30 September, 2011

A tea towel of mid-forties (or earlier??) vintage which has accompanied my grandmother from Oklahoma to California in '48, and from California to Oregon in '88...and still looks new!

But what horrible impulse could have begotten such imagery?

Gran told me that back home in OK. they used to buy a particular brand of boxed oatmeal, and in the box there would be, in addition to sensible oatmeal, a bonus goodie; the sensible oatmeal makers shunned frivolities like action figures, or decoder rings or marbles: they gave you a towel (big business still groping to find that sure-fire route to the kinderhart).

The towel came striped but naked, bereft of animal ornament except for a sort of connect-the-dots stencil that, once properly stitched with color-coded yarn, yielded the satanic character you see here. The idea was to so flummox some desperate country child with the dot-to-dot mystery that they would be forced to create something of household benefit.

That and prime them to worship the bone-wielding arch-demon you see here.

They were sick in those days!

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