Antiques Creepshow - Saxy Clown

As a companion piece to yesterday's offering, The Velvet Clown, Phil Are GO! is proud to be able to offer this Jpeg of a photo of a painting, unearthed in Michigan City, Indiana. Entitled The Saxy Clown, this piece shows us a deeper, more soulful side of clown painting.

At first, one sees the clown's stunted arms, like those of a dinosaur. Was our little punchinello a thalidomide baby? Then your eye is drawn to the compelling black funnel of the saxophone's bell. But wait! The perspective is wrong. The mouth of the instrument must be a flat sticker or decal placed over the bell of the sax. It seems no one wants to hear the clown's mournful refrain of rejection. This cruel world would rather listen to the flat, insincere music of hypocrisy. This is a deft metaphor for the lack of respect that clowning receives from the public.

As anyone who has ever picked up a contra bassoon can explain, one can either smile or play a wind instrument, but not both at the same time. Today's clown painting shows us a clown smiling sadly while sadly playing a saxophone sadly. Maybe the poor clown would have more luck if he used a mouthpiece, instead of blowing directly into the neck of the instrument? What note is played when you simply clamp down a row of keys with all four fingers? A note in the key of weeping. It is to the uncredited artist's credit that he/she allows these profound misunderstandings to be the vector of emotional poignancy in the piece. Most significantly, this painting pulls at our emotions by displaying the artist's deep, sincere ignorance of music, and what could be sadder than that?

And yet, the skill with which the clown's lips are rendered conveys a deep familiarity with the way light glistens on a mouth covered with red greasepaint. Music may be a closed book to this artist, but it seems that he or she has more than a passing familiarity with clown lips.

If you click through the picture to the left, you will enjoy a large version of the image where can be made out the price sticker. Thirty dollars. That's all the store was asking. Surely this lonely, misshapen creature with Groucho eyebrows can find a welcome home on your hard drive for less than that? Please bid generously on today's offering before right-click saving the file. Won't you give this misbegotten a wall to hang on, in your computer? We begin the bidding at a crumpled up post-it note.


Antiques Creepshow - Velvet Clown

Today, we an appreciation of this majestic clown painting, deftly executed on the finest black velveteen. The artist's name is difficult to make out, but the P.A.G. Bureau of Scribbles and Squinting At Them (BSSAT) has determined that the creator of this piece was one of the following...

-Me Trombon, the incisive Clown Horrorist from East germany. He was active in the late seventies, until his much-celebrated suicide in 1982.

-Mr. Trinschion, one of the "lunch hour" school of Clownists from France, all of whose paintings were created, from start to finish, in one lunch hour.

-Ms. Toloon, the great velvet clown originator. The majority of her work was focused on clowns, but as her skills matured, she broadened her scope into the areas of punchinellos, harlequins, fools, and cannibals. Her love of the oil-on-velvet medium was credited to "the way the fibers clump together under the paint, as if they're afraid of her subject matter". This last was from an interview with Toloon in the May 1955 issue of ArtCrime magazine.

Phil Are GO! has been fortunate in the opportunity to photograph this piece, found at an antique gallery in Arlington Heights, IL. The photograph has been lovingly color corrected to no particular standard, then gently compressed to a Jpeg file of the luxurious 445Kb size.

Your family will treasure this file for generations. They'll build wonderful memories around the Jpeg of the photograph of the painting, wondering at the clown's toilet seat-shaped muzzle, his drunken half-lidded eyes, his strange black teeth, and his general malformed asymmetry. They'll bathe in the reflected glow of the painting's four vivid colors. But most of all, you'll enjoy the conversations that spring up around speculation of the three features on his bottom lip. What are these? Are they tiny fingers, perhaps of a baby, trying to escape the mouth of the clown? Are they cocktail wieners? We will never know, because art defies definition. This painting is without question, a possible piece of art.

Won't you bid on this heirloom Jpeg? Phil Are Go! has entertained bids of up to several paperclips and half a bag of Skittles, but surely a file of this importance deserves better. Please place your bid before right-click-saving the picture.

P.A.G. galleries thanks all readers for their continued patronage or something.


Baby Lecture

Joke #1 - "Okay everyone, no need to crowd. Professor Snuggy Wuggums will talk to each one of you about your thesis paper in turn."

Joke #2 - Gina was skeptical at first, but she'd been impressed. Despite his lack of experience, she liked his stance on women's rights and his nap-time platform. Senator Baby was winning her over.

Joke #3 - "We found this growth in the abdominal cavity of one of our female patients, believed to have had some kind of contact with a male person's "icky wicky parts" some months earlier. It had parasitically attached itself to the woman's bloodstream, which it used for nutrition as well as defecation. Shield your vaginas, everyone. We don't yet understand all of it's powers."

Joke #4 - Our final exhibit is called "baby". It was donated to the museum as part of an estate donation by an anonymous benefactor of loose morals. Would anyone like to burp the piece?

Joke #5 - Our newest patient has myriad disorders. He has poor motor skills, lacks any emotional control, is prone to outbursts of rage, and seems totally unable to feed himself. We've been unable to contact his wife regarding his medical history, so we're assuming he's just a selfish idiot. He's decided to run for Governor of Illinois in the fall, and hopes he can count on your multiple votes.

