Brownville Fire Dept. - Crisis, hometown-style.

Joke #1 - "Fire ya say? Hrrm. Nope we don't get much call for fire round here. Near as I can recall, the last fire we had was...What was it? Ruth? When was that fire down by the stable? Musta been '49. Now that fire was a real - ! Oh! You say you HAVE a fire?"

Joke #2 - "A fire? Now settle down and don't lets be hasty. Tell us about this old 'fire' of yours and Ruth'll put the kettle on..."

Joke #3 - While fetching help with the fire, Carl made one fatal error. He put his leg up on the bumper of the truck, clearly signaling that it was time to "set a spell and trade stories". Meanwhile, lives were lost.

Joke #4 - "A fire you say? Brrrrr, that sounds chilly! I better go put on a few more sweaters."

Joke #5 - "A fire, young man? Well, we can help you, sure thing. But first, you're gonna have to come upstairs and put out MY fire, if ya know what I mean. You know... my 'fire'? Oh, forget it. Let's just go."

Joke #6 - "A fire? Oh, this sounds like an emergency! Ah, jeez, but this may not work. The fire truck is missing it's passenger side windshield wiper. You better ask some other fire department."

7 and 8 from Craig. Thanks!

Joke #7 - Brownville Cellar-Savers captain Milt Hopnoodle makes his move on local GGILF.

Joke #8 - (Vacationland Plate. State of Maine, as if you couldn't tell from weather-beaten countenance of the Swamp Yankees in the picture.)

Wow! "Swamp yankees". Gotta remember that one. -Mgmt.


Gronk Make Poem! - Hoo-man read poem to hoo-mans.


One royal day hoo-man king was heard to say,
"Me hoo-man king. Squishy and weak,
So me like poem, like sissy say!
"Funny pants sissy, bring he here! Read me poem for royal ear!"
"For ruling pathetic hoo-mans make tired and bored!
 Funny pants sissy read poem to king,
about flowers and birds. At least he not sing.
King not like poem. Falling asleep.
So he snap finger. Poem guy weep.
Royal guards draw ten royal swords.
Make stabby red mess on royal floors.


New, From Science! - Cheesecake, Nutcase, Cheesecake.

New Wells Pool Alarm features electric components inside aluminum float, connected to electric alarm box placed on the edge of the pool. Chance of electrocution can be minimized by leaving device on a shelf in the garage. Also, boobs.

New wind-powered car also powered by ignorance of physics. Fantastic newly invented car generates approximately one third of the electricity required to move the vehicle, via wind power. Moving car turns propeller which generates a little power, which charges the battery sort of, which quickly fails to move the car any more. Pointed downhill, car is very efficient at clearcutting crowds of bystanders. No word yet on inventor's parole hearing.

Plastic film conducts electricity without use of wire elements and can be something something something - I'll be out in a minute! I'm, uuh. I'm... I'm just combing my hair!


Quickie - Lincoln Center/The Met

I have a dentist appointment this morning, so time is short. My teeth, it turns out, have a timed device attached to them. So much for napping at my desk with my mouth open. In keeping with P.A.G.'s idiom, I've instructed the dentist only to use vintage techniques. Bourbon will be the only painkiller, the dental assistant will only be addressed as "toots", and any cavities will be filled with lead, preferably reclaimed lead from melted-down Dungeons and Dragons figures.

Here is a postcard of the Metropolitan Opera House at Lincoln Center. There's no date on it, but by the looks of the celebrities, the photo was taken circa 1970 or something.

I see Valeria Bertinelli, Elliot Gould, Pam Dawber, Dustin Hoffman, Marion Ross, Abe Vigoda or Larry King, Mila Kunis somehow, Grant Goodeve in his John Travolta suit, Dick Cavett, and Velma.


The stink eye.

Joke #1 - "You call THAT double clutching?!?"

Joke #2 - "Clark, you let that Charger humiliate you at that stop light. I knew you were too pretty to be straight."

Joke #3 - "Well, apparently what they say about the size of a man's steering wheel is a load of crap, isn't it, Clark?"

Joke #4 - "I was under the impression that your head unit had Bluetooth! Take me home. Now!"

Joke #5 - "You filled it up with regular? On our anniversary? Well, I'll just open up this last button to show you what you'll NEVER be seeing again, Clark!"

