The Daily Retro: Oh You Kid



Don’t Hobble Me

Just like in olden times,
you’ll never know
when you might
find yourself
in distress.

And back then,
even before ” S.O.S.”
was adopted by American
sailing vessels as the
standard distress signal
– there was ” C.Q.D.

the message
” To All Stations –
— In Distress “
was boiled down to ‘CQD’
in Morse Code, and it was
actually the first distress
call code used by the radio
operators on the Titanic…

( it was then
alternated with the
newer code ‘SOS’. )

Both ‘CQD’
and ‘SOS’
should actually be
displayed with an
overline, indicating
that there is no
between the
when sending, but
my ASCII coding ain’t
up to snuff for that.

But, this post
doesn’t have
that much to do
with nautical lore
or Morse Code,
even –

— despite being
very, very potentially
interesting subjects
in themselves.


Today, for our
Friday Mailbag Post,
I thought we’d
dig for some cool
‘hobble skirt’ postcards.

The hobble skirt was
one of those things, that
back in the early 1900’s,
you either loved or hated.

They were
very stylish,

— but they also made
it very difficult for the
wearer to walk quickly
or to step onto a trolley
car, for instance.

They were actually
banned in many
as unsafe.

And of course,
there were postcard
publishers along for
the ride, too.


Versions of the
hobble skirt idea
still survive in
trendy fashion
today, I’ve noticed..

…. and I can see
how certain aspects
of the thing
could end
up being very…..

… errr ……


!!! HOY !!!

( illustration by John Willie )



Crackerjack Slang

I’ll have to admit,
we use a lot of slang
around here
at the
Muscleheaded Blog……..

I like to say
that a bit
of the blarney blarg
helps make my posts
almost completely
which is good ’cause
no one can take exception
to what I’m saying if they
don’t even understand
what the hell I’m even
talking about.

And if maybe a coherent
thought should slip
through every now
and then,

what’s a salsa without
a little lime, chili and

(mushy tomatoes and
onions, mostly)

Errr.. my point ,
belabored as
it may be,
{ if N=slang then
W+O+R+D+S (+N) }
makes up more than
the sum of it’s letters –

it’s a kinda code that really
doesn’t make any sense to
anyone except the people
who are in on the thing.

(and heaven only knows
who ‘they’ are)

Until it gets
out of the bag,
as it were,
and then,
it becomes part
of ‘popular parlance’.

Think about it.

At one time, only a small
group of people knew that
there was another meaning
to the word ‘beaver’ other
than just a cousin to the
honey badger.

But it spread.Related image

I mean, the popularity of
the expression spread.

And now,
you can jump
to your own conclusions.

Today, we’re attempting
to revive what were,
at one time,
very popular expressions…

(good luck
with that, right …. )

For instance,
you might remember
that the Victorians were
very touchy about
certain words,
and used substitutes
and insider slang to
replace the names
of stuff that they
didn’t like to talk about.

for instance.

Very touchy.

They called ’em

Much better, huh?

But you had to
be quite a
‘whipster‘ to know
what they meant
when they said it.

And that’s what
this whole
whipt syllabus’
is all about.

Sorry to be such
a ‘whisk‘ about it…..

– but a guy’s gotta just
gaze at the melody‘,
ya know.

!!! HOY !!!




Flosculating Will Make You Go Blind

Hello fellow

Welcome to another
Muscleheaded post
about archaic English
words that you can add
to your daily
vocabulary to confuse
your friends and
confound your enemies.

And never mind what
it’ll do to your Aunt

remember when
you had
a crush on that cute
girl who was stuck
sitting next to you
in the pew every Friday
Mass at school ?

How you used to make
snide remarks about her
habit of ” cachinnating “,
(laughing loudly ) even
though you really thought
she was an angel?

Well, that feigned
dislike is called
accismus ” —

and while it is a
pretty stupid way to
get her attention,
and didn’t work
worth a hot damn,
other than to get her to
peenge ” (whine) to
the very ” sermonolatric
(preachy) Father Flannigan,
who grabbed his “ ballow
(stick) and whooped you
within an inch of
your ” contumelious
(disrespectful) little life
until your legs were
(wobbling) like 
crazy as penance for
your ” fallaciloquence “.

Awww well..
as it turned out,
she was ” fizgigging
(flirting) with the
exiguous” ” poltroon
(skinny wimp) down the
street anyway.

I’m sorry to ” flosculate “,
but that’s how
it went down.