Joke #6 - "And here we see our newest model, Baby 2.0. I think you'll find it's list of features so appealing and easy to live with that your current baby seems annoying and unacceptable by comparison. I can't say I blame you. baby 2.0 is a real winner!"

[Commenter jokes will be added to the post.]

Sue joked thusly: "...and THAT, my friends, is why this product is on the Top Shelf. I know, Doesn't seem like it's worth the price. Elizabeth, if you could stop stepping on the Bottom Shelf product..."

Craig joked like so: "That comes out of where?"

 ...and thus:

"Well done, everyone. Here at the Tobacco Institute, we've found that babies respond well to smoke blown in the their face, especially in combination with irritated scowling."

 ...and additionally...

"Here at Mainway Novelties and Child Care Items, we've determined that child-safe cribs should have rails no more than four inches above the mattress surface. I mean, who is this kid, Sir Edmund Hillary? You see what I mean? He'll never get over that!"

Well-commented, jokers! I mean well-joked, commenters!



GE Scandanavian Console - Rocking out.

Here's an ad for a G.E. console stereo. It looks pretty cool, and it makes me slightly sad that stereos don't look this slick any more. If I found one of these today, it'd be nice to hollow it out and fill it with all-modern components (assuming the old old gear didn't work or sounded terrible).

We can , however, marvel at the interesting marketing of the thing. "If your living room has that blond, blue-eyed look...". This is their clever way of describing Scandinavian design, which, in case you didn't kow, is characterized by clean, simple lines and hardwood construction.

Using something as obvious as racial differences to describe a country would be forbidden now. The company would be terrified of being sued for discrimination somehow. To recognize genetic differences in people, no matter how obvious, is racist. We in the enlightened future know this.Nobody in their right mind would make the observation that Scandinavians are generally fairer-haired or predominantly blue-eyed without first reciting the preamble "Now, I'm not saying there's anything right or wrong with it, and I don't mean to disenfranchise those in the world that are not of the genetic strain I am about to describe, but...". That would make some clumsy ad copy.
Weird racial stuff aside, questions abound.

What's with the stone? Adam Carolla plays a game on his podcast called "rich man, poor man", where people try to think of lifestyle features that are common only among the very rich or very poor. For example, eating very small meals, served raw. I think having stone walls in your house would be a good one. Was this house built in a cave? The walls aren't just stone, like quarry stone. They're rocks. You could scale the wall to change a light bulb if you had to. You could even do it without putting on special shoes. It looks pretty great, but the risk of having centipedes waltzing out of the crevices and running off with tortilla chips during a dinner party would be a serious turnoff. I mean, I can spare a chip or two, but centipedes are just gross is all.*

Why is everyone sitting outside while the stereo cranks away on the other side of a glass wall? Is it to demonstrate the rich, big sound that the console produces? Maybe it's so loud that, even at the lowest setting, you have to sit outside your cave to enjoy it at all? Know what, though? If it was really loud, it'd just break the glass with the huge big sounds of Abba. Wups! This is 1966. I meant "the huge big sounds of Ikea Flatpack and The Abbas".**

*Now, I'm not saying there's anything right or wrong with it, and I don't mean to disenfranchise those in the world that have more than ten legs, but centipedes really are disgusting and I hate them as often as possible. If you are a centipede, I'm sorry but I hate you and want to kill you, not that there's anything wrong with you.

**The P.A.G. Research and Google Department could find no evidence of pop music in Norway or Sweden before 1972, so I just make up a name that sounded kind of Norse and sixtiesish.


Wall of Meters - Troy and Vance.

Joke#1 -"Troy, I've been thinking. I know it's not what we agreed upon when we moved in together, but I must follow my heart. I think this wall over here should remain free of meters. I'd like to put up some gauges instead."

Joke #2 - "God-DAMMIT, Troy, would you stop relaxing at me!?"

Joke #3 - "Gosh, science is boring. Tell you what, Troy. I'll go through this door and wait on the other side of the wall, and you put whateeeeeeever you want through one of these holes  and I'll try and guess what it is with my eyes closed, okay?."

Joke #4 - "Well, maintenance was here this weekend, and our request came through. To break up the tension of monitoring the Neutrino Detection Array, they've installed these Erotic Insertion Apertures in this previously unused wall here. I guess we didn't need so many, but things can get pretty crazy down here in Neutrino Detection, right?"

Joke #5 - A peek inside Milton Bradley's skunkworks during the development phase of the challenging new play-anywhere game, "Tic tac toe toe toe toe toe toe toe toe toe toe toe toe toe toe toe toe toe toe".

Joke #6 - "Come over here... Tiger. Err, I mean, uuh, Panthera Tigris."

Joke #7 - "Sooo, Troy. How was your weekly recreational period? Carefully measured, I hope."

Joke #8 - "Vance, I hope that odd projection halfway down your thigh is what I think it is."

Joke #9 - "The tension was unbearable. Nano-scale practical jokes could be subtle but humiliating. Neither researcher wanted to be the first to try out the new chair."

Joke #10 - "Well, Vance, how does it feel to be part of the first team to mathematically quantify the personality disorders of Mel Gibson?"