Joke #6 - "I guess I know now how much I mean to you. Why doesn't MY side get a windshield wiper?"

Joke #7 - "Clark, you're embarrassing. My last boyfriend's car had a back seat...and a trunk."

Joke #8 - Last time it was red, and orange the time before that. Tonight Clark was pulled over again, this time by a yellow rectangle. Laura was furious.

Joke #9 - "Let me guess, honey. Something about the droids I'm looking for?"

Joke #10 comes from Craig Craigson. Thanks, Craig! - "A double cheeseburger...onion rings...and a large orange drink...please."

Thank Sue for joke 11! - "NOOOOO!!!! Nothing is wrong! What makes you think something is bugging me?!!!!"

Joke 12!  Craig ain't done yet! Bam! Take that, angry lady! - The beginning of the end of the Joan Crawford/John Garfield romance came when he replaced his broken antenna with a coat hanger.


Chesterfield Card - Poker face.

Out the corner of your eye, this Chesterfield ad kind of looks like the work of Gil Elvgren. But, Elvgren's girls were always painted, but heavily photo-referenced, while this ad is a heavily retouched photo. Still, it's real pretty.

Elvgren, like most pinup artists, began each project with a photo shoot, setting up the model wearing non-specific clothing, but with the proper lighting. If her foot needed to be up on a tree stump or whatever, he'd use a chair. Props were inconsequential. They could be improvised in the painting, but the model had to be in the exact pose with the exact lighting. Anyway, Elvgren would then do a painting of the photograph, changing the wardrobe or props as he painted.

This Chesterfield ad is an airbrushed photo, meaning they made a big photographic print and airbrushed right on top of it. They tried to get that pinup "glow" out of the picture, but the real giveaway is the face and hands. There's a lot of the original photo left. You can see when you click through the picture and look really hard.

Also of note here is the fact that the artist had to paint the girl twice. It's easy to forget that when this ad was made in 1948, Photoshop was still science fiction. So, this was all done with paint brushes, X-Acto knives and contact cement.The artist had to combine two photos of this girl, basically painting her up twice. The Chesterfield logo was used to hide the seam where the two pictures meet in the middle.

I wouldn't want to paint the same head twice, even if it was just a matter of retouching a photograph. Let's see how similar they are.

Here's shot video of both heads, alternating. You can see that they are the same photo, but repainted twice. The brush strikes aren't the same. The hair is a little different, etc etc. Interesting.


Sal Hepatica - The cure for the common colon.

This ad just didn't make sense to me at first glance. They're selling what to cure what? Subsequent glances didn't change things. That's because this doesn't make sense. Apparently there was a product intended to help cure a cold by making you crap more. What? Yep.
Apparently it was called Sal Hepatica. Also, he's the guy who sells papers at a corner on my way to work. Poor guy. That's like if my last name were Magnesia. Anyway, there's a reason I'd never heard of using a laxative to cure a cold, and that's because history has abandoned this line of thinking in favor of more "sciencey" things like viruses.

Of course, there's still a healthy (in numbers, not in health) group of people who think that we are all carrying around forty pounds of sludge in our butts unless we go have ourselves hosed out every month. This is untrue. After you have a poo, you're needle's on empty. Anyone not trying to sell you wheatgrass juice will tell you the same. If your colon's not working right, you'll know it. You won't need Robin Quivers to tell you to shoot coffee up your backside.

This ad is not part of the detox movement (See what I did there?). It's just a laxative. Constipation is a real thing, but there's no link between your butt and your nose unless that's what you're into.

The pictures are nice and funny, though. They could use a few jokes.



Body by Fisher - Designing the better half.

The Looking For Pictures team dropped another Body by Fisher ad on my desk this morning. Thanks to Craig and Dan for 'splaining me up about how coachbuilders work. This one's easier to make fun of. Half a car.

Yes, it looks retarded, but I can imagine their reasoning behind this. They (the ad execs) believe people fantasize about absolute silence, such that they completely forget the car exists beyond the footwells. Everyone craves the silence that only the cold,dead void of space can give you. They thought this because all ad execs are retarded. Prove me wrong.

So, get some models to sit in a Buick and have an artist "plus up" the resulting photo, carefully omitting the front third of the car. Masterpiece!

