1964 Chevy II - Terrible leg room.

Today we bring you an interesting ad from 1964 for the Chevy II - an unassuming yawnmobile available with a fairly massive engine. This is what gearheads call a "sleeper".

A sleeper is a car that is actually way faster than it looks, and it takes a certain kind of person to appreciate the idea of embarrassing much flashier cars with a quick and surprising demonstration of acceleration.

That  being said, it's my personal opinion that beige is the single most appropriate color for a sleeper. Nobody expects a fast car to be beige - the color of the Transportation Appliance. Well chosen, Chevy.

But what goes on with the man and his presumed son?

What's the jokey vignette we're supposed to decipher from this picture? We can only assume that the man is annoyed that his son stole his Indian headdress just after he has shot himself in the hat with his apparently fully functional bow and arrow. Who gives their kid an actual metal-tipped bow and arrow set?

Aww, I can't stay mad at an irresponsible parent like this one, and I can't stay mad at his sociopathic son. Look at that hangdog expression. He knows he done wrong. Run along, ya little scamp, and try not to murder anyone with your real metal-tipped bow and arrow.

But wait. There's more story to be told. That bloodthirsty little prick also shot off his dad's legs... and shadow! Somehow, he now has a hoverdad! Or, this photo could have been taken in the instant before he falls to the ground, like Wile E. Coyote before he realizes he's run off the cliff? Or, the people were badly pasted into the car photo.

Maybe this only LOOKS like a botched photo comping job? Let's put on our forensic photoshoppery hat and do some invenstigationalizing.

The Phil Are GO! Graphic Blandishment and Photoshoppery Brigade quickly Googled up a picture of a man of roughly 55 years old, about six feet in height wearing a baffling pair of trousers and placed him over the footless gent in the photo. It sure looks like we should be seeing at least one foot or something... or at least his shadow. Also, look at the edge of the car near the two figures and you can see a little halo of slightly darker white. Methinks the perpetrator of this hack job has failed to hide their tracks. Aha! We've caught you, overworked and underpaid photo retoucher of forty eight years ago! Turn in your X-Acto knife and rubber cement!

Ironically, considering his choice of pants, our stand-in on the right would be better off if he had cut off his shins, rather than choose to wear those freaky capri pants outside the house. The pants are the real crime here, and our eyes are the victims. Let us all draw chalk outlines around our eyeballs and resolve not to let middle aged men wear clam-diggers, capris, or superfloods in public.

Click for big.


1961 Rambler American - Red Dead with Engine.

Here's another Rambler you can't buy any more, because the brand is dead. However  you can always go to Ebay, where the current bid price for a squeaky clean white '61 convertible is around $8,000 (reserve not met yet). I don't know why, but the stubby looks of compact cars from the Sixties looks better than the smeary, stretchy lines of current compacts.

Of course, if the roads were filled with cars that looked like this Rambler, I'm sure I'd pine for the day when I could look at swoopy little cars with pointy headlights. The grass is always greener.

Check out this honky lollipop mascot they have here. He's about as square as you can get, not that you'd notice in '61. Lawrence Welk could still be found on the Billboard Hot 100 list for February 1961 (the month this ad ran in LIFE).

Here's the Lawrence Welk orchestra rocking out with Calcutta, the hit that had Welk on the charts that month. What does it say about me that I both know and like the song? Well, It means it appears on one of my Ultralounge CDs and it makes me laugh. Any song that has a chorus going "la la la la" gets my vote for sheer courage, even in '61. I still insist I'm cooler than Lollipop Rambler Honky Man. I do have a few Zeppelin albums.

Two more things: A) Apart from the clapping at 1:45, they don't seem to be dancing to any particular song, let alone the one the orchestra is playing. B) Since when was the Lawrence Welk show shot in a gymnasium?
Click for big.


Kohler Electric Plants - Get your motor run-nin'.

Not only did I not know that Kohler makes electric motors and generators, I didn't know you could get one installed in your chest.