Joke #11 - Thank god you're here, Troy. I didn't know who else to call. About five hours ago, there I was, just sitting there, like usual, and one of the meters over there MOVED a little bit! I mean, it could have been just a slight voltage dip or something, but I think we should launch the missiles."

Joke #12 - Ah, Troy. You're here. I knew exactly when you'd arrive. Believe it or not, I've been monitoring your progress."

Joke #13 - "Mmmmmm. Meter number 104 indicates that you look goooood today, Vance."

Joke #14 - "You know Vance, life isn't all clip boards and gauges. Why don't you pull up a slice of table? Let's wrap."


New Ideas from the Inventors - Devices of Questionable Practicality.

This morning as I walked through the lobby at GO! towers, I was greeted by an excited staffer from the Art and Avoiding Creating New Art department. She informed me that we now have a header for "inventions" posts. Pretty slick, huh? It refers to "the inventors" like they're geniuses who sit all day in some kind of invention chamber, building crucial stuff, and not pipefitters and bank tellers trying to convince the world it needs their ridiculous doodad that they knocked together in their garage. Let's perpetuate that misconception (the one about the chamber full of geniuses) by stealing this graphic as our invention header.

End the drudgery of glove-wearing forever with this brief-case mitt! You can keep your hand warm while carry your brief-case. See? Now all we need is some kind of inventor to invent us a steering-wheel mitt, a pencil mitt and a coffee-mug mitt. Imagine all the lost hours you can reclaim, previously spent enduring the torture of putting your gloves on... not to mention the anguish of pulling them off again later! The brief-case mitt needs some kind of  water-tight cuff at the top, or perhaps a system of gutters or drainage apparatus, to prevent the mitt from filling-up with rain-water. Almost perfect, The Inventors!

Being assigned to a post on Earth can be a real chore. Earth's tiny yellow sun barely dribbles out any ultraviolet radiation at all, especially in the delicious, carapace-nourishing 320 nanometer spectrum. How to these pathetic humans get by on so little 320nm exposure? We'll never know! However, you can care for your various personal surfaces by imitating their wasteful "sleep period" under this wonderful heat lamp array. Easily disguised as an ordinary interrogation apparatus, you'll spend hours soaking up sweet, sweet UV rays while you telepathically transmit your findings back to the mother ship. Insignificant humans, prepare to be assimilated by a tan, healthy superior life form!

Does your teen spend hours on the gigantic phone, while enormous dishes go un-washed and huge lawnmower goes un-pushed? Well, this phone meter lets you carefully tabulate the message units consumed, so you can become only as angry as needed. Device fits unobtrusively on any unoccupied ping-pong table and dialing holes fit a standard knee or forehead. Noise created by mechanism may necessitate the purchase of an extra long cord to reach minimum audible radius (M.A.R.) for the handset.

Bring the fun back to construction with this handy nail rifle! "Shooting up the place" has never meant building a room addition until now. Simply load the rifle with the appropriate cartridge, based on nail size, type and thickness of material and blam your wall into existence. Rifle is easily differentiated from a real rifle by small inscription "not a real rifle" just inside the mouth of the barrel. Can also be used to turn off televisions or neighbor's pets. Normal use may attract unwanted attention from local authorities.


Oldsmobile 88 - Brushed for speed.

Hey! Look everyone! Another car ad! This one shows the happy motorists zipping through a smeary wonderland of speed. Was the car fast? It was probably competitive for the time, with around 300 horsepower. But the handling was also probably competitive for the time, meaning that should your motor journey require you to turn, you'd scratch the door handles on the pavement.

Americans have seemingly always preferred a smooth ride to good handling. Even European cars, when "tuned" for the American market, are almost always lifted a bit onto taller, squishier suspensions that make the car wallow like a pig around corners. Apparently all drivers in the U.S. are eighty years old.

Nice painting. The background reminds me of my old job. I used to be a background painter at an animation studio (Just for clarity: If the character drawings are the actors, the backgrounds are the scenery).

When a character was running along and the camera needed to travel with the character, the background had to move behind  the character, who remained in the center of the frame. Think of Fred Flintstone running through his endless living room, where the same couch keeps going by. This type of background is called a "pan", because the BG is wider than a sheet of animation paper, allowing it to be "panned" across the camera stand behind the character. A pan BG could be anywhere from two to six or so times the width of a normal drawing. The trick was that the left and right ends of the BG had to be identical, so that when the camera operator got to the end of the BG, he could start again at the opposite end, looping the pan as many time as was needed.

The end result was the Fred Flintstone effect, where the background slid by endlessly, even showing you the same doorway or couch over and over again. If you think about it, Fred must have been running in circles.

To avoid painting super-long backgrounds, which can be expensive, another approach is to just paint a "zip pan". A zip pan only needs to be maybe two or three times normal width, and is painted with smeary horizontal streaks, like we see in this ad. Again, it's a good idea to make both ends similar, but not necessarily identical. A zip pan is faster to paint, and as a result, cheaper. In order for the smeary look to work, a zip pan needs to go by really fast. Also, it's harder to recognize a specific brush stroke going by repeatedly, so you can avoid the Flintstone effect.

You see a LOT of zip pans in Anime. The japanese love zip pans. Sometimes, they're so cheaply done they're just two alternating frames of smeariness flickering away behind the character. Dragonball Z had more zip pans than trees in their backgrounds.

