Monday, September 15, 2008

The Rice-a-Roni Jingle and Other Critical Thoughts

So my husband, Jorge, has been out of town for a couple of days. He is gallivanting around around Fresno and San Fran with his sister and dad, oohing and ah-ing over giant trees, also called "Redwoods" by sticklers for scientific nomenclature. I do not share their passion for "big ol' trees," as I like to call them, so I've been picturing them running around the trunks playing tag like kids, and that is cracking me up. I do slay myself.

Today they are in San Francisco. I asked him if they were going to eat some of that famous San Francisco "treat." You have to be of a certain age to get that joke, and if you are of that certain age, you may not remember why you get that joke, but it was a tagline for Rice-a-Roni, an American staple in the 1960's.

Oh, that sassy jingle: "Saute and simmer--the flaaaavor can't be beat. Rice-a-Roni, the San Francisco treat!" And then there was an exciting trolley that went "ding ding!"

Yeah, just like that: "ding ding!"

Ending a commercial jingle with a trolley going "ding ding" was sorta sassy in the 60's.

Perhaps you'd actually like to hear the Rice-a-Roni jingle. Warning: You'll be singing it all day. Or night, if you're awake like me.


His absence has an "up" side and a "down" side.

The up side is that he purchased my birthday gift without having actually shopped for it because I saw something on sale and snatched it up, thinking that I will explain myself by telling him he is now relieved of birthday buying duty. He's welcome. When it comes to purchasing clothing or jewelry, I tend to live by that wise old maxim, "It's easier to ask forgiveness than permission."

The down side is that my insomnia has grown worse. Last night I was awake until 2:00, and then I woke up early this morning like someone had put a branding iron to my feet.

It doesn't help that when the man of the house leaves, the reasonable facsimile of a dog, Zoe, goes on extra-orange-red-hyper-alert.

Her motto: "If a strange ankle should appear, never fear, for I will bark until I pierce the intruder's ear. Drum." And mine along with the intruder's, apparently. I am sure that deafness and nervous tics are a small price to pay for that kind of protection.

So ... insomnia + safe thoughts--i.e. the Rice-a-Roni jingle = my excellent joke for Jorge about the San Francisco Treat.

Moral: one person may be able to break into my house, but it takes a village to inhabit my insomniac brain.

By the way, check out this old ad I found while researching Rice-a-Roni. Oh, the irony: "Old Crow."

So what about you? Do you have a favorite vintage commercial?


Becky said...

nomenclature is a BIG word. :-0

I love the part about your too cute little dog. How could you not love that face...pierced eardrum or not.

Happy Birthday to you :-D

Smilingsal said...

Like you, I was up until 2:00 last night; it's not yet 6:00 now... Oh! I was dozing!

Now, you want me to tell you a vintage commercial? How about:
"I can't believe I ate the whole thing."


Amy Wyatt said...

I was in a store the other day with Carol from Sheep to the Right and started singing the Tootsie Roll commercial from the 70's. She had never heard it. You can find it here.
Now that one will be in my head again all day :)

Patrice said...

Insomnic's unite!! Is that a word?? I too was up until one-ish and after a restless night's sleep drug out of bed before six! Ughh!

I have a pomeranian that is just like Zoe. Ankles beware and wear ear plugs, because if the door open, she is in full attack mode with her 3 pound self!!

Tabi said...

I can hear your dog in my ear barking now! Lol...once agian you have me cracking up here!

Patrice said...

I forgot to mention my vintage commercial....

Life cereal,

"He likes it...Hey Mikey!!"

Chel's Leaving a Legacy said...

You probably won't know my nostalgic commercial:

"Whataburger. Whataburger. Just what a burger should be (don don don don) The un beatable, unbelievable, bigger, better burger, Whataburger."

I just LOVE that jingle. That one was from the 70's.

Oh, and if your birthday was/is recent, we're twinkies! Mine was Friday! :-)

My ADHD Me said...

Ah, The San Francisco Treat. I'm always humming that song because that is my 12 yr old's fav food.

I'm like you on the tree thing. People around here will drive 2 hours every Fall to go see the leaves changing colors. I say, if you want to see the leaves...look out the window. And if you want to "experience"'s a rake!

Darlene R. said...

I remember that Rice a Roni commercial and I am not that old! Or maybe I am that old! sigh.

Do you remember this:

Big Mac, McDLT, Quarter Pounder with some cheese, filet o fish, a hamburger, a cheeseburger, a happy meal, Mcnuggets, tasty golden french fries, regular and larger sizes.... yep, and there's more where that came from!! Maybe I'll do the WHOLE THING for my video blog?? Hmmmm....;)

beckyjomama said...

My faves are the vintage holiday ads that they STILL bring out every year - ANY holiday! The coffee one wher the kid surprises everyone by coming home; the easter one for cadbury eggs - "Thank ya Easter Bunny, BWAAK! BWAAK!!"
But my ALL TIME FAVE is the tootsie pop one - "Mr. Owl, how many licks does it take to get to the tootsie roll center of a tootsie roll pop?"