When I'm old and I'm losing my hair, many years from now, I hope I spoiled for choice of in-chest generators. I don't want an air-cooled model, because I don't want a huge exhaust vent sticking out of my ribs. Something liquid cooled, I think, because my blood supply can probably be easily adapted to this purpose. Also, I definitely want a portable unit, and maybe with remote starting. I don't want to have to make an incision in case the motor stalls. Plus, it'd be nice to be able to waltz up to the scene of a disaster and provide power for those in need. I'd be a hero, all thanks to Kohler. I'm the genera-tor, firing whenever you quit!

Click for big.


Loving the new phone.

Joke #1 - Madge's new Bell telephone would make it so much easier to take care of day-to-day errands. Stalking her ex-husband, harassing the sewer department, and tracking the movements of her children, for example.

Joke #2 - "I'm sorry, mother, you'll have to speak up - I've hung up on you!"

Joke #3 - By simply unplugging her wonderful new Bell telephone, Madge could ensure that the young handsome repair man would visit her bedroom any day she needed him.

Joke #4 - "BEverly5 - 0811"...  "BEverly5 - 0811"... "I said BEV-ER-LEE FIVE OH EIGHT ELEVEN godammit!"

Joke #5 - Madge could hardly wait to have her new 'i-Phone installed. The technician was nearly done connecting the iBilicus Cord, which would snap into a socket in her skull and make all her thoughts and dreams the express property of Apple, Inc. She used these last exciting minutes to practice holding her i-Phone in the way that interfered with reception the least.

Joke #6 comes to us from Misterfancyhotballs_2. Thanks, Fancy!How nice & weighty this phone is" thought Madge. And there's more than enough phone cord to tie him into the carpet she would have to remove- because of all the blood. Tonight indeed, she would: DIAL "M" FOR MURDER! Mwhahahaha!

My jokey doppleganger Fil grants unto us yon Joke #7. Thanks, Fil! - "my nu fone iz so kewlz!! i m texting u on it rite nowz!! OMG WTF LOL JK"

Anonymous (who is really Tommy Tutone, let's be honest) sent us joke #8. Thanks Thomas! - You've reached Jenny at 867-5309. Are you ready for a good time?

[Commenter jokes will be added to the post.   -Mgmt.]


The Austin Company - ACTION!

Today, Phil Are GO! is proud to bring you yet another decogasm from the 1930s in the form of this ad for The Austin Company, builders of commercial properties in the golden era of  Rich Uncle Pennybags, the Monopoly guy. We found the picture in Fortune Magazine. Pity that Austin was a little premature with their optimism about the economy at the time. The Great Depression would still be depressing us till nineteen forty-something.

Pow. Get an eyefull of that uber-deco building. My dear picture, art thou deco? Let me count the ways. Airbrush? Check. Melodramatic, harsh light source? Check. Clean, geometric lines? Check. Radiused corners? Check. Giant, bold text? Oh, you better believe that's a big check! If you want to duplicate the text in header of this ad, just grab yourself some Stymie Black and start typing.

Well doesn't that beat all? The Austin Company are still around, although I have to say their design team is a little mediocre these days. Their site looks about as ordinary as you can get. Come on guys. You're supposed to be a design company for buildings. You might consider letting your web site reflect a tiny shred of the panache you had back in '36. Just a thought.

In the rendering in today's ad, you can tell that it started with a photograph of a sky, which was then sprayed over with a darker gray to make the white building pop. It's the decoist's love of stark contrast that often leads to the use of dark skies with bright foreground elements. Stormy weatherrrr...

Anyway, your rude finger thinks you should right click this little beauty into your hard drive's private real estate holdings. It's right. Get ready to right click in three, two, one.... You're welcome.

Click for big.


The 1962 Fords - Four pages worth. Spread 'em.

We apologize for the sparse posts this week. We've been working  on this hard-hitting expose' of a 1962 Ford ad. This hideous and shocking truth: This four-page Ford ad was indulgent, kooky and fun! I hope you're sitting down. Oh, wait. I guess I should have said that before I revealed the hideous and shocking truth. Oh well. I hope you were sitting down and didn't subsequently whang your head on the counter as you passed out.

"Live it up! Presenting: 3 New Lively Ones from FORD" was a decadent four-page spread in The Saturday Evening Post that must have cost Ford a ton of dough. It's like a brochure in the middle of the magazine. It's full of nutty curly fonts and darn good times - the kind of good times that can only be had in a new Ford!

