Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Shoulda Been A Beagle

Wendy should have been a beagle. Her father, drunk and cruel, would tell her how she would have been smarter, prettier, and would find a rich man and get out of that hell-hole...if only she had been a beagle. A beagle, certainly, but Wendy? No, not Wendy.

Wendy's actual story is devoid of family cruelty, according to a 1969 Women's Household magazine:
"Our dog, Wendy was given to us about four years ago. We were told that she was a six month old beagle. The vet said she was a three months old "you name it" and she proceeded to grow and grow! Her tail is almost a lethal weapon and she delights in wagging it in circles."
Oh, she should have been a beagle, but she ended up being something else, big, clumsy, easily amused. She should have been a beagle -- things would have turned out differently.

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Thursday, January 31, 2008

Magazine Mental Illness

Most collectors will admit they are more than a little mad... But it takes a special kind of crazy to collect old magazines.

First there's the sadness as you grab box after box of vintage and retro crafting, how-to, and do-it-yourself magazines at an estate sale or auction... All the unfinished work speaks of lives that weren't finished.

And then there's the general craziness of what's inside the pages. Who said these were good ideas? And when it comes to women's magazines there's the perpetual, "Who bought this crap -- bought into this crap?"

One cannot help but mull the sanity & happiness, insanity & unhappines, of the former magazine owners... Today, I do so with 13 examples of mockable magazine scans.

(And yes, whenever I mock the previous owners of these magazines I am reminded of what others will think of all these boxes of magazines that I'll leave behind. I said it's a special kind of crazy.)

1) Via this 1971 Pack-o-Fun, "The Only Scrap-Craft Magazine", I am reminded why I don't recommend putting your children in scouting. Or elderly folks into those crafting classes at the old folks' home. Little's much sadder than instructing people to make dolls out of garbage -- unless it's dangerous dolls made of plastic dry cleaner bags, stuffed with facial tissue, and drawn on with markers.

While they admonish giving these dolls to babies who will put things in their mouths, they also say that "these cuddly little dolls will become favorites of the toddler set." Toxic teethers, poisonous pacifiers; a garbage doll by any other name is just fine as long as your child is mature enough, by 2, to know better. (No mention that suffocation by plastic dolls or marker fumes may cause retardation, rendering your smart toddler as dumb as a baby.)

Foiled again. From the same magazine, this is eggs-actly what you think it is: egg cartons covered with tin foil, used as a lighting fixture.

What? You're waiting for me to add something? The idea should be enough -- plus, you've got the groovy photo.

Home Kinks magazine isn't what you think it is. Or maybe it is; maybe you're not as twisted as I am. Or maybe you are just as twisted, but you just knew this was a Popular Mechanics publication (1947).

The cover boasts of a frying pan shield on page 18. I didn't scan it, but to end your suspense, I'll confirm that it's precisely what it looks like: a cake cover cut-out to allow access to the contents of the frying pan.

On page 9 we all learn how to make a Dutch Boy cutout to hold a kitchen broom. I'm not going to mock this; I long for the good old days when copying corporate logos for home use was de rigeur.

On page 94 we have (further) proof of my mental illness. Something has been cut out -- presumably the order form for the 102 time saving, money saving, money making, helpful, inexpensive easy to use... guides, as selected by the blue X's. But that's not good enough.

This magazine is incomplete; therefore I am incomplete.

The October 1975 issue of Women's Circle Homeworker "shows you the way to home money making." (I have to admit I read the title as 'homewrecker', but maybe that's because I just know a lady making extra 'pin money' isn't the sort of girl dear old dad can stay married to.)

The cover proclaims, "Women Paperhangers Earn $5 Per Hour". I guess that was startling in 1975 -- but not for the reasons you think.

7) As the story continues on page 31, the headline, "Women paperhangers are still around", tells us that in 1975 paperhanging was considered to be on the outs with the modern home working woman. I guess wallpaper hanging was that 'oldest profession' folks refer to.

I'd also like to note that in 1975, the was a shortage of pithy, pun-ny writers or else there should have been a pun about women paperhangers still hanging around.

8) At the end of the article, Edna Shimp, wallpaper professional gal, recommends, "If you are contemplating decorating, think wallpaper." Surprise, Edna shills!

9) Super double bonus points for a women's lib mag calling women 'gals'.

10) And tack on an extra 100 points for the corner call for 'junior achievers', women "below the age of 20". Sheesh.

11) In the January, 1964 issue of The Workbasket, there's an ad for Yum Yum perfume.
When you are asked say Yum Yum!

Our new perfume is so delightful that we just had to name it YUM YUM. The fragrance lasts and is very subtle. Its exquisite tones are remembered fondly.

When you are asked, say "Yum Yum!" OK, so picture it... Your meet a swell feller, and whatever he asks, you reply, "Yum Yum," as directed. Later on the feller asks his buddies, "What was the name of that retarded girl... I am fond of her smell."

12) On the opposite page, we are asked to choose between "this or this" with the choices being to have, or not to have, bunions.

Naturally, all we can reply is, "Yum Yum!"

13) Below that ad, an ad for a job to work at home doing invisible mending.

In many communities invisible menders are scarce: service is expensive -- often unavailable. Can you learn to do this fascinating, profitable work?
"Yum Yum!" is our instinctive reply. (Oh, yes; it sucks to have the ads near the Yum Yum Parfums-Degas ad.)

But then again, perhaps we are just high on the subtle but exquisite smell of our $1 bottle of perfume and so we think maybe, must maybe, we are able to learn such fascinating, profitable work... Or is that the smell of our marker colored suffocation doll? $240 a month buys a lot of $1 per bottle, postpaid, perfume. (We reckon about 180 of 'em.)

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Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Mrs. Christopher and

This photo is from the June 1966 "Women's Household" magazine. Upon leafing through such an interesting magazine, my eyes stopped at the "All About Pets" section. I stared, dumbfounded, until I read the caption:

The caption is "This is Mrs. Noble Christopher holding her pet ground hog. He loves to be held as any other pet does. He is eating an ear of corn in this picture."

I wonder what Mr. Noble thinks of the groundhog...I suppose, until Mrs. Noble starts dressing up Mr. Groundhog in little dresses and petticoats, Mr. Noble will tolerate the critter -- "that weasel is the only thing keeping my Mrs. sane," he'll tell his buddies over coffee down at the Cenex before work, not knowing that his wife is slowly sewing frilly groundhog undergarmets out of his old handkerchiefs. No house-groundhog ever goes undressed.

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