Stacomb - The very picture of manhood.

Listen up, hair-havers! If you want to be as handsome and respectable as a College Man, the hair goo of choice is Stacomb. Observe this 1927 ad for proof...

The secret to that shiny varnished hair helmet is Stacomb. It helps your hair "stay combed". That's why the name is so clever, in case you couldn't tell what they did there.

So, with a heapin' helpin' of Stacomb on your head, you can be the very model of admirable manhood - exactly like every college man, all of whom are men, and conduct themselves as men, which is a type of grownup, by the way, which means they always conduct themselves as model citizens and almost never ever act like felons or sociopaths. Here's a picture of a grownup college man, by the way, to help you understand how reassured you should feel if you wake in the middle of the night to find him standing at the foot of your bed, watching you sleep, in a perfectly admirable and manly way. Nighty-night!


Auto Maintenance Tips - Wheels and battery.

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Lucky Strike. So Round, so firm, so fully packed. - Smoking with Woody.

Time for some cartoon lore, citizens! If you're of the right age, you are too young to have seen lucky strike ads like this one first hand, and don't know the reference when it popped up in cartoons from The Forties, which were a part of this balanced breakfast every day of your life until the age of twenty.

First, the old ad.

"So round, so firm, so fully packed." Hey, if the American Tobacco Company can disregard proper use of capitalization, I can disregard their disregard of proper use of capitalization. Besides, those dickwads probably fragged my dad about ten years prematurely, so screw their capitalization.

Until I became a big grownup with a weird obsession with commercial materials from before my time, I only knew that phrase from a couple of Woody Woodpecker cartoons where his voice becomes French and he tries to make it with an incompatible animal species. Observe this clip from Solid Ivory, in which Woody wants an egg, and will sleep with a chicken (apparently) to get one. Try to ignore the bizarre blurring and vignetting applied by the poster to throw Google's automatic copyright violation detection bots off the scent. It all but ruins the point of even looking at this. But here's the line.

FaceTube's embed function doesn't allow time code indexing, so here's a link to the video at just the right spot... until Google catches on and the cartoon is pulled, anyway.


It's the Woody Woodpecker cartoon "Solid Ivory". The line occurs at 5:23.

"Oooh la laaa! Pardon, madame. Have we not met before in Pareee? No? Or, was it in ze Riviera, yes? You are so round, so firm, so fully packed! Come, mon cherie, and we will fly to ze Cazbah!"

So, mystery solved, like thirty years later. Walter Lantz was making a trendy reference to a successful cigarette commercial of the time. Bury that reference in the ground for a couple of decades, to be unearthed by Channel 32's Super Cartoon Sunrise for the entertainment of pre-teen Phil, and the reference lands with a thud on the ears of its young audience.

The thud of the reference was un-thudded about ten years ago when I started listening to old radio programs, occasionally peppered with live reads of the Lucky Strike promo mentioning the cigarettes' roundness, firmity, and fully-packeddom.

Also in the Lucly Strike live reads (examples of which were not easily found, sorry) was the recitation of the acronym "L.S.M.F.T.!!!" This was repeated a few times per spot in the odd near-shouting-voice of old time radio actors. If your slogan is a string of five letters and you want it to catch on, you'll need to repeat it - first, so that people can remember so cryptic a phrase - and second, so that they can be annoyed by your blatant hammering of the advertising anvil. This stands for "Lucky Strike means Fine Tobacco". Incidentally, learning something and believing it are two different things. Just ask my religion teacher, Sister Margaret Ann. Sister Margaret, if you're reading this, I respect your wielding of the +3 Yardstick of Jesus against nine year old children, but come at me now and I'll disarm you and then paddle your ass with your own weapon. "LSMFT, mothafuckah!"

Need a good laugh? Please enjoy some bizarre Lucky Strike commercials of the kind that would never see the light of day in this century.

First, a Lucky Strike commercial from the Jack Benny show. It's got a trio of guys singing a parody of "You Belong to Me" in rock solid three part harmony. "Take good care of yourself. Smoke a Lucky Strike." I swear I am not making this up. Here's another non-embedable indexed link.


This one is only a minute long, and worth watching, because it's a bunch of stop-motion cigarettes having a square dance. Freaky-deaky, man. The money shot comes at 0:26 where the announcer shouts "Smoke 'em! Smoke 'em! Then you'll see! L.S., L.S./MFT!" American Tobacco was trying so hard to make you learn their weird rhythmic acronym they  stuck a foreslash in there to help you learn the specific phrasing. Thank you, advertising. You never disappoint.

