When I need a break
from the mundane, hum-drum,
‘oh-blah-di-oh-blah-dah’ of the daily routine,
…..a couple days in San Francisco will certainly lighten things up a bit.
Forget that Vegas clap trap.
I can get into all kinds of fun,
and assorted trouble in SFO–
( partly because nobody really knows me there )
…..and best of all,
unlike Las Vegas,
I never come home thinking
that it wasn’t worth it.
San Francisco is just one of those adventurous, open-hearted cities I love.
There’s a place on Fisherman’s Wharf in the Embarcadero that I never miss….
( yeah, I know it’s touristy —
it’s also something you must do
–—- you wouldn’t skip riding your motorcycle down Lombard Street, either, right? )
It’s called the Musee Mecanique,
…..and it has a huge collection of weird and wonderful coin operated machines from every part of the 20th Century.
These things are so fun for me….
…..they’re truly period pieces,
and the best thing about the Musee Mecanique
is they are ALL IN WORKING CONDITION.
Vintage 1930’s technology
for the 21st Century.
I kid you not.
— along with a picture of your future mate,
and maybe even your kids.
And what it has to say about all that stuff, well….
I’d make a joke about gene pools and chlorine, but I won’t.
This gizmo, for instance….
It was manufactured from 1915 up through the 1930’s,
and it’s called the ” Wizard Fortune Teller “,
You put a penny —-
(historically it was a penny,
but all of these machines are now quarter operated–
a bargain if you ask me,
considering the price of time travel )
in the slot down on the bottom,
then you chose a question from the menu ,
pushed a button on the side
to indicate that you had made a selection—
I hope you’re ready for it.
The questions you could ask this machine ranged from :
” Am I going to travel ? ”
” Shall I be wealthy ? ”
” Am I going to marry ? ”
“Shall I have a family ?” ,
Now it seems to be that’s a two-fer-one option,
……. since if the card answers what your future spouse is gonna look like,
you’re obviously gonna have one.
Score one for you —
assuming you’re not committed
to floozing around the rest of your life.
(And I wouldn’t blame you if you were….. )
Like this one:
Oh…. a nurse, aye?
White stockings, hat, uniform and all ??
You lucky devil you.
Wait………… Six kids ??????
Man, you been bizzzzzzy.
I mean, I like a girl/girls in that nursey outfit once in a while, myself,
…… but didn’t either of you learn anything in health class ????
I don’t think either of you
are gonna have much money left for fancy stuff
like using coin operated machines for predicting the future.
Here’s another one you mighta drawn.
It says you’re gonna marry an HEIRESS.
I don’t think much of that face on that kid, though…..
(Place another obligatory gene pool joke here) .
no matter what you’re wondering about,
as long as it’s one of those six things,
this machine knows all.
It’s the answer to all those pesky issues of decision making you’ve been faced with, alright.
I’m thinking once you know the truth,
you might be having second thoughts.
of course I wouldn’t leave you out.
I bet you’ve been wondering….
here they are.
And I’m not even gonna charge you a quarter.
An undertaker, huh?
he was ” bound to get you in the end, anyway.”
And hey, those kids are kinda cute.
Thank heavens they take after you and not HIM.
I’d very much like to hear the story
about how you two lovebirds first met.
I bet it’s a doozy.
Whether you take the whole thing seriously or not is up to you,
……but I’m thinking both the questions,
and the predictions,
might just be a little tiny bit dated.
Still, the prediction cards for some of the machines are fun
and will certainly transport your imagination to another, simpler period of history.
These cards are all from a series printed in 1935.
( You film history buffs might recognize some of the people pictured on these cards
——- mostly from the era of silent movies. )
I hope you get as big a kick out of these cards as I did.
How to get there?
Well, the Musee Mecanique is located at:
Pier 45 Shed A,
in the beautiful city on the Bay-
San Francisco, California.
Go west from Charlotte for about 2700 miles,
and then ask somebody.
“A kiss can never be absolutely defined. Because each kiss is different from the one before and the one after. Just as no two people are alike, so are no two kisses like. For it is people who make kisses. Real, live people pulsating with life and love and extreme happiness.”
(Hugh Morris, 1936, The Art of Kissing )
As a collector of printed media,
I never really know what I’ll find at a swap meet or card and stamp show.
I expected to run out of interesting finds long ago–
But it seems like there’s always a new discovery to make me happy and keep me entertained.
It’s like that wise philosopher once said:
“Simple stuff occupies a simple mind.”
I never liked that guy much.
I recently found a pamphlet recently called:
“The Art of Kissing”, by Hugh Morris, printed in 1936.
