Fox Trots Pants - WTFoxtrots?

More from The Seventies, today, when everyone was being 'scused while they kissed the sky. This ad for Fox Trots pants poses us with a mystery at every turn. Spoiler alert! It's a very clumsy sexual innuendo.

First, the horrible drawing baffles us with its too-scratchy hatching that only makes the already-confusing mishmash of imagery way too hard to decipher. So, the shirt has a face. Is it a human face? Or is it supposed to be a fox's face somehow? What's that bizarre flap under the nose/tie? Is that the mouth, because it's talking?

But the shitty drawing is just bonus weirdness. What is the caption supposed to mean? Was Planned Parenthood big news in 1970? Were Fox Trots just trying to be topical? Nope. It was founded in 1916.

In 1970, the sexual revolution was just hitting its stride. Maybe the joke is that the shirt can be "paired" with a different pair of pants every night, because of birth control? We did find this ad in Esquire magazine, the go-to periodical of ascendant douchebags of the time. They would have been wearing lots of "Acrilan" (polyester) pants, and slipping out of them for various women as often as possible. Could that be it?

Not satisfied with just the one reference to Planned Parenthood, Charles Meyers & Co. / Monsanto make a second run at it, just to be sure their implication of wanton promiscuity makes it through your hair helmet to your purple-hazy brain.

The P.A.G. Joke-Getting Research Panel had to puzzle over this weirdo ad for like half an hour to finally puzzle out the innuendo they were so desperately trying to communicate. Would an Esquire reader of 1970 have gotten it at a glance? Maybe if we were stoned on some basement-grown mary jane we would have caught on quicker? Oh yeah? How do you know were not? Foxy The Fox, give the people a knowing wink for us. There's a good boy.


Little Ads - Groovy Coolies

Today, we're checking in with our favorite decade that always seems to always have an itching rash on it's crotch, and will never shut up about getting a picture of Gandalf airbrushed on it's van: The Seventies.

Hi, The Seventies! How's that G.E.D. summer study class coming? Uh huh. Uh huh. Fascinating. Okay, shut up for a second.  Here in The Future, all we have to wear is our space helmets and spandex jump suits. Won't you please show us how to be groovy again? We'll just sit over here and try to learn a little bit about looking groovy and cool.

With sleeves like this, no one will question whether or not you can play Incense and Peppermints on your mom's Lowrey organ. The elastic at the elbows keeps the balloon sleeves from getting too crazy, so everyone will still take you seriously, down at the Jack in the Box. You're better than "elegant". You're "eleganza".

New Look leather hip-high jacket pairs groovily with your choice of pajama bottoms. Why be caught looking ungroovy in bed? Aaaayyyyyyy.

You know how all the kids at the recreation center are talking about bailiffs and how cool they are? Make them all look like jive turkeys in your bailiff's vest. Writing descriptions like this will become way easier, once we think of a name for that fabric that jeans are made from. "blue-jean fabric" and "wheat jean" might confuse people whose jeans are made from velour.

For only the equivalent of $225, this suit is 15% flax, 85% polyester, and one thousand percent vest! Sleeves could not contain the boldness and bravadoness, so they just blew off. Radio astronomers can still detect the echoes of that bold bravadosplosion in the background radiation of the universe, and this lucky peasant girl can still hear all that bravado too, by listening closely to this man's pants. What other secrets will his pants reveal? Hairbulb is by Mister Sicily, of Brockton Hair Experience, Brockton, Mass.
Click for big avatar version.

Click for big avatar version.


Peter Pan Peanut Butter - A toothy girl for every gummy boy.

A sharp-eyed intern dropped this ad on my desk this morning. He was all excited because he'd found an excellent candidate for our newly-established "potential avatar images for your forum or chat application of choice" image category. He done good.

Peter Pan Peanut Butter, 1950. Wholesome-looking girl with adorable snaggly teeth and a Buster Brown haircut. In fact, she could easily be eating a shoe instead of peanut butter bread.

