Fletcher's Castoria - Mama yo quiero. Mama yo quiero.

Today's ad comes to us from 1947, when castor oil was still used as capitol punishment in every cartoon. Nice picture.
Here we see a young Ed Grimley apparently having trouble "getting the train to leave the station". Apparently babies eat a lot of cheese, and when they do, not even their favorite Thorin Oakenshield doll can cheer them up.
"You must go to... the bathroom. And if
there's time, to the Lonely Mountain."
My mom never had castor oil in the house, to my knowledge. I guess that, by the time I was rocking the suburbs, we had others remedies for agoraphobic post-consumer waste. I could check with mom for details, but then I would know details. No thanks.

Fletcher's Castoria seems careful not to call itself "castor oil". My guess is that, before then, castor oil was the only game in town for constipation. However, castor oil had a few side effects like "painful cramps, fecal incontinence and explosive diarrhea". Wowzers. So, maybe that's what Fletcher's meant when they say that their senna-based remedy would "not cause griping or discomfort". So what's "senna"? Just a plant. The Wikipedia article on senna doesn't mention anything about explosive diarrhea or anything, so I guess it loosens the juice without blasting it straight through your diaper.

Here's a brilliant Tom & Jerry cartoon (Baby Puss) in which Tom is continually humiliated and is eventually force-fed castor oil (7:05) by a little girl, playing at being an irresponsible parent. The work features such timeless themes as parental abandonment, bullying, and child abuse. This cartoon is from the days when cartoons were allowed to be funny, and as such, cruelty figures prominently in the story. Please enjoy with your whole family!

 The song that the alley cats sing is Mama Yo Quiero (at 5:55), which, for those of you with no Spanish or who have never heard of "Spanish", means "I want my mama". Here's Harpo and Chico Marx playing the same song in "The Big Store". Holy crap were those guys talented.

This ad makes a clumsy feint at the logical fallacy of "argument from authority", typified by "Take it from me - I'm a professional in the field of whatever we're selling." This is implied by their inclusion of a clip art drawing of a nurse, as well as a fake quote attributed to the drawing. Good job, Advertising. I'm totally convinced. You may think that I'm just being mean to an old ad, but this is still the basis of lots of commercials. The argument from authority fallacy is easily disputed by the fact that any person can be wrong, or corrupt, or irrational, or biased, or dishonest, even if they're trained in something.

To help you make your own health claims, here's the nurse is in lovely jpeg format. You can use her to tell your kids that things are good or bad for them, or that they should shut up and do as you say because you have a picture of a nurse on your side. There. You can now make an argument as well as any advertising executive. You're welcome.
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