Lulu And Leander


This unusual postcard
was one in
a series of cards
issued around 1906 —

It was called a “Magic Postcard”,
and it was heat activated —

the instructions on the card read:

 “run a hot flat iron leander
over the back of these postcards 
or hold
them over a gas jet,
or a lamp, or
a burning match

(but be careful not
to set them on fire)
—and see what happens”.

if you were successful
in not starting
an unintentional
conflagration ——

— on the top card,
called “Where’s Leander?”
you could see a jealous
husband having a
bit of a tantrum —

and on the second card,
“What is the cause
of Leander’s anger?”

while you can clearly see
that same jealous husband
on the left —

he would be suddenly
accompanied by a
rather affectionatecouch
older man, and the
same only-a-bit-reticent
young lady kissing
(in red)
on the right of the card,
— as it was heated.

The ‘invisible’ ink
that was usedlululeander
has absorbed
light and dust
over the years,
making the ‘secret image’
much more easy
for US to see.

Which is good,
because I have no ideahowarth
whether heating your
computer screen
would have had
the same effect.

I’m thinking probably not.

The creator was
an American artisttrials
by the name of
Franklin Morris Howarth
(1855-1908), who did illustrations for
popular publications like:
and Life Magazines.

The characters in greeneyed
these cards are from
his 1900’s cartoon strip
called “Lulu and Leander” .

the plot of the comic
was thus:

The lovely doe-eyed
Edwardian lady in
question, Lulu,
seemed to have had
several admirers
in her social circle,
which would upset
the husband Leander
to no end.

In particular,
Leander disliked a
young man namedcharleyonthespot
Charley Onthespot,
who always seemed
to be conveniently
present whenever
Lulu was around…..

Leander was a
bit of load  —

— for one thing,
he didn’t like dogs
(and they didn’t like him),
which I always
think is a bad sign —

And his pride
and impetuosity
was always
getting him into the
most difficult situations ….

— he was also prettya1
arrogant and pompous,
as I guess you’d expect
some male members
of the upper crust
would have been back then,

And Lulu, on her part,
didn’t seem to put up
all that much resistance
to the many advances
coming her way….

….. but she did seem to have
complete control over what
was going on around her.

To me she seems
rather charming, bold,
and harmlessly coquettish,
not to mention
although Leander
didn’t seem
to appreciate the finer
points of all that.

The comic strip started in 1904–
(using characters Howarth
had developed in the 1890’s)a1a
with Leander and Lulu dating……

Lulu’s parents weren’t
all that crazy about Leander,
and with his various
misadventures in
courting her, Leander
wasn’t making
it easy for them
to come around
to the idea
that he would make
Lulu a good husband.

Eventually, “Popper”
(the father)
banned the idea altogether —

— after Leander fell
off a ladder
on top of him in
the middle of the night. eloped

Not good.

Anyhoo —

Leander finally convinced Lulu to elope to Niagara Falls with him by train —

— Leander hiking the last 25 miles by himself after foolishly getting off
the train to pick Lulu
some wild flowers
during a short
maintenance stop.

It was a strange
little comic strip
full of love’s pathos
and human frailties,

and lasted only a
couple of years
before Howarth’s
death in 1908.

It’s also a favorite of mine,
for some reason.a11

And I’ve included some strips
from the Sunday Funnies
of the Chicago
Sunday American
— from 1904 to 1906 —
in the hopes that
you may like it too.




Disclaiming This Disclaimer

bottomlessMost folks already know
that I’m almost completely
out of mind, so this won’t
surprise you, probably…

One of my favorite
things to do when
I’m utterly bored
is to make fun
of stuff….

I dunno…

— but as I said,
if you’ve been around
the Müscleheaded Blog
for even a little while,
you have
already figured
that out by
yourself, too.

Maybe because it seems
that so much of today’s
culture is vacuous —
with no real substance
or depth of meaning.

It’s as shallow aswalk
yesterday’s mud puddle.

Often as clear as that, too.

It’s just so easy to
laugh at such things.

For instance,
they’ve got warning
signs everywhere —

Don’t do this,
don’t eat that,
don’t jump off here.

And it really should
be obvious to the
sign people,
that the only people
who (based on
common sense)
ALREADY don’t know
not to do this or that

people like me,
who don’t like rules
and will ignore the sign,

and stupid people,
who can’t read the
damned signs anyway.

What category did I
say I fit in again?

Oh well, it doesn’t
really matter.

The point is:

The signs don’t help, man.