Hey! Look at that jar. Notice the shape? It has absolutely no shoulder at all, so you had a reasonably fair chance of actually using all the peanut butter in the jar, instead of leaving half a bread's worth of ring-shaped product under the rim of the now-standard contour of the jar. Swift / Derby understood the obvious wisdom of this jar design back in 1950. So, why are we still hamstrung with retarded jar shapes here in The Future? Two possibilities. A) They don't give a shit like they used to, and B) In the aggregate, all the wasted, irretrievable peanut butter left under the stupid lip of the jar adds up to measurable profits for the company (now ConAgra foods), so screw you, consumer. Actually, there is a third possibility, and that's both A and B combined. The two are not mutually exclusive.

Aaaaanyway, you know who toothy girl needs in her life? The gummy kid from our Columbia Bicycle post from way back in ought-thirteen! They make a good couple, just like peanut butter and shoes! *Suzette, get Gummy Kid in here, would you please? Thanks.*

Gummy Kid, you're off the bench and back in the game again. Don't let it go to your gummy head. Listen. sidle up next to Toothy Girl, please. Because I said so, that's why. Just do it. Chop chop!

Oooo! Sparks! I think I smell something in the air besides Peter Pan and Vitalis. Once you two clear that magic Awkward Age, you could give the world some children with orthodontia to baffle science. But you know what? Now is not the time.

Come back in six years, you two. For now, your fate is written in the peanut butter. Let that be enough. Gummy, get back in your cage.

Toothy Girl, you're going to make someone's day when they upload your bright shiny face as their new avatar. Let's put some miles on that face of yours, shall we?

Here she is, with a blank background at 1000 px wide. You can crop in to her face, or leave her as-is to show your chitchat pals how much you like some peanut butter bread. You're welcome!

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Hilton Hawaiian Village - Vacate a place.

This ad was found in a 1962 issue of Holiday magazine. That was when air travel was still glamorous and exciting, and had not yet become a corporate indulgence in personal degradation. Simpler times.

For the young, here's an eye-opener. Once upon a time, going to the airport to board a plane and fly somewhere was pretty fancy. At the airport, you were treated - I hope you're sitting down - not only like a human, but like a grownup human. You could not expect to be ordered to undress yourself by a dead-eyed high school dropout in the middle of the terminal, and treated like a criminal for having the audacity to wish to bring a bag with you on your trip. The other passengers could be expected to dress like they were in a nice restaurant, and not be wearing sweat pants and an pit-stained undershirt. Also, it would have been unthinkable to see someone with their bare feet on top of the seat in front of them, or to have a random animal of their choice on their lap because they are a nutcase who needs their bogus "service animal" with them at all times in every aspect of life.

This was all still several decades away. In 1962, air travel still enjoyed a shred of human dignity.

Speaking of human dignity, Conrad Hilton, listed at the bottom of this ad as president of the Hilton corporation, died in 1979. Here's what he did with his considerable fortune, according to Wikipedia:

He left $500,000 to each of his two surviving siblings, $100,000 to his daughter Francesca, and $10,000 to each of his nieces and nephews. The bulk of his estate was left to the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation, which he established in 1944.
The Conrad N. Hilton Foundation was established in 1944 by Conrad N. Hilton. Its mission is the alleviation of human suffering worldwide.

How bout that? He seems like a quite a guy.

Still on the topic of human dignity, or rather not having it, Conrad's great granddaughter is, you guessed it, useless waste of space Paris Hilton. I wonder what she'll do with most of her fortune.

Anyway, the real reason to look at this ad is the terrific art, which perfectly embodies the graphic style of the early sixties. You could use these drawings for lots of things, if only some Conrad Hilton-level benefactor would only do some work to make them more reuseable. PAG Graphic Blandishment and Photoshoppery Brigade, get in here, on the double! Hop to it!

We at GO! Tower hereby bequeath these clip arts to you, to do whatever the hell you want with, now and forever. Each of these is a grayscale JPEG at 1000 px wide. What a legacy. You're welcome!

UPDATE: Looks like Hilton Hawaiian Village is still there. Same building and everything. Look at those pictures. God damn, I need a vacation and an umbrella drink. But for now, two beers and some Thunderbirds DVDs will have to do.

Click for 1000 px.

Click for 1000 px.

Click for 1000 px.


Disappointing Clocks Monthly


Dragonslayer, the comic book!

In case you haven't seen it, Paramount/Disney's 1981 fantasy movie Dragonslayer is a really good example of the genre that holds up surprisingly well for a movie that old. The effects were done by Industrial Light and Magic, all powered up from their recent Star Wars rise to supremacy, and long before they abandoned practical effects in favor of amateurish superfake computer-generated effects. The four-limbed (as opposed to sillier four-legs-plus-two-wings designs) design of the dragon is one of the best-looking dragons ever committed to film. It's definitely worth your popcorn.

