Springfield, MO

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Rusty Saber

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by Joe McAdoo

The material for this column comes from loyal readers Bill and Marilyn Wright, who received it from a relative via e-mail.

This material is at least third-hand by the time you read it.

Loyal readers that they are, Bill and Marilyn sent these goofy-sounding actual advertisements because they know I like stuff like that. Before receiving these, my favorite such ad was "Ladies bathing suits half off." I've always wondered which half is off. More about this later.

Actual ads that actually appeared in actual newspapers, according to Bill and Marilyn Wright's relative:

"Illiterate? Write today for free help."

"Auto Repair Service. Free pickup and delivery. Try us once, you'll never go anywhere again."

You get the picture; these are my kinds of goofy ads.

"Our experienced mom will care for your child. Fenced yard, meals and smacks included." If this one comes too close to child abuse, try this one: "Dog for sale: Eats anything and is fond of children."

This may even be worse: "Dinner Special Turkey, $2.35; Chicken or Beef, $2.25; Children, $2."

"Man wanted to work in dynamite factory. Must be willing to travel."

Applicants definitely should ask if "travel" will be conventional or unconventional.

"Stock up and save: Limit one."

"Semi-annual after-Christmas sale."

Young children out there might be interested in this one: "Three-year-old teacher needed for pre-school. Experience preferred." It doesn't say how much experience is preferred. How much experience could a 3-year-old have had?

This is my favorite ad, which may shed a light on my sense of humor: "Mixing bowl set designed to please a cook with round bottom for efficient beating."

Wait a minute, this one may be my favorite: "For sale: Antique desk suitable for lady with thick legs and large drawers."

It's a toss-up; I like them both.

"Now is your chance to have your ears pierced and get an extra pair to take home."

"We do not tear with machinery. We do it carefully by hand." Is this truth-in-advertising, or what?

"For sale: Three canaries of undetermined sex." No comment.

I certainly have no comment on this politically incorrect ad: "Great dames for sale."

"Have several old dresses from grandmother in beautiful condition." I wonder if the "grandmother" paid for this ad. If so, was she bragging? What do you think?

The following ads offer some pretty unique services: "Tired of cleaning yourself? Let me do it." "Vacation Special: Have your home exterminated." "Get rid of aunts. Zap does the job in 24 hours." "Toaster: A gift that every member of the family appreciates. Automatically burns toast." Sounds like my toaster.

In my younger days I rented a place like this: "For rent: 6 room hated apartment."

More truth in advertising? "Used cars. Why go elsewhere to be cheated? Come here first."

"Man, honest, will take anything."

Looking for a new career? Try these: "Wanted hair cutter. Excellent growth potential." "Wanted: Man to take care of cow that does not smoke or drink." If I were to have a second career, I would opt of the second; a clean-living cow should be a snap to take care of.

"We will oil your sewing machine and adjust tension in your home for $1.00." Sounds to me like a dollar well spent.

More truth in advertising: "The superstore Unequaled in size, unmatched in variety, unrivaled inconvenience."

Another example of the heartbreak of run-together words. Finally, "Our bikinis are exciting. They are the tops." This ad answers the question raised earlier about which half is off.

Thanks to my loyal readers for the material.

If your funny relative has any more good stuff, send it to me.

(Joe McAdoo is former chairman of the communication department at Drury College and a Springfield public relations consultant.)

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