The Daily Retro: The Helen Girls

The Helen Girls —
Helen Gonne (from the country) 
Helen Hunt (the hello girl ) 
Helen Blazes (a hot Scottish) 
Helen Fury (from Halifax ) 
Helen Fudge (a rare old bird )
Helen Brimstone (married not yet)
Helen Damm (from Damville) 

( from around 1910. )


Capt’n Billy’s Whiz Bang

w1929As a guy who still pines
for his monthly
National Lampoon
subscription fix,

even though it’s been
defunct since 1998,

you’ll probably not be
all that surprised

when I say I’m a big fan
of humor magazines…….

Humor magazines in English
have a long, storied history –
— going way back to “Punch”,
started in 1831.

The modern trend toward
humor publications
was actually started in Poland –

in 1816 — by the “Society of Rogues” ,
followed by the “Philanderer” in 1830-wnice

they were printed in Polish, of course.

In the United States,
humor publications were
first oriented toward the ‘college’ crowd —

The Yale Record and Harvard Lampoon
both started in the 1870’s.

Although American adult-oriented
humor Magazines probably owe
a good deal of their lineage
to a publication called ” Judge”,
printed from 1881 to 1953 —

( and to a more short-lived one
called ” Vanity Fair ” )

My favorite pioneer of
the genre was called:
Captain Billy’s Whiz Bang ” .

A collection of snarky cartoons
and semi-dirty jokes…. w3

It was started in 1919 by a retired Army Captain
and veteran of the Spanish American War,
named Wilford “Billy” Fawcett.

Captain Billy’s Whiz Bang was
variously self-described as an :
” Explosion of Pedigreed Bunk (or Bull) ” ,
” Farm Yard Full of Fun and Filosophy ”
” America’s Magazine of Wit, Humor and Filosophy ” .

Fawcett explained what he was
trying to do with Capt. Billy’s thus:
” This little publication was created
with the idea of giving the former servicemen
a continuation of the pep and snap we got in the army,”

And the magazine did cause quite a stir,
—- especially in polite society .

David Sloane,w4
in “American Humor Magazines
and Comic Periodicals” notes:

Few periodicals reflect the post-WW I cultural change in American life as well as Captain Billy’s Whiz Bang. To some people [it] represented the decline of morality and the flaunting of sexual immodesty; to others it signified an increase in openness. For much of the 1920s, Captain Billy’s was the most prominent comic magazine in America with its mix of racy poetry and naughty jokes and puns, aimed at a small-town audience with pretensions of “sophistication”.

Naughty and racy —
how could you go wrong, right?

Of course,
it’s way back before my time,

— and the first time I’d ever
even heard about it, w1
was in the movie “The Music Man” —

when Robert Preston was describing
the moral decline of children in the year 1912:

“Is there a nicotine stain on his index finger?
A dime novel hidden in the corncrib?
Is he starting to memorize jokes
from Captain Billy’s Whiz Bang?”

Of course,
I was hooked from that point.

Sure, the humor is dated,
and can offend people
who don’t remember
to consider the times and culture
in which it was produced.

So, it’s not for everybody, w1928
but then, what is ?

It’s absolutely precious as a
historical reference, and fun, too.

Captain Billy employed a number of very skilled artists
like Frank Tashlin, and Norman Saunders….

It also spurred a number of imitators,
some of whom really couldn’t maintain
the same levels of quality
in terms of content,
art, and print craftsmanship…….

and it influenced others —w2

“Joy Book”,
“Charlie Jones’ Laugh Book”
“Eye Opener”
“Bally Hoo”
and “Esquire” ( founded in 1933).

Even Captain Billy
got into the knock-off action
with “Smokehouse Monthly”.

By the mid 1930’s,
Captain Billy’s Whiz Bang’s humor
seemed old-fashioned and
out of step with the times,
and the publishing empire
(Fawcett Publications)1922
that it had created started focusing
on other types of periodicals,

comic books – ” Captain Marvel ” ,

paperbacks – ” Gold Medal Books “,

technology – ” Mechanix Illustrated ”

movie mags – ” Movie Story ”

noir fiction – ” Daring Detective”

men’s action – ” Cavalier ”

household advice- ” Family Circle”

Time marches on, a1
I guess…..