The characters' eyes look like they're made out of coal.

I reckon she knows where he keeps his carrot nose.


Harley Davidson M-50 - The fake Mac of motorcycles.

Yesterday we looked at the Honda 90, the VW Bug of motorcycles. Today we have an ad for a thing that looks like a competitive product, but is actually kind of a lie.

Hey tough guy! Think your beloved Harley has always been the penis-extending conveyance of smelly dirtbags? Nuh-uh! The Harley M-50. Blam! There goes your world view. So sorry!

Once Japanese bikes started selling so well among normal people, Harley Davidson decided to get in on the "friendly motorbike" act. And because Harley is all about flag waving and patriotism and stuff, it seemed only natural that they simply contract the construction of their new model to the Italian firm Aermecchi, right?

The M-50 was not a bad bike, although I wish that it was. It was neither a failure or a huge victory for HD, who just didn't know how to market a bike to regular people. Honda's 90 wasn't a threat to Harley's market or anything, but HD just couldn't ignore the popularity of the little Japanese bikes.

The blog 50ccs tells the story pretty well...Link to 50ccs

So, Harley's M-50 wasn't especially terrible or exciting, but it was kind of dishonest. HD's image is that of integrity and All-American hairy-chested honesty, but the M-50 was just a me-too product aimed at grabbing some of the market share enjoyed by Honda.

When times are good, companies will go on all day about integrity and loyalty to the customer, but when they do something skeevy and dishonest, they retreat to the old argument of "gotta remain competitive". This is code for simple greed, and what's more American than that?

Apart from Ken and Barbie there, this ad features a really cool looking apartment building in the background. I've always like the idea of putting a building up on pillars and parking cars underneath it. It makes efficient use of space and keeps snow, sun,  and frogs (in the event of an apocalypse) off the cars.


Honda 90 - The Mac of Motorcycles.

We now present a special presentation of the P.A.G. Following Up A Story With a Related Story department at GO! Tower. Part one today and part two tomorrow. Plus, it's about motorcycles. So, beardy leather guys rejoice!

Maybe a minute ago you were sitting there thinking to yourself "I'm pretty sure Honda's history of  accessible, reliable transportation is a new thing, and that Honda used to make much different vehicles." Well, GUESS AGAIN sucker! Prepare to have your mind exploded!

The Honda 90! Pkshheeewww! There goes your mind! This ad for the Honda 90 dates from 1964. Information on the web mostly covers the more trail-oriented CT90 and sportier S90, but the basic 90 - sometimes just called "The Cub" was produced in one form or another from 1964 to the late 1970's. This ad is the one that started it all.

In the 1950s, motorcycles had a public image problem, what with the Hell's Angels and various biker gangs. Honda wanted to make an affordable, reliable motorcycle that looked like the polar opposite of, say, a Harley Davidson.

Mission accomplished! The 90 was a friendly, non-threatening two-wheeled VW bug of a thing that was mechanically simple, and bordered on indestructibility.

They sold millions of them, establishing a presence in new countries like America, opening the door for Honda's automobiles that seem to enjoy a fairly healthy reputation for durability  to this day. You can almost say that the Cub had the unenviable task of overcoming the rather "tarnished" image of the Japanese after WWII in the mind of middle America. It's pretty impressive that it began to turn around as early as '64.

I could spew more facts, but this YouTube video does a fantastic job of spewing for me. Most of the facts and interesting info are at the start of the video. The second half mostly consists of a guy trying to wreck a 90 in various un-scientific ways. Please enjoy the German subtitles. Audio is British English, so some of you may have to squint with your ears if you didn't grow up on Monty Python.

I found a person trying to sell a similarly-dated ad for the Honda 90 for $25. What a jerk. I bought the whole magazine for two bucks. You can print out this jpeg at pretty good resolution as many times as you want for free. You're welcome.

Tomorrow: Part Two!

UPDATE: The title of this post is inaccurate. The Honda 90 is not "The Mac of Motorcycles." Macintosh computers are not affordable or especially reliable. Sorry for the lapse in judgment.


Jet Smooth Chevrolet - Blow it up.

I'm not a flag-waving "git-r-done" mouth-breathing type of gearhead.  I like whatever is interesting or beautifaul or innovative. I don't buy "Amurr-can" cars exclusively. I think the best kind of patriotism is to buy the product that best meets your needs. To exclusively buy domestic products, no matter how crappy, gives American companies no incentive to improve the product and be more competitive. Ugly, bad, or insanely overpriced products should suffer, no matter who made them.  Crazy, huh?

That being said, this ad was so pretty I demanded that the Scanning and Being Careful Not To Tear Things Office (SBCNTTTO) scan this two-page spread at extra high resolution. Pity about the visible binding, but there you are. Click through the picture for a giant saveable version you and your heirs will treasure for minutes.

In the sixties, it was smart to associate your product with air travel. The Jet Age, as people were fond of calling it, was sexy, sophisticated, and super cool. Jet travel was still kind of an expensive luxury, making it less of the utilitarian forced march it has become, and more of a celebration of technology and prosperity. Airlines in the sixties were trying to out-swank each other. Stewardesses dressed slightly inappropriately, and the experience, from departure to destination was more a cocktail party than the soul-crushing ordeal that we enjoy today.

