Thursday, January 31, 2013

Backward Day and a Contest from Keds

Today is “Backward Day.” The official idea behind the day is that you’re supposed to do things backwards. Well, when you get to a certain age every day feels like “Backward Day,” so I think I’ll celebrate by simply looking backwards to an earlier time when there was another contest I would have loved to enter.

Remember Keds sneakers? They were the rage in the days before the outrageously priced designer sneakers that people stand in line overnight to buy now. (Although I understand Keds are still around, trying to make a comeback.) I came across a booklet published by the United States Rubber Company called “The Keds Handbook of Sports and Games for 1933.” In the back of this pamphlet filled with the rules of games such as baseball, tennis, and football is a two-page ad for a national contest in which you could “WIN . . . A Wire-Haired Terrier (Or A Bicycle) . . . FREE!” 

As most of my blog readers know, I am in love with my neighbor’s wire-haired fox terrier named Oliver. I mean really, how could you resist a furry face like that?  

Unlike the monkey contest at the 1933 World’s Fair where you submitted a ticket for a random drawing (See my post “Born Too Late”), for this contest you had to write a jingle. I won my first writing award when I was 13, so hey, maybe if I was around back then I would have had a decent shot at winning myself a puppy who might have been Oliver’s great-great-great-great-great grandfather. Especially since the ad said they were giving away “50 Dogs or Bicycles” And in addition, “there will be two National prizes of extra fine dogs or bicycles given to the two best entries.” (Wouldn’t you love to know what they meant by “extra fine?”) 

The rules were simple:

1.       Find the misspelled word in the following sentence:  They are not genuine Keds unless the Name Keds is on the shues.

2.      Use the misspelled word in a Jingle. 

You were advised to take your time writing the jingle and keep it short and interesting, as in this example they gave: 

Your feet can help you win the game
Here’s all you have to do,
Just ask your dealer for Keds by name
Look for Keds on the shoe. 

Stretch says he already has both a wire-haired fox terrier and a nice bicycle, but he would have helped me out by writing a great jingle that would have surely won me a puppy: 

I’m a bear, I don’t wear shoes,
But I really hate to lose,
So you better give me a dog or bike,
Or I’ll tell all my fans to buy Nike.

(I’m not going to tell him about the different pronunciation in those last two lines, he thinks English is crazy as it is.)





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Cathy Scibelli said...

Thank you for the nice comment, I'm glad you enjoyed this story!