Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Reader's Digest Condensed - October 1975 - A Special Treat

I know what you're thinking. You're thinking, "He's already done a Reader's Digest Condensed this month".  Or maybe not. At any rate, this is indeed the second "Reader's Digest Condensed" this month, but it's here for a reason -- and a treat just for you.  But, you'll have to wade through ads first. Unless you want to cheat and just scroll on down to the bottom.

The Gilette Trac II was introduced in 1971.  It wasn't until 1998 that the Mach-3 (3-bladed razor) was introduced.  By 2015, razors had up to 7-blades.  If razors followed Moore's law, we should have had a 16-million blade razor by now.  C'mon, Gillette!

Congoleum=Linoleum from the Congo?

If it will spare me the thought of a pistachio/banana/strawberry dip ice cream cone, I'll take black and white, thank you.

Coincidentally, that ad shows what Polaroid photos would look like again 40 years later due to their tendency to fade.

My Dad always wore Vitalis.  Back then, it included vegetable oil . These days, it's just alcohol and water.

Do women still wear stockings?  I don't believe I've seen anyone wearing them for years.

Add computer punch card utility bills to the list of things you never see anymore as well.

Despite their lack of style, those '70's cars were a roomy ride.

Soon, cars would be a lot lighter, but not strictly due to their body material, but rather an all-around reduction in size due to the coming gas crisis.

"Want a Super Rat Killer"? Do they mean a rat killer that works great, or something that literally kills "Super Rat"?

Uri Geller was a staple of the 1970's parapsychology craze and as a kid, I fully bought into it, bent spoons, keys and all. Johnny Carson and The Amazing Randi notoriously set him up for failure to debunk his abilities in a 1973 appearance on The Tonight Show. While he was unable to perform any of his "feats", the tactic actually propelled him to further stardom with requests for more television appearances.

I never had a Morton's Frozen Donut, but like many retired brands (Morton's Frozen Foods were phased out in the 1990's) they have a cult following and even a petition to bring them back.

And now what you've all been waiting for: your Halloween Treat.

In my opinion, no other author captures the feeling, the sights, even the smells of Halloween and childhood wonderment of it all like Ray Bradbury. From "The Halloween Tree" to "Something Wicked This Way Comes", his words evoke images of chill Fall nights filled with moonlight, train whistles, rustling leaves and a foreboding yet irresistible darkness that draws children to embrace it all.  The closest I ever came to this feeling was a Halloween's night when I was about 10.  While waiting to start Trick or Treating, I climbed the oak tree in our front yard and sat on a limb high above looking into the darkness of the night, smelling the air, and tingling with excitement in the belief that ghosts really would walk that night.

Enjoy and Happy Halloween Eve!


  1. I try not to wear stockings ever if I don't have to!!! I bought a LOT of L'eggs hosiery in the past though. They were a great brand to wear. I loved seeing all these ads. So many i'm familiar with and had in our household.
    Sweet Halloween story!

  2. Wow - what a gem! Ray Bradbury in readers digest. It is a beautiful story with so many quotable lines especially the first sentence.

  3. man, HOLD cough drops tasted *terrible*! no wonder they went away.

    and what a great Bradbury piece -- i've never read that one before. now it makes me want to watch or read "Something Wicked" and eat popcorn. Happy Halloween, all!

    1. My "Something Wicked" DVD is missing! Haven't been able to watch it this year and nowhere to stream it that I've found!

  4. Man I love when you do these! I want those frozen donuts to come back like right now!!! As a side not my 8th grader got a part in Something Wicked This Way Comes at the college during their halloween play so I will have to show her this short story. Oh and is it to late to win the Gremlin?

    1. That's really cool about the play. What part does she play?
      As for the Gremlin, I'm afraid you'd be 43 years and 20 days late for the cutoff to enter. But you never know. Why don't you give it a shot?

  5. Nice choice of "Terror at 5 1/2 Feet" as your "Gremlin" cartoon inclusion.

    Our judges would also have accepted "Falling Hare"(1943) or "Russian Rhapsody"(1944).

  6. yes! I remember reading and rereading the Bradbury story every Halloween (or whenever I needed a bit that Halloweeny feeling.


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