In my gratitude journal I am thanking my lucky stars my name isn't Letitia Fitch. Letitia was the first wife of Iowa millionaire Fred W. Fitch, the shampoo mogul. In 1892 he whomped up a snake-oil concoction to market in hand-blown glass bottles as the "Ideal Hair Grower and Dandruff Cure". Fred and Letitia separated in 1923, and divorced in 1926, by which time Fitch was living with Gertrude, a former maid twenty-four years his junior. We will restrain ourselves from saying he was scratching that itch. In 1946 the FTC decided that dandruff was not an abnormal condition, and therefore could not be cured, improving many folks' self-esteem. *
My dad has been singing the Fitch shampoo jingle all week. Are you ready?
Use your head,
Save your hair!
Use Fitch Shampoo!
If it itches
The jingle was performed by Tommy Dorsey, Guy Lombardo, Benny Goodman, and others on the "Fitch Bandwagon" radio show. It would make a terrific campaign song for Texas' own incumbent Governor Goodhair, Republican Rick Perry. The Fitch product line was eventually sold to Bristol-Myers, the company that brought us Body On Tap shampoo with beer, and the warning not to take internally.
I brought the jingle singing on myself by telling Dad that I woke up one morning with a song from the 1968 movie version of the 1947 musical (with Fred Astaire and Petula Clark!), "Finian's Rainbow", stuck in my head:
When the idle poor
Become the idle rich
You'll never know
Just who is who
Or who is which.
Won't it be rich
When everyone's poor relative
Becomes a "Rockefellative",
And palms no longer itch--
What a switch!...
...And when all your neighbors
Are upper class
You won't know your 'Georges'
From your 'Astors'.
Ah, yes! Sylvestor McMonkey McBean of The Sneetches Star-Off Machine helps all the folks in Bush/Perry country believe they are equals down on the beaches at those frankfurter roasts. These guys are so Head and Shoulders above the rest.
Out in Lubbock folks are crying real, wet tears today because their proposal has been eliminated from consideration for the Dubya Presidential Library (with Speak & Spell!). The tears are fighting grass fires in the drought-stricken areas of west Texas. This might be the most beneficial thing Dubya has accomplished in his presidency.
...West Texans had pledged to raise more than $300 million for the library. They said Thursday they were disappointed but not particularly surprised that their bid had foundered.
"We regret it. But it's a big decision, and I respect it," said Mike Weiss, longtime friend of the first couple who served as co-chair of the West Texas coalition. "I always thought we were kind of a long shot.
"Most people knew we kind of had a geographical disadvantage and it was going to be hard to overcome."...
SMU and UD in Dallas have also made proposals for the No President Left Behind Library, but I am worried neither one has enough land available for the Brush Clearing Institute.
*Jun. 10, 1946
"You've got a very bad head condition," says the barber delicately.
"Dandruff, you mean?" says the victim in the chair.
Solemnly the barber nods, solemnly picks up a bottle. . . .