But to me, any opportunity to laugh
makes the world a happier place,

and so the passing
of the Whiz Bang,
like the later passing
of the National Lampoon,

still fills me with a feeling of loss.


we still have plenty
of old copies laying around.








Outta Touch Temporarily

Hi Y’All !
I hope you’re enjoying the Muscleheaded Blog !

happy weekend .

I’m out of range of
a good internet connection
for a little while,
so my queue has taken
over control of the blog–
but I’ll be back soon !

In the meantime,
if you have suggestions,
questions, or submissions,
I’d love to read ’em !!!

….. and please drop me a line
or a comment if you like
what you see.

Happy Weekend Y’all !!!! .

!!! HOY !!!

And Here’s One For You Too

fingerI wish it would never happen, but it does.

For one reason or another,
a misunderstanding occurs —

it’s my sense of humor that starts the trouble,

—a harmless jesting comment,

or a joke that falls flat ….

…… and , pow,
outta nowhere,

comes an insult that I was neither expecting,
— nor, do I think I deserved.

…. somebody took THAT one the wrong way.

Not that I don’t think I deserve an ass-whoopin’
on every convenient occasion,

but it’s just that I figure somebody
should wait until I meant some harm before they do it,

———- or at the very least,
ask nicely for one. a1

I’m not gonna apologize for any misunderstanding,

once the other party responds with a nasty or mean insult.

It just shows me what they’re really about…

…. and that they weren’t all that nice to begin with.

And of course, a sharp tongue
is no indication of a keen wit.

never mind.

One thing about insults,
is that when they’re
delivered out of the clear blue,
they really hurt worse than
ones you’re expecting.

For instance,
if a girl slaps you,
throws wine on you,
and storms out of a restaurant,
you kinda expect her to have
a few choice words
about your heritage
and your upbringing
while she’s doing it.

enoughBut if you’re tucked up in bed,
enjoying a nice quiet cuddle and feel,
and suddenly she makes a crack about
‘maybe size really is something
to consider after all’ ,

…. well ….

You’re likely to feel a bit more discommoded.



You know… just plain DIS’D.

Hell, you can always build muscle,

…. but some parts of the
body don’t respond
to weight training,
no matter WHAT you do.

It’s important, though, to know how and when to stand for an insult.

Being a man comes with a lot of cool privileges, like:

scratching your balls for 20 minutes first thing in the morning,
being able to pee standing up and just about anywhere,
wearing anything you want to the gym without a cloud of critique,
being the official stuck-jar opener of the household,
punching any mechanical device as a repair technique,
looking at pics of Dita Von Teese on your cell at a funeral service,
using your bathroom as a second office,
growling, grunting, and grumbling while doing chores,
beefing up your lawn tractor to 112 horsepower,
admiring a passing feminine form no matter who likes you doing it,
……. and never even being tempted to fake an orgasm.


— it’s good to be the king.

Hey, did I mention Dita Von Teese ?

Oh, yeah.

I did, didn’t I ?

Ok… as long as I didn’t forget her.

Not that I could, I guess.

But, I digress.


As I was sayin’…

Manhood is pretty cool and all.

forestBut there’s some burdens, too…

… one of them being that
when a woman insults
or slaps you, you stand for it.

You can’t win here,

so don’t try to trade insults,
and don’t try to be clever.

And of course–

( do I have to mention that a left cross
to her face in an elevator in Atlantic City
is strictly out ???

Just WTF is wrong with some guys ?????? )

Smile, and walk away, man, just walk away.

Consult the man rules,
— Chapter one, Sub-section 4,
if you don’t believe me.

It’s right next to holding doors for ladies,
— even when they sneer at you for doing it.


When another GUY insults you–

well, of course,
———— that’s a contusion of an
entirely different color —

A lot has to do with whether you
really give a flying fuck what he thinks, though,

….. and whether he’s got any intention
of taking it any further than an insult.

If you couldn’t care less what he thinks,
and he’s no risk to you and yours ,

— you can laugh it off
and tell him his opinion
means as much to you
as the name of Richard Nixon’s

How you handle the other kind of situation
is completely up to you, though.

But, I got your back, brother.



PS…. here’s something from my mail bag
that seems oddly appropriate.