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Milstone's Acme

Joke #1 - During World War II, all consumer good were in short supply - even giant hammers, explosive bird seed, and jet-propelled unicycles. As a result, rural America echoed with the constant "meep-meep" of road runner populations out of control. For the duration, patriotic citizens were rarely able to put a road runner on their dinner table. A resourceful few turned to pursuit of rabbits to feed their families, but many would-be hunters found they were not up to the task, as the creatures were often found to be "wascally".

Jim D. wasted no time in whipping out Joke #2 in record response time. Thanks Jim! - Hollywood Trivia: after a preview screening drew an entirely male audience (including one drag queen), Warner Brothers hastily changed the title of "Milstone's Acme" to "Casablanca" before its general release. The rest is cinema history!

Joke #3 Comes to us from occasional contributor, Jeremy. Thanks for the jokeball, Popeye! - Why wait in line when everything can be ordered with Tiny Parachute Delivery?

And also joke #4. A two-fisted joke maker, our Jeremy! - 1952, Toontown store opening. Foreground with back to camera: Judge Doom.

[Commenter jokes will be added to the post.   -Mgmt.]

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Pro-Phy-Lac-Tic toothbrush. Say-what?

You need a prophylactic toothbrush, apparently. You don't want your teeth to have little pig babies, do you? What's that you say? "I thought NOT brushing your teeth was a better form of birth control!" Good one.

There's a little irony to be found in a cartoon with a brand new baby and a product called "Pro-phy-lac-tic". But then, 1943 was a simpler time. You could use the word "prophylactic" without talking about boning. The word was only associated with prevention. But here in The Future, where we know about sex, it just means rubbers. And, it's the word that the nun who taught your health class (god help you) used instead of "condom". Having a nun teach kids about sex is like having a vegan teach you all about proper grilling techniques. "The best steak is a nice stalk of celery, children!" You'd better get a second opinion.

This ad makes quite a fuss about their "Prolon" bristles. That's DuPont's marketing name for Nylon. Everybody had Nylon, but when DuPont calls it "prolon", it gets magically better. Using our powers of Living in the Future, we can tell that this was a failure. Have you heard anybody say the word "Prolon" in the last twenty years? Up yours, marketing bullshit!

Before there was Nylon, there was pig hair, or "natural bristle". Say it with me. "Bleah". I'll take Nylon, thanks. At least that comes out of a nice clean robot. Wanna see? Here's a How It's Made video all about toothbrush construction. You won't believe how fast the bristlebot moves. Who needs toothbrushes that fast? People with a hot date, that's who.

Here's the soldier trumpeting for your attention from today's ad. Maybe he'll be useful for something some day.


1960 Studebaker Lark - Strange Meadow Lark

We've posted an ad for a Studebaker Lark before, but that was a few years ago. Here's another one. This time, the Phil Are GO! graphic Blandishment and Photoshoppery Squad should do Studebaker the service of improving their car in our usual manner.

Cute little car. Nice ad. Blah blah power blah comfort blah blah colors blah economy whatever. Time to add an axle. PAG! Graphic Blandishment and Photoshoppery Squad, Assemble!

Wheel... COPY!
Old wheel... NUDGE!
New wheel... GROW 2%!
Fender... STRETCH!
Shadow... ALTER!
Windows... CLEARED!
Studebaker Lark 4x6... COMPLETE! PKSHOWW!!!

Here's the normal lark and the improved version presented to lucky you as PNGs on alpha background (that means transparent in digigraphic talk).

Here are the original and strange Larks in in the ad, on a farm, near a meadow.

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Here's Strange Meadow Lark, from Dave Brubeck's Time Out album, which was four months old when this ad ran in 1960. It starts out dignified and elegant and gets down to the business of swinging and swanking when the band comes in at 2:10. When it comes up on shuffle, here's what has never happened: me pouncing on the "skip" button, shouting "fuck that song!" because I'm not a monster. Have a drink and let it finish.


Masonite Presto Pegboard bedroom suggestion - Dot Pattern.

What do you do if you have an eleven year old boy who owns twenty-three objects? Where to store them? Masonite has your answer. Hang everything on the walls, leaving the floor completely empty, because - you know, it's hot lava.

With Masonite pegboard's beautiful handsome "tracery" design, not only will your boy human be able to hang most of his twenty-three of his objects on the walls, but with the optional Gaming Pack, he will also enjoy playing tic-tac-tac-tac-tac-tac-tac-tac-tac-tac-tac-tac-tac-tac-tac-tac-tac-tac-tac-tac-toe, right on the wall! This way, when a really hot game session reaches into the small hours, he can leave the game state undisturbed until tomorrow, leaving him free to plot his strategy about where to place his next "O" while he drifts off to dreamland.