The artist sort of didn't know what to put in the wheel well, having cut out the rear wheel. I think the "black with blue pointy things" looks half done.

Nice job painting over the chrome. The top half of the bumper was mostly left as- it was, but the bottom half has been cleverly painted to reflect the colors in the background, instead of the studio floor. Cheeky.

I know this ad predates Akira by around forty years, but I still think the blurry, streaky tail light effect is the sole right of Katsuhiro Otomo. No other shall use it. So let it be written. So let it be done.

This logo is so cool I want to frame it.


Buster Brown - Shoes for big boys.

Never, ever, ever as a kid was I drawn in by the marketing behind Buster Brown shoes. Was I already too jaded in the seventies? I dunno. Maybe. But, if I was a kid in 1958, I don't think this ad would have worked on me either. That's just as well, because this ad is probably aimed at moms. Kids don't care much about what shoes they wear unless they have holes in them.
But look at the size of that kid! Perspective is a harsh master. You can play by all the rules and still have things come out looking weird. This boy looks like he's five feet tall with a head like a socker bopper.

Here's what I think the problem is: His head is angled toward the "camera", so we can see his face. But, he seems to have eye contact with the girls who are maybe six feet farther back from the viewer. In this position, I don't think he should be able to look them in the eye. Due to the composition of the painting, he seems to be a giant, standing face to face with the girls, unless you look down at his feet.

Of course, all art directors know is they want the kids positioned such and such and to be looking this way or that and smiling at each other. What do the rules of physics and perspective know about selling shoes?

So, you get things like this terrifyingly happy troglodyte boy. I don't think he's happy about shoes -  Boy want girl! Come to mention it, I think any boy following his natural proclivities can be really into girls or shoes, but not both. You know what I mean.

And now we come to the real reason I never got excited about the Buster Brown brand: the mascot. Boy or girl? The name says "boy" but the big bow,the lipstick and the AWACS hat say "girl". Kids don't like sexually ambiguous things. A thing is either a boy thing or a girl thing. Kids don't like to figure stuff out. They want obvious answers. Buster plays both sides of the field, by the looks of him. I wish he wasn't winking at me.

However, Buster does have a badass pet. It's a Ghoulie! He would need a pet Ghoulie, attending grammar school as a seventh level pansy. He would be mercilessly bullied otherwise. If each pair of BB's came with a carnivorous attack demon, I would have begged my mom for a pair. What kid doesn't want his own demon?



Joke #1 - Even as an adult, Spritle still found himself being left behind. But, coworkers at the factory didn't find his tricks as charming as his big brother did.

Joke #2 - "Uh huh. There's your problem. Your giant tube's got a case of 'man'. I'm afraid this won't be cheap."

Joke #3 - "Goddammit Jake! When there's only one man left in the jar, would it KILL you to put it on the shopping list? This sandwich is gonna suck."

Joke #4 - "... and the first number iiiiss... middle aged white man! That's middle aged white man!"

Joke #5 - "Yahtzee!"

Joke #6 come from Craig - Early Colonoscopy, Circa 1953.

Thanks, Craig!   -Mgmt.


Hitler Stamps - Evil by post.

Dear valued potential customer,

Of all the freaky-deaky events from history, none will stand as a hideous reminder of evil gone sadly awry more so than the Hitler Postal System.

Started in 1939 as an innocent evil enterprise, the HPS as an enterprise, was started innocently enough. Hitler saw that there was a need in  newly-conquered areas of Europe for an evil option to the ubiquitous and non-specifically evil "Laterbringer Postworks Der Silesia", which would only occasionally deliver parcels in an evil way. Hitler filled the need for an evil-based postal system and the HPS was born.

Initially, the Hitler Postal System only distributed random symbols of terror to citizens, say, fire, blood, or a burned doll. But eventually the HPS began carrying parcels actually sent by real people, but brought to customers' homes in a state of evil. It was not uncommon to find a letter delivered in the mouth of a goat's head, or to find your package delivered to your sitting room window via a large stone.

Rates were generally affordable, ranging from one to eighty K's, which apparently was one of the more valuable letters of the alphabet at the time. Prices varied, depending on the amount of evil required to bring the parcel to the customer with adequate horror.

Sadly, though, customers almost immediately tired of terror and demand for evil deliveries fell off sharply. Also, the Nazis  lost the war.

