The Babe Was One Heck of a Ball Player


What’s in a name?  At our Saturday coffee clutch, one Wiki Weekend Warrior mentioned that he heard a band named "Trampled by Turtles" on satellite radio.  He observed, “They sure don’t plan on going very far with that name.”  Biting my tongue, I thought, “Hey, they’re getting air play on satellite radio.  That's going somewhere!”

Actually, Trampled by Turtles is doing much more than getting satellite radio air play.  They played on David Letterman a couple of times.  They currently are on tour, crossing the US and performing in venues like Red Rocks Amphitheatre and the Fox in Oakland.  Then they are off to Germany, the UK, and the Netherlands.  They have released eight CDs.  That is not bad for a band with a name that, in my friend's assessment, won’t take them very far.

The Wiki Weekend Warrior’s observation raised the question of what's in a name.  My mind flashed to a commercial from the last century for Granny Goose potato chips.  The potato chips originally were made in Oakland, California, and Granny Goose was a regional brand when regional brands mattered.  Ultimately, competition from Frito Lay laid Granny Goose to rest.

During a time when macho men in cowboy hats hawked cigarettes, Granny Goose ran an ad campaign that featured Philip Carey as a tough cowboy.  The ads were totally tongue-in-cheek, campy, and extraordinary memorable.  Like Granny Goose, they too were regional, which meant that not all of the United States knew of, or was treated to, them.

In one -- probably the first, the macho cowboy rides up on a white horse.  He looks into the camera and says, “You may not believe this, but my name is Granny Goose.”

He continues, “You may be thinking, 'That's a strange name for a guy.'  But Babe Ruth was a strange name for a guy.  And the Babe was one heck of a ball player.”

Pulling a bag of Granny Goose potato chips out of a saddle bag, he says, “And I make one heck of a potato chip.”  He rips the bag open with his teeth and spits the top out.  It flutters down into a basket marked, “Every litter bit hurts.”  He pulls out a chip and, with a crunch, takes a bite.  “Provocative.  Well-seasoned.  I make them for grown ups.”

Looking into the camera:  “Now, the only question is:  Are you grown up enough for Granny Goose?”  The cowboy pulls the rim of his hat down, rears his white stallion, and rides away.

Amazingly, that commercial has stuck with me for nearly 50 years.  Unfortunately, it has not found its way on to the Internet.  So you just have to rely on my memory or, if you are old enough, your own.  One Granny Goose commercial, however, has survived to demonstrate the schtick.  Check it out:
What's in the bag, Goose?  Provocative.  Well-seasoned.

What’s in a name?  Remember the Lava Pups may be a strange name for a garage surf band.  But they never leave an audience wanting for fun or energy.  Now, we have a question for you.  Are you grown up enough for the Lava Pups?

 

2 comments

  • Jamieson

    Jamieson Oregon

    I remember Granny Goose ads very fondly! As I recall, he wasn’t always a cowboy. Wasn’t there one where he was s hard-boiled detective? A federal agent, perhaps. Even though I was probably only seven at the time, I remember thinking “provocative “ sounded dangerous. I may have heard it used in some grown-up conversation about the Cold War.

    I remember Granny Goose ads very fondly! As I recall, he wasn’t always a cowboy.

    Wasn’t there one where he was s hard-boiled detective? A federal agent, perhaps. Even though I was probably only seven at the time, I remember thinking “provocative “ sounded dangerous. I may have heard it used in some grown-up conversation about the Cold War.

  • Melinda Maybruck Ortega

    Melinda Maybruck Ortega St Augustine, Florida

    I used to watch Laredo and later on when I was working night shift at an aluminum manufacturing plant , I'd watch One Life To Live. Asa Jeb Stuart Buchanan was my favorite. I love the cowboy persona. Phil Carey was really from New Jersey. But, he was always great as a cowboy. He was in the Korean War as a Marine. Asa was my favorite day time character and Jim Rockford portrayed by James Garner was my favorite on prime time. Real men, as far as I'm concerned. God bless them.

    I used to watch Laredo and later on when I was working night shift at an aluminum manufacturing plant , I'd watch One Life To Live. Asa Jeb Stuart Buchanan was my favorite. I love the cowboy persona. Phil Carey was really from New Jersey. But, he was always great as a cowboy. He was in the Korean War as a Marine. Asa was my favorite day time character and Jim Rockford portrayed by James Garner was my favorite on prime time. Real men, as far as I'm concerned. God bless them.

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