Reflecting The Halloween Season

oukid3Tomorrow will be 
Friday the 13th.

And 17 days
until Halloween.

Interesting.

There have been many
fascinating aspects of
celebrating the Hallowe’en Holiday over the years….

Some,
like door-to-door
‘trick or treat’,
are only now
starting to wane
from popularity,
as our culture
continues to get
more dangerous
and the holiday
evolves into a
more adult
oriented one.

Other customs —

like, for instance,
the time-honored
‘midnight magic mirror’-
a1
— have completely lost
most of it’s relevance
and meaning to the
contemporary
observances.

Still,
it is an interesting facet
in early 20th century
Halloween folklore —

The idea that:
at midnight,
on Halloween night,
an unmarried maiden
or gentleman might,
if the candles are lit just right,
and he or she be pure of heart,
be enabled to behold their
future spouse in the reflection
of the looking glass.

Charming,
right?

And judging from the
media of the time,
something that many folks actually believed could happen.

Hey–
all kinds of strange things
go bump on the night of Halloween —
so why not ?

Superstitious or not — destiny
I’m sure it made for some spooky fun.

I imagine it had a numinous quality that was very appealing to folks.

The images of this rite abound in postcards of the time.

We all know that the folks of the early 1900’s were postcard crazy–

They sent cards
for any and all occasions.

It seems like this
was especially the
case around Halloween.oukid

It will absolutely amaze you
how many different varieties
and themes of Halloween
postcards that there
were published…
mainly between
1900 and 1930.

And of course,
before Halloween arrives,
you can certainly
expect me to revisit
this theme again.

But today,
we’ll look at just
two of the
popular motifs —

The Magic Mirror,
like you can see in cards
# 3, 4 and 7…

and another
very interesting
fancy from the time —

themed on the
‘ O U KID ‘ .

(cards #1, 6, and 8) oukid2

If you caught my post
on the whole ‘ Oh, You Kid
craze —
(of course, you did… )
you won’t be surprised
to see it appear on the
Halloween cards of the period.

And here it is.

The rather subtle sexuality inferred in the expression,
and the stranger qualities
of the vintage version of the holiday mixes surprisingly
well on these cards.

I’ve always felt that halloween
Halloween
had an inherent sexy
undertone about it,
and apparently,
so did our ancestors.

Even the magic mirror cards
invoke a mystical romanticism —

And everybody knows how
sensual candlelight is, right ???

HOY!

.

 

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It’s Her Prerogative

a1Here’s an interesting piece of history,

direct from the Muscleheaded Post Card collection.

If you grew up in the United States before 1990,

— you probably remember the junior high school tradition of the ‘Sadie Hawkins Day’ Dance.leapy

Girls are encouraged to invite guys to dance with them —

instead of the usual arrangement —

—- and I do remember it produced some surprising matches.

Females, as we all know,

— tend to use different attraction/selection criteria for mating than males,

which makes the dynamic all the more interesting.

claraI remembered reading that the Sadie Hawkins dance was named after a cartoon character in the Lil Abner comics,

— starting in the late 1930’s.

Apparently, in the comic strip,

single women had the option of pursuing and marrying a single man of their choice, on a single day in November each year.

Here’s the original strip from 1937 explaining how it all started.

sadiehawkins

Of course, this isn’t really where the idea originated.

It’s actually drawn from several much older Celtic traditions, from at least 800 years ago–

which gave women the prerogative to propose marriage–
leapday
— but only during leap years, which only occur every four years.

( 2008, 2012, 2016, 2020, etc)

In some places, this was narrowed down further
to only one day in those years —

February 29–
the ‘extra day’ —
the Leap Day.

A totally accurate picture of how and where this tradition, “The Ladies Privilege”, developed is clouded by time and mythology —

leapyear

Oral tradition has it that it was invented by Ireland’s Saint Patrick,

as a way of marrying off nuns who had tired of their cloister,

leapdays…….. or single women who had no desire to become a nun.

Several writers refer to a 13th century Scottish Law,

written by the guardians of Queen Margaret,

(who was only 5 years old at the time)

providing specific penalties for turning such a proposal down —

1912It would cost the man a fine of:

one pound, a rose, a kiss, and a pair of leather gloves.

In the 16th century, single women were encouraged to wear pants during leap year,

—- at least according to a play popular during the time.

And in the 19th, it’s said that red petticoats became de rigueur attire for ladies wishing to celebrate the Leap Year with a conquest.

