I thought this commercial was funny then, but have since discovered that we all have our little "Ancient Chinese Secrets" to fixing things.
A famous commercial from the early 70s that ran for years was for Calgon Water Softener.
A Caucasian woman with an American accent asks "Mr. Lee" (played by Calvin Jung), a laundry shop owner, how he gets her shirts so clean. He replies, with what appears to be a Chinese accent, "Ancient Chinese secret."
The scene changes to Mrs. Lee, who is in an adjoining room. Mrs. Lee (Japanese-American actress Anne Miyamoto) appears ethnically Chinese, but she speaks English with a thoroughly American accent, and explains to the audience that her husband's "ancient Chinese secret" is that he uses Calgon water softener.
Mrs. Lee ultimately gives the secret away by sticking her head into the front room where Mr. Lee and the customer are standing, and shouts "We need more Calgon!" To which the customer replies "Ancient Chinese secret, huh?" while Mr. Lee accepts the exposure with good humor.
Here are some of my "Ancient Chinese Secrets", won't you share some of yours?
- Having to make an important phone call with small children can be downright nerve wracking. Yet, when I am making a phone call like that; my children are quiet as mice. My secret? Phone Treats. It's a huge jar filled with the gigantic marshmellows. When I get on the phone, they start poppin' them. Try to yell with one of those in your mouth! If that doesn't work, I always resort to the water gun.
- Dog smells like grass and butt? Run a dryer sheet down his back and he is nice and fresh* again. You can also run one over the kids heads if needed and your own if you haven't managed a real shower in a couple of days. *Not intended to substitute showers, baths or other basic hygiene.
- My husband is always amazed at how I can not only repair his holey socks and underwear, but keep them so clean. Secret? WalMart. New packages for around $15. He is always neat, tidy and white. I am not staring at holey toes and nappy drawers.