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Red Riding Hood?

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

I haven't been doing posts on Wednesday lately, but I have a little extra time this morning and thought I'd give you a quickie.

This ad ran for about a week and a half, and I love it.

It says: "The wolf at the door is very appropriate. Thanks. Hattie."


I have no idea what this means - I can only assume it is not referring to the Radiohead song - but there's something about it that - clearly - makes me laugh. It also, likely, isn't about romance at all (eh, whatever).

I think I like it because Hattie's tone is so dry. Can't you just hear the sarcasm dripping from this ad 100+ years later? I've written about this before, but it's always so pleasing to be reminded that people back then were really quite a lot like people today. I know that's ridiculously obvious, but we do have a tendency to think that if we went back in time to the 19th century we'd be completely unable to relate to the people we met and vice versa. This is especially true during the Victorian era, which has such a reputation of repression and formality and obsession with morality. Most historians recognize this as at least partly a myth - one that the Victorians themselves perpetuated - and frankly I think my ads are certain proof of that. But it's still oddly satisfying to know if I ever went back to the 1880s, and I made some sarcastic remark about something, Hattie would totally get what I was saying.

Having trouble reading the ads? Click one to enlarge!

©2009 Pam Epstein


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