This un-credited painting is typically fantastic of the era. I think it's gauche, but it could be acrylic or something. A really great artist can hide their tracks and make you wonder what media was used. The longness and straightness of the car's lines are accentuated by A) placing the vehicle right in front of the terminal, lending the car some of it's clean lines and B) making the ad a two-page spread. The car's panels seem to stretch endlessly across the magazine. On the paper, the car is around 14 inches long. As a side note, I really like the spacey light pole just past the car's rear bumper.

As always, nice chrome rendering abounds. You get no jobs painting car ads if you can't do reflective surfaces. You can look in the reflections to see what they're reflecting, but don't waste your time. They're just shapes, giving the impression of reflections without actually being anything at all. No trees, giraffes, or former presidents to be seen in the hubcaps.

With this painting style, things tend to get interesting away from the focal point. The car is the star of the show, and it's painted photo-realistically. But, if you look in the background the rendering gets loose and weird, or as I call it, "loose and interesting". Look at the people, or the wall art in the terminal. They're little more than splotchy brush strokes. If I have to explain why this is great, then I guess we just can't be together. Sorry.

It's interesting to see a car ad like this, opening a window into the impossibly perfect world of Chevy's marketing department, NOT using a happy blue sky with puffy cotton ball clouds. It's positively overcast, isn't it? Know what though? This let the artist put more horizontal lines in the sky, further stretching out the width of the piece, making the car look even longer and sleek. Clever, that.

Maybe someday I'll spend a weekend photoshopping out the binding and have this printed as a frameable poster.


Arrow Shirts - Look better ignoring your wife.

Why did Arrow choose to use this picture to sell shirts? You can barely see the shirt - just the collar, really. And then there's the woman in the background trying to get some attention. It's weird.

The guy's 100% 1962, though. He kind of looks like George Lazenby, who wouldn't play James Bond until 1969 in On her Majesty's Secret Service, the "orphan" Bond movie. Lazenby only did one of the films and lots of people don't like it. I like the Swiss setting and the weirdness of the allergic institute, with Blofeld as the director.

Anyway, I'd love to get a suit cut like the ones in the sixties. Small lapels, narrow cuffs. I guess I'd have to have one made custom, which would run into big money, which means I don't want it badly enough to do it. Pity. Sean Connery always looked good in suits like that.

Anyway again, why put the sad yellow lady in the picture? She seems to be trying to get the model to look at her. But nope, George is too busy thinking about how good he looks. I wonder what they might be saying? Doodley doodley doodley doodley.....

"Honey, I found some lovely ruins over here! Come and look at them with me!"

"Not just now, dear, I'm in reverie. Thank god for my Tabber Snap collar."

"No, really! They're totally broken and stuff. I think they're made of stone. Won't you help me wonder about them?"

"Mmmmm. I wonder what I'm doing later on? I can hardly keep my hands off me.  Maybe I'll buy myself dinner and make out with me."

"Darling! This big thingy seems to have fallen over at some point! It must have been all the history around here that knocked it down. Could you take a picture of me next to history?

"I can't believe I only paid five dollars for this shirt. Surely I deserve more, and yet I can't see why I'd pay extra when I get so much value from this 100% cotton Supima."

"Wheee! I'm frolicking on the ruins of a dead culture, honey! The pages of time fall away like leaves and everything! Care to come marvel at the ages or something? Honey???"

"Hmm. Could be insects around here. Good thing my Arrow shirt is Sanforized. I wouldn't dream of coming here unsanfored. I'm going back to the hotel for some afternoon delight. I deserve me."

"Hey! wanna go for a boat ride? There's a little man with a motor launch for hire. A skinny man with two-tone shoes."

"Honey! I'm leaving you for myself. You don't understand me like I do. I'm sorry you had to find out like this. We both know this isn't working, it's nobody's fault, it's not you it's me, you can have the house. Don't look for me at the hotel. I'm getting a room with me in another part of the village. Goodbye!"

Prince Albert - Turns women on.

Well, the PAG Double Entendre and Innuendo Department (DEID) are popping champagne corks over this one. Today we have for you a dirty little gem of eyebrow-waggling magnitude. Prince Albert tobacco.
Prince Albert used to be a prince. The husband of Queen Victoria, to be exact. Then he was a tobacco, generally sold in tin cans, as seen in the ad. Then he was a phone prank, usually used on store clerks: *Ring!* "Hello?" "Hello, sir. Do you have Prince Albert in a can?" "Why, yes, I believe we do." "Well, you'd better let him out then!" *click*.

BAW haw haw haw! Yep. That was terribly clever for a fourteen year old kid in the forties.

Then, beginning in the nineties or something, Prince Albert became a certain kind of thing that some men do to their wieners with a piece of stainless steel. If you're old enough to want to know, you're old enough to do a Google search and find out for yourself. You'll find pictures that make you grit your teeth and sharply suck in your breath.

If you imagine a... uuh... let's see. Well, first imagine a snake. Then imagine him eating a curved steel bar. Imagine the curved bar poking him in the bottom of the mouth, and coming out under his chin, at the top of his throat. The snake now has one end of the bar hanging out of his mouth and one end sticking out through his throat. Now, put a little steel ball on either end of the steel bar like a dumbell and you've got it. The snake is a man's wee-wee. Hooray! Sexiness! Look it up on Wikipedia for fun little quirks like how tricky it can be to go to the bathroom with this thing in place. Beware. There are pictures.

