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.

Miller High Life Scores A Win

Keeping up with new Hallmark movies is exhausting these days, whatwith new movies every Friday, Saturday, AND Sunday (which cuts into Bible Study), and sometimes new movies back to back at both 7pm and 9pm. We can’t keep up. But watching hundreds of Hallmark movies means we’ve seen dozens of gingerbread houses being constructed (mostly poorly) in family homes, B&B’s on the verge of bankruptcy, and town festivals. Sometimes simply building them brings two foes together.

But IRL, I’ve never made a gingerbread house. I’ve spent Christmas with different families in different cities, and I’ve never even SEEN a gingerbread house in a person’s home. Do people even eat them? Aren’t they messy? Do they wind up in the Glad bag on December 26th?

But today I saw Miller High Life’s take on the seasonal hobby, and I have to say I’m impressed. Who needs a house when you can have a dive bar?

It’s no joke, and it’s perfect for 2021. Despite all the fear and oppression of American liberty, some industries have banked record revenue, like Big Pharma, Domino’s, and beer. Pfizer reportedly nets $268 million PER DAY and counting, as long as more and more boosters are required. And they will be. Granted, beer hasn’t seen vax $$, but nothing makes folks want to drink more than living through the 2020s.

While many restaurants have folded during the pandemic, we’ve seen craft beer pubs pop up all over our city, and adjacent cities as well. The parking lots are always full, despite pint prices that were $4 last year, now doubled for ales like Electric Jellyfish. Beer is in, man, and it won’t quit. Sure, not Miller High Life. God in heaven, not that. But dive bars? You betcha.

And you just know that when that Gingerbread man enters, everybody knows his name. Who wouldn’t want to grab a pretzel cue stick and play some billiards under actual working lights? Maybe take a load off on some peppermint stools. The kit even offers syrup to drizzle on the floor.

To the marketing geniuses at Miller High Life, I raise a glass of cheap, bland domestic ale to you. Just this once. God bless us one and all.

When CVS Has Mom’s Bipolar Meds On Back Order

etsy, 1960

Poor Dad. When Mom’s off her mental meds, he’s on the receiving end of her crazy. Sometimes it’s diluted Coke or the cold poke of an unwarranted hose spray. Either way, Mom’s a handful with a devilish grin. Shouldn’t she be grateful Dad’s kept so fit, in spite of sipping soda? He’s still got a great head of hair, a healthy tan, and can rock lemon yellow shorts like nobody’s business. Perhaps it’s not her meds at all. Maybe she’s just going through the change. In that case, she needs the pause that refreshes for the menopause that depletes. Hand Mom a Coke and a smile today!

Now I’ve Had The Prime Of My Life (No, I Never Felt Like This Before)

I remember reading an article when Ronald Reagan passed, stating that, at his year of birth in 1911, life expectancy was 49 years old. Reagan died at 93. Clearly, medical care had improved during those 93 years. But it’s still hard to believe the age was 49, due much in part to children dying. This ad from 1937 claims that many folks could actually expect to live past 60 at that point. Some of you have already hit that milestone, with decades yet to come.

It’s Christmas, and no one has time to read a 5,000 word count life insurance ad, so here’s the gist: 40-60 is the prime of life. Anything past 60 is a bonus. Don’t get Bright’s disease (kidney issues). Let your doctor use fluoroscope and X-rays and sorcery to see inside your body. And most of all, DO NOT SCOFF AT BEING CODDLED. Remember, you’re in the prime of your life!

Follow Me For More Recipes

pleated jeans

I saw this pic today of a patron in a Texas HEB and knew that I could not keep it to myself. At first, I thought someone was hoarding foil or plastic wrap. Then I realized it was Hungry-Man frozen dinners. Dozens of them, supplemented by what appear to be frozen pizzas and some Stouffers tossed in. But the core demand here was blue cartons. All of them. The entire stock. It reminds me of the Parks and Rec scene wherein Ron Swanson demands ALL of the bacon and eggs.

Is this a Christmas gift for a home-bound relative? Is the gift of cardiac failure and diabetes the gift that keeps on giving? I myself have never eaten Hungry-Man. So my palate never knew a salisbury steak nor a meatloaf. But who could not be tempted by this chicken caressing a waffle? Are you a man or a mouse? EAT LIKE A MAN.

Pinnacle Foods

Does that tactic really work in this day and age, where gender is as fluid as the maple syrup on that waffle? Many men today have never changed their own oil, chopped firewood, or kilt them a bar when they was only three. More men today have eaten couscous and know how to properly say acai. But not at Hungry Man. They doubled down with their new double meat bowls because America. Chute, yeah. Try their Mexican Fiesta Enchiladas, complete with coconut-flavored pudding. If that’s not diverse, I don’t know what is.

I can’t see Millennials buying these. Why buy a $4 meal when you can buy a $7 green smoothie? So it must be older folk. Will sales plummet as years go by? All I know is there’s a giant vacancy in the frozen foods department, and a man somewhere who won’t be hungry for long.

Simian Takeover

LIFE September 1, 1947
By 1947, George Vierheller had already been director of the Saint Louis Zoo for nearly 20 years and felt at ease with his wards. As you can see, he had a certain laissez-faire approach to monkey business. Here, we find Tommy and Cookie taking issue with who really is who at the zoo, while George takes a cigar break. The zoo's website quotes Vierheller as such: Shortly after I became a zoo man, a friend of mine advised me: "George, don't merely sit in the chair and listen to it squeak." 

So George became a hands-on boss. 

You’ll note that he went ape over gorillas as well.

Even in the last year of his position at the zoo in 1962, Vierheller was still making friends and sharing vices.

LIFE by Francis Miller

A bronze statue of him was commissioned that same year, representing the love he shared with the animals.

racstl.org