July 5, 2013

“The gift that keeps on giving” – updated for the era of Obamacare and Glitterbug soap…


“The gift that keeps on giving.”
An old advertising slogan of uncertain origin
       This familiar ad slogan has been used for various products by various companies since the early 1900s. One of the first high-profile uses appears to have been by the
Victor Talking Machine Company (later absorbed into RCA Victrola), to promote phonographs and records. In fact, it was trademarked for that purpose in 1925. However, the phrase predates that trademark and, along with the variation “Gifts that keep on giving,” it has been used to promote banks, kitchen appliances, Kodak cameras, flowers and many other services and products during the past century.
       In recent decades, the phrase has become a cliché that’s often used for humorous effect. For example, in the 1980s, the spread of genital herpes led to the jokey take-off:
“Herpes: the gift that keeps on giving.”


“It’s the gift that just keeps on giving. For Republican political strategists, having Obamacare is like being in the Beer of the Month Club. Every month, you get a new care package in the mail.”
       Brad Todd
       Republican media consultant
       Commenting on “Obamacare” and the one-year delay in the controversial health insurance program that was recently announced by the White House. (In an article posted on Politic.com on July 3, 2013.)


“Because Parkinson’s demanded of me that I be a better man, a better husband, father, and citizen, I often refer to it as a gift. With a nod to those who find this hard to believe, especially my fellow patients who are facing great difficulties, I add this qualifier — it’s the gift that keeps on taking...but it is a gift.”
Michael J. Fox
       American actor and patient advocate 
Explaining some positive ways his life was affected by having Parkinson’s Disease, in his book A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Future (2010)


“Guilt: the gift that keeps on giving.”
Erma Bombeck (1927-1996)
       American humorist, newspaper columnist and author
is widely credited with coining this line, though the source is rarely cited. It comes from one of her witty newspaper columns, published in May 1987 with the headline “Guilt: the gift that keeps on giving.” In the article, she wrote: “The passing of guilt from parent to child is a dying art. That’s right. The ‘gift that keeps on giving’ has tapered off because working mothers feel sorry for their children and don’t want to burden them with more pressure…We’re talking about an American tradition here that is as old as dirt. Guilt should never be considered a curse that is passed on, but rather a bonus for having children of your own where the power shifts and you have your day in the sun.”


“Humor is a profound elixir, practically a panacea. It’s the gift that keeps on giving...It’s portable and inexpensive and ingratiating. Humor breaks the ice and soothes the soul. It connects and bonds you to like-minded weirdos — a term of endearment in my book.”
Mary Matalin
       Republican political consultant and media pundit
Discussing a topic she apparently agrees on with her Democratic guru husband James Carville, in her book Letters to My Daughters (2004)


“Do I have any gripes about LUSH? Well... yes. One word: Glitter. It’s the herpes of the craft world; once it’s introduced into an environment, it never leaves. The gift that keeps on giving... you a rash.” 
“Sara B.” (a witty former Yelp.com reviewer whose Yelp account is now closed)
In her now-deleted review of the LUSH bath and cosmetic products that contain small amounts of glitter, such as LUSH Glitterbug soap (shown at left) and LUSH Glitterbug Lotion.

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