Now these rare Hitler stamps can be offered to creepy weirdos like you, to cherish and mutter over. They are our introductory "thank you" for ordering our booklet "How to Collect Stamps", the most popular volume in our "You really need a book to explain this to you?" series.

In the coming weeks, you will also receive these helpful booklets as a member of our club:

"How to Sleep"

"All About Sitting - Beginner's Guide"

"How to Lift a Cake"

"How to Collect Shrubs and the Lesser Bushes"

"How to Grumble About the Government"

"How to Stare Intently at Children"

"Here Comes Wood!"

"Advanced Sitting - The Challenges of Sloth"

"Getting Started with Ants"

"Sitting, Book 3 - Master Sitting Drills"


Children at work and play.

Joke #1 - "Well for crying out loud. This thing isn't even level. You've gotten sloppy, Vic. What's got you so distracted? Is is the wife again?"

Joke #2 - "You didn't even check to see if it's level, did you? That's it. Go clean out you locker."

Joke #3 - "Well, the finish is good and the legs are sturdy, but your sister added a tool rack to hers. I think we'll be hiring her. Thanks for coming out today."

Joke #4 - " Nice work, son. Now we just need to add a blood trough for easy drainage and we'll be done. This is going to be the best summer vacation ever!"
Joke #1 - "Junior-size Jaguar gives boy an early start on a lifetime of entitlement, arrogance."

Joke #2 - "Junior-size Jaguar weighs 1,000 pounds, has 71-inch wheelbase, and demonstrates wisdom of driving laws."

Joke #3 - "Junior-size Jaguar can be driven off bridge after junior-size three-martini dinner meeting."

Craig Jokes in: "Junior-sized Junior weighs 38 pounds, has a 14 inch inseam and is powered by Fluffernutters."   Thanks Craig! -Mgmt.


Science Update - Trains and Asbestos Breakthroughs / Breaksthrough.

New advancements in the science of model train enjoyment have left children incontinent with glee. Various animated trackside accessories bring added realism to model train layouts. See below.
The children at left can be seen enjoying the enhancements to their model train. Boy stares at wonderful new freight yard while girl fantasizes about exciting new outfits the train may wear. Next Christmas, they hope to get a larger table so that the train can move.

The miniature conductor's shack next to this immobile train set is pants-wettingly exciting to this sad, sheltered boy. The train's control unit doubles as a defibrillator.

This new humidifier wick is made from asbestos, which will not rot, rust, or burn, aiding in humidifcation and cancerizing throughout the home.

A new synthetic asbestos substitute can be made from ceramic fiber, freeing up the world's precious asbestos supplies for more important uses, like, holding without safety equipment, snuggling, and rubbing on one's lungs.


1948 Mercury - Safe at any speed, especially stopped.

Here's a nice ad from Collier's magazine for a 1949 Mercury. For those not in the know, Collier's was, like Life, a national weekly magazine at a time when few people had TVs. So, it was pretty much  their window to the world. This is made clear by the scope of the magazine's content. It had things about all aspects of life, not just politics, as we have come to expect from news magazines today.

So anyway, Mercury seemed pretty proud of their new model's safety features.
In a nutshell, 1948 was an idiot when it came to safety. Of particular not is the "heavy gauge all-steel body". In 1948, manufacturer's idea of "safe" meant "rigid and strong". We now know that a car accident involves two collisions: the first happens when the car hits whatever - say, a 20-foot cube of superdense neutron star material. The second collision is when the squishy meat bags in the car hit the inside of the car. A car designed to survive a crash very well sort of insures that the people won't.

The "crumple zone" wasn't even patented until 1952, by Mercedes-Benz, and didn't appear on a concept car until 1959. In a collision, the nose of the car collapses intentionally, spreading out the deceleration over an extra fraction of a second, while the passenger compartment remains rigid, reducing what auto manufacturers called "uh-oh's". When one is stopping from sixty miles per hour, an extra twenty milliseconds really helps.

Here's a video of a crash test between a 1959 Chevy Bel-Air and a 2009 Chevy Malibu. The 2009 model was designed with crumple zones surrounding a "safety cage", making the Malibu much more survivable in a crash. The results of this test were surprising to a lot of old timers who traditionally swore up and down about the safety of old time engineering and good solid cars. My dad would have been "flabbergasted", or possibly "dipped in hogshit", as was his manner of expressing sincere astonishment.

