Mary And Her Monkey

edAs I have been
heard to say
more than once…..

Our Edwardian
predecessors could
get downright weird.

Their postcards
show this
tendency very clearly.

Oh sure, I know — monk
it’s just harmless fun, sure.

Until somebody puts
an eye out or something.

Alright, so I don’t know
what I’m talking about.
That’s never stopped us
around here before.

The truth is that sometimes,
their humor has completely
lost it’s meaning to us
modern-day in-the-know folk,

monk3— and we really don’t know
what the hell they
were talking about.

I’d LOVE to say
I get the joke,
but a lot of references
just get very lost in
the fog of history
and changes in language.  4

So, even a seemingly
simple, dirty spin
on a nursery rhyme
requires a PhD in
cultural anthropology
to really be understood.

As far as the naughty
symbolism 5is concerned,
I’m thinking that we
we might have simply
switched animals over
the course of a century……

And I’m betting she woulda
had a lot more fun with
that monkey if she had
just gone ahead 6
and shaved it.

Just sayin’.

!!!! HOY !!!!!!!


Skin and Bones

My lovely friend Ret
recently suggested,
in order for me
to take my mind
off redheads
(and sex in
general, I think),
that I should ask
more questions.

And I’ve decided
to take her advice
because my hormones
do seem to be running
on high RPM’s these days…..

not, that I think
that’s a bad thing,
but I recognize that
it does rather skew
my subject choices
for posts.

So , question:  does it
make me weird that
even though there’s
another month or so
before we get to the
whole Hallowe’eny season,
and despite the fact
that I was going to hold
these things for
Vintage Pin-Up posts
for that time,
that I couldn’t help myself?

They’re what I like to call wonderfully wicked –
a description that basically
means that it turns me on
in an indescribably dark place
just to the left of my medial
orbito-frontal cortex.

Maybe it’s got to do
with my penchant for
wearing skeleton costumes
during my pre-pubescent
Halloween experiences.

Well, probably not….
but, what do you think?

I can’t help thinking about
all the stuff you would see
sometimes when people
opened the door for
trick or treat, though…..

— makes one wish for all
kinds of time travel options.

In that vein, time travel
sounds like it could be
kinda fun, doesn’t it ?

It did seem like the adults
were enjoying the holiday
a bit more than us kids.

Or something a little kickier?

I dunno – where Halloween
parties really wilder back then ?

I was just knee high to a
grasshopper and only
interested in candy —

so, what people were doing
in the background when
they weren’t shoveling
full size candy bars into
my bag was only of
passing interest.

Could it have some latent
effect that I’m only now
becoming aware of ??

Some demented
mechanism at play here?

Obviously, from these pics,
generously sent to me from
one or two of my wonderful
readers who will remain
anonymous (to protect
Katie and Cyn’s reputations,
you know )
— other people also find
these freaky nudes a bit of a rush.

Is it a weird ‘beauty and the beast’ ,
or ‘the wages of sin is death’ thing?

As for me, I might be totally
ignoring the skeleton altogether
and focusing on the beautiful
woman, who knows?


HOY !!!!!


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.