Lotus Appetizers & Tunisian Coffee

Nat Geo, March 1937

Seen here are the adorable faces of Jewish pupils and their schoolmaster, who has just led them outside of a Tunisian synagogue to take their picture. These children were descended from Jews who fled the destruction of Jerusalem in the first century, to the island of Djerba.

Never heard of Djerba? Well, allegedly, it is the island of the lotus-eaters where Odysseus was stranded on his voyage through the Mediterranean Sea. Eating lotus left the natives in a perpetual state of bliss. Shall we go?

Well, if you’re a single woman, probably not. The men there tend to verbally accost the weaker sex, per travelsafe-abroad. com, which also advises all LGBT to avoid it all costs, as they are not welcome. It also suggests that should unwanted attention be cast your way, that you say, “Harem Alayki,” which means, “Shame on you!” Feel free to use it today, if your dog has made bad choices.

If, however, you are a straight male, as usual, you can go wherever you’d like. May I suggest the Hotel Meridiana? The help will happily pour you coffee in the lobby, while you can’t decide if you’re in the movie Aladdin, or at the Cheesecake Factory. Either way, you win.

When A Plate Of Ribs Was $1.35

Today we take a quick look at yearbook ads in the back of my 1955 University of Miami, Coral Gables, Florida yearbook. Yes, ads might seem banal, but I enjoy the localized details, like this dry cleaning ad.

The cartoons are simple but fun; you can even see cleanliness emanating off the fabric. I like the dime price, the cellophane, and the so very Florida salute to the explorer who led the first Spanish expedition to the state over 500 years ago, Ponce de Leon. In case you’re wondering, yes “peaceful protesters” did vandalize the Ponce de León statues in Miami. What else are you going to do when you’re on unemployment to kill time?

Next up is a BBQ menu with prices one can’t even begin to process.

Have you ever heard of “corn-on-cob”? I’ve only eaten corn on the cob, but I respect the brevity. To think that in one lifetime, a rib plate could go from $1.35 to now $19.00 under this administration is absurd. Why, two chicken plates back then would barely buy me an iced tea today. Another fun fact is the location on the Dixie Hi-Way, which of course, doesn’t exist. The Dixie Chicks had to become the Chicks, Lady Antebullum had to become Lady A, so the Dixie Hi-Way gave way to a series of roads with boring names.

With Florida only being a stone’s throw from the not yet communist-oppressed Cuba, how could they not peddle some cigars? And look! If you buy two instead of one, you save an entire penny! One red cent! Go on, get your college kids some smokes to burn off the steam from finals.

We wrap it up with an all-American product that may surely contribute to diabetes, but don’t it go down nice?

Ah, yes, the delicious and refreshing teeny weensy bottle of Coca-Cola. Imagine how much energy it could provide to the person who had to draw that ad, with all those little lines upon that hand. Plus, it’s fun to note the six digit phone number. Well, that’s all from Coral Gables, y’all. Go out and enjoy a $19 rib plate.

But I Only Like Domesticated Cherries

Both of these ads are tucked inside my January 1951 LIFE. Both cough drops, both wild cherry, both manufactured by brothers. Which to choose?

The Smith Brothers were the first to produce cough drops in the US, initially sold from glass jars on countertops. However, to ensure that drug stores sold their quality product instead of fakes, they began to shove them in little boxes with the faces of the bearded brothers.

The Pine Brothers, by comparison, began selling their glycerine tablets out of a confectionary shop, not a drugstore. In these ads, Pine Brothers cost twice as much. Is it because glycerine doubles as a laxative or because they have PINE printed on them? The drops are still stamped PINE to this day, and softish as could be. Softish? Yes, as in stool softener.

Personally, I’ve never had either. We’ve always been Luden’s folks. What about you?

Frosty, Man, Frosty

1958

Now in Detroit! I’m not sure why this ad was targeted specifically at Detroit, giving its citizens (comprised of avid surfers along the Detroit coastline) access to the friendly Pepper-Upper. “Frosty, man, frosty” seems consistent with the beatnik counterculture depicted in the Dobie Gillis show that would air the following year. But isn’t the temperature of the drink dependent on its storage, and not its ingredients? Couldn’t any drink be frosty, man?

Like a pineapple, which is neither pine nor apple, Dr Pepper is neither medicinal nor peppery. But that didn’t stop the jingle makers of the 1977 commercial from using the bandwagon formula of letting all of America know that he, she, and they are peppers, and you might ought to get in line and become a pepper yourself. My friends and I loved to sing along with David Naughton when he appeared on our little black and white screens, donning a vest, and cavorting about. Oh, to be peppers!

Having lived in Texas my entire life, where DP was omnipresent, it was always an option. Many of us have visited the Dr Pepper Museum, as well as the Dublin Dr Pepper Bottling Company. We know it was created by a pharmacist in Waco 100 years before we started drinking soda, and we knew the period after Dr was dropped in 1950.

However, it could never top Coke in my opinion, so I opted out of consuming it thrice daily during times of low blood sugar (10, 2, and 4). In fact, I’ve never even ordered one at a restaurant. Perhaps it’s a guy thing. My husband adores it. Oft times, I’ve ordered Coke in a restaurant, and been challenged with “Is Pepsi okay?” which it never is, so I settle for iced tea. But no server ever asks, “Is Mr. Pibb okay?” Never. DP is always available, and unlike a box of chocolates, you always know what you’re gonna get.

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