So when your 49 Mercury hit an ordinary cube of superdense neutron star material, stopping dead in it's tracks, what could you, the driver look forward to? I found a picture of a '49 Mercury's steering wheel at autorestoration101.com. It's a spear.
At the time, I'm sure a Mercury salesman would have bragged about the car's "super reliable never-telescope steering column, ensuring sure-footed handling", moving on to describe the steering wheel's "beautifully sculpted speed bullet center cap". They just didn't know any better is all.
Nice job rendering the chrome, though.


State Farm - The hard call home.

Joke #1 -"Dad, I am in so much trouble! Can you come bail me out? I picked up a cop at a party, and it turns out he's this cute girl's dad."

Joke #2 - "Hello, dad? Can you wire me a dime so I can call mom and ask her to wire me bail money?"

Joke #3 - "Hello, sir? I'm at the police station. I've just arrested your policeman son, and he'll probably want you to come bail him out."

Joke #4 - "Hey, Mugsy? I think the coast is clear. I'll start killing a bunch of people now."

Joke #5 - "Who knew the library was a 'no-kanoodling' zone?"

Joke #6 - "Well, I better go, Spike. These cops want to arrest this innocent-looking girl behind me. See you at the scene of our crime."

Joke #7 - Donald's big mistake was in failing to ask the officer if Domino's delivers to the jail BEFORE using his one free call.

Joke #8 - "Okay, Ritchie, how many Chicago cops does it take to throw a guy down the stairs? None! The poor guy musta slipped! BWAH hah hah hah hah. Well, I gotta go, Rich. I gotta finish getting arrested now."

Joke #9 - "Hi, Grandpa. Say, have you ever heard of 'THC'? Eeh, that's okay. Listen, how much money have you got handy?..."

UPDATE: The victors of the foosball grudge mach re: the Okidata AdequateScan 620 SCSI cable mishandling was the Images and Scanning Them Squad. The Refreshment and Perishables Dept. will have to perform the Ritual of Forfeit in the employee lounge this afternoon at three. Volunteers are being asked to assist in draping the furniture with plastic dropcloths in preparation. We apologize that the lounge will be unavailable for use during this humiliatory event.


Apology / Excuse - No post today.

Due to one thing and another, and also some other stuff, there will be no post today.

[P.A.G. internal memorandum follows]

The Images and Scanning Them Squad blames today's non-post on the downtime of the Okidata AdequateScan 620 image scanner for the lack of content in today's post, (which is not really a post).

The Refreshment & Perishables Dept. regrets the reappropriation of the Okidata's SCSI cable for the experimental online operability of the waffle maker. While their efforts are sure to forward the boundaries of breakfast connectivity in the long run, they have been reprimanded for their shortsightedness.

The Images and Scanning Them Squad demands satisfaction, and say they will settle this at the foosball table. The Refreshment & Perishables Dept. doesn't see what the big deal is, but agrees to the grudge match, adding "your ma".

Foosball tickets will be on sale in the east cafeteria of Go! Tower at lunch today, with the competition scheduled for tomorrow's lunch hour. The entree will be hamdingers almondine. Proceeds from ticket sales will go towards the procurement of a second SCSI cable, to avoid such cockups in the future.

We apologize for the lack of a post today. This is not a post.

Sherbet Grom
Phil Are Go! Apologies and Excuses Supervisor
Published with Blogger-droid v1.6.5


Owens-Corning Fiberglass Curtains - Look. Don't touch.

Time for another fiberglass post, everyone! Today, we're admiring some wonderful fiberglass curtains, which were described by the unbiased observers at Owens-Corning as "the perfect drapery fabric" because it "never needs dry cleaning, never will shrink, sag, mildew or burn." All true, except for the "perfect" bit, which is subjective, obviously, and can't be proven or dispr... Hey! a picture!

