Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Hypochondriac's Home Companion, May, 1948

A longtime favorite with those who will forever hold Catarrh dear to their heart, the Hypochondriacs Home Companion brought hope to the hopeless and a bevy of new diseases each month to those who were looking for a little something different to try in their lives.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

HOUSEWIFE, August 1965

When you stay home, day after day, cleaning, cooking and taking care of others, looking at the drab walls of your tract house that are painted the same dreary colors that you find in most hopsitals, it may dawn on you one day that you have needs, too.  And you ask yourself: who will take care of my needs?

Your husband's answer: "Well if I got to stay home all day, I'd think it was a vacation!"

Your daughter's answer: "Oh, you just don't understand!"

Your Mother in Law's answer: "Well I didn't have enough hours in the day to get everything done, and I didn't have all these labor saving devices, but at least my home was clean."

Your son's answer: "Oh, c'mon, nobody likes it when they mother hugs them in public!"

Your minister's answer: "It is better to give than receive."

Your best friend's answer: "You are so lucky to have Chuck and the kids!  Believe me when I say that if you were to get run over by the bread truck in front of the grocery next Tueday at 1:30PM, I'd leave Leroy and happily take your place..." 

You see, your needs, those feelings that you have been pushing down, down, deep down are at the root of your family's unhappiness.  They sense your selfishness - your unhappiness - and that effects them.  It even means that their underwear isn't as white as it could be.  And it is all your fault.

Its your fault your husband enjoys collecting knives and guns.  That your daughter isn't prepared to be good wife to her future husband, and it's also your fault that your son will grow up to be more famous under the stage name of "Formica Dinette" than he could have been as a doctor or lawyer. 

And we don't mean to add to your burden, but you are just too hard on others.  Take your next door neighbors.  They smile when they see you out side hanging your luandry, but they often wonder if you drink alone.  Not that they have smelled liquor on your breath - why everyone knows that you are a tea totaller - but when they look at you you seem to give off the aura of someone other than yourself.  That accounts for their concern for your family, and it also explains why they never loan you things when you ask.

If you just had an anchor - something to help you get through the day.  A little helper that would make it all better.

Now curl up with a copy of Housewife Magazine and read up on everything else that happens when you put your petty, insiginificant "needs" before anyone elses.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

SSUWAT, June 1970

You know, we all have to start someplace.

For Stirred Straight Up With A Twist (SSUWAT), that start began in the polished underground of the bon vivant life style that was so 1960. Oh, it was nothing like Mad Men - SSUWAT was real.  It was cool by being hot. It was clean, with a bit of a well placed tattered edge.  It was Brooks Brothers and Bon Wit Teller, and not at all Sears Roebuck or - God forbid - Montgomery Wards.

But like all good things, it ended when Kennedy was shot, when Barry Goldwater was nominated and when we lost Stuckey's.  The magazine's founder, a Mr. TJB left the periodical when it financiers wanted an article on the versitility of caftans.  Mr. TJB refused, stating that caftans we less about fashion and more about loungewear. Unable to sway opinion with the financier, the editor left for London, Julie London, that is.

By June 1970, this was all that was left.  Gone were the Martini, the Manhattan and the Gimlet, and hello Long Island Ice Tea, White Russian and something called the Sloe Gin Fizz.  And oh, yes.  Your Homosexual just wasn't for doing your hair - he was also for parading around.  At least you knew why his ass was all chaffed and chapped.

On the cover this month was the most frightening thing to invade the US since locusts swarmed into Oklahoma during the dust bowl: Tina Brown.  That's her on the cover.  A west-end purse made from a sows ear.  Of course she's not the worst thing to hit American periodicals - Mad Magazine forced to accept advertising is that, but she really knows how to shit on everything.  Thank God for the plastic surgery on her face, which hasn't looked this good in ages. 

Truth is, Tina's face is so tight that she can only smile when she sits down.

In the 1990s SSUWAT was retaken by Mr. TJB in a daring move.  He's modernized, fashioned and returned the venerable publication back to his roots.  Its credited with making Mad Men really mad for the 1960s.

Gone forever are the articles that made no sense: Chita Rivera Frosts Her Hair and How Polyester Fuels the Jet Set.  They have replaced by tasty morsels on all things you need to know, both for fashion and for witty repartee should you decide to sit down with your friends and have an old fashioned chin wag.

Thank God for Mr. TJB, wherever he may be!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Real Life Men's Stories, September 1961

My father wasn't a happy man.  Oh, he had everything that should have made him happy.  A wife, three children, two new Impala's in the garage that he paid cash for right off the show room floor.

But what he didn't have was excitement, and he wasn't an object of desire.

The people behind this magazine knew that.  And they knew that if he didn't have it in real life, he could live it vicariously through their monthly rag.

Real Life Men's Stories was a magazine that broke all the rules - from their shocking and true exposes to their utter contempt for good grammar, this was a magazine that didn't have time for the niceties of fact checking or proof reading.

It had a mission and that mission was connect men with their visceral need to fight for what was good and right, even when confronted with the necessity of gun violence and women so ripe that they fell out of the tree and onto the hard cold ground of survival of the fittest.

In addition to jammed packed stories of wayward men and the women that made them leave the straight and narrow road of respectability, there were also loads of ads.  We're talking thousands of tiny ads for every get rich quick scheme ever imagined.  From X-Ray Spec's to Fish Farming For Fun (or Profit), this is the way the real world gets by, damn it.

Wives pooh-pooh'd these magazines, forcing men like my father to hide them under their beds.  But it was worth it, damn it.  The truth had to be told.  Come the revolution, you'll need to know how to survive in the face of sex starved zombies and single digit IQ'd mercenaries.  And after they drop the bomb, it could be you and your buddy alone on earth with hot tempered Virago's.  They will need your seed to create new life, and you'll need to be ready to pick them off.  This is the periodical that will show you how to get job number 1 done.

Thats what a real man's world is all about.