With your "grandpa's" old-timey tic-tac-toe game, played on the floor, players had to wrap up the game any time someone had to walk somewhere. What a loser way to live. Grandpa was a stupid loser.

What did eleven year old boys own in 1962? Never made it without biting. Let's find out...

Here is everything a boy needs in Masonite's 1962:

- One Indiana pennant, to show support for Indiana... or triangles.
- One rifle, to fend off communists.
- One football helmet, to fend off being a nerd.
- Various books, to keep his football helmet from rolling off the shelf.
- One... horse?... statue, now with child-bearing hips! Car geeks will just call this leg configuration "staggered fitment".
- One tennis racquet, to fend off tennis balls, or play some "air banjo".
- One S.S. Minnow model boat, due to popularity of early Sixties reality shows.
- One lantern, to check the shed for chupacabras.
- One black oblong, to commemorate the Oblong Wars, and the ensuing Oblong Famine, which we must never forget.
- One boxed, store-fresh baseball, for nailing nerds with.
- One scale model of the sun, which orbits the Earth, the center of the universe. Hey, it's in the Bible, heathens!
- One H.O. scale boxcar, with hobo cockroach, "Alabama Tcxhixtor": Poet of the H.O. Rails.
- One H.O. scale tanker car, filled with Zippo fluid, soon to blow a crater in bedroom floor.
- One chemistry set, unopened.
- One travel backgammon set, "chess for idiots".
- Various books that probably say stuff in them.
- One Masonite brochure, featuring new "Masonite Pressboard Trousers".
- One three ring binder, with baseball cards, to be thrown out in two years, spelling the end of mother-son relationship forever.
- One desk set, given annually on Birthday, by grandma.
- Four wall-mounted cars, VW Beetle, '49 Ford, 1960 Dodge Dart, and paddy wagon, all for non-stop wall-mounted fun.
- One mid-century modern lamp, despite the fact that bedroom is lit like a cafeteria.
- One chair, shaped like maxi pad.
- One bed, for making baby Jesus cry.

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Gronk Read Story! - Timothy, the Little Brown Bear, pt.2

Today Gronk finish reading story from yesterday. When last left Timothy Little Brown bear, he just ruin Owl chair. Sat in green paint. Seems Timothy just useless dope. Let see what happen at end of story!

Hoo-mans seating comfortably? Not care! SHUT UP AND LISTEN!

Gronk story! finish! Story complete! Sleep now! SLEEP! Don't make Gronk shout "SLEEP" again.


Gronk Read Story! - Timothy, the Little Brown Bear, pt.1

Good morning, hoo-man children! You like story? Too bad! You get story! Gronk read story now! Shut up! Graaah!

Gronk finish story tomorrow! Gronk tired!


Hovercar Speed Record!


In 1960, a "ground effects vehicle" set a new speed record. Fifty-five miles per hour! With a tailwind! Woooo!

Let's read about the impressive feat.

55mph, with the wind at your back. The little article is brief, and doesn't mention what kind of record was set that day. Was it the fastest this particular hovercar ever went? The fastest speed achieved by ANY hovercar at the time?

What we can tell from the photo is that the speed test was run at what looks like an airfield or something. They always do this sort of thing way out in the open, like the Bonneville salt flats, just in case something goes wrong and they set the "fastest cartwheeling air car" speed record. Hey, fame is fame, right? A ground effects vehicle will need loads of room, especially at speeds greater than walking pace. I'd imagine that riding in a hovercar at 55 is a bit like being in free fall, but with less control over your direction and speed.

Next to wondering "Where's my damn flying car?" is the slightly more reasonable question "Where's my darn hovercar?", and well might you wonder. After all, here we are in The Future, and your pocket phoneputer is much larger than the one you had eight years ago. That's progress, right? You should feel entitled to expect to see a hovercar in your hovergarage.

Well, you don't want one. Hovercraft are fantastically loud, wildly inefficient, and take as long to stop as they do getting up to speed. They have wonderfully low friction with the ground, which sounds exciting, until you remember that a lot of the time, you like a little friction. This is also called "grip". You enjoy grip every time you turn your car without plowing through a grammar school. Grip is your friend. Hovercraft do everything with thrust vectoring. Going, stopping, turning, not dying. All of it is done by blowing around great wads of air, which, you will recall, is pretty light, squishy and blowy - not at all like a nice sticky tire with some weight over it.

Please enjoy Noted Captivating Oaf Jeremy Clarkson driving a Russian hovercraft. Of special note is the amount of time he spends sliding sideways, desperately whirling the steering wheel around, hoping to have some effect on the direction of travel.

