Staying with the right stuff

“Who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men? The Shadow knows.”

That’s information we need. Once again, the time has come to engage The Shadow.

And to put in a call for Sgt. Preston of the Yukon and his wonder dog, King.

“Why not the Lone Ranger and Tonto?” you may ask. Fine by me — so long as we include Amos and Andy. Amos and Andy? Yep. There has to be a laugh here, somewhere, and if we can’t find it, we’ll have to make our own.

Amos and Andy were sponsored by Rinso laundry detergent, Rexall drugs, and Campbell Soup. So we’ll be putting up with some commercials. But that’s OK. they’re all paid for with up-front money, so we know its origin and what its purpose is.

What you probably don’t know is the identity of The Shadow. Margo Lane knows that, but she won’t tell. I will — it’s Lamont Cranston. Cranston walks around trying to act normal, but can’t — a fact made evident by a perpetually exasperated Margo Lane. We’ll have to arrange accommodations for both Cranston and Lane to get the full Shadow effect. But that’s OK, we’re going to need it.

The 15-minute Shadow radio show was sponsored by Blue Coral car wax. It was premium stuff in its day and came in a blue glass jar. Cheerios sponsored the Lone Ranger. Quaker Oats handled Sgt. Preston and King.

Everybody used Fels-Naptha soap for those really hard stains superheros couldn’t handle. We’ll need to pick up a few bars.

So, we’ll need the wax — to smooth things over. The cereal for obvious reasons, and that heavy-duty soap. Arrangements for milk delivery from Shady Lane Dairy should be made. They’ll deliver it daily in glass bottles, conveniently placing them on our front porch — no one need contact Amazon.

Puffed Rice was shot from a canon and Vernor’s flavor was aged for seven years in wood. I’m under the impression they cut back to four years before eliminating both the aging and the wood. It still tastes good, though, so we should pick up a 12-pack. Also, lay in a case of Drewey’s beer. On a budget? Secure a few bottles of E&B or Champagne Velvet — both came in those big, 16-ounce bottles. Water? Good idea.

We will buy no cigarettes, use no opioids — despite the pain, but Brillo pads are always welcome.

Have you eaten your Wheaties today? No?! You need to.

Lunch? White bean and ham hock soup with homemade bread slathered with butter. We’ll need the calories. A snack: bacon and banana with maple syrup, dates and almond butter, toast with cinnamon and sugar or apple butter.

Dinner: My friend Ruth Richard suggests spare ribs and sauerkraut with potato dumplings floated in rib gravy. Speaking of fat floating, my father loved strips of side pork floated in thick milk gravy with lots of salt and pepper. No side pork? Go with biscuits or open a jar of venison or rabbit. Old-timers spoke of creamed pigweed over mashed potatoes. I’ve not tried that.

And pie whose crust is made with lard? You bet! We’ll need all the help we can get.

All good food and good for you, provided you’re not sedentary. With a diet like this, you need to move and keep moving, because, if you don’t, you’ll get sluggish and be an easy target.

So move, stay alert, and try to smile. If you see a fellow traveler on deck all hunched over, give him an encouraging high sign and a ration of the floating fare. Seas of substantial mendacity may lie ahead. It’s important to keep the fleet’s morale high.

Monitor the sourdough starter, pick up a can of Burma Shave and, when we get back, see the USA in your Chevrolet, if you have one — America will be waiting for us to stand up.

I think, with a little help from our childhood superheros, maintaining contact with genuine things, while consuming a diet of substance should allow us to pull through.

Doug Pugh’s “Vignettes” runs biweekly on Tuesdays. He can be reached at pughda@gmail.com.