All we know for sure is that it’s an old tradition,

—- and underwent a renewal of popularity around the turn of the 20th century.leap

Interesting postcards from that era,
on the Leap Year theme, abound —

Usually they are done in a tongue in cheek style indicating that while the tradition still existed,

— it was not practiced in any serious way.

No longer did a man have to pay a fine–

but it was still considered to be a bringer of bad luck,
and not to mention,
very bad form,
to turn down a lady’s proposal during leap year.

leapThe best a man could hope for,
it appears,
is to keep a very low profile,
in order to keep his bachelorhood intact for the entire 366 days.

Overall, it’s a pretty interesting and amusing theme…

Everybody seems rather desperate,
to either ensnare,
or escape.

But there’s also a whispered nuance of sexuality to some of the cards,

and even a secret thrill of implied female dominance, perhaps.

quesAnd looking back,

I can’t help but wonder……

Did the tradition of the Leap Year Ladies Privilege itself had any real effect on society at large ?

Well, frankly,

I doubt it.

The revival of interest in the tradition died off around the time women received the right to vote in the US,

—- and it’s little remembered today,
except in the Sadie Hawkins tradition.

dontshootBut it could be argued that a few of these postcards had an undertone that served the purposes of the anti-suffrage movement —

—  in projecting a society that would be out of kilter, full of obstreperous females and weak, emasculated males.

There were certainly cards issued during that era that were much less subtle in expressing that very fallacious, but prevalent idea —

tug— that granting women suffrage would lead to social disintegration.

But as far as these Leap Year cards were concerned, their main function was entertainment, and not social propaganda.

I do know that many famous couples started out with the lady proposing —

Including Queen Victoria of England, who described the scene in her dairy:

mineatlastAt about half past 12 I sent for Albert; he came to where I was alone, and after a few minutes I said to him, that I thought he must be aware of why I wished him to come here, and that it would make me too happy if he would consent to what I wished (to marry) ; we embraced each other over and over again, and he was so kind, so affectionate… I told him I was quite unworthy of him and kissed his dear hand.”

Zsa Zsa Gabor claimed that she had proposed to every one of her nine husbands, stating:

” A woman has to make up a man’s mind “.girl

Pink,
Halle Berry,
Elizabeth Taylor,
Jenny McCarthy,
Brittany Spears,
Heather Mills,
and Jennifer Hudson are other women who have taken the lead in proposing marriage —-

It’s just no big deal, anymore.

Why should it be?

Men lose nothing by letting women do what makes them happy —

Hell, along the way,
they might end up making us happy, too.

Ya never know.

And it is certainly fun to see
these old cards and understand
the context in which they were a part.

charlie

 

It’s Getting Wurst

What ?

Another food-based
post,
ya say ?

Well,
let me tell you …

There’s no
food subject
that can as get
as vintagely weird
as today’s
choice cut.

And as usual,
you can blame
acheerp couple of my
readers for bringing
up the subject .

I’m not gonna mention
any names, but……..

One of them ( C )
asked me
if I had any cool cards
about ‘sausage’.zion

Now,
I’m not saying
she has a dirty mind,

— and of course,
mine is as pure as
the driven slush —

Anyhoo,
I told her that it
sounded like a good idea
(for a post, that is).

She said,saus
OK,
wise-guy,
let’s see what you got.

Well,
I had kinda stashed
the whole thing away,
until I decided to
whip it out today. wurst

In a manner of speaking, anyway.

Hmmmm….
since I don’t have
a macro lens,
I guess she’ll just have
to settle for old postcards.nap

But of course,
I do got some VERY
saucy stuff on sausages,

–there was a lot of vintage humor published about it —

I guess our grandparents
found sausages pretty suggestive, too.

Although,
with the purity
of my mind,
I wouldn’t have a clue
about why.

Ahem.

Once you get to a1
thinking about it,
though —

There is an interesting
variety of published
sausage references:

They run the gamut:sausagetree

— from corny puns
like the old sign from
“South of the Border” ..

— travel postcards
with highlights like this
‘sausage tree ‘ in Miami ..

 

— yes, there’s a tree
in South Florida like
that …

Not exactly a
must-see,
but what the hell.
pound
There was
the old saying :

” Not having a sausage”
which meant that you
were really broke, man.

Been there,
done that,
certainly.

Hmmm….