As for our postcards
today, these are more
fine examples of the work
of turn of the century
illustrator Albert Peter

I know they don’t really
have anything to do with
today’s text,
—- but I like em.

I hope you do too.

HOY !!


It’s All In Your Stocking

I’m showing my age.

( What’s new, huh? )

I went to a pretty
formal event
last week
(not by my own
choosing, of course)
and I noticed a distinct
paucity of people
dressed up.

Now, when I
say ‘dressed up’,
I mean, face washed,
hair combed,
wearing business
or sunday-go-
to-meeting clothes.

Hey, I wasn’t
even wearing shorts —
I had to wear long
business pants,
and a long sheet shirt,

so I wasn’t expecting
anybody else would/
should be wearing less.

And boy howdy,
all I can say is,
a white fruit of the loom
t-shirt and ripped jeans
does not make a good
impression at a formal

I also noticed hardly
any of the women
present were wearing

What happened ?????????

I never saw so many
birch tree type legs
in my life.


Never mind that stockings
make ones legs look much
more appealing,
more glamorous,
more stylish,

(especially if she
doesn’t shave em)

they keep your legs warm
when the wind is blowing,

and that there enough
shades and styles
made these days
that they’ll match
just about any outfit
somebody would
want to wear……..

I just don’t
get it, man.

Nylon stockings were the
greatest invention since the
electric frappe maker, and
nobody’s wearing em ??

That just bums me out.

as somebody
who does still
enjoy em —

(one who just
looks at them
and doesn’t
actually wear
em, of course)

– I just kinda
figured a post
explaining where
they came from and
the different kinds
might actually
encourage ladies
to reconsider their use.

Like that’ll happen.


Anyway —
what we usually
call ‘stockings’ ,
( which includes
stuff like panty hose)
weren’t any big
deal until the 1920’s, when
skirts started getting shorter.

Before that, they were more
like leggings or long-johns,
and were more for warmth
than anything else.

But the jazz age meant
that more leg was being
shown – and the sheer
stocking came of age–
they were made
of silk or rayon
until nylon was invented
in the late 1930’s.

During WWII, 
women still wanted
stockings, despite the
rarity of civilian nylon,
and went to interesting
extents to get the look.

Yes, leg paint –
or leg make-up.

Some women just drew
a line on the back of their
legs and called it a seam.

three stocking types
are in common

stay-ups which have their
own elastic to hold them in
place , including thigh highs
and knee highs ….

garter belt stockings that
hang from a belt or are held
in place by a separate piece
of elastic or tight fitting fabric,
(those are the sexy ones… )

and panty hose
which are
much like
dancer’s tights .

Once you’ve chosen
your type,
you still have a
huge variety of
styles to choose from —

open weave fish-nets,
cuban high heel cut,
seamed or unseamed,
open-toed ,
all kinds of fabrics
and densities,
designs and

It seems like the
fashion accessory,
doesn’t it?

And as a man,
I say again,
that I think they’re
very nice to look at, too.

!!! HOY !!!


She’s A Teaser

jSomething that
I’m reminded of,
on an almost
daily basis,
is how much
our social structure
has been transformed
in the last 50 some years.

I’m not saying
that it’s bad,
or that it’s good —

to me,
for the most part, anyway– a
— it’s just been weird.

And you know me,
change is something
that I never really
like all that much.

Take flirting,
for instance.

The rules seem to have
been altered wildly
without me ever
even getting
the first memo.

Here I thought that
there was this long process
of talking, courting and datingb
before you even thought
about touching a woman
that way ‘ —

— when all that is
apparently required
is a first class seat
on an aircraft,
a bad comb-over,
and ooodles
and oodles of money.

In that case,
all a lady
has to do is plunk down
in the seat next to you,
smile —

— and it’s all you can eat ?? c

Nuts, man.

What a creep.

Be that as it may…..

At the annual
collector’s swap-meet,
I was browsing a 1952 issue
of a magazine called
“The Girlfriend and The Boyfriend“…..

Sure, a strange title for
a magazine, but who am
I to argue with media moguls?


According to the expert
who wrote the article….

( I dunno,
is relationship-ologist
a word, or what?
I just made it up,
so maybe not. )

“High on every boy’s
list of pet peeves

is the type of girl
shown on these

and the next two pages.
Because she is a teaser.

Almost all girls that
are pretty flirt a little.

It’s the natural thing to do.
But a girl who is a teasere
is not content with simple,
wholesome flirting;
she goes out of her
way to bait boys

with an obvious display
of her physical charms

— baits them with
unspoken promises

that she hasn’t the
slightest intention of fulfilling.