But first, please press PLAY on this Mel Henke track "The Lively Ones" as you browse. Mel Henke was the king of disposeable perv-lounge, with each track filled with innuendo and quasi-erotic cooing from anonymous female session singers. Marvel at the automotive sexuality of "The Lively Ones" where Mel purrs through all the horny car jargon he can think of. See what he's done there? "Rear end suspension" can be interpreted to be a lady's bottom, even though no car guy ever uses the term "rear end suspension". "You don't know what you're do-ing! You DO know what you're do-ing?" That's some good aaack-ting!!!!

And hey! Both the "La Dolce Henke" album cover and the Ford ad feature the same nutty curly font. It must have been the zeitgeist. Same with the phrase "The Lively Ones", which apparently was the way America liked to describe the Younger Generation at the time.


A back seat so large you can trombone in it.
Ford was savvy enough to point out that you can only drive to a carnival and have agood time in a Ford Fairlane. Wanna park ten feet from the carousel? Better buy a Fairlane! All others must park at the Tilt-A-Spew.

Trombone judo CHOP!
Here, Laura Petri can't decide which Dick Van Dyke she wants to sleep with. No matter. When you've slept with one Dick Van Dyke, you've slept with them all. But wait! One o fthose Dick Van Dykes is really a Maxwell Smart. See how he uses his tactical combat trombone to neutralize Petri.

I have owned cheap brass cymbals that probably sounded worse than this Futura hubcap. And hey! Whattya know? A drummer in an ad depicted holding the drum sticks the right way. How did that accidentally happen? By accident, probably. You know this probably voids the hubcap's warranty. Crazy shit like this would never fly in an ad today. But, 1962 was simpler times.

Click for big.

Click for big.

Click for big.

Click for big.


Pazo - The Scratchboard Coincidence.

Today's 1961 ad for Pazo hemorrhoid cream features another impressive illustration, but THIS time, the artist left a signature behind (heh heh). Nice work, Mister or Missus Ravielli. We're onto you now!

Behold the happy shopper lady, delighted with her supermarket find, presumably a package of Pazo hemorrhoid cream. Or, possibly, they're just showing us how you can get back to normal life with the help of Pazo. I doubt any normal person would hold up a box of Pazo like that in public. They'd more likely 1) memorize the location of the Pazo in a store in a neighborhood where there's no chance of running into someone who knows you, and 2) then quickly tip the Pazo into their cart and make good their escape.

So what's with this drawing?. Well, the artist is A. Ravielli, and some quick Googling finds the culprit: Anthony Ravielli. He was a commercial artist who did a lot of work in the 150s and 60s, becoming known for his proficiency in "scratchboard". "What the hell is 'scratchboard'???" you demand? First settle down.

Sratchboard is a piece of heavy paper with a black, waxy coating. Instead of a pencil or brush, you use a pointed steel stylus to scratch away the black wax, making white lines. By varying your pressure with the stylus, you can taper the lines and do intricate shading that looks a lot like an old engraving. The results are striking if you have the patience and temperament. You generally can't hide mistakes with any level of undetectability when using  scratchboard. You can paint over a bad line here and there, but you'll probably be able to spot the hidden boo-boo.

Our art instructor in high school had us do a few projects in scratchboard, just to wet our beaks, but Mr Ravielli seems to have focused on it for the majority of his career. Damn good stuff, too.

I'll leave it to you to make various jokes about the irony of using a piece of scratchboard art to sell hemorrhoid cream, har har!

Please enjoy the shopper lady from today's Pazo ad, cleaned up and lifted from her natural setting, as an addition to your clip art folder. You're welcome.

Click for big.

600px tall.

1000px tall.


The Auto-Cradle

Joke #1 - New iCradle features support for "shuffle mode".

Joke #2 - Automatic motorized cradle rocks baby, also complains about it's chafed nipples.

Joke #3 - New cradle rocks baby to sleep, notifies parents if baby is too fat. Future model may also feature "ugly baby alarm", pending customer demand.