There’s always the
sausage-shaped
dachshund hounds
to consider :sausagedog

(I mean,
who doesn’t love doggies?)

— and then there’s
more dated humor —

like this next one —
which somehow
ties canines and
sausage-making
to the invention
of the RCA Victrola
and the whole rip-off
that was, and is,
the music business.

Oh, I see art
the connection…

uhhhh.

But who’d wanna do
that to a little doggie?

Mystery meat, indeed.

mystery

And while we’re
tying in almost
completely
unrelated things,
why not make a
Michelin Man
(and woman)
out of pork sausage
as a costume ? michelinsausage

Same rubbery
texture, right?

I bet they’re a lot
of fun on the weekends.

Furries,
move over –

There’s now smokies.

I dunno what’s worse.

Or wurst.

Maybe more dogs…german

There’s a couple of
old World War I
English postcards
that characterize the
German Kaiser as
a fat bratwurst
about to be chewed
up by the British Bulldog.

And, sausa
of course,
phallic dirty-butcher
jokes are a common
enough theme….

Not that he could sell
enough of that to that
type clientele to stay sausagecharmer
in business,

I wouldn’t think,
anyway.

But, many are
the opportunities
to try and get a
rise out of folks….

If you whistle
the right tune
or have the
correct bait.

And there’s always link
people who try to
make something
romantic out of
ANYTHING,
naturally …..

Then again,
there’s plenty
of references felix
to stuff that
I just don’t
get at all.

Maybe it’s just
a reference
lost in time and space.

Or maybe –
it’s Felix the Cat
and a weird
hot dog reference.

Now, what?

Well,
when in a pinch,
go with the classics,
I always say.

This postcard was
designed by DWIG —

— Clare Victor Dwiggins
himself.

Actually ,
he did a series of them 
called “The Wurst Girl”
in the early 1900’s.

Do I know
what the hell
they mean?

Nope.

But I guess when
there’s a sausage
in the joke,

— it doesn’t have
to have much
more of a punchline ?

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

wurstgirl

.
.
PS:

Jen from Blog It or Lose It
sent me these last two:

saus

.

Uhm… well,
I guess it depends
on what’s for dinner…..

hotdogs

I think they forgot the celery salt.

Oh well.

Cheers !!!

 

Be A Sport

lessSports has always been
an important part
of American society.

I don’t mean
professional sports so much,
as amateur sports,
and games anyone can play.

‘Play’ being the
operative word here–

Not ‘Work’.

To me, as soon
as you start doing it
for a living,
it sucks the joy and
the ‘game’ right out of it —s1

— it becomes a profession
and a ‘job’.

A friend of mine
is a professional wrestler.

Although he tries to
keep a low profile,
it is hard for a 6’5
350 pound guy to do that…..

I watched him
trying to get a
work out at my gym
this morning….

Ha.

There were always
three or forty people
hanging around him
all morning.

How he ever
gets a work-out,
I have no idea.
but…

Blech.

Anyhoo…
as I said,
the preoccupation
with sport has always
been with us…
as it is with other
societies, as well.

And so have sporting postcards —
— for at least 150 years, anyway.

I thought it might be
fun to look at some of
the more interesting
ones today –

” If you want to win,whitefeather
never show the 
white feather …… “

Alrighty.

In this case,
the guy in the suspenders
has consumed way too much
of that bowling alley snack bar food —

(probably a couple too many
cold cervezas to wash it down, too)

and he’s ended up
stuck with
the bane of every
bowler’s existence-
– a SPLIT —
—- in his pants.

I hate it
when my shirt tail hangs out.
Especially THAT way.

I’m not sure it would look
like a white feather, though.

.

” The Time And Tide. “

This canoeing cardtime
seems to have more
to do with canoodling, I think.

Standing up in a boat
is usually always
a bad thing….

In a canoe…..

well —
frankly,
it’s madness.soft

Except of course,
when there’s a pretty girl
at the other end.

Even then,
it’s still better
to find a nice,
quiet beauty
spot to eddy out.

After all,fishing
there are all sorts
of creative ways
to use a paddle.

Hmmm….

Fishing could be a
good way to idle away
some ….
errr…..
idle hours.

Bringing home dinner
will always make
you a hero.

As long as you’ve
skinned,
boned,
and filleted
your catch
ahead of time.

And of course,tennis
it depends on
exactly what
you’ve netted, too.

Ok….

Well —
— there’s always
tennis.

HOY !!!!!!!

fishin