Flipping through my festive 1949 LIFE, I noticed this ad for Puerto Rican Rum. My first thought was how I remember the texture of glasses like that on my fingers. You never see those at the department store homeware section any more. My second thought was how odd it seemed to get “something different, something gay” for your two friends, Tom and Jerry, including a personalized mug. Are they supposed to share it? What are the chances that Tom and Jerry even fell in love? And once the bickering starts, won’t this mug be the first casualty in a heated dish-breaking episode?
To me, Tom and Jerry are a cat and mouse. And I wasn’t sure which came first, the chicken or the egg. As it turns out, it was the drink, devised by British journalist Pierce Egan in the 1820s, not the cartoon debuted in 1940. Have you ever drunk a Tom & Jerry?
For research purposes, I wikipedia’d the cartoon animals, just to make sure they weren’t lovers. I was under the impression they hated each other. It said, “both characters display sadistic tendencies, in that they are equally likely to take pleasure in tormenting each other,” but that wasn’t any help. I continued to read the list of characters:
- Toodles Galore
- Mammy Two Shoes, who appeared in Push-Button Kitty
- Fluff, Muff and Puff
- Uncle Pecos, who plucked one of Tom’s whiskers off to replace broken strings on the guitar
- Miss Vavoom
- Meathead, a brown, mangy alley cat who wears a red toupee
I’m pretty sure I met half these people in college at downtown dance clubs. Well, maybe not Mammy Two Shoes. Evidently, she wore layers of skirts and her face was rarely shown.
I don’t get it. So confused. Guess I”ll pour a jigger of rum and catch up on some Tom & Jerry reruns.