The woman in the picture has this knowing smile, like she's thinking about something other than tobacco. Wikipedia claims that some women enjoy a guy with a prince albert piercing. Looks like the woman in the beret is into it, big time. Well done, the PAG Double Entendre and Innuendo Department. Now calm down and get back to work.


Little Ads - From science, to your door.

More from the back pages of Popular Science, 1948, where advertisers have very little to spend on advertising. Fortunately for them, the readers have little to spend on critical thinking. Onward!

Also keeps dust out of your nose when building your house out of bricks, sticks, or straw.

Hm! It's interesting to see that Mr. Microphone was available decades earlier than our History and Garage Sale Squad (HGSS) previously thought. Mankind hadn't yet though of using it for skeevy purposes in 1948, though. Re: "Hey good lookin', we'll be back to pick you up later."

"Fun", huh? Well, in '48, anything that didn't involve bombs or eating sawdust bread probably seemed like a real hoot. Free pass for the Vitabrush.

"You too, can become a creepy prick, or 'person of interest'." Capitalizing on the well-established principal that women become moist as spring when randomly harassed, the Yoder Mufg Co. developed the Hollywood Wolf Whistle. I dream of proud Wolf Whistle owners in the aftermath of car accidents, leaning unconscious on the horn, blood pouring, and the car whistling lasciviously at the cement truck half parked on the hood. This warm feeling gives me the will to live another day.


Columbia Records - Jonathan & Darlene Edwards

Any time the P.A.G. Research and Looking At Things department comes across an ad for a record club (a ridiculous business model that deserved to die many deaths), they drop it in my inbox. It's always interesting to see what what "sweeping the nation" a hundred squillion years ago. My record collection being what it is, there's an even chance I own one or more of the featured albums. There was lots of good stuff happening in the sixties, musically speaking. Sergio Mendez and Esquivel spring to mind.

So what's in Columbia's newest SOUNDS ad?

Aaron Coplan'ds ballet "Rodeo" has been used to sell steaks for a long time. It sounds like a herd of cowboys playing violins on buffaloback while overcompensating for their unfulfilled dreams of gayhood. This quintessential American cowboy anthem was fantastically molested by Emerson, Lake and Palmer on their 1972 album Trilogy. ELP played the song double time, with a heaping helping of over-drumming, over-bassing, and phalange-shattering organ solos. It's a partially satirical tribute to the American tradition of overdoing everything with the sensitivity of a child-piloted bulldozer, and makes a great soundtrack to violent video games.

Hmm. Couple show tunes... Johnny Mathis... No surprise there... A little Ellington... More cowboy shit...
Hey! Wow! Jonathan and Darlene Edwards! Freinds, novelty music is wildly underrated. Quite often, it's a dated spoof of pop culture, that just becomes a baffling footnote in your media collection. You'll wonder why you bought Scary Movie in a few years. "A guy came out dressed like Spider-Man. Why is that funny?" "Because that was a popular movie at the time!" Cue crickets.

Jonathan and Darlene Edwards will always work. Some people have no tolerance for failed art. It just gives them goosebumps. The enlightened mind, however, has boundless appreciation for an artist putting him/herself out there and failing spectacularly. Even though the Edwardses (real names: were Jo Stafford and Paul Weston) were perfectly functional pro musicians (he pianoed while she sang), they are remembered now for acting clueless. The tragedy of artistic failure is deeply funny to me - even when faked - and it takes an artist of great courage to pretend they are completely inept. Apart from music like this, such failure can be found in Mystery Science Theater and various portfolio submissions from job applicants, but for differing reasons.

The Wikipedia article sums up the veiled genius of Jon and Darlene pretty well:

"Throughout the 1950s, Stafford and Paul Weston would entertain guests at parties by putting on a skit in which they assumed the identities Jonathan and Darlene Edwards, a bad lounge act. Stafford, as Darlene, would sing off-key in a high pitched voice; Weston, as Jonathan, played an untuned piano off key and with bizarre rhythms."

"As a publicity stunt, Stafford and Weston claimed that the Edwardses were a New Jersey lounge act that they had discovered, and denied any personal connection. The ruse triggered a national sensation as the public tried to identify the brazenly off-key singer and the piano player of dubious ability."

Their album "Jonathan and Darlene Edwards in Paris" won a Grammy in 1960, tying with Bob Newhart., who was a huge thing at the time. His brand of understated cleverness falls on deaf ears today, so The Kids won't recognize the name. As I get older and older, I like Bob more all the time.

I heard about the Edwardses from a friend of mine who had bought the album at a garage sale and converted the audio into MP3s. Some music is perfected with the crackle of vinyl, and the Edwardses are such an example. At the time, I was trying to eat a Subway turkey on wheat, which is a mistake when sonically embracing the funniest thing ever heard. I will always remember my first Edwardses experience while laughing a green pepper through my sinus cavities. Ah, Paris in the spring.

Yes, you can buy these songs on CD from Amazon. Yes, you should do it immediately. If you don't, you are a terrible person, and possibly a congressman.

