Our Ostrobogulous Friday Mailbag

The writer
Italo Calvano
once said that:

“A classic is a
book that has
never finished
saying what it
has to say.” 

I think that’s
probably true
about a lot
of things,
and not just
books.

For instance,
you can find
a lot of substance
and humor in old
postcards that’s
still totally relevant –

– and still speaks
very much to the
contemporary
reader.

Of course,
there’s also
the other kind
of vintage card —

— still classic,
you understand
(far be it from me
to besmirch such
things ) —

— but perhaps well
outside of Calvano’s
concept —

– much less relevant,
and doesn’t really
have anything
to say to a
contemporary
reader,
other than:
” WTF “ ?

And naturally,
here at the
Muscleheaded Blog,
we specialize
in those kinds
of cards —

.. the ones
that make
you ponder if there
really is intelligent
life on Earth.

(We know the
answer to that,
now, don’t we?)

So, today, we go
one step further
in fulfilling our
ultimate destiny….

as we present
some more blatant
examples of the
second type of
classic vintage
postcard —

— the ones for
which the meaning
has been hopelessly
obscured amongst
the 23-skidoos,
O-U-Kids and
banana twinkies
deep, deep down
in the time-space
continuum.

Uh hum.

Ok, so sure,
a couple of these
are simply about
old fashioned
flirtation, which
today would come
off as a 9 or a 10
on the official
gauge of these
things…..

The Fester Addams
Relative Creepster
Gradience Scale.

You might not
want what the guy
in the postcard
is selling, but the
product on offer
itself is pretty clear.

And I’m sure we
can come up
with explanations
for what we think
the rest of them
meant, for sure,
but real
understanding
is such a …..
well,
it’s a kinda
hard
thing to
understand,
sometimes.

Hey-
that should
be a famous
quote.

.

!!! HOY !!!

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The Pissing Fountain

Belgium is one
of my favorite
destinations in Europe….

Brussels is home
to quite a good
number of restaurants
and bars, along with
friendly people and
plenty of sights
to visit.

And beer

several of the best
beers in the world
are brewed there.

Despite some similarities,
it’s quite different from
France in many ways,
as I’m sure Monsieur
Hercules Poirot would
be quick to tell you.

One of the more peculiar
landmarks one should see
in the city of Brussels is
commonly called the
“Pissing Fountain” –
but more correctly:
the Manneken Pis
statue …
(or ‘Little Piddler’ ).

It’s called that because
it looks like the bronze
kid depicted by the
statue is pissing on
passerby’s.

Sure,
and not only
is it famous, but
there’s been one
like it in Brussels
since 1618, although
it has been moved,
as well as re-cast,
several times over
it’s history.

Originally, it’s main
purpose was to provide
fresh water to local
residents, but by the
middle of the 1800’s,
it had evolved into
more of a local
landmark, and over
the years, has drawn
attention from not
only tourists, but a
number of thieves
as well.

It was first swiped,
in 1747, by a couple
of French Grenadiers
who had been posted
to the town –
– the residents were so
enraged about it, they
threatened to revolt.

The King of France
ordered it returned,
along with a gold
brocaded robe and a
sword for the statue.

Which kinda
contributed
to a tradition that
continues to this day –

– a couple times a week,
the statue is dressed up
in some kinda costume,
from a wardrobe that
contains over 1000
different ones.

And on the anniversary
of the founding of the
Free University of Brussels,
November 10, the statue is
connected to a keg of beer
for the benefit of visitors.

As one can imagine,
souvenir postcards
from the site are
very popular,
— and we have
several really cool
vintage ones today.

I hope you like em.

.

!!! HOY !!!

I Do Like To Be Beside The Seaside

What is it about
that particular
beach that
makes me feel
all nine-years-old
again , I wonder ?

It’s amazing to me
that after all these
years, that a stroll
down the boardwalk
at night still makes
me every bit as
excited as it would then.

It’s not the wild
whirl of the
amusement rides,
the dark appeal of
mysterious shops,
the animation of
people all around,
.. or the ubiquitous
neon buzz of the
Mac’s Pizza signs
every block or so…..

I stop to ponder
further upon it.

Perhaps the
explanation lies
within some quiet
compromise of
sensory remembrance –

the sounds of the
great ocean swift
sweeping in and
out of that same
beach where I had
spent so many
happy hours –

my ocean –

– eyes tracing the place
on the pier where I was
gifted my very first kiss,
feeling still, the covert
tenderness of that hour,

her kiss –

– sniffing that special
fragrant balance of ocean,
sweat, and the oh-so-
sweet perfume of being
on vacation,

– the memory-tasting
of walk-around foods
of all kinds.

But there’s also
something essential
that’s not of bodily
sensation at all –

So, what is it,
I ask?

And as I pause
once more to
wonder at it,
I suddenly
perceive what
seems to be
a rift in time –

my head is spinning
and I find myself in
the strangest state
of mind –

like I could simply
leap over the railing
and dive into the
‘there and then’ –

until a blaring
Watch The Tramcar
brings me back to
the ‘here and now’.

Startled, 
and yes,
shaken a bit,
I commence
to stroll
once more,
and before long
it comes to me
what the missing
aspect was –

Freedom.