And the same goes
for small print
and disclaimers –graph

Nobody reads ’em,
and even less than nobody understands em.

Ever heard a used car commercial on the radio?

The guy’s talking loud,
clear and slow
about the bullshit price
they’re claiming to be asking —

— a $40,000 car for —
Twelve Dollars a Month! shirt
Not a lease!

(ok, somebody can’t
do math, right?)

Then, suddenly comes
the ‘small print’ —
and it’s soft, garbled,
and so blazing fast
that you gotta wonder
what kinda exotic drug
that guy’s been taking.

(and why I can’t get some) a3

It’s just how the whole ‘disclaimer’
thing works.

You’re not supposed
to get it.

That is,
until now.

Because as a huge public service,
the Müscleheaded Blog is
going to explain thema4
in a way that will do
nothing but convolute
the issue even further.

Hell, why not,
I ask you?

Cause we use them all the time around here.

Here’s a piece of 1
prima facie
evidence to show you
just makes us
such experts
on the subject.

This is from a post
called “Knowing She’s Interested” —

” Disclaimer:
Ladies, please don’t take any of this personal.
You already know I’m completely full of shit, and that I’m out of my ever lovin’ mind. None of this is true about any of you, or about your sex in general. It contains not even a germ of truth, or resemblance of any germ of truth. It is simply the product of a sick imagination, dreamed up by some ignorant musclehead, —with way too much testosterone and not enough brains to fill up a Ny-Quil dose cup.
If you’re a ‘sensitive soul’, this is probably the wrong guy’s stuff to be reading. I would suggest Lord Byron, or Coleridge. One of those romantic English types. Do NOT go hiding in your closet for two weeks or sending viral emails to all your weepy girlpals and wispy guypals about what a mean, cold hearted misogynst you think I am. I’m kidding. I don’t mean it. It’s supposed to be funny. J O K I N G.
It cannot be construed in any way to be a valid justification for suicidal thoughts, hating all men, dreading relationships, not taking your meds, or otherwise avoiding healthy human contact.
And as a public service to all the humorless neo-feminazis, bad attitude man-haters, and male-feminist-wanna-bees out there, consider your feck-you emails already sent and received. Thanks. “

Now, that disclaimer
was written in the
vain hopes that a2
I wouldn’t upset
anybody with the
whole ‘zany spoof
and witty sarcasm
thing’ that we try
to do around here
on a regular basis.

I still got two feck-you emails from it.

Whether they were
humorless neo-feminazis,
bad attitude man-haters,
or just
well, walll
that I could not tell.

But it does go to
show you just
how meaningless
and worthless
these damned
disclaimers are.

And that’s exactly
WHY I use so
many of them.


Remember our motto:

” Nothing exceeds
like superfluous jejunity.” 

Oh yeah —

using big words
that nobody understands
don’t hurt, either.




Fun Is Where You Find It

wildoatsI was listening to
the Talking Heads
this morning at the gym….

their EP “Wild, Wild Life“.

I got to wonderin’ —

…… just how much
of a wild, wild life
am I livin’ these days?

I mean,
I ain’t wearing fur pajamas —
I ain’t riding no hot potato.

It ain’t fair,
I tells ya.

Perhaps it all boils down
to what a person considers ‘wild’.


the fact that fur pajamas
do sound a little too
warm for my taste.

So then,
I got to thinking about
how the whole concept
of ‘wild’ has changed
over the years….

Back around the
turn of the century,
folk’s ideas of a wild night
could get ….

…………. well, pretty weird,

If you were to ask a Victorian,
or Edwardian-era person
where the ‘wildest’ times
were to be had….a

Assuming they didn’t slap
you for the impertinence of the question,

– they would probably say “Paris”.

Even then, Paris was
THE happenin’ place.

Sure, home of the famous
French Postcard.

( ooooo lala and all that ) —

The infamous ‘Can-Can’,
in dance halls like
the Moulin Rouge,
and Folies Bergère —-

…. and the very strange
‘Heaven and Hell’ Clubs.

These clubs,
mostly located in the
Montmartre section of the city,
—– made modern ‘Goth’ clubs
look like Shakey’s Pizza.

Dank, dark, depressing —
and intentionally so —

most people who went there
did so for the atmosphere.