Songs on YouTube. Some are from other J&D albums. Buy as many as possible until all money is gone. You won't regret it.

Paris in the Spring

The Last Time I saw Paris

Cocktails for Two

I am Woman

Stayin' Alive


Pazo Hemorrhoid Cream - Butt hunting.

"Yaaawwwn. Well, another Monday morning as an editor at a small-ish advertising firm in 1960. I sure had a nice time at that cocktail party on Satrurday, talking to that nice couple from across the street about how words placed next to pictures create an association in the mind of the observer. Fascinating stuff. Ah well, what's first for today?"
"Oh yeah, I left this hemorrhoid project half finished on Friday. Sigh. No picture. What to do? These guys from Pazo don't have much to spend on art. Preparation H has been eating their lunch. Pazo is hoping to get a foothold in the midwest with this campaign, but jeez, you gotta spend money to make money."

"Hmm. What've we got lying around? Umm. This stack of airplane pictures from that democratic rally at the airport last month. No connection there. Oh hey! We just got that book of old woodcuts of sportsmen! Where did I leave that? *Click* Jane? Do you remember where we put that book of old woodcuts? The one Troy picked up in Philly? You know, from that stock images company? Yeah, thanks, doll. I need a quick finish on the Pazo piece for no money. That's the one. You're a treat, Jane. *Click*."

"Let's see. Race drivers.... nah. Jockeys... nope. Cyclists... no. Come on. I just need something that says "My ass neither hurts nor itches." Pilots... nope. Bobsled guys... naw. Oh hey! A hunter! He's perfect! Look at him, all tweedy and proud, with his knees bent in an alert crouch like he could happily sit down at any moment.  He looks he could wipe all day without discomfort! Fudd, you're going in!"

*Click* "Jane? Can you contact the guys who made this book and see if we can work out a deal to use a picture in exchange for six hundred tubes of Pazo hemorrhoid cream? We gotta get rid of these stupid samples, and the budget on this job is dry as a bone. Lemme know how it goes babe. If we can't use this hunter, I'll be having my damn kid draw something for this ad. *Click*. Stupid cheapskates. What time is it? Hey ten-thirty! Time for drinks!"

*Click* Jane? I'm beat. I'm taking an early lunch. Look, if the stock art guys bite on this hunter picture. Ship out this box of butt cream to them  pronto and have an intern do the paste-up for the ad. Have someone come up with some copy that helps explain the picture. Something about enjoying sports. Get the intern to do it. I'm sick of thinking about it. Thanks, babe.

"Aaah. Some days I really feel like I earn my eighteen grand a year in 1960 dollars. I love being an ad guy."



Dormeyer Coffe Pot - Bean's chosen demise.

Advertising tends to stop working on you the more you think. Worse than thinking is asking questions. Questions are the kryptonite of the ad man. Do not ask questions. Just consume. This 1960 ad for Dormeyer small appliances is a harmless but classic example of the baffling proposals that ad men would like us to accept.
The mascot is a coffee bean, drinking a cup of coffee while explaining to us his dream of being roasted, crushed, boiled, drained, and drunk by humans. If the observer can accept the idea of an anthropomorphic bean, he or she should feel a certain sense of horror that this bean has such masochistic fantasies, not to mention cannibalistic habits. A creature this weird deserves a painful death in a lovely Silver-Smith aluminum chamber of doom.

Silver-Smith aluminum? Wait, what? I hope they're only using the word "silver" to describe the color of the metal. Otherwise, we have no choice but to conclude that Dormeyer's advertising company has nothing but contempt for the meaning of words.

Anyway, back to the dream of Bean Guy. In a past life, I worked at a place that animated some commercials. One of the spots we worked on was for Starkist Tuna. You know - the ones with Charlie the Tuna in them? Even as I drew stacks of drawings of Charlie, I couldn't help but be confused as to why his dream was to be killed, ground into pulp and eaten by humans. If he were to explain this to me, my reaction to Charlie would start with pity, but would turn to revulsion and, ultimately, the desire to help him achieve his goal, just to make him go away and stop creeping me out. It's easy to hate Charlie the Tuna. Ostensibly, it was a badge of honor to be selected by Starkist for such a fate. I refuse to believe that the fishes in the cans are enthusiastic about being there.

The design of the bean man is kind of horrible Too. the cleft in a coffee bean looks a lot like a butt... or something even more vulgar. Let the images come to you in time. You'll regret it. It looks like the guy started as a fabricated puppet of some kind. Look at his hand. It's a little fabric glove with wires inside to hold the pose. Strange. The red spot color makes it hard to tell what's what, but it looks like the hat, cup, face, and sash are all comped in later by an artist. That's an awful lot of work to breathe life into a misguided abomination like this Bean Guy.

Why not make the mascot a coffee pot, or a long-haul trucker, or a medical student studying for finals? These make more sense than a bean getting a pick-me-up by drinking himself. I think I know why. It's the ad man's fundamental contempt for all living things, real or imagined.


Marfak - Non-removable goop!

My dad had the knowin' and the doin' of a lot of things, and maybe ten percent of that knowledge was passed on to me. Some was simply beyond my grasp and would require some time at a trade school to really pick up. His garage was full of solvents and goops of various smells and usefulnesses. I've never heard of Marfak the lubricant. He was the villain in Krull (not really).