In it, one finds a copious cornucopia of kissing counsel.
Interestingly enough, this Hugh Morris guy also wrote a fascinating treatise on card tricks that same year, but never mind all that right now.
This book, ‘The Art of Kissing’, describes all manners of techniques and varieties of the osculating art:
……from getting comfy on the couch, learning the basics, how to find somebody to experiment on, and the different “approved methods of kissing”.
I love it.
….. including sweet breath, clean teeth, and some old fashioned flattery.
“A man must be able to sweep a woman into his strong arms, tower over her, look down into her eyes, cup her chin in his fingers, and then bend over her face and plant his eager, virile lips on her moist, slightly parted, inviting ones. “
He explains the various shapes of lips,
….. and how to:
“kiss girls with different sizes of mouths”.
“The lips are not the only part of the mouth which should be joined in kissing. Every lover is a glutton. He wants everything that is part of his sweetheart, everything. He doesn’t want to miss a single iota of her ‘million-pleasured joys’ as Keats once wrote of them. That is why, when kissing, there should be as many contacts, bodily contacts, as is possible. Snuggle up closely together. Feel the warm touch of each other’s bodies. Be so close that the rise and fall of each other’s bosoms is felt by one another. “
We’re really getting into the meat of the issue now.
Sip that honey slowly, please.
The ‘approved varieties’ of kissing that Morris took the time to explain include:
” The French Soul Kiss “ —
“There is more to your tongue than its tip. Probe further. Gently caress each other’s tongues. For, in doing this, you are merging your souls. That is why this kiss was called the “soul” kiss by the French, who were said to be the first people to have perfected it. It is because of the fact that they dropped Puritanism many years ago that the French were able to perfect themselves in the art of love and, particularly, of kissing.”
” The Vacuum Kiss “ —
“Open your mouth a trifle, then indicate to your partner that you wish her to do likewise. Then instead of caressing her mouth, suck inward as though you were trying to draw out the innards of an orange. If she knows of this kiss variation your maid will act in the same way and withdraw the air from your mouth. In a short while, the air will have been entirely drawn out of your mouths. Your lips will adhere so tightly that there will almost be pain, instead of pleasure. But it will be highly pleasurable pain.”
It all sounds pretty exciting to me, and I’m ready to give it a try already.
But, there’s still much to learn, Grasshopper.
For instance, the ” Dancing Kiss ” —
“A very pleasant way to kiss is found in the ‘dancing kiss.’ Here, again, it is the closeness of the bodies of the participants that adds to the enjoyment. What more could a pair of lovers ask for than a dimly lighted dance floor, the tender, rhythmical strains of a waltz being played by Wayne King, their arms around each other, their eager young bodies kissing each other in a myriad of excitable places, the while their cheeks meet in glowing, velvety strokes?”
I gotta learn how to dance one of these days, man.
But, who the hell is Wayne King, I wonder.
Other types of kissing mentioned are:
“The Pain Kiss“– ( otherwise known as biting each other’s lip.)
The author quotes Catullus to expound his idea on this one:
“Whom wilt thou for thy lover choose?
Whose shall they call thee, false one, whose?
Who shall thy darted kisses sip,
While thy keen love-bites scar his lip?”,
“ The Surprise Kiss” —
otherwise known as the ‘Snow White, Wake Up and Let’s Do It’ kiss,
“The Spiritual Kiss” —
which the author says can be performed from up to 15 feet away,
“The Nip Kiss” —
which is taking a nibble on your beau’s neck or other hot-spot ,
and “The Eyelash Kiss“–
which he explains as a “charming by-path in the meadows of love that is pleasant, provocative, and not exhausting“.
One of the more surprising (you might even say ‘shocking’) things Morris lists in his little primer to canoodling is something he calls:
the ” Electric Kissing Parties “,
He explains these parties started:
“… after ether was first invented as an anesthetic, the young bloods of the town used to form “ether-sniffing” parties in which they got a perfectly squiffy ether “jag.”
And he even goes on to describe the goings-on at one of these sultry soirees…..
” The ladies and gentlemen range themselves about the room. The ladies select a partner, and together they shuffle about on the carpet until they are charged with electricity , the lights in the room having been turned low.
“In time, you will become so inured to the slight shock that you will seek more potent shocks.
“These can be obtained with the use of any device worked from a battery and a coil which steps up the weak three volts of the battery. ”
I’m starting to get some really interesting ideas.
Just call me Reddy Kilowatt.
And, if you didn’t like that post, you’ll probably hate this one, too:
” I’ll Tell Your Fortune For A Penny ”