Monday, August 22, 2011

Where'd You Hide the Body

Just imagine sitting around the kitchen table sipping iced tea with a neighbor while listening to the sound of children playing in the backyard. Suddenly, the doorbell rings. The kids come clambering in, racing toward the direction of the sounding chime. The screen door slams behind them as each tries to be the first to open the front door. Naturally big brother wins. He flings the door open... and there stands... Billy Graham?! "Hi kids, is your Mom home"? Little sister, sounding very disappointed, shouts out, "Maaom, the Fuller Brush Man is here".

Yes, my friends, Billy Graham was a member of that iconic door to door salesmen coterie who would hock their wares to housewives in rural America. He and others like Dick Clark, Joe DiMaggio, Arthur Godfrey, and even Dennis Quaid and Paul Reubens wore out some shoe leather selling "...the best products of their kind in the world”. 

The company slogan; Make it work! Make it last! Guarantee it! has stood the test of time. Since 1906, when a young entrepreneur named Alfred C. Fuller, began his business selling unique custom-made brushes, the Fuller Brush Company, has always been welcome everywhere. Retailing a collection of private label home and business care, car care, and personal care products, this 106 year old unconventional company is still in operation today.

It goes without saying, that by its nature, references to the occupation have been countless in popular culture. One of my favorite old time Disney classic cartoons has to be the Three Pigs starring in Silly Symphonies. You know the one where the big bad wolf disguises himself as a Fuller Brush salesman? I think the Wolf won an Oscar for that performance.  We find mentions on stage, in The Best Little Whore House in Texas, in various cartoons and movies, in books; De quoi t'ennuies-tu Eveline? by Gabrielle Roy and many a song including James McCurdy's Fuller Brush Man from his album Where'd You Hide the Body.

I wonder what it would have been like to listen to the Reverend Graham's sale pitch? I can just hear Dick Clark, " We are about to begin the count down of the top ten items I have here in my case". Or Joe, "You would really hit a home run with this one!" How about Pee Wee Herman? I know you are, but what am I? Hehhehheh, hehhehheh... 

1 comment:

  1. I love this story Audrie.....the Fuller Brush man used to come to our house in Miami when I was a kid and my Mom purchased lots of supplies from him!