28 Comments

  1. According to Wednesday’s Bug Martini, ‘mimes’ may be a dying ‘meme’.
    P.S. If WordPress refuses to highlight links, I guess we will have to do it manually.
    P.P.S. @ Arthur – I really don’t like “execution” humor, but this one baffled me so much that I was about to send it in as a CIDU, when suddenly I noticed the size of the concrete tray. It still didn’t make me laugh, but I did groan (audibly). That’s why I nominated it as an “Oy”.

  2. My Dad was a Fuller Brush Man for a short time. If not for that I probably wouldn’t have understood shoe either.

  3. My college roommate had been a Fuller Brush salesperson. She had this very excellent case that they gave her for her samples. Hiya, Jean! (not that she’ll see it)

  4. “Fuller Brushes were sold door to door.”

    They were also iconic as THE product door-to-door salesmen sold.
    In other words, door-to-door salesmen existed, and trafficked in all sorts of products, but if you wanted to talk about a door-to-door salesman, you might refer to a “Fuller Brush man” instead of a “door-to-door saleman”, and the person you were talking to would understand what you meant.
    Kind of the way people used to say “Xerox” when they meant “dry-process photocopy” or how they use “Google” as a verb meaning “carry out a computer-assisted Internet search”. There are companies other than Xerox who sold copy machines, and there are computer-assisted searches of the Internet not made with Google, but even if you are referring to one of those alternative choices, people know what you mean.

  5. FWIW- I’m only 52, and I bought Fuller Brush items when I was first married back in 1985. They were from a catalog and I ordered more out of curiosity than anything, but they were great quality.

  6. I kind of miss the old comic/cartoon staples of the door to door salesman – one being the foot in the door preventing the homeowner from closing it thus ending the sales pitch, and the other being the vacuum cleaner salesman dumping something on the carpet and then attempting, usually unsuccessfully, to use the vacuum to clean the spot and prove how great it works.

  7. When I was in college, I spent part of a summer attempting (rather unsuccessfully) to sell vacuum cleaners. This was not door-to-door, but by appointment. We didn’t dump anything on the carpet as the company line was that the fantastic machine would pull plenty of dirt from the supposedly clean carpet.

  8. ” I made the same milkman joke”

    I’m not quite old enough to have ever had a milkman.
    What we DID have, though, was a drive-through dairy. They had their own distinctive bottles, and so you’d drive up, drop off your empties with the first guy, then tell the second guy what you wanted, and, the way I recall it, even though they SAID they had chocolate milk, they never had any chocolate milk, even when I could the cases of it right there.

  9. We still have a milkman three times a week, including this morning. Delivers glass bottles of full fat at about 7:30-8:00 am on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday (and chocolate milk twice a week too, for my aged mother).

    I hope it’s not the same one as CIDU-B’s joke, but this week in The Times someone reported on (UK song-and-dance hoofer and telly show host and presenter for about 75 years, who died last year,) Bruce Forsyth’s favourite joke, a milkman joke. Here is the joke:

    A man comes home and tells his virtuous wife: “Have you heard? Apparently the milkman has slept with every woman on this street bar one.” To which his wife replies: “I bet it’s that stuck-up cow at No 54.”

    https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/common-s-punchlines-cqmfh5fp0 but behind a paywall.

    Mind you, I would have avoided using “cow” as the specific insult for the sex refusenik; given the milk theme, it could cause some confusion. But I expect even “bitch”, let alone worse, would have been too on the nose for a virtuous, saintly wife to utter.

    (Forsyth did have a long TV career, first appearing in 1939 and presenting Strictly Come Dancing (aka Dancing With The Stars in other territories) up until 2013. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bruce_Forsyth )

  10. @James: Wow, I had completely forgotten the drive-up dairy until you mentioned it. I suddenly had this very clear memory of the place. I don*t remember where it was or anything about, but I can see it very clearly. I think it might have been a repurposed gas station.

  11. When I was attending college in the next town over in the mid-1960s, Fargo, North Dakota, had a drive-up liquor store (“Polar Package Place”) with local TV ads and all. I no longer remember if I found that — strange — at the time, or only in retrospect.

  12. In Miami we had Farm Stores. Apparently they are still a going concern: http://www.farmstores.com/about-us/ . We also had home delivery up to the 70s, but would get ice cream at Farm Stores, and milk or creamer when we ran out.

    In other regions I think a chain filling a similar role is called something like Little Red Hen.

  13. I knew a guy who at one time had actually sold bras door to door. He would never talk about it but I got the impression that the memories were not particularly good ones.
    Another company that sold household products door to door was Watkins. Their last salesman was Bill Porter in Portland OR. He was severely disabled by cerebral palsy and his story is very inspiring.

  14. 1 – Husband recently bought a “fuller brush” floor sweeper which has 2 rubber or plastic disks with little points on them which turn when it is pushed and pull dirt off the floor into a section, which is then emptied by opening the door. It does not work for whatever he wanted it for, but did a passable job on the fake Christmas tree needles.

    2 – “The Fuller Brush Man” started Red Skelton and the “The Fuller Brush Girl” stared Lucille Ball.

  15. As to the Wiley –

    We became friends with several Colonial Williamsburg employees over the decades. One of them was one time portraying a street performer with a young woman. They were asking for pennies (all they were allowed to ask for as it was not a question of them being paid, but rather an interpretation) as in “Give us a penny and will give you a song.” Along the way while they were playing (well) the idea struck him and it changed to “Give us a penny and we will play – give us two pennies and we will stop playing.”

  16. I was confused by the clown cartoon at first – it looked to me like the clown was in a pan of cat litter, which would not really cause him to sink. (I have two cats, and we’ve been considering changing litter brands, so this might be why).

  17. ” the clown was in a pan of cat litter, which would not really cause him to sink.”

    Depends on what kind of litter it was, of course, but the current dominant form of cat litter is finely-ground clay, which clumps into solid lumps when they get wet, which sink just fine but quickly return to finely-ground particles if left fully submerged. The older, more-coarsely-ground clay that used to be sold as cat litter served a valuable purpose as traction on icy sidewalks and pavement; the new stuff is not as effective. The question was, what happens to either one when the ice melts, the rain returns, and anything that was on the sidewalk is in the streams, rivers, lakes, and ponds. There’s a middle-school science project, here, if you’re done comparing bean sprouts watered with water and bean sprouts watered with coffee or Coca-cola. Ask your parents to consult a lawyer about the possible legal consequences of disposing of used clowns in this manner before you start your project, kids.

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