Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Collecting: "Dig" This Crazy Apron

It's not often that I buy anything from proper antique stores, but the way prices are skyrocketing at thrift stores, sometimes the deals are better and the sifting/digging element is minimized.  A while back we were at a local antique hotspot and we found a crazy apron.  No really, a "Crazy Apron."  Because I am also crazy, it took me two seconds flat to justify shelling out the dough for this entirely unnecessary piece of goods.  It was cheap (that's coming from someone who usually refuses to pay more than $3.99 for anything).  It was NOS.  It was a specimen of wacky tacky the likes of which there was nothing similar in our archives, and it was asking for a good home.  Since it was clear that nobody with a good home wanted it, it had to settle for my house.

"'Dig' This Crazy Apron"

As she will no doubt demand recognition, it was Mary who spotted the apron first.  Although, to be fair, it was on an eye-level shelf in a booth populated by items of muted and tones and entirely dissimilar provenance.  In short, it stuck out like a sore thumb so I can't give her too much credit.  Because this apron was new in its original packaging, we were fortunate to get the paper label that showed the other styles in the same line of novelty aprons created by the Parvin Manufacturing Company of Los Angeles.

Boy Howdy, would I have liked to have found the
"Chuckwagon Charlie" cowboy apron.  I love anything
western themed!

But I still count myself lucky to have ended up with "The Playboy" model.
"Illustration of apron in this package"
The Playboy, No. 461, is described on the package as
"Real animated fun in the most laugh-provoking apron ever designed!
Fascinating surprise pockets, crying towel, roving plastic eye, zipper,
cork, genuine fur trim [editor's note: there is no trace of fur trim
anywhere on the apron, genuine or otherwise], plastic bouttonniere, etc.
A host of amusing mottos and jokes!"

The Playboy

Was the fur trim supposed to be on his hat?
Also, to what is this in reference?  I couldn't make sense
 of it as an "amusing motto" or a "joke."

I'm the Chuck Norris of home cooks
 - I make the onions cry.

Tell me about it!!!

A cork "For the hole in your head"
I needed this apron like I needed another hole in my head
so the cork came in quite handy.

This is how I was raised.  Strangely enough, it
 never occurred to me to leave food behind...

Cause I'm the champ!!!

Everything I want is illegal, immoral AND fattening!

to evil from evil

They call me Mr. Tiny but you can call me Mr. Tiny; I like to keep it professional.

Kilroy even makes an appearance.

A playboy is just a boy unless he is PLAYing a little grab a**!
Should an unruly partygoer disregard the warning, giving the fanny a pinch,
he would receive an unpleasant surprise... 

A squirt in the face courtesy of the plastic bouttonniere.
Unfortunately, sometime during the last half-century, the rubber
bulb and tube that propelled the water dried out and disintegrated.
 It would be easy enough to replace but knowing myself as well as I do,
 that will never happen.

At the Early Bird Cafeteria, you'll get your food, but there is only one item on the menu.

Now that is cheeky!
Just below the waist, there is an Emergency Exit.

I made vintage-style aprons for a long time and sold them relying on the fact that people's enthusiasm for vintage would actually carry over into their cooking and entertaining endeavors.  But I still wonder, does anyone actually wear an apron?  I cook all the time and NEVER wear one.  Indeed, chances are great that I'll never wear this apron.. least not for its intended purpose.
I so wanted to make it look like I was wearing nothing but the
 apron but that is truly an image that would haunt your dreams!

What about you?  Do you wear an apron when you get cookin'?  What's your favorite apron in your collection?

"Hey, Good Lookin'" - Hank Williams


Mr. Tiny


  1. OMG that is So Freakin Fabulous! A kitsch goldmine! Kudos to Mary for spotting it, for the both of you for knowing its true value, and you Mr. T for showing us how it should be worn!

    1. Thanks MB!! Even without seeing the entire apron, I knew I had to bring it home for the archives!

  2. HA! What a gem! Is your food so bad they needed to include a crying towel? This is the stuff dreams are made of!

  3. I wear aprons all the time!
    I think we have this apron... but not in the package. You scored!
    The best one I have is a cannibal-themed restaurant, complete with cannibal diners!

    1. I knew somebody out there had to wear aprons! Wowee, your cannibal apron sounds amazing!!!

  4. That apron is too funny!

    1. Call me juvenile, but the "Emergency Exit" is my favorite feature!

  5. So funny!!!! Yes, I wear approns, I have a large collection of NOS vintage ones but I always wear the same one because I fear to make stains on my NOS 50's ones... I must be crazy!

    1. I'm glad to hear that people are wearing aprons; I would love to see your collection! Nothing that I own is too special or too expensive to spill on so I always go sans apron.

  6. That is one crazy apron! But surely, the mission must be to find the western one now?! I only wear aprons when baking cakes...and even then, I only wear them if I remember to!

    1. Absolutely, I am enlisting you to help me find the Chuckwagon Charlie Apron!!! I think adding a layer when I'm cooking just makes me too hot; it seems like it would be more cumbersome than useful. But I love aprons nonetheless.

  7. Ya know, wehave 6 color coordinating aprons at the Casablanca? Friend Kelcie Miss Casablanca 1957 made them for us, I shelled out $150 for all 6 (she was earning money to go to Europe) and to be perfectly honest, I think we only wear them in pictures... haha I never think about putting an apron on until midway through cooking and by that point...meh... Your Apron is great!

    1. Right?! They seem like a really good idea, but I'm the same, I never think to use one until I've already spilled and splattered. Kudos to you for supporting entrepreneurial friends and small businesses!!!

  8. oh my goodness! that is SO GOOD! I have FOUR aprons hanging on my pantry door. But i have probably only worn one, once. I also have maybe six christmas aprons? But nothing as good as yours.

    1. I love a good christmas apron! I have a terry cloth one from the 50's with Frosty the Snowman printed all over it. I guess I just think of these cool aprons as more decorative than functional. Really, how bummed would I be if a spilled marinara all over The Playboy?!!

  9. If ever an apron was made for you- it's this one!

    1. It was meant to be - a match made in dubious circumstances!!!

  10. OMG, I HAVE THE CHUCKWAGON CHARLIE APRON! Really, I do! Look closely and the bullet belt has hot-dogs in it, and the wanted poster says something about how he "murders" a good burger. Personally speaking, though, I think your find is better. So "Laugh-In"!

    1. You lucky so-and-so!!! I think I need to make it my mission to collect them all. If only all the world's ammunition was processed meat...maybe one day...

  11. I just thrifted this Playboy apron a few days ago for $2, LOVE it, so glad to have more info on it! I love finding vintage Now Designs, San Francisco, aprons... the kitschier the better!

  12. Did the literature include the fireman's apron? I just found that one...

  13. I just bought the Fireman's apron...ladder zipper pull, woman hanging out hotel window, Joe's bar and grill, and horse drawn fire cart coming to the rescue. Not in 'white' condition, as someone stored improperly, but no holes or tears. What is the average value of these awesome aprons? I got this one in a pile of Irish linens that I paid a dollar for....yes, I know I scored, lol. Curious