Texaco is pretty proud of Marfak's stickiness and lubricity. The station manager is pretty proud of his hose. Engage jokes, number one!

Joke #1 - "Yeah, the new guy got pretty excited earlier. Gil's a good kid. Lots of energy. Just a little jumpy. Let me finish cleaning this off and I'll be right with you."

Joke #2 - "I dunno. I saw these guys on Discovery channel last night who were cutting metal with a water jet. I've been at it all morning and all I've got is this rusty spot."

Joke #3 - "And this is what'll happen to you if you run off without paying for gas, sir. Scared straight, huh? I'll spray you so wet your kids will be born damp. Well, more so than they're supposed to be. You know what I mean. Just pay for the gas, okay? Send that lady over here on your way back to your car. She looks like a gas stealer too."

Joke #4 - "I'll be with you in a second, sir. I've got some Marfak on my board, here. This hose just isn't doing it. Guess I'll have to drive my board a thousand miles if I want it clean. Gosh darn Marfak. It's gonna be a long day."


Mars Bar - Made with rich creamery brains.

Back in Yore (1950), there was no Photoshop. This places 1950 at a disadvantage. They didn't have wonderful things like Photoshop Disasters to laugh at. Yes, the proliferation of illegal copies of Adobe's image-mangling software has placed the tools of personal humiliation in the hands of every multicellular life form in the first and second worlds, but it still takes skill and a good eye to judge what to do, how to do it, how much to do, and when to frikkin stop trying, for chrissakes. Don't get me started.

It was still the case even before the dawn of digital fakery. All they had was the airbrush. This ad for Mars bars has some nice retouching. The candy bar has been "plussed up" as they say. The spoons of various sugary goops look tempting and savory. Good job faking in the giant candy bar in the woman's arms. She was shot holding nothing, and the product picture was spliced in with an X-Acto and rubber cement.  Know what, though? The lady holding the candy bar looks like a Stepford wife.

The art director probably asked the artist to touch up her face. That's some pretty fine work for the time. I don't know how large a print they had to work on, but they should have stayed away from the eyes. You'd need a print the size of a soccer field to have the control and detail you'd need to do it right. But, clearly all the photo print shops with FIFA-sized development baths were booked that weekend, and the artist was handed a print maybe 18x24 inches. "Do up her eyes." the art director ordered. "Make em blue. Everybody needs blue eyes." Prick. It was the fifties after all. White people didn't want to be reminded that there were non-honkies in their country unless they were mowing their lawn.

So, what you're left with is this dead-eyed zombie woman staring at nothing. Or actually, she's staring at TWO nothings, since she's slightly walleyed. What may have helped her is a little mascara. They dropped in two blue dots and her eyes became flat and dead, like a doll's eyes. Here's my five-minute attempt to fix it a little. I just put her eyelashes back in and added some depth to the blue dots. Now she's less scary. Now I can sleep tonight. I didn't like the idea that a zombie woman was selling me candy made from sweet, delicious brains.


Rocket Station 1949 - Cavescience.

The Phil Are Go! archaeology squad recently unearthed this image of a proposed "rocket launching station" from deep within a magazine. Judging by the number of strata to be removed (83), researchers were able to determine the page of the image. It was on page 84. Working in semi-sterile conditions, layers of boring and unfunny geekdom were removed from the area above page 84, and the image was painstakingly scanned using the P.A.G. Hundred Dollar Scanner (HDS). The image had to be absolutely straight or history would be mad. So, they used a ruler. The button was archaeologically pressed with tweezers. History came alive.

Most telling is the size of the image. It appears in the magazine at about the same scale as a Bazooka Joe comic. This implies that the artist was ashamed of his blasphemy, perhaps fearing reprisal from the religious leaders of the time. Perhaps the artist intended for his drawing to be sold in bubble gum packets, where his notions of space exploration would be safely dismissed as childish fantasy, or collected and mailed away in great numbers in exchange for a novelty palm buzzer.

This image proves beyond a doubt that humans in the 1949th century knew about space, as well as drawing things. Previously, our understanding of 1949 imaging techniques involved spitting paint over an outstretched hand, as in the caves of Altamira. But, it cannot be denied that primitive 1949 humans had a basic understanding of different shapes. The rocket is all coney and the building is kind of squarey. Notice that the artist pointed the rocket up into the air, indicating that he or she knew where space was. This is impressive, considering the fact that automobile designers of the general era were still obsessed with putting boobs on cars.

The artist's understanding of the principles of space travel continued to impress the staff. The bottom of the rocket is carefully housed in a trapezoidal building. Presumably, this is intended to retain the precious heat from the mighty blast of the booster engines, indicating that this very first rocket station was probably intended to be built somewhere cold, like moon, or at the bottom of the ocean.

In keeping with our understanding of primitive man's fear of fire, the designer included a kind of chimney thing, seen to the left of the rocket building, to make the fire go away into the air, where it would punish their gods for making gravity so frustratingly strong. It is not clear what the artist intended to be used as fuel for the big space rocket. Probably human feces, or communists. The artist also had the foresight to poke some holes in the building, so that people inside could see outside without opening the door, risking a serious cold or drowning (see above). Also, there's a pretty neat choo choo train.