Saturday, May 7, 2011

My "Fans" on eBay, Part Two

As mentioned in my last post, I haven't put anything up for sale on eBay for at least a couple of years. Having said that... There was a time when I had a lot of fun with it. Most of my item descriptions were pretty straightforward, but once in a while, especially around 2003 (for no particular reason), I got a little loopy... and something along the lines of what you generally find here on my blog ensued!

The item description reprinted in my previous post received what I can only refer to as "fan letters." So did this, the second one... but I unfortunately don't have any of those emails to share with you. 

So I'll say this now: Thanks for your time!

*  *  *  *  *

1950s HARTZ MOUNTAIN Pet Catalog MUST SEE!!!!

Now, here's an interesting little item. It's called Hartz Mountain® Pet Care, and as the title not-so-subtly implies, it's a pet care booklet...
No, it's a product catalog...
No, it's a pet care booklet!
No, it's a product catalog!
It's a candy mint! It's a breath mint!
It's a floor wax! It's a dessert topping!
Actually, it is a Hartz Mountain® product catalog, disguised as a pet care booklet. It purports to tell you "What you should know about canaries, parakeets, dogs, cats, goldfish, tropical fish, turtles..." and then serves as a 32-page (from front cover to back cover), profusely-illustrated shill for (I assume) every contemporary product in the then-mostly-bird-related Hartz Mountain® line! In other words, "what you should know" about your pet is that without Hartz Mountain® products being an omnipresent influence in its life, your silly ol' pet will soon be -- or is better off -- dead!

In addition to food, toys, living quarters, etc., almost any ailment and preventive treatment (and a grooming product or two or three or four... which border on cosmetic surgery!) is effectively handled by our friends at Hartz Mountain® as well. This little (4 3/4" X 6 3/4") book is just too good to believe. And, as you can see by the scans, it is simply full of nifty illustrations (and of course, 100% of them are actual Hartz Mountain® products!)

Speaking of the scans: The booklet is in fairly nice shape for something approximately 50 years old (I received it in a collection of pet books ranging from 1954-1957, so even 'though it's not dated, I'm assuming this catalog is about the same age). The only really noticeable flaw is that, on the front cover, someone traced the inside of the "a" in "Hartz"® in pencil (see first scan, if you have really good eyes). There are no full-color illustrations, but as you can see (once again) by the scans, the entire book is done up in black & white, and Hartz Mountain's® bet-they-woulda-trademarked-it-if-they-coulda orange!
But wait, there's more!
Do you want to teach your parakeet to talk, but don't have the time to do it yourself? The wonderful folks at Hartz Mountain® will sell you a record (78 rpm or 45 rpm) that'll do it for you! And, on a similar note (pardon the pun), if your canary doesn't sing, Hartz Mountain® has another record to sell you, featuring the Hartz Mountain® Orchestra, and their own canaries, as featured on the then-popular (?) coast-to-coast Hartz Mountain® Radio Programs!
Folks, I'm not making this stuff up!
Disclaimer: "An excellent tonic, if your cat is a bit under the weather -- it's a good idea to give him a Hartz Mountain® Catnip Mouse every once in a while." The preceding quote is from the description for Hartz Mountain® Catnip Mice. However, the seller of this eBay auction in no way endorses the supposedly-therapeutic effects of catnip or other kitty stimulants, and furthermore does not advocate substance abuse among felines, canines, porcupines, Gregory Hines, power lines, clinging vines, land mines, venetian blinds, melon rinds, street signs, or anything else, for that matter!!!
(Sorry, folks, it's after 5 A.M. as I write this, and... well... you know...)


  1. dude, it actually sounds rather fascinating...maybe i just like old stuff...always wanted to get the xray glasses out of the back of the comic books...

  2. @Brian: Awww... I'll see if I can find a copy for you. :)

  3. x-ray glasses!, too!

    Cute little pet booklet there! It wouldn't be nearly as neat if the illustrations were photographs. Love those quaint little drawings!

    And there's Mr. Bird right on the cover, too!

  4. Betsy: Yep, this item was definitely "for the birds," in the best possible way!

  5. I had some goldfish once but my uncle came home drunk one night and peed in the fish tank. When I waz a kid I pretended that my parakeett was a space cadet and I wrapped him in aluminum foil for a littel space sute and tied a sandwich bag over his head as a space helmet. He died.

  6. Have you been eating birdseed again? I thought you had learned your lesson last time.

  7. And you got Betsy's hopes up so high saying it was floor wax, as you no she likes to clean..haha

    Damn you can write the entertaining descriptions, and I was so looking forward to using substance abuse on a porcupine

  8. Hi Silver Fox, came across your blog and fell over laughing at the descriptions in this catalog. I've bought and sold on ebay too and sometimes just read through the listings. My favorites are the "as is" (broken) items and the empty boxes (for real).


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