It’s a jolly holiday … with animal products

Posted by Jenny in Book Report, Guest Stars | 12 Comments

All right everyone … our recurring guest star, Leslie, has come through with an oh-so-special report for us! Take it away, Leslie …

As previously mentioned, we all went to a rather crusty estate sale that had been running for at least a month. The interior of the house was dusty, coated with spider webs, and stinky enough that I just kept thinking of the moist towelettes lurking in the bowels of my purse.

My purchases were very limited: one stick of Freedent Gum (possibly from the ’80s), a colorful Mexican aluminum decorative hanging thingy, and a BEWARE Of Cat sign. I don’t have a cat, but The Big Lebowski of cats on this sign looks like he’s chug-a-lugged an entire bottle of Boone’s Farm Strawberry Hill wine.

Beware Of (Drunk?) Cat

Plus of course, the prize from the fetid basement: a copy of The Swiss Colony Christmas catalog. Oh forbidden fruit! My extended family were not Swiss Colony people, so I never got to sample the undoubtedly delicious array of Swiss Colony offerings. I flipped it open and saw a product called “Pet Gouda” that featured a telltale brown box with air holes and that unmistakable Pet Rock font. I figured that the catalog had to be from 1975 or ’76. Wrong! It’s from 1978, well after the Pet Rock fad had passed and had shuffled off to nerdsville. Perhaps those Swiss Colony marketeers had been living under a Pet Rock for three years.

The catalog features 124 pages of enticing foodstuffs that would cause normal humans to double their Pravachol dosage. I feel compelled to share the magic … and especially the grammatical errors, bizarre capitalizations, funky punctuation, and random quotation marks that The Swiss Colony lovingly inflicted on their customers. Ladies and gentlemen, this truly is catalog shopping as it was in the ’70s (minus parking your polyester-clad ass on a plaid couch and having What’s Happening playing on the TV in the background). I’m not going to bother with snarky comments that would taint the enticing descriptions you are about to read. Here is a sampling of the exact text and photos from a sampling of taste treats offered by The Swiss Colony in 1978.

Pet Gouda

Pet Gouda
Deep in the Jungles of Wisconsin lurks the fierce and terrible “Wild Gouda”, fleet of foot and savagely predatory! With the ruthless instincts of a cunning wild beast, only Kaptain Kubly our “great white hunter” could hope to track and capture him. NOW . . . after months of training and obedience school, we have a Pet Gouda for YOU! The same glowing, waxy red coat, but underneath lies the most mellow, creamy personality you can imagine. This mild-mannered, lovable pet, comes with his own specially designed crate. Everyone will enjoy a Pet Gouda.

BE-E-E-F-A-LOG

BE-E-E-F-A-LOG
What is this year’s most novel gift . . . most exciting culinary creature? The BE-E-E-F-A-LOG,” of course! Such a popular refrigerator roamer. If you free it from it’s carrying cage, you’ve unleashed the incredibly delicious taste of fine, hickory smoked Beef Sausage. We warn you and your gift recipient to “Beware! It’s Viciously Delicious.” Available in 1 lb. and 2 lb. Logs. So clever, folks will remember you all year long!

Crazy Creme Puffs

Crazy Creme Puffs
Men from Mars! You’d think so but they’re really our NEW happy, lovable people. Their plump little bodies are made of delightful smooth cremes: Dobosh, Pistachio, Mint, Pecan, Almond and Walnut, all “dressed up” in dark and light frosting suits. Each is groomed from the tip of his toes to the top of his head with an irresistible happy smile! Eighteen 1 oz. Crazy Creme Puffs handmade of course, in our Pastry Kitchen.

Chocolate Humbugs

Chocolate Humbugs
The most lovable little creatures ever! They are sure to win over the most discriminating chocolate lover. 12 “critters” have centers of fluffy Chocolaty Creme, so meltingly good with tender Coconut covering. Hand decorated with “peepers” and ever so carefully cradled in egg carton. Absolutely heavenly to taste (if you can bring yourself to do it!) Made especially for our customers. Shp. wt. 2 lbs.

Heavenly Hash

Heavenly Hash
All bedded down on a pillow of white clouds… That’s impish yet angelic, Rudolph as he keeps his eagle eyes toward heaven as if to say, “Isn’t it Heavenly, me riding on such a delightfully delicious cloud!” His solid flavored chocolate goodness with his red nose and bow tie, lies upon a 6 ¼ x 9” Heavenly Hash pillow that’s made of Chocolate, Pecans, Marshmallows and Cashews. What angel wouldn’t smile on this 15 oz. bundle of joy! Shp. wt. 2 lb.

I’ll leave you with this little puzzler: just what flavor is “solid”?

Hmmm … puzzling, indeed! And I’d also like to point out that below this description they note that the design of Rodney Reindeer is copyrighted … wait, is it Rodney or Rudolph? Get it straight, people!

Thanks, Leslie. I suspect I’ll soon be calling you in the middle of the night for emotional support after waking up in a panic from nightmares about the BE-E-E-F-A-LOG.

12 Responses to It’s a jolly holiday … with animal products

  1. suzy says:

    Thanks for that blast from the past! I remember those catalogs well! xo, suzy

  2. Marla says:

    I have been lurking, and love your blog. My fondness for old catalogs, amongst other old treasures to be found at Estate Sales knows no bounds. But mainly, I had to chime in about the “solid” flavour – it IS called “Heavenly Hash”, right? I think you just need to pronounce it as “sol – iiiiiiiid”, in a voice slightly raspy with exhalation. Perhaps follow it with a “dude”, or a “man”. Like, “This reindeer stuff is sol-iiiiiid dude – don’t bogart it man!”

  3. Bitch On Wheels says:

    Hmmmm, you might be onto something there. Perhaps that accounts for the massive quantities of food that could be shipped right to your door and the nonsensical descriptions.

    If the Yard Sale Bloodbathsters will permit me to write up another 70s catalog book report, I’ll share a 70s clergy supply catalog found at an estate sale a few years back. All the collars and robes any pious boy or girl could want!

  4. Xmas w/a K says:

    Well, I’m partial to those Humbugs – but are the peepers (eyes) edible? Seems like a contemporary choking hazard. I’m off to ride on a delightfully delicious cloud…

  5. vintage sue says:

    I can’t decide which is making me more nauseated: the food photos or atrocious 70s marketing grammar-speak. Wait. It’s both.

    Thanks for hurling me (literally) back into the 70s…

    XOX

  6. vespabelle says:

    can’t sleep, cyclops candies will eat me!

  7. I am SO glad that you posted this catalog. It’s amazing and hilarious and well, outlandish. I would have bought it too. No doubt.

  8. Lee Rentless says:

    I think the “Big Lebowski Cat” (quotations and capitalization ARE fun) got a solid from Rudolph and his Heavenly Hash. Thank you for braving the estate sale underworld for our amusement and edification!

  9. Stuart says:

    The beat goes on at:

    http://www.swisscolony.com

    It never stopped.

    Stuart

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  11. Bryonia says:

    Pet Gouda was probably an attempt to cash in on the popular Pet Rock.

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