Joke #4 - Automatic cradle rocks baby to sleep. Also rocks baby awake, rocks baby to vomit.

Joke #5 - New Tupperware cradle keeps babies fresh up to 50% longer than ordinary cradles. Eliminates "stale baby" wastefulness.

Joke #6 - New "Baby Davros" auto-cradle gives babies freedom of movement around the house. Soon to be approved road-legal in six states.

Joke #7 - New auto-cradle helps parents care for extra-demanding babies that insist on being rocked, sleeping.

Joke #8 - Extended-wear cradle keeps baby comfortable and dry for days, siphons off excess "baby juices" and stores them for sale overseas.

Joke #9 was flung over the wall by Fil (no relation). Thanks, Fil! - The excitement over the birth of their first child was briefly eclipsed by the excitement over father's new invention: The Baby Trebuchet.

[Commenter jokes will be added to the post.    -Mgmt.]

Click for big.


The Wonderful World of Salem - Sheep choosing.

Today, we're taking a break from all the gotta-make-sensiness and tiring rationality of normal life as we spend a few minutes in the mind of the R. J. Reynolds Tobacco Company... where nobody asks questions. Let's visit the sheep!

If there's one thing I think of when I'm smoking, it's sheep! Nothing says "fresh countryside, perhaps populated be a few fuzzy animals" like my first drag on a Salem. Aaah, sheep. And, when I'm thinking of sheep, I'm thinking of visiting some sheep with my best Mary Tyler Moore girlfriend. Smoking a Salem relaxes me, and so does a little sheep browsing. That's the best date a girl could ask for.

But which sheep to pick? Should we go for the experienced maturity of the grownup sheep or the tender simplicity of the lamb? I'll let Mary pick. Meanwhile, I'll finish my Salem with the modern filter and smooth menthol, whatever the hell any of that means. Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhh... hhhh......h!

Dun Dun... Dun DUN dun DUN dun DUN DUN  DUN...
No matter which sheep we choose, Wheelbarrow Guy will be ready to transport our new sheep to the alternate reality of our choice. Until we're ready, he's over there doing laps of the meadow with the 'barrow. "That's short fer 'wheelbarrow'" he always explains. We know, Wheelbarrow Guy. He has to keep moving, to keep oxygen flowing over his gills or he drowns. He's kind of like a shark in that way.

Man, what's in these Salems? Soft, fresh air, rich tobacco taste and a modern filter, that's what! Aaaaaaaaaaahhhhhh....

Click for big.


Readers' Letters, 1947, Picture Post, South Grumblesby, London 12

Dear sirs,

While flipping through a dessicated copy of Picture Post from 1947, doubtlessly having on it traces of mustard gas and kippers, I was stricken by the readers' letters, owing to the peculiar nature of their content and they way they spake at such a time. In the post-war, pre-Twitter years, Englishers apparently wrote to Picture Post not only with specific questions, but also in addition, with general complaints about society of the time! How different it was, to be bothered enough that one would muster the diligence not only to write-down one's strong reactions, but also to wait for the satisfaction of seeing them in print, for all of one's fellow countrymen to read. For how long were they to put up with such things?

Yours, etc.

Mrs. Antoin Housewise
East Flumstead
Lemon Curry


Dear Sirs,

I feel I really must protest in the most strident tones the obvious laziness of the Blogpostmaster general in simply scanning and posting a picture of letters from an old magazine! Did we not defeat Jerry only to find ourselves lying down on the job, not even bothering to write a few jokes of a Tuesday morning? Shame, sir!

My dog can't seem to get his ear turned right-side-out, after having a good shake after his weekly bath. What's the country come to? Shillings and hammaerhandles, I say!


General Brentwood Fontwhoosh-on-Thames
Lower Dooking
London, SWH Hampston


Having read the actual readers' letters posted by the most honorable Blogpostmaster General this morning, I must say that the Vox Pops and other miscellaneous filler material used in the old Monty Python series was spot-on! We here in The Past really did talk like that! It is my considered opinion that those lesser-known bits of writing seen in the 'Python show were some of the best and strangest material to be found anywhere in the 'Pythons' body of work! Please embed a FaceTube link to some Monty Python link material to brighten an old Englisher's morning tea.

