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.








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.



Now, The Golden Age Of Ballooning

the Golden Age of Ballooning .

Ya see,

There were these two brothers,
living in Annonay, France
around 1783…



I can’t get started here tonight.

I’m in one of those:

‘Hell, I dunno what I wanna post’ moods.

I’m just gonna wing it, man.

(What’s new, huh?)

I did find some groovy stuff in my:

‘do a future post on this’ folder —

But, it’s completely disjointed,oops

….. and one piece has virtually
nothing to do with another.

— what’s new, huh? )

they’re unique and all —

How was I gonna tie them all together?

That, indeed,
was really a quandary, however.


I didn’t want to do a post on
the Golden Age of Ballooning at all.


I wanted to be a lumberja—

I mean,

I wanted to do a post on
my favorite beach in Texas,

which of course,

is Galveston Island.


I bet you knew that, too. )

As long as you’re there before
/after Spring Break erupts
like a teen’s bad complexion,

—– you’d probably love the place,
as much as I do.

if you happen to be INTO
only-slightly-post-pubescent tomfoolery,a1

and the lingering scent of
Red Bull and Jaegermister vomit,


if you like that kinda stuff, well….

you might like Galveston
even at that time of the year, then, too,

Hell, I dunno.drown

I will say–

There’s nothing that will get you
arrested faster in that part of Texas
than a middle-aged man getting
under-21 College Girls drunk
and taking advantage of them, though–

So maybe,
you shouldn’t consider that option,galveston1

or, at the very least,

— find a way not to get arrested for it.

they got a special cell waiting
for you and everything.

But I did have a couple of cool
vintage things from there
to bring to that party,

that I’ve now gotta find another use for…..

( not from the special cell–
— from Galveston! )

devilsauctionI just didn’t want to give you
any bad ideas that would
get you into trouble.

I’m always doing that to people.


One of my readers had
suggested I do a post on horses.

And they’re fun to ride, sure.

other than the 94 horses that
my motorcycle engine possesses,

I know very little,
and next to nothing about horses.

Mark Twain once said,
that a writer should write
what you know, so…


with that quote in mind,

— it’s a wonder anything EVER
gets written for this site,
on any subject.


So then ,
I thought —

everybody likes strippers —a1a

—- so, what I really needed
to do was a post about famous
strippers of the early 1900’s.

Talk about a subject of
broad general interest, right ???

And, yes, of course
there were famous strippers
in the early 1900’s.

How could I do a post on ’em,
….. if there weren’t any ?

I mean,
there weren’t many.

Which probably explains
why I didn’t do THAT post, either.




Editors Note:

Click here
( ok,
not there, exactly,
but below, )
The Golden Age of Ballooning“.

I mean, you could click there,
(on the first ‘click here’)
but it’s not set up as a link,
so it’s kinda pointless.

On the other hand,
the part right after PART ONE-‘B’ of —
I set that up to work as a hyperlink.

Now, I know what you
might be asking, right now :

” ……… hey, I don’t wanna
piss on your parade or anything,

but, why didn’t you just put the
hyperlink where you put the
‘click here’ instead of convoluting
the whole process with a droning
on and on explanation about how
you shouldn’t try to click where
you just told somebody to click
because it doesn’t work, but you
know good and well you could
have done it that way and
saved everybody
(well, not everybody,
but a substantial percentage
of your readers, although somehow
I doubt you have anyone that would
have even gotten this far in such
a rambling post as this one,
but we’ll put that on the back burner
for the time being…)
from reading a bunch of words
that we’re all too bloody busy
in this all-too-self-involved and
self-indulgent post-industrial
society to have to wade through,
simply because you can’t keep
it simple, you bloody fool–
I mean, come on,
why would you do that?”

Well, my friend,
that’s a fair question.




Quack Quack

aaHave you ever had a
constant ringing in your ears ?

And I don’t mean the kind
that you get for a short time
after a migraine, or a
Justin Beiber concert.

I mean a high pitched sound
that won’t go away–
— and plugging your ears
just makes it worse.

It’s called tinnitus,
and I can’t even
imagine what kinda crazy
it would drive me to,
but some people have
to suffer with it,
day in and day out.

So imagine how relieved
those poor folks would be
if somebody told em that
they had invented a cure.

A company in Brooklyn, New York
did just that around 1900.

tinnitusLet your wondering eyes

( not to mention your sore ears and aching head )

behold the wonder of the age —

The Violin Vibrophone.

Oh, don’t get me wrong now….

It didn’t work .

But they did sell about 120,000
of ’em at about 600 bucks in today’s money.

Let me tell you how it worked.

Oh sorry….
how it didn’t work.

This mechanical violin thingee
had all kinds of cool little dials on it,
that you could adjust, so that it
would play a constant note
at the exact same frequency
as your ear ringing sound.

How would that help, you ask?

Hahaha, well there-in lies the rub, my friend.

The only difference was in that
when you finally lost your
ever-lovin’ mind completely,
you wouldn’t know whether
to blame the disease or the cure.

Welcome to the world of
vintage medical quackery devices,
and another of our posts about it.

So strap in, my little friends………
( evil laugh trails off in the distance )

Now, I know what you’re thinking…

He’s always putting crummy
disclaimers on his posts,
that don’t have anything
to do with the subject at hand..
it’s just a cheap device going for a cheaper laugh. “

Well, you couldn’t be further
from the truth..
although now that I think about it,
I’m not sure why I decided to
add a disclaimer to this here thing,
exceptin it be to remind you that
this stuff is supposed to be
somewhat funny, even though
it is the real skinny…..

and to warn you that if you
find anything offensive
about the skeletal system
of a healthy female type
person around 35,
might want to skip this post
and go read something else.

Cause it’s comin’.



I’m no technological reactionary.

I got no problem with it………

I’m not one of those guys
who bucks every new gizmo that comes along.

Like these scanners at the airport.

I can see how these things
can actually be put to very good use.


But it’s not like every technological
marvel that has come along
has been proven to be a boon to mankind.

Some stuff…..,
……. well, I just don’t see
how they got away with selling it.

Like this gizzie for instance.


It was called the “Robot Phrenologist” ……..

And as if phrenology as a science
wasn’t goofy enough already …

( it was the practice of determining
one’s personality by reading the bumps on your head)

…. this gizmo used vacuum tubes
to interpret them automatically.

All you had to do was strap
the headgear on, and have plenty of gullible.

Way back when….
almost last week, really,
any product could be marketed
as Doctor Somebody’s Remedy
for such and such…..4

No Doctor required.

So, you had a lot of crap masquerading as cure.


This here fine product is an example….

It’s called Doctor William’s Pink Pills for Pale People.

It’s miracle ingredients were all of 3 minerals–

Iron, Manganese, and Copper.

Any lessening of paleness in people
taking this stuff was most likely due to rust.

The device below is called the Heidelberg Electric Belt…..

…… you notice that little electric loop down at the bottom of it?


Well, guess what you do with that.

It would send little electric shocks down
through the belt and into that loopy thing.


Do I smell meat burning?

While we’re on the subject of male anatomy…..


This device was recently patented….

it’s supposedly for the relief of problems with obtaining erections.

It’s — yes — you guessed it –
—- a penis exerciser.

Apparently, you stick your member in one end,
and then, by adjusting the spring tension,
and moving that paddley thing up and down,
…… you’d be doing the same basic thing as penis pull ups.

Really, I’m not that good
at reading technical drawings, but…..


Nobody’s putting Little Elvis in a penis pullup machine.


He gets his exercise the old fashioned way.