And, of course,
the friendly service —

a newcomer would be greeted
by a screaming group
of ghoulish garçons –

“Enter and be damned,
the Evil One awaits you!”

cabaretThe inside one of these clubs was supposed to be creepy–

“Large, heavy, wooden coffins, resting on biers, were ranged about the room in an order suggesting the recent happening of a frightful catastrophe. The walls were decorated with skulls and bones, skeletons in grotesque attitudes, battle-pictures, and guillotines in action.”

The coffins served as tables, and bars —

and you might be served by someone
dressed up as an angel, a demon,
maybe even ole Beezlebub himself —

You might be seated at one of those ‘tables’,
and your waiter would rise right up out of it.

Once you got over montmartrethe shock of it,
you could place your order —

Weird mixed cocktail concoctions of
Absinthe, Benedictine,
Campari, and Champagne
with names like:
Death Takes a Holiday
” Brain Fluid Crush ” —

Yes, then you could sit back
and enjoy scenic vistas like this:

neant2“Crevices in the walls of this room ran with streams of molten gold and silver,

— and here and there were caverns lit up by smoldering fires from which thick smoke issued, and vapors emitting the odors of a volcano.

Flames would suddenly burst from clefts in the rocks, and thunder rolled through the caverns.

Red imps were everywhere, darting about noiselessly, some carrying beverages for the thirsty lost souls, others stirring the fires or turning somersaults.

Everything was in a high state of motion.”

All the while,
…… being cajoled and insulted
by the bartenders and staff —

“Drink, Maccabees!
Drink these noxious potions,
which contain the vilest and deadliest poisons!”

There were a number of these clubs,
according to “Bohemian Paris of Today” authors
William Chambers Morrow and Édouard Cucuel, writing in 1899 …..

With names like:
” The Cabaret of Nothingness ” ,
” The Cabaret of Hell “.

If it all sounds all too Ninth Circle of Dante’s Inferno for ya …

…. well, you might have the right idea,
but without all the glamour .

But I have to say,
as mind-numbingly morbid as these places seemed to have been,

(they are all long gone–
the last one closed after the German invasion during WW II–
— talk about hell on Earth, man),

enfer1They are a very interesting social phenomena,

especially viewed from a present day perspective.

Part ritual,
part fantasy,
Part puerile,
part recherché,
Part farce,
part outrage.

And as a reminder that we all could use,
especially today, to —

Live It Up Every Day, For It Might Be Your Last.





You Come A Long Way Baby


Madison Avenue moguls
have always made a mint
on cigarette advertising.

Big business —
BIG Business, man.

And the variety of ads
that have appeared
for tobacco products,
just here in the United States,

( Europe and Asia still have
a variety of brands like this … )

Femswould stagger the mind
of the un-initiated
newbie collector of
printed materials —

One of the most interesting
sub-genres of vintage
tobacco product
advertising collecting
has to do with products
made specifically for women.

Most people today probably
still remember
a brand called “Virginia Slims”,

— and their motto:

“You’ve Come A Long Way Baby”,

from the early 1970’s.haidee1914

But indeed,
cigarette advertising
geared toward women
really HAD already come
a very long way —

It started back in
the early 1900’s
with brands like ” Haidee “-

These featured:debs

red lipstick resistant tips,
a luxurious red foil inner wrap,
and specially perfumed choice tobaccos,

The pack even contained
a small make-up mirror
on the inside lid.

A very popular brand
put out by Benson and Hedges
during the 1930’s and 1940’s
was called

” Debs ” —

Their adverts were particularly
striking and well designed,

to appeal to the fashion-
conscious female of the

The tips were also red,

to conceal lipstick prints
on the butt when it was
in the ashtray.

This innovation wasn’t
just copied by “Debs”, though —

A brand issued by Winston,
” Fems ” also used it.

As did a Marlboro offshoot
geared toward women,

called ” Marlboro Crimson Tips “russellpattersona

Other brands would use ‘lighter’ smoking tobacco,

fashion oriented advertising,

thinner profile cigarettes,

or just plain unadulterated
snob appeal to attempt
to attract feminine smokers.

Benson and Hedges offered a
variety of cigarette called the
“Virginia Rounds” ,

that featured advertising
with a sense of humor —

—- the illustrations were done
by famed American cartoonist
Russell Patterson —dumaurier

The cigarettes themselves offered
some weird filter configuration called “Corn Tips”.

All in all,
vintage cigarette ads
targeting women
clearly demonstrate
the tactics that
advertising companies
still use in selling
— from soups to nuts.

And it’s not always going to be
in the consumer’s interests, either.

Like it or not,
one must always remember :

Caveat Emptor !!!!!