Allee Willis’ Kitsch O’ The Day – 1950′s “Sponge Cloth”

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Long before Mr. Clean and Magic Sponge promised fewer steps and happy housewives came Harwood’s Sponge Cloth, one of many modern miracle kitchen products offered for the first time in history in the post-war Atomic Age to ladies of the kitchen.  As chemicals developed for warfare or space travel like Teflon were trickling down to pots and pans, linoleum floors and kitchen counters, the Sponge Cloth promised to be a “Sponge and Dishcloth in One!” that “Cleans and Dries in One Stroke!” “Wet•squeeze•use” and for 35¢ lives were changed because now there was more time to run into the next room and enjoy the revolution happening in the living room, television.

I’m always completely intrigued by people who develop a supposedly revolutionary product and then come up with a name like “Sponge Cloth”. Like a wad of mud sliding down the wall of creativity until it hits zero. Smash! A direct hit on the head of the mundane.

I’m sure it’s true that “Millions of Satisfied Users” lost muscle mass because of the minimal arm movement involved in operating the Sponge Cloth.

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I just hope it cleaned better than it aged:

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The photo actually makes the Sponge Cloth look like a normal scouring pad but in reality it looks much more like stale matzoh or a piece of insulation than it does either a sponge or a cloth.

I always love when a product refers to itself as “amazing” and promises HUNDREDS of uses or, in the case of the Sponge Cloth, “a Hundred Uses” on the nose.

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Does that mean that the Sponge Cloth can be used 100 times or are there 100 different ways to use it? If the latter, The Harwood Company of Farmingdale, New Jersey could have gotten a little more imaginative on the big three than ‘wash’, ‘wipe dry’ and ‘polish’.  But, then again, it’s the Sponge Cloth. Same guy working on the art direction as the name.

As much as I disparage the Sponge Cloth, if it really was a cloth that cleaned and dried in one stroke I wish I had found a case of them instead of just one. And didn’t wait 60 years to use them.

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Categories: Accessories, empowerment, Kitchen, Kitsch, Kitsch O' The Day

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Allee Willis’ Kitsch O’ The Day – Japanese Paper Toilet Seat Cover Paste

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I love Japanese convenience products born out of blended east and west needs and Pop Culture, especially ones by way of Vietnam as this toilet product is. In this case, not only are the translations awkward but the product is too. You affix these strips that look somewhere between oversized sanitary pads and shoe inserts on the rim of your toilet seat and then peel them off after you remove your “bottom”, only to use them again the next time you rest on the porcelain throne. Apparently, this saves you the trouble of washing the toilet seat or worrying that you’re going to be sitting on someone else’s nasty stuff. I, personally, would still be concerned as I don’t want to be bending over the facilities trying to flick up the end of some reusable Paper Toilet Seat Cover Paste. And what does that name mean anyway?

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Categories: Accessories, Bad translations, Bathroom, Kitsch, Kitsch O' The Day, Products

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Allee Willis’ Kitsch O’ The Day – Beethoven’s Fifth Popcorn

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Other than the fact that it’s packaged in a 750ml bottle, the standard size vessel for champagne, the stretch  to connect product with name is so thin and precarious here as to induce the medical condition known as Kitschago. As a writer, it’s painful to see so many plays on words in trying to make elements as disparate as popcorn and classical music seem connected. As a kitsch lover, however, it’s ecstasy. Let’s see, how many ways can we thwack the creative brain with a lead pipe and make this popcorn/ Beethoven connection work?  The label, Château de Musica, implores the popcorn ingestee to “HANDEL with care”.  I don’t understand what care it takes to eat “Le grand Pops” but if one does apparently HANDEL it wrong the bottler, RACH MANINOFF, guarantees “your money BACH”.

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Categories: Bad translations, Brands, Drink, Food, Kitsch, Kitsch O' The Day, Music

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Allee Willis’ Kitsch O’ The Day – Japanese Portable Banana Keeper

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I’m not sure which kitsch factor I enjoy most about this made in Japan Portable Banana Keeper,  the fact that it’s pierced with hearts because it loves bananas so much,…

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Categories: Accessories, Animals, Fashion, Food, Kitchen, Kitsch, Kitsch O' The Day, Travel

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Allee Willis’ Kitsch O’ The Day – 1960′s Rubber Doctor Puppet

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As I lie in bed with food poisoning after ingesting some of the worst food I’ve ever eaten in LA Saturday night (at an expensive downtown restaurant which shall remain nameless as I’m only 99.99% sure it was the scene of the crime and not 100), this rubber doctor puppet seems a very appropriate Kitsch O’ The Day offering. Made by Childcraft in 1968 and used in African-American classrooms to teach about good role models the set also includes two girls, two guys, one kid, a grandmother, a grandfather, a policeman and Nelson Mandela.

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Categories: Afro, Brands, Kitsch, Kitsch O' The Day, Medical, Toy

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Allee Willis’ Kitsch O’ The Day – Jeweled-Look Jeans on Half Mannequin Crossing Guard at Fancy Italian Store

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Categories: Drink, Fashion, Kitchen, Kitsch, Place, Sign, Travel

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Allee Willis’ Kitsch O’ The Day – Cootie Game

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I can’t remember any game more popular than Cootie when I was growing up. But forget about the game itself, I loved playing with the little plastic body parts. I’m quite positive that the full-on-plastic-soaked-saturation of the pink Cootie legs is where my love of that particular color came from.

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Categories: Animals, Art, Celebrity, Games, House, Kitsch, Kitsch O' The Day, Transportation

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Allee Willis’ Kitsch O’ The Day – “Don’t Forget” Paperweight Hand

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Every morning I wake up to a pile of notes that I’ve dropped on the floor from my bed the night before as I don’t like to keep anything in my head so I have a running chance of falling asleep. My M.O. is to scribble things down as soon as I think of them anyway so no brain space is occupied with to do lists or thoughts of any kind and creative ideas have ultimate room to race around and breed.

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Categories: Accessories, Creative process, Kitchen, Kitsch, Sculpture

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Allee Willis’ Kitsch O’ The Day – Murder, She Wrote Board Game

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I never really watched Murder, She Wrote during its run on CBS from 1984-1996. I was in a very heavy songwriting and technology phase and although I always had the TV on – or should I say TVs as I had 28 of them at the time, one against every wall in each room so I wouldn’t miss a moment – I never had the sound up. All I ever watched then anyway were comedies. I didn’t have the patience for any of the more complex murder shows. To appreciate and understand what was going on in them I would have needed the sound up and once that happened it became more about me listening to the score and looking at the hairdos and fashions than actually following the plot. Following the intricacies of a murder case demands concentration. Just like trying to figure out how to play the Murder, She Wrote game does:

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Categories: Advertising/ Promotion, Celebrity, Friends theme, Games, Kitsch, Kitsch O' The Day, TV/Radio

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Allee Willis’ Kitsch O’ The Day – Meat Shower Cap

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There’s nothing more I like to throw on my head to protect it from a raging shower stream than a shower cap covered with T-bone steaks. I wish it were more of a meat directory up there but, alas, despite giving the cap the general category name of “meat” only the lonely T-bone made it to immortality.

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Categories: Animals, Bathroom, Fashion, Food, Hair, Kitsch, Kitsch O' The Day

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