Yes, above all
those other things –

– it was the lovely
languorous freedom

freedom to walk,
or not walk –

freedom to swim
or not swim,

freedom to eat
or not eat –

freedom to be …
freedom to be me.

See ?

.

!!! HOY !!!

Accidents Can Happen

How many times
has someone at work
explained a new rule
or procedure and
ended up by
saying
” safety first ” ?

Once you consider
the risks we take
on a regular basis
for the sake of:
our daily bread,
exercise, chores,
and the like —

(not to mention
FUN- –
what’s fun
without risk?)

— you get to
wondering
just what all
the hub-bub
is all about,
bub.

I mean,
nothing‘s
really safe.

You could think
that if you’re the
one pointing
the gun,
you’re the
safest person
in the world –
until it backfires
and explodes in
your hand.

You could figure
that a boat is safer
than learning to
swim, until you
spring a leak a mile
from shore.

You could pile
up all the stock
and bond profits
from the bullest
market ever —
and then find
yourself trickling
down the side of
a building like so
much ticker tape.

Oh well,
there goes
Parkinson.

It’s like the man
says:
nobody’s got a
perfect shelter.

Safety is a
myth, man….

invented by
scare-dey cats
to help them
get out the door
in the morning and
not just hide under
the covers all day.

Not that if you
were as big a pussy
as that you’d be
safe there, either.

!! HOY !!

Just Say Au Revoir

1951” Hello,
I must be going,
I cannot stay,
I came to say,
I must be going.
I’m glad I came,
but just the same
I must be going. “

These famous ‘parting’ lines
were uttered by Groucho Marx
in the film
” Animal Crackers ” ….

It’s certainly an
interesting way
to make an entrance/exit,
isn’t it ?

Or,
as Paul McCartney would say it:goodb
You say goodbye
and I say hello”

And it all boils down to this:

How hard is it to say ‘adios’ sometimes?

Pretty damned hard —

And I hate long goodbyes
to begin with.

One of my fantastic readers
gave me an idea for a post
a long time ago, and I’ve
been mulling it over ever
since —

I even came up
with a fancy-pants thisles
title and everything.

Hell,
I’ve been thinking
so hard about it,
I forgot who gave
me the damn idea
in the first place.

They do say that
as you get older,
— memory is the second
thing to go, ya know.

I’m glad I can’t count.

Anyhoo,

So, if it was you
from whom
I stole the idea,bless
….well…

I’m truly sorry
—– for mangling it like
I’m about to do.

Probably most everybody
remembers the Paul Simon
song
Fifty Ways To Leave
Your Lover
” —

He does give
some pretty
interesting examples,
for sure.

Like:
Make a new plan, Stan
and
Hop on the bus, Gus” —sailor

and those are fine,
—- if your name happens
to be Stan or Gus
( my sincerest sympathies )

but,
what if your name is
Myron or Jose ?

Don’t quote Byron, Myron…

Just Mozzay, Jose.

Nope…
I don’t think that works
anywhere as well.

Hmmmm….
So what’s a guy to do ?buddy

The friendly neighborhood
postcard publishers of
the early 1900’s
liked to produce cards for
just about every occasion,

—- and since
‘goodbyes’ are
notoriously hard to
say otherwise,
they pitched in to
do their part–

and boy did they.

There are literally
thousands of different
postcards, all basically
saying:

Sayonara,girl

Ciao,

Cherrio,

Get Into The Wind,

Toodles,

Leavin’ On A Jet Plane,

Catch Ya On The Flip Flop,

Peace Out,

Gonna Go Live With Granny,

Bon Chance,

Ticket To Ride,forever

So Long,

Laytah Gaytah,

Gotta Catch A Train,

I’ll Get Me Coat,

Hasta la vista Baby,

Adieu Sweet Stranger,duty

Buh-bye.

Oh sure,
I guess
there are much
more poetic ways
of communicating it.

I mentioned Lord Byron
earlier…
(at least, I think I did… )

And I always found his
So We’ll Go No More A Roving
verse rather appropriate:

” Though the night
was made for loving,
And the day returns too soon,tosti
Yet we’ll go no more a roving
By the light of the moon. “

Ahh…
but,
therein lies the rub.

It’s not just finding
the right words,
but getting the courage up,
fighting back the tears,
saying the words
in the right way,

and then handling
the reaction,
(whatever that may be) —

Yow-
man,turtley
talk about a Gordian knot.

A postcard,
on the other hand,
only requires
a stamp and an address.

Add a “Dear John”
or “Dear Jeanette”,
and
you’re done with
the whole thing.

Fait Accompli.

It does seem kinda
cold-blooded
to do it that way.1912

But,
I guess the
immense variety
of ‘goodbye’ postcards
just goes to show how
difficult the whole thing
can be to say face to face.

And sometimes,
…. it was actually
the ONLY way of saying it….

War,
of one ilk or another,
seems to have produced
the majority of them —

Another surprise, huh?girlie

I guess of all
human enterprises,
war tends to be
the most universally
destructive and invasive —
not only to life and property,
but also to relationships
and human happiness.

And the cards reflect that.

Some are really touching
and tender.

Others just make you
wonder, man.

So, as my friend
Julie would say:
HAPPY TRAILS To YOU

.

HOY !

.

yours