Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Foil: The Final Frontier

August... It's usually still pretty hot, so in the '70s when the energy crisis meant cutting back on air conditioning, this would have been a good time to retreat to the dark, cool basement. 401 Party and Holiday Ideas from Alcoa (Conny Von Hagen, 1971) has just the project for that. Have a space party!

This may be Alcoa's biggest idea yet to sell yards and yards and yards of foil. Just look at the space party spread:

Space apparently means lots and lots and lots of foil. Foil wallpaper! Foil-covered tables! Weird foil balls full of apples or pretzels or something hanging from the ceiling!

You think I'm kidding about that foil being wallpaper?

I shit you not! The foil is "a permanent finish and can be applied to any wall." Just cover the walls in wallpaper paste "and apply slightly crushed foil." If the hours spent covering the walls with slightly crushed foil "wallpaper" are not enough fun for you, go back and "paint walls lightly with oil paint-- a section at a time-- and rub off." Why anyone would want to spend a few hours painting foil wallpaper and then rubbing the paint right back off again, I have no idea, but apparently people in the '70s had endless amounts of free time since they didn't have cell phones. Next time somebody tries to make you feel bad about how much more you could get done if you weren't always messing with your phone, just think, "Well, I could be covering my basement walls with foil, then painting them and rubbing the paint off again." Guilt trip averted!

The hanging foil spheres each take 2-3 rolls of aluminum foil wadded around a beach ball, so if you don't use the full case of foil to cover the walls, you can still make spheres. The book never explains why these containers are spacey. Maybe they're supposed to be planets full of snacks? In any case, they're practical because, as the book assures us, "You will use them many times over." For what, I'm not sure. My guess is that they will be presented as evidence against you in some dispute that is only now beginning to take shape....

You can even trap one of the kids in one of these spheres if you call it a space helmet.

Yeah, mom. I'm really enjoying this. Can I take it off now?

Of course, a space party needs space snacks. This snack is a familiar one, but it seems so much cooler with its new name:

I'm calling English muffin pizzas "Moon Pizzas" from now on!

Well, if you'll excuse me, I'm off to cover my basement in foil and rubbed-off paint. Maybe if there's time, I'll make Moon Pizzas.


  1. Yes, Moon Pizzaz for now and always!

  2. Oops I meant Pizzas. Though they do have a lot of pizzazz

  3. Considering the fact that the only "basement" we had as kids was a hole dug in the ground under a randomly cut hole in the floor, foil walls may have fit right in. Just hope that the water from the storm that is running over the fuse box doesn't happen to run into the "basement".

    1. Maybe we could build a foil boat to escape.

  4. Looking at today's decorators putting in STAINLESS STEEL EVERYTHING, were our friends at Alcoa just a few decades ahead of their time?

    1. They might have been! I hate stainless steel. I worked in my college's stainless steel-filled cafeteria when I was a student and stainless steel just makes me think of doing work study on weekends when everybody else was out having fun.