Apparently, Marvel produced an authorized comic book novelization sort of thing that coincided with the release of the film. Bear in mind that this was quite a ways before you could buy the DVD within two months of seeing a movie in theaters. If you were twelve years old and your folks wouldn't pay to see the movie again and again, a comic bookification may not have seemed like a bad deal to spend your lunch money on.

The PAG Antique Store and Garage Sale Assault Force found this book and paid five big American dollars for it, which is double the cover price. Not a bad investment for thirty six years, if the original owner had chosen to retire on his or her shrewd paperback novelization profits.

Apart from the cover painting, the artist isn't credited anywhere in the book. This could lead us to assume that projects like this were mass-produced by a staff of artists an didn't receive the loving attention of one dedicated illustrator. Let's have a look inside.

On page four, we meet Galen, the hero of the story. He's a somewhat round-faced goof who's always getting into trouble with the Master's assistant, Hodge. Oh, that cranky old Hodge.

Thirty four pages and a week or so later, dramatically speaking, Galen is a square-jawed decathlete. It looks as though part of his apprenticeship to the wizard Ulrich may have involved building the castle they lived in.

That, or the artwork in the book may have been handled by more than one person with differing opinions about how Galen should look. Neither is the spitting image of Peter Macnicol, who played Galen in the film, and who you may remember from Ally Mcbeal.

What about Valerian, the love interest?

She, disguised as a boy for reasons that we won't spoil here, first appears on page eight, leading a group of villagers who come to Ulrich's castle, asking for help with their dragon problem. This isn't a bad likeness for the actress, Caitlyn Clark.

By page 140, she could be any generic Marvel heroine. Truly a magical transformation?

Maybe you identify with early-book Galen, always getting himself into mischief and having his ear tweaked by cranky old Hodge? You're in luck, because, we have a decent square crop of ear-tweak Galen for you to use as your online avatar or profile picture on whatever service you use to talk to other humans, for some reason. You're welcome!

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Shake and Bake - Formula euuh, and your new online advocate is here.

This Shake'n Bake ad has little to recommend it. Yeah, it's from 1973, so, silly clothes, but just barely silly. So why's it here? Two things. Ricky Bobby and your new avatar. Let's giddyup.

Talladega Nights is pretty okay. It's no Anchorman, but nothing is. In the movie, for a reason that the characters are unable to explain, Ricky Bobby and his teammate Cal Naughton, Jr. use the catchphrase "Shake and Bake!!!" as if it's meant to intimidate their opponents. So, that's why this ad reminds me of that movie.

As always, Sasha Baron Cohen steals every scene as the villainous French formula 1 driver, Jean Gerard. Here is his line that, for me, is the biggest laugh of the movie, which is delivered by Cohen with flawless, absolute commitment. Any excuse to watch this scene is all the excuse you need., and today it's chicken from 1973. When this movie pops up on TV, I watch until Gerard says this line, and then the show's over, as far as I'm concerned.

"My name is jean Gerard, and I am a racing car driver just like you, except I am from formula euuh. I am zuh greatest one in zuh whole world. I have been following your career with great interest, monsieur Buubie."

So anyway, the other thing we need from this ad is the chicken leg kid. He's not looking at his parents. he's staring at the basket of crispy golden brown Shake'n Bake. He looks like the production manager tried to teach him how to smile earlier that afternoon. Also, his shirt (shirts?) is (are?) frikkin' weird.

He'd make a really good profile picture or avatar for whatever forum or on-the-lines chitchat application you use, except that when we crop him square, which all online thingamabobs appreciate, his chicken leg is out of frame. This is child's play for the Phil Are GO! Graphic Blandishment and Photoshoppery Brigade. Get in here, you clowns!

Here is Monsieur Shake et Bake, in crispy JPG et PNG file formats, so your site's backend has no excuse to refuse the image. You're welcome!

Click for 1000px JPG.

Click for 1000px PNG.

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New Departure Triplspeed Hub - Decalomania?

