A Cryptic Message from Beyond

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Among the more mystifying messages broadcast on black-and-white TV during my childhood was this: “Don’t stir without Noilly Prat.”

What in the world could it mean? There was this guy all dressed in black, with a cape, advancing on this lady. What was he going to do to her? What was he? I was too young to have any knowledge of vampires, but I think I would’ve agreed that this was one.

What kind of a name was “Noilly Prat”? Was it a person or a place? Probably it was the name of the man in black. And then there was something about “Vermouth.” We had Vermont Maid Maple Syrup with our pancakes. Could there be a similarity?

I used to shudder when I saw this ad. To this day, I get the willies whenever any man, dressed all in black, with a cape, and you never see his face, suddenly rises up before me and silently drifts toward me. It quite puts me off.

About leeduigon

I have lived in Metuchen, NJ, all my life. I have been married to my wife Patricia since 1977. I am a former newspaper editor and reporter. I was also the owner-operator of my own small business for several years. I wrote various novels and short stories published during 1980s and 1990s. I am a long-time student of judo and Japanese swordsmanship (kenjutsu). I also play chess, basketball, and military and sports simulations. View all posts by leeduigon

11 responses to “A Cryptic Message from Beyond

  • thewhiterabbit2016

    Maybe Noilly Prat is that stirrer in her drink. I did’t know there so many black-caped men in N.J.?

  • Heidi

    Don’t you think the silhouette is a gendarmes uniform? Like the one inspector Clouseau wore when he was busted down to writing parking tickets. It is creepily drawn, but I think the idea was to have the French policeman admonishing us to use a French product.

    That being said, it’s fun to revisit the world through the eyes of our childhood!

  • weavingword

    I still remember seeing a record album cover at my aunt’s house, probably back in the late 70s, that scared the crap out of me. I think it had some kind of scene from hell with devils or something on it. I remember just staring at it, paralyzed, and on the verge of breaking out in tears. Maybe I did actually cry. I always thought it was a Queen album, but that may just be the music she had playing in the background at the time. Old memories can mix things up that way. It’s interesting how weird stuff like that can terrify a kid to the point where even as adults they haven’t let go of the feeling it brought out. Wish I could see that record cover now so I can figure out what all the fuss was about. My aunt was pretty mystified by my terror.

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