Merrie said...

Yes, I for sure remember the San Franciso treat... (I'm singing it)
My favorite two...
"I wish I were an Oscar Mayer weiner, that is what I'd truly like to beeeeeee, for IF I were an Oscar Mayer weiner, then everyone would be in love with meeeeee!"

"Little girls have pretty curls, but I like Oreos.... O R E O's my choice because it's the very best cookie eevveerr wassssss! Girls are nice, but ohhhhh what icing comes on oreos... "

Well, hope Jorge gets home soon so you can sleep!

Mocha with Linda said...

Oh, I didn't have to click the link. As soon as I saw the title that jingle started going around in my brain. Thanks a lot.

Of course, we can't forget:
1) Where's the beef?
2) Twoallbeefpattiesspecialsaucelettucecheesepickles-
onionsonasesameseedbun. (It is impossible not to hit the space bar between words!)
3) Hold the pickles, hold the lettuce, special orders don't upset us, all we ask is that you let us serve it your way. Have it your way....
[What is it about burger commercials?!]
4) And don't forget Ernest! "Know what I mean, Vern?"

Susanne said...

Loved Rice-a-Roni, still do. Loved that jingle back then. Now it will be on a continuous loop in my brain! Thanks, eh! :vD

A vintage jingle? I'll let you know when I can get past the Rice a Roni jingle in my head. Oh I know how about: "I'd like to teach the world to sing in perfect harmony. I'd like to buy the world a coke, and keep it company. That's the song I sing."

So what'd ya buy for your birthday?

Dawn said...

Oh - I am not the only one. When DH travels or is on a Scouting adventure, I can so easily get my nights and days backward. I stay up later and later with no reason to really go to bed the longer he is away the worse it gets. On the positive side, DH comes home exausted too so we are both on the same page when he arrives. My father, who used to travel with him for business, used to say that he was going to buy DH a teddy bear so he could get some sleep.

Cyndy said...

I now have burger, rice-a-roni and Oscar Meyer adds buzzing through my brain not to mention the following:

"Purina Cat Chow! chow! chow! chow!"


"meowmeowmeowmeowmeowmeowmewomeowmeow......" okay that one's not as good if you don't remember the tune but it was for Meow Mix.

Okay it is now a veritable vintage commercial jingle fest going on in my brain. "Know what I mean, Vern?"

Barbara H. said...

Yes, I do remember that commercial (and now that jingle is in my brain -- thank you very much!) :-) I remember most of the ones your other commenters have mentioned.

In addition I'm thinking of one where a man is singing "No More Rice Krispies" in a tragic opera voice. And Mr. Whipple squeezing Charmin. I loved the series a few years ago about a couple meeting over encounters with coffee -- I think she was a neighbor and came to his apartment to borrow some first, then they got attracted to each other and the relationship developed through the commercials. Once he came to her place to find another guy there -- which guy failed to tell him he was her brother, enjoying making him jealous. Sadly, though, I can't remember the brand of coffee -- which was supposed to be the point of the commercials...

Anonymous said...

The old Taco Bell commercial that sang "Make a run for the border!" still swims in my head. Melissa

Teri~Facedown said...

I just loved me some school house rock! I know that isn't a vintage commercial, but it is vintage!

The Bayou Belles and Their Beau said...

I always have trouble sleeping (not slipping, which I just typed) when my hubby isn't here either. And my little dog, Roxy Belle, is constantly on stranger alert. i will put her annoying bark against Zoe's any day. Does Zoe bark if a leaf falls from the tree outside?

Anyway, I loved the Vlasic pickle commercials where the little girl keeps asking her dad or maybe it's grandpa ... "are you gonna eat that pickle? are you sure you're gonna eat that pickle?"

The Social Frog said...

Oh No! Now the jingle is stuck in my head, I will be singing it for days! Hope you soon get some sleep!

Greg C said...

I must be from that old school because I didn't even have to play the jingle and I started singing it. I am one of those people that sings jingles all day. No wonder I can't remember the important things, my brain if full of junk. I don't really have one favorite. My dad used to keep a bottle of Old Crow under the seat of his truck. For emergencies I guess. I think it works on snakebites and bee stings. :)

Edwina at The Picket Fence said...

Love your puppy, we use to have a yorkie just like him named Chole and my daughter had one named Zoe, they were sisters. One of my favorite alltime commercials is from Frosted Flakes with Tony the Tiger 'They're Greatttttttt' thanks for doing this, it brought back to my remembrance some great commercials.

skoots1mom said...

I want ZOE!! shipping and handling wouldn't be
too much, so let me know when I can expect her...ha ha, she's just TOO cute!

I used to sing the SLINKY song all the time (unfortunately i couldn't play the xylophone so that part would be missing from my rendition) (
...and I'd play with it a lot too! ..."eveyone loves a slinky!"

Carol said...

My hubby went to SF a couple of weeks ago. I asked him the same thing. He didn't think it was very funny. Oh, well.

Debbie said...

No fair - now that silly jingle is running through my head and I didn't even link to listen...

My ADHD Me said...