Only slightly less amusing and massively more informative is this video from Tom Scott (whose channel I have just subscribed to) on why hovercraft more or less failed to take off (heh). Notice how hard it is for him to make himself heard at the distance of one arm's length from his phone, relative to the cataclysmic bellow of the hovercraft. Also note that The English are the best explainers, story tellers, and documentarians... in the wurld!

There's better ways to get around, mate. Enjoy your motorcar. Here's more video of Clarkson making himself killed using an hovercraft. Please to enjoy it, along with your car.

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Quick-Wedge screwdriver. Enough, already.

This 1960 ad for the Quick-Wedge screwdriver gets points for using the correct spelling of both words, instead of using the more easily trademarkable, but intellectually corrosive, trend of spelling product names like an idiot. They easily could have gone with any of the following, (and contributed to the national problem of adults that can only spell phoenetically, and resent anyone who actually paid attention in school), but thankfully didn't...

  • Quik-Wedge
  • Quic-Wedj
  • Kwik-Wej
  • Cuique-Uedgje
  • Kuik-Oueg
  • Qooicke-Ooij
  • Coic-Wj
  • Kwihk-Ouedjgj
  • Grunt-Grunt

Yes, the advertising industry missed one small opportunity to contribute to the dumbing down of  America when this ad his the pages of Mechanix Illustrated.

The Quick-Wedge screwdriver claims to grip the screw, instead of the standard behavior for flat screwdrivers, which is to leap out of the screw head and plunge deep into your radial artery... again.

How does it grip the screw? The explanatory illustration in the ad explains nothing, so don't waste your time rotating your eyes towards it. Toolmonger.com explains it thusly:

To use the Quick-Wedge driver, seat the slotted screw on the tip of the screwdriver. Then move the tube forward to apply force against the edges of the screw slot. Drive the screw, then release it from the screwdriver by sliding the tube back towards the handle.

So the Quick-Wedge blade (whose company still exists!) is split, and the halves are cleverly wedge-shaped in such a way that, when you push on the telescoping handle (which telescopes), the two halves of the blade spread out in the screw's slot, hopefully gripping it, instead of making it spring off of the screwdriver, skittering under the refrigerator.


We could just discontinue the use of stupid, horrible, slotted screws entirely, which were made obsolete in 1908 with the invention of the square-drive screw, and again in 1936 with the Phillips screw! Why buy a special, expensive, complicated, articulating screwdriver to restore some utility to a primitive, outdated design, when you can just use a better, widely available screw that only requires a simple one-piece screwdriver that won't make you stab yourself, first on accident, and then in rage? Haven't you wiped enough arterial spray off your walls already? I once read that the Japanese names for Phillips and slotted screws are just "plus" and "minus" (...possibly because of the shape of the hole they make in your skin when you slip?). So smart and straightforward, the Japanese.

It must be pointed out that Quick-Wedge are not to blame for slotted screws. They simply figured out how to finally make them work, and the answer is a robotic telescoping scissor-action screwdriver, and that is pathetic.

Here's a neat article on the history of screws, to get you good and mad at stupid, horrible slotted screws.

The Chest of Many Things. Home of screws. Make a left at the
 Peeewee Herman bike, and open every drawer in turn,
muttering under your breath about labeling these goddamn
drawers some time.
Of course, the reason everyone still has a stupid, horrible flat screwdriver at all is the fact that there are still slotted screws in the world. Mostly, I find them on older devices. How older? Well, they're not from 1936, that's for sure. So, any object less than 79 years old has no excuse to use stupid, horrible slotted screws - the perforators of thumbs. Every time I'm taking something apart, for whatever reason, and I find a slotted screw, I replace it with a Phillips screw from the Chest of Many Things. I have a policy of only turning slotted screws counter-clockwise, so that I can throw them in the recycle bin. I fucking hate them.

It's a little surprising to find that square-drive screws (whose driver is square in cross section, duh), predate Phillips screws by like thirty years. The story of why they took off in popularity and then came crashing back to Earth in popularity is one of patents and lawyers, and can be read in the neat article on Mental Floss, linked a few paragraphs back. I have a box of those somewhere, and a screwdriver to match, but I will never voluntarily use them unless I have no choice. But, at least the squaredriver isn't as blade-like as a flat screwdriver and as a result, doesn't slide as easily into my wrist, if it does slip out of the screw, which it won't, because it's merely uncommon, and not stupid or horrible.

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The Clown Dilemma

Joke #1 - One man was gigantic, but a little dull. The other was fun, but couldn't seem to keep track of his shoes. Mary Jo couldn't decide which father she liked best.

