I have a very bad habit of singing old commercial jingles over and over again. Especially when I’m using some similar product. Or just walking down the street. Sometimes when I brush my teeth I’ll hum, “You’ll wonder where the yellow went when you brush your teeth with Pepsodent.” Even though I’m using Crest. Afterwards, when I’m washing the sink, “Ajax, bumbum..the foaming cleanser, wash that dirt right down the drain. You’ll stop paying the elbow tx, when you start cleaning with Ajax.” It’s sometimes annoying enough that someone will relieve me of my task. Or divorce me. Remember Castro Convertible sofas? “So easy even a child can do it.” The last time I tried to open one, I pulled my back out. Best leave that to the children, I’ve since decided.
My dad once won a contest for creating a jingle for Blue Bonnet Margarine. I wish I could remember what it said. He was a big fan of margarine. He thought margarine was going to save him from high blood pressure or alcoholic dementia. My mother, on the other hand, believed the tag line on our favorite bakery in Roslyn. Butter Makes It Better. It turns out margarine isn’t so good for you. And neither is butter. Nevertheless, both my parents made it into their 90s.
Anyway, the prize for the best BBM jingle was free art classes in New York City. Dad wasn’t interested. So my mom and I got to take the train into The City a couple of times and take free art lessons. I must have been less than 5 years old. I remember being told the cat I drew didn’t look like a cat. Which I’m sure was true, and is probably why I have always hated cats and preferred Picasso.
We stopped at the bakery and bought blueberry muffins for a picnic on the train. That is a much more pleasant memory than the art classes. We’d unwrap our muffins, carefully pick the blueberries out of the muffins and eat them one by one. I don’t recall if my mom had coffee to wash them down, but if she did it was probably Chock Full o’ Nuts. “The heavenly Coffee. Better coffee a millionaire’s money can’t buy.” That was before Starbucks.
While I do think some of today’s commercials are pretty cool, especially now that they’ve co-opted all our old songs from the 60s and 70s, I like the catchy jingles from long ago that worm around in my brain. “Mr Clean gets rid of dirt and grime and grease in just a minute. Mr Clean will clean your whole house and everything that’s in it!” So where is that guy, anyway? Promises, promises.