow's name is Elongated Penis:


The Curtis, which is long gone, had dinner music. Something light and agreeable.

No one had to shout over it.


The Nankin was a famous place, the destination among the middle class for "authentic” Chinese food. It made it into the 21st century, but barely.

It’s almost as if they don’t want you to sit and stay. Did we mention you can go away and eat it at home?


Where was it? No one seems to know. Precisely, anyway. I'm sure there's a Facebook page somewhere with 14 people saying they remember it and loved the creamed peas, or something.



I found this on a site I can't see to find again:

The legendary Buckhorn Cafe, located in Long Lake, Minnesota. Kip Hale opened the place sometime in the late 1920's and it lasted until it burned to the ground in 1972. In the beginning, the menu focused on barbecue and burgers. In 1941, Hale started featuring "Chicken in the Rough", a franchise started by Beverly and Rubey Osborne in Oklahoma in 1936, that featured "five pieces from half a chicken, unjointed; covered with long, crisp shoestring potatoes; a one-ounce jar of honey and buttered hot rolls or biscuits".

The gimmick was that it was meant to be eaten with your hands - no silverware was provided unless requested.

I have a Chicken in the Rough matchbook. The postcards are also common.

Here's the bowling alley. Much more here.


What is he carrying? Of course! Everyone knew. The Miller would have a jolly sack of flour.

He seems a bit overdressed for carrying around a sack of milled wheat.


The Broiler! Angry looking chef.


There was one in St Paul as well; wonder if it had the same ownership. Great exterior. The Facebook page says it was later named the James Broiler, but that was a different location.


Food cooked the way you like it? Say no more! I’m tired of those places that ignore my specific requests.


Ah, but why? Enticing, isn’t it?



I pass it every day on the way to and from my car.

  We couldn’t sell this spot!

The Dyckman, detailed here, is something of a litmus test for how-long-you’ve-been-a-local. Gone 40s years and some can point to its location in a second.

Smorgasbord. How they loved their smorgasbord.



Here’s the menu:

“Friendly Swedish Atmosphere.” And pickled rind!

  Quisling pig deliriously offers you something porkish to consume

“From Pan to Mouth,” said the inaugural ad. Well, yes, that's usually how it goes, until it goes in your lap.

They had a fire in 1960. Damage was only $500, but might have been more, because the last entry in the archives appears to be 1961, when the contents were auctioned off.

Lucy died in 2001. Rudy went earlier, in 1988. As for that othere name, Shipstad? It was included for a reason: it was known to locals. He started the Ice Follies!

There you go - one small strip of ads in the back of an ordinary newspaper. A whole world can be inferred.






Today: CEREAL.

Size 8. It’s rare you see a combination of so many bad ideas.


If it all seems a bit undercooked, consider this:

To me, it looks more like a sketch for a proposed ad campaign. And finding no evidence anywhere else of this product’s supposed existence—no published magazine ads—no cylindrical “Size 8” cereal boxes coming up for sale on eBay—I doubt that this product ever actually made it onto supermarket shelves.

I suspect that’s correct.


This is charming, and a reminder of the old male archetype. The suit, the hat, the glasses, the button-down uniform of the fellow who’s become an adult. Life doesn’t stop when you’re 30!

Mr. suggests it was created to compete with Total, which was another cereal-for-grown-ups. It’s also posted on YouTube, where the channel owner wrote: “Rather... creepy commercial for this short-lived cereal, especially at the beginning when the guy is... stalking the playground.”

No, he’s not. Stop inserting your modern-day miseries into the past.


Manly chorus and fanfare horns:

Then a new campaign, featuring a Lion who sounds like Sheldon Leonard. Maybe he was. Maybe the voice was a cliche others could easily copy.

Okay, someone on YouTube says it was Sheldon Leonard. A shorter version with housewife:

Here’s the odd part: Linus would go to be the spokescreature for Crispy Critters, which is the only example of cross-product endorsement I can think of. And this, naturally led to . . . his own cartoon show.

Why, it’s the cartoon cereal mascots we met in our last hiatal exploration of the breakfast commercials!

The credits prove it: Sheldon Leonard, and . . . CARL REINER.

And Ruth Buzzi.


And Jonathan Winters, Paul Frees, and Sterling Holloway. Wow.


Now two ways to chip in!

That'll do. More tomorrow!



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