P.S. I am a very small fish with no visible dorsal fin.

Grammesburton, N4
Bucket of String,
Horton Road, Facepalm

Ed. - Bet that's a name and a half, Ma'am!

P.S. Python letters coming right up, Ma'am!

Click for big, Ma'am!


Pelmanism - A capital idea.

This ad from a 1948 issue of Picture Post urges us all to "Take up Pelmanism". It must be a cult. Jesus isn't going to like this. Either is David Koresh, who kind of looked like Steve Jobs and Jesus combined. So what the heck is/was Pelmanism?

Well, it wasn't a cult, despite their ad having all the earmarks of creepy culty language. A) Not telling you exactly what they're on about B) "We will fix all your problems." and my absolute favorite of old-timey sales pitches, C) Wanton use of capital letters.

"If you had studied Pelmanism, you'd
remember how crazy I was."
Advertising exists in it's own relativistic fairyland of grammatical craziness in which you can capitalize a word any time your desire to move product becomes too much to bear. The copy writer would probably call it "emphasizing key words". "They become Iriritable and Morose. They have fits of bad temper, their thoughts become Morbid." The Pelmanites capitalize "Irritable" and "Morose" like they're personal friends, while leaving "fits of bad temper" un-capitalized in the lower-case ghetto of language. Hey Pelmanoids, What did "fits of bad temper" ever do to get on your bad side?

The Onion's book "Our Dumb Century" is a treasure trove of unnecessary capitalization. It's almost as if grammar had just invented the idea of capital letters and everyone was all excited, capitalizing anything they thought was important. Wait. I've just been informed that the rules of capitalization have indeed changed over time. The Wikipedia article on the subject says that "To the modern reader, an 18th century document uses initial capitals excessively." I'd like to find a newspaper headline from the day the rules changed. "Extra! Grammar Bullies release New Rules of Capitalization. Reading to become much less Lumpy from Now On!" Long story short, if you're hoping to fake your disappearance and want to make it look like you were kidnapped by a chimney sweep, leave a ransom note and capitalize everything but "a", "the", and "crikey".

Anyway, Pelmanism was basically a system to improve your memory. That's it. Presumably, the confidence that comes from having a sharply-trained memory would fix all your other problems with frustration and anger and large areas of your city having been bombed to rubble by the Nazis. It's just a little ironic that this ad ran in a year wen I would have thought England had a few things they'd like to forget.

Click for big.


Ford Wagons - Wagon Train.

Wagons are sort of coming back. Sort of. But because the word "wagon" is a dirty one in America, the marketing divisions of all the manufacturers (ever the wizards of tricking you into wanting something you think you don't) have re-named wagons "crossovers". Ding! Fixed! I've always liked a two-box design, so wagons just look good to me. Back in '65, wagons were long and low. The new wag- errr, CROSSOVERS... are taller than the wagons of old, in hopes of trying to borrow some of the cache' of the ever-pointless-and-popular SUV. Long and low is better. Just ask anyone, like me, for example. I'll tell you the same.

Aah, the timeless wonder of the American countryside. And that countryside is even better when it's printed on adhesive vinyl and stuck to the side of a car in the form of wood grain shelf paper. Somebody ought to modify an old "woodie" car like this Country Squire with a few small branches and leaves growing out of the "wood" panels. Or, someone should have the P.A.G. Graphic Blandishent and Photoshoppery Squad fake it up in the computer.

That'll have to wait, because the whole team were up late last night pen tooling and pattern brushing their little hearts out to get this quad-axle Country Squire ready for you to right click it onto your hard drive. They need a break today. Meanwhile, park this little beauty in your largest hard drive and watch the garage door totally fail to close because we added about six feet to the length. Wagon train!

Hey, what's with that kid in the back? Looks like his face was obscured in the original picture and they tried to reinstate his eyes in the office of his face with a couple dabs of black paint. Haha! 1965, your Photoshopping kung fu is no match for mine, here in The Future! I defeat you! Pow!

get your rude finger ready to right click the Country Squire Wagon Train in three, two, one.... RIGHT CLICK NOW! You're welcome.

Click for big.

Click for big.