Scanning Around With Gene: Cocktails Napkins and Bad Poetry
My father was a liquor buyer for a small chain of grocery stores in Southern California, so we went to a lot of events where cocktails were served. The adults would put away gin and tonics while we kids sipped our Shirley Temples and Roy Rodgers (a sickeningly sweet concoction made with grenadine) and behaved impeccably.
For a while I would collect the swizzle sticks, especially the tiki ones, and occasionally a cocktail napkin or two. Some of them just had great logos or drawings, but if you were lucky, there might be a tic-tac-toe game or a funny joke, risqué cartoon, or a fascinating fact. It was something to look at while the adults got progressively louder and the giddy effects of the grenadine had worn off. Today’s images come courtesy of a small boxed-collection of napkins called “Corkers” by someone named Margo, copyright 1963. We don’t know if Margo is responsible for the too-adorable art, fascinating verse, or both. It may have been a package deal. Click on any image for a larger version.
Margo certainly had a way with words and could really make someone feel welcomed in the home.
I don’t find myself invited to many cocktail parties, so I’m not sure what the trend in cocktail napkins is these days. Probably a muted-tone, 100%-cotton paper, letterpress-printed kind of thing.
But I have a feeling you don’t see a lot of novelty cocktail napkins anymore. Which is too bad. At many cocktail parties you need a good laugh.
And do drinks still come with swizzle sticks? I’m really out of it. I don’t even know what’s in a Mojito.
I have a feeling Margo wasn’t able to land a job at Hallmark and so she ended up writing cocktail-napkin verse. But hey, it was a living.
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