Joke #2 - Throughout the Forties, middle American society was horrified by children tempting clowns into depraved acts with promises of cotton candy.

Joke #3 - One the one hand, Mr. Banford was smart, and seemed to have an impressive command of legal precedent. On the other, Margaret was reassured by Mr. Kookypuddle's easygoing nature and sheer sartorial flair. Maybe she could hire both lawyers?

Joke #4 - The silence in the court room stretched. Margaret looked around the room for some kind of unspoken help, but all she saw were heartbroken faces. She just couldn't choose. Divorce was always hardest on the children.

Joke #5 - "You know what, Margaret? You were right all along. This IS cotton candy. The search for Mr. Kookypuddle's shoe continues."

Joke #6 - "I'm sorry, Mr. Kookypuddle. My daddy bought this cotton candy for me. He loves me. He doesn't love you, no matter how hungry you are. You'll just have to go off and die somewhere."

Joke #7 should have been obvious, but no one saw it except Jim D. Oh, Jim. You always say the perfect thing. - "As Trump and Fiorina wrangled on and on, you could feel the whole nation losing interest and tuning out. It suddenly occurred to Mitt that maybe, just maybe, 2016 would be the year for Romney."

Mr. FancyHotPants_2 didn't want to be out Mr. FancyHotPants_2'd by Jim D., so he naturally has Joke #8 for us. Thanks, MFHP! - As Margaret & Mr. Kookypuddles rambled on about his missing shoe, Jim couldn't help but wonder..."where the HELL are my legs...???"

[ Commenter jokes will be added to the post.  -Mgmt. ]


Green Spot Orangeade - Loosen up.

Orangeade! It's a hit, right? It takes you back to shimmery summer days of your youth, maybe enjoying a tall glass of it with your frankfurter, perhaps with some catsup on it? These are all things for which there is simply no substitute, and now with the help of this 1948 ad from Green Spot, you can make orangeade just as good as you remember. It's like they kidnapped your mom and threatened her for the recipe!

"Orange Juice - Ade, delivered refrigerated by dairies". Don't ask your dairy farmer what animal they squeeze this stuff out of. Just keep dreaming of herds of happy little oranges bouncing across the green hills of your Favorite Local Dairy.

Here's how to make orangeade out of those otherwise usesless and totally stupid oranges you have lying around:

- Three oranges, juiced.
- 1/2 lemon, juiced.
- Twist an orange peel over the juice. Or don't and just say you did because this can't possibly make a difference.
- 1/2 cup sugar
- Add water till you have a quart.

Finally! Oranges, but in liquid form! The future is now!.... in 1948!

How about that boy, huh? No human ever smiles with a gaping mouth like that unless you're a cartoon or a muppet. The boy was probably talking while they snapped the shot. Maybe he was antsy and they were having trouble getting him to take direction and everyone just wanted to go home? For whatever reason, we should all be grateful for his improbable puppet-smile, because it's funny.

Hmmm. He is pretty funny, but you know, he could be funnier. Phil Are GO! Graphic Blandishment and Photoshoppery Brigade: ASSEMBLE! Pkshhoowww!!!

Team, as I've said many times before, the best 'Shopping is the 'Shop where you can't be sure anything's been done at all. We need to be subtle on this one. What we need is one wandering eyeball and one droopy eyelid.

 First, make a selection of his eyeball and shove it to the left a little. Then, utilize the pattern brush to repeat the sclera (white part) of his eye to cover the edge of the old eyeball.

"But where will we get a droopy eyelid?" you say? Try the lower lid on his other eye. Cut out a crescent of bottom eyelid, drag it over to the other eye and then flip it over.

The shading and color are darker over on the darker side of his face, and it should be about right for the darker tones we expect on an upper eyelid, because it won't be receiving as much light as the bottom eyelid. Light almost always comes from above, remember, and his eye socket should throw a little shadow on the upper eyelid.

Then, take his eyelashes from his normal upper eyelid and lift them onto a new layer and put them onto the edge of his new droopy eyelid, STAT!

Last, we need a little drop shadow under his new droopy eyelid. We've moved his eyelid down, and we need some shade underneath so the sclera looks like it's recieving some shadow from the eyelid in it's new position.

Boom! Complete! Now this boy is funnier. he could be drinking gasoline with a face like that. Let's distribute him to The Masses as a PNG. Good work, The Team!

Here's the newly "special" orangeade boy, ready to be pasted into your next happy hour invitation. Put whatever text you want in the green spot, because it doesn't say "Green Spot" any more. Get your rude finger ready to right click our little Foster Brooks onto your hard drive in three, two, one, RIGHTCLICK NOW! You're welcome!