I am stuck on Band Aid, cause Band Aid's stuck on me!

P.S. Your Whirling Dervish was a great idea for my latest post! Thanks.

"MoodyBlue" Jodi said...

I love the beef Rice-a-roni.

That picture of Zoe!! She is SO cute!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

How about "I am stuck on Band-Aid brand cause Band-Aid's stuck on me"

Laurie Ann said...

Sigh...oh well, you warned me. It's already stuck in my head! Sorry about the insomnia. Favorite vintage commercial? "Ancient Chinese secret, huh?" Oh, and the chuck wagon dog food commercial. I loved them!

samurai said...

As soon as I read the title of today's entry I decided it was better to NOT read ;) Just what I need... another something running through my head! LOL

Chatty Kelly said...

Loved the walk down memory lane on the jingles! Ahhh, they don't make jingles like they used too.

I can't sleep when my hubby's out of town either. Every noise scares me. AND my dogs go on hyper barking alert too. Imagine Zoe times 2. Oh dear.

I'd like to teach the world to sing, in perfect harmony. I'd like to buy the world a coke, and keep it company...That's the song I sing.....

Ballerina Girl said...

Cute post...I so remember the jingle, but never ate it!
I am not sure how old a commercial has to be to be "vintage" but...
I used to love the "Have a Coke and a Smile" ad with one of my favorite Pittsburgh Steeler players...Mean Joe Green
It was a great ad!

Lois E. Lane said...

Thanks for your sweet congratulatory comment! It's interesting to me how many parallels exist between having a child and finding your mate. You might say my hubby turned my life into Technicolor and my baby made it 3-D :)

Marina said...

hope you get some rest to night ") love, marina

Jackie @ Our Moments Our Memories said...

So what did your hubby get you for your bday?

Roxanne Kristina said...

I love SF! Not so much about the trees, but love the city. Jingle not coming to mind, but do they know kleenex is not tissue, rather the brand of tissue? Your jingle question made this question come to mind. I love brain farts.



Diane said...

Lovin' the jingle...and yes, I'm old enough to remember it! I love to watch old movies and TV shows and watch the folks eating all of that fatty food. Plus, everyone smoked constantly on those old shows.

Thanks for the memories.


Michelle said...

I hate that you just did that......Has me started all over again with

In the jungle, the mighty jungle, the lion sleeps at night.....

I was walking thru the cavernous press room a few weeks ago, and no one was around......since in is so acoustically wonderful, I started singing at the top of my lungs. It had been so long since I had sung.

Imagine my mortification when three heads popped out of our very large press! The Pressmen had a good laugh, and I hid my shame, but I can assure you, I won't be doing that again.

Much love and Hugs!


Anonymous said...

Oh great! thanks! ha. I read this at 6:30 AM and this evening at about 5:00 PM I looked at my dog Lucy and sang to her "Dogaroni, the San Francisco pup." That song has been in my head. You did warn me though. I always say along when it came on TV.

Zoe is a little punkin'!

Melanie @ This Ain't New York said...

My husband was working at a kids' summer day camp while in college. One of the kids ran up to him all upset and said,"Coach, Jimmy punched me because I sang Rice-A-Roni...the San Francisco treat."

I can't believe you put the picture in your profile. You crack me up.

Tammy said...

This post completely entertained me...first of all, as you might remember, we saw those big ole trees this year on our big California drive.
Secondly, you and I are of the same era and can relate to all TV shows and commercials now considered "vintage".
So, of course I cannot look at a picture of a cable car anywhere and not have that rice a roni jingle start playing in my head! (Also, it is playing in my head big time now and I haven't even clicked on the link...thanks so much, Linda...) ;)

OK...this isn't such a good song to remember, but I am old enough to remember when cigarette commercials were still on the air.
I would swing on my swingset in my backyard all by myself at age 5 and sing at the top of my lungs,
"You can take Salem out of the country can't take the country out of Salem..." ;)

Jen said...

My favourite of all time -- the Mr. Coffee commercial that featured a new timer so your coffee would automatically start. The commercial was a very chipper man getting ready in the morning, while his wife slept. He keeps saying to her, "Honey, get up!" She groans "I'm making coffee." He replies "No you're not, you're sleeping!" She keeps groaning "I'm making coffee."
Absolute favourite of all time.

And yes, I'm also old enough to remember the San Francisco treat! :)

40winkzzz said...

"Thickerrrr... Thickerrr... Thickera." Remember that one?

How about this one: "Butter... butter... Parka-ay."

Actually, I *hated* that last one with a passion. I don't even know why I just thought of it. Here's the one I really LIKED:

"Two hundred million people, no two are quite the same, each doin things their own way, each plays a different game..." Do you know which one I'm talking about? Do you remember the rest? I do.

PopArtDiva said...

I have always been rather fond of Alka Selzer - Plop, Plop, Fizz, Fizz, Oh what a relief it is!

If you like retro commercials I do a post and put up a retro commercial every Monday on my Retro Pop Culture Blog.

Let me know how you like those chocolate sandwiches!