If you have a bicycle, chances are its got a few gear ratios you can choose while riding. Also, it probably manages this by pushing the chain laterally from cog to cog with a "derailleur". As you can guess from the word, we have The French to thank for this invention. There is another way, however. A heavier, more reliable, more limited way, and that's with an "internally geared" hub on your bike. And, yes, apparently, in 1950, you could have one of these retro-fitted to your bike without replacing the hub. Crazy talk, I know.

The New Departure (That's a brand name.) Triplspeed was an add-on three-speed internally geared hub attachment that, at the time, was probably of pants-moistening desirability to any kid who dreamed of riding his bike up near-vertical inclines or at speeds beyond his ability to avoid personal tragedy. As we can see from the illustration in the ad, the boy pointing in wonderment at the rear hub is probably having his first-ever tumescence. Ah, youth. You never forget your first bike boner.

Planetery gears, and magic.

"So what's the big deal with an internally geared hub?" you say. "My Wal-Mart bike has eighteen speeds that I almost never use." Yes, you don't. But, your Wal-Mart bike is probably neither assembled or adjusted right, and hasn't been, ever since it came out of the carton, because that's Wal-Mart for you. Also, a bike engineered down to a Wal-Mart price point probably has gears that basically almost work properly sometimes, no matter how deftly it is adjusted. But most of all, it's a derailleur transmission, and they are, yes, lighter and cheaper than an internally geared transmission, and are also capable of more gear ratios than an internally geared transmission.

But, there are a few compromises with a move-your-chain-from-gear-to-gear type transmissions.

1) They tend to misbehave if you shift while honking down on the pedals, instead of just gently rotating the pedals.

2) They are open to the elements, and need to be regularly cleaned and lubricated. After one mountain bike race on a rainy day with the course ankle-deep in peanut-butter mud, I had about $200 in parts replacement to look forward to. Cables, bearings, derailleur, etc.

3) If you don't understand what you're doing, you will probably shift into a gear combination that it wasn't meant to handle. The biggest cog at the cranks and the biggest cog at the rear wheel are what is called a "crossover gear", and is a redundant gear ratio that can be reproduced by using different, more mechanically appropriate, cogs in different combination. Also, the smallest-with-smallest combination is another useless crossover gear. There are couple of them on any derailleur transmission and about half of the people on any casual bike trail are probably using one.

Basically, without going into too much detail, a derailleur bike is finicky and delicate in comparison to an internally geared bike. Old transmissions like New Departure, Sachs, and Sturmey-Archer were pretty much indestructible and fool-proof. Yes, they only had a few speeds, but you simply couldn't make them go wrong. You could shift while pedaling, even with the chain under load. You could shift to a new gear while not pedaling, and the hub would shift once you did start pedaling again. Since all the moving bits were inside a sealed unit (hence, "internally-geared"), they generally were maintenance-free. If you somehow did manage to get the internals contaminated, you could probably fix it by taking off the end cap, flushing it with lots of oil, and spinning it for a while.

So, why'd we abandon internally geared designs? We didn't. You can still get one, and they still offer all the benefits outlined above. They still are capable of fewer gear ratios than a derailleur, but all of the gears are useable ones. If you feel like paying for it, you can get an internally geared hub with nine or even as many as fourteen speeds. A nine-speed Japanese unit will probably cost about $300, but there's always the model made by Ze Chermans at the top of the heap. A Rohloff fourteen-speed hub goes for just under $1200. Yes, way.

If you read this 1950 New Departure ad, you'll notice that you can send away from a free sales brochure and also a free... "decalomania"? Double you tee eff is a decalomania? PAG Research and Googling Team, ASSEMBLE!

Decalcomania, from the French d├ęcalcomanie, is a decorative technique by which engravings and prints may be transferred to pottery or other materials. Today the shortened version is "Decal".
"Decalomania" is short for "decal"? Holy crap. I have never heard this before. Thanks, Wikipedia!

Anyway, this ad can also be mined for a few clip arts. Here are three of the kids' heads ready for use as your new avatar in whatever chat system or forum or whatever you use, if that's what you're into.

Last but far from least, there's the bike boner boy, boggling at his lucky friend's new transmission. He could be pointing at anything you want, if only someone would lift him out of the crowd of kids and drop him on a transparent background. PAG Graphic Blandishment and Photoshoppery Brigade, get you asses in here!

Boom. You're welcome.

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Handy Man Hints

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