In addition to her other
unflattering qualities,

therefore, a teaser is dishonest.
She has no real sincere
interest in the boys

whose attention she f
sets out to capture;

she is simply playing
a game in which

she holds all of the
cards and doesn’t

mind resorting to
the cheapest of tricks.

A few of these tricks
are illustrated here.

Sometimes they work,
sometimes they don’t.

But whether they are
successful or not,

a teaser never wins in the long run.
For no boy wants to
marry a girl

who enjoys showing off
her charms to others.”

Now, pardon me for interrupting
an obvious expert on stuff like this,
but it seems to me that teasing
is the very essence of flirting —

— and without flirting, g
— well—
life would be pretty fuckin dull,
…. let’s just put it that way.

The noble art of teasing
has been around for centuries —
and has got absolutely nothing
to do with honesty or
any other such millarkey.

I love to be teased,
and any man worth
his salt would say h
the same thing.

If the hook sinks a bit
too deep once in a while,
I dunno what to tell you,
but hey–
grow up, man.


!!!!!!!  HOY !!!!!!!!!



Poor Frozen Charlotte

popsicleAbout that title…..

Yes, you’re right,

—- about it being pretty
damn cold here in
beautiful North Carolina
the last couple of days…


It’s not as bad as
where my nephew lives–

— he had about 5 feet of
snow a coupla days ago.

snowmanAnd, several hundred
miles from here,
one of my favorite
friends in the world
caught the flu from
her new husband

—– and got snowed in, too.

That’s the way to spend
your honeymoon, right?

So I’ve got nothing really
to complain about, I guess.

And I’m not grumblin’
or complainin’,
mind you.change

My gym was all but empty,

— I practically had the place to myself.

(Nobody ventures out
if they don’t have to
around here
when it’s as cold as it’s been….
—- except me,
and my motorcycle. )

which tells me,
that maybe,charlotte

….. just maybe,

Winter DOES have some small positive attribute.

it simply inspired
another one of my
‘weird trivia from the past’ posts.

This one.froz

Getting back to that title…

A long, long time ago, ( 1839 )

…. in a land far, far away ( New York )

There was an article
in the New York Observer,
about how a young girl –
-on her way to a New Year’s Eve ball-
froze to death while riding
in an open sleigh.

Despite the bitter cold temperatures
(the low that night was
around 10 degrees °F)
she had refused to cover up
her pretty new dress with a blanket.

Oh, daughter dear,” sligh
her mother cried:
“This blanket ’round you fold;
It is a dreadful night tonight,
You’ll catch your death of cold.”

“O, nay! O, nay!”
young Charlotte cried,

And she laughed like a gypsy queen;
“To ride in blankets muffled up,
I never would be seen.”

The above verse is from a folk ballad
based on the event,
called “Young Charlotte”,necklace
by Seba Smith in 1840.

It recalls poetically the
young girl’s belief
that somehow radiant beauty
would overcome biting cold,

— and the unhappy,
but almost unavoidable outcome
of personal vanity when it opposes Mother Nature’s will.

She was so busy chatting
away to her beau,
and showing off her
new outfit to the city,
by the time anyone —frozencharlotte

— ( including,
her or her boyfriend ) —

realized it,
she had a lethal case
of hypothermia.

Her sweetheart’s somewhat
valiant attempts at reviving her
were also mentioned :

“He took her hand in his —
O, God!
‘Twas cold and hard as stone
He tore the mantle from her face,
Cold stars upon it shone.
Then quickly to the glowing hall,
Her lifeless form he bore;
Fair Charlotte’s eyes were closed in death,
Her voice was heard no more.

Now, I do recognize
that it is a very sad story.

talkBut even more interesting to me is this item,

— from about 30 years after the fact – 1870.

It’s called a ‘Frozen Charlotte’ doll.

These little porcelain china dolls
became quite popular in the latter part of the 19th century,

…. basically between 1850 and 1925….

They were a kind of momento-with-a-moral,
based on the unfortunate girl’s story.

They’re still very collectible
as a doll or a historical curiosity.

Actually, even more so,
is a strange male version —
called a “Frozen Charlie”.

I kid you not.quality

This little Frozen Charlotte came with her own little coffin,
and the motto:

Don’t Talk So Much ” .

I dunno–

I get the idea,
but maybe
Dress Warm
would be just as good.

Or, better yet —
one that says :