In the fifties, asbestos was starting to get a bad reputation for making people hideously sick and dead for several thousand years. So, everyone was looking for a new fire-retardant fabric to make everything out of. Owens-Corning stepped up to the microphone and shouted "fiberlass!", then absently scratched at some little bumps on the side of it's neck

In this ad, we see some curtains made from fiberglass, but not for long, because the pattern on the curtains will make your eyes cross if you look at it for more than a second or two. The curtains were definitely good at not burning, shrinking, or wrinkling. But, there was the  strategically glossed-over feature that, if you touched them too much, or a little bit, you'd probably get something called fiberglass dermatitis. See?
Dermnet seems really scared that somebody will steal their pictures of skin diseases, so they've watermarked the hell out of them. If "the skin disease image atlas" sounds like a party to you, then by all means zap on down to Dermnet.com and whoop it up. As for me, after finding these pictures I am-scrayed, for fear of a total breakfast reversal (TBR).

Fiberglass dermatitis isn't a disease. It's just a condition, caused by little glass shards stuck in your skin. It will go away, if you just get all the fiberglass out of your skin. I was always told that cold water and scrubbing will take care of it (hot water will make your pores open up, causing the fibers to bury themselves even deeper). Here's a case study on Pub Med. If you tried to wash fiberglass curtains in your washing machine, the glass fibers would be released into the washer, where they'd deposit themselves in all your other clothes forever, because they're almost impossible to get out of the machine. Fiberglass curtains should be washed by carefully hanging them over a tree limb and gently setting the tree on fire. Or, spray the soiled curtains with a warm soap-and-water solution, then jettison the curtains into space. If you don't have access to a space program, spray the curtains with whatever you have, and scrub them with your face. Wear gloves.

But it's not like children, pets or humans ever brush up against / hide behind curtains, right? Well, there are reasons fiberglass curtains are hard to find now. Fiberglass fabrics have been supplanted by other fabrics that can be made to be fire retardant. Jury's still out on fire retardant chemicals for now. Stay tuned!

In later years, Owens-Corning produced these curtains in magic-eye versions. This example is from their Rock Legends collection. Allegations of Sudden Explosive Aneurysms are largely unfounded.

Skin irritation is definitely better than cancer, which is what you got from asbestos curtains. My curtains have always been cotton, I think. They burn more easily, but that's why I've made an early warning system with bowls of methyl ethyl ketone, which burns quite joyously. The smell of burning MEK should wake me up long before any fire gets out of control. (It stings the nose, donchaknow.) So far, I have yet to percieve any negortrive shide orffertcsrahh.


Motorola TVs - Each sold separately.

Just in case you thought your Razr flippy phone was the first thing Motorola ever made, make your mind prepare to have itself blown, Dorothy! Waaaaay back in '61, Motorola made this here Malibu Barbie Dream House, which came with little plastic TVs to put in it, apparently.

The library at my university was made with prefabricated concrete pieces like these, except they were the other end up, and they were gray instead of pink. The pink ones came as special parts in the Lego Vacation Villa set. It also had those little Lego flowers that you could use to gay up any building you made... or just let them get flattened by your cool new Mad Max truck you builtIt's nice that the Motorolibu Dream House is designed with such an open, uuh... design, because that allows the ocean (which lives next door) to come sweeping in to wash away your fugly Motorola TVs. Also, your other belongings. Meh.

So many questions...

Why is Ken sitting on the floor like a hobo? The chair is a couple of feet away. Maybe it's made of cardboard, and not folded together really well because dad was still sleepy at that hour on Christmas morning?

Is this one house or a set of condos? If the whole place belongs to Ken and Barbie, are the stairs concealed behind those mysterious curtains? They're probably not curtains at all, but just printed on cardboard. So, it's up to the dolls to grappling hook their way from floor to floor. Pray you don't pop upstairs to make some toast, Ken. You can either eat toast or rappel, but not both.

It kind of looks like the woman surprised him. "Oh! Is this your house I've broken into? Nice window you had there. Very breezy."

"I see you've noticed my bird house. Why thank you, it IS very nice, isn't it? I've been working on it for a few years now. Shall we try laughing together like the couple on my TV now?"

"Shush, Judy. I'm watching my favorite television program, 'A Talking Man'. Lookit him go!" Judy is clearly enchanted with Bill's varied interests.

Look at the TV. Wow, Motorola. Really? This is 1961! You've got a good six to eight years before everyone starts going all colonial spindles and things. Couldn't you  stick with the a nice clean modern design for one more season? No? Fine. Each of those little drawers on the front contained a vacuum tube, which blew out every three minutes. So, it was nice of Motorola to make them easy to reach.