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A Digression on Postcards Wherein Women are Threatened by Alligators

Listed here are the psychologically engaging aspects of this perfect postcard, which I purchased off the rack in Florida my own self maybe fifteen years ago during one of the intense theme-park and biological engineering research trips for Piggleyland:

  1. The amped-up hand-painted colors. Please tell me what that bikini color is: I cannot find a word. I’m not sure it wholly refracts correctly on my corneas
  2. The alligator is cruelly reduced and crudely cut & pasted, with probably literal paste
  3. The now-opaque reference to an ancient cigarette campaign wherein people would be punched in the eye for supporting cigarettes of choice (*see below for examples stolen from interweb).
  4. This clever turn of phrase, “Us Florida Alligators would rather BITE than SWITCH,” was SO VERY compelling and hilarious that several variant versions featuring different models can  be found**
  5. In all variants, the alligator knows that he’s quoting a cigarette campaign, as evidenced by the otherwise redundant quotation marks in the word balloon. That’s a sophisticated, market-savvy reference for the average crocodilian from the Paleoscene
  6. I think this postcard probably post-dates the famous “WOW! We Alligators Do Have Fun in Florida/Louisiana/New Orleans” Betty Page postcard*** by some years, and I suspect the artist would admit it was derivative, unless an homage
  7. Nobody REALLY wants to see these poor women bitten by alligators: an American alligator bites at around 2,900 pounds per square inch (lions and tigers bite at about 1,000 psi. I myself bite at only around 175 psi when at the peak of righteous fury & bloodlust)-even small (or cruelly reduced) alligators have more than 80 razor-sharp teeth.  Let’s face it: it could be pretty depressing to see some lady get bitten on the rear end by an alligator.  But beyond the cheap frisson evoked by the common icon of Woman-in-Peril, these cards sell because the sight of sun-warmed flesh makes the reptilian brain hungry on some primeval level, don’t they? That tells us something about ourselves, doesn’t it? Or is it just plain slapstick, and I should shut up?

Here’s the postcard that haunts my nightmares:

us-florida-alligators

*Cigarette campaign:

the-fight-for-cigarettes-of-choice

People just don’t get punched in the eye for humor the way they used to, you know?

AAAAUUUUGGGHH.jpg

**Variants from interwebs:

Us Florida Alligators would rather Bite than Switch - Fun in Florida

Us Florida Alligators Would Rather Bite Than Switch

This woman’s presentation pose is weird but the Hat is Inexplicable

***Referent Betty Page postcards:

wow-we-alligators-do-have-fun-in-floridawow-we-alligators-do-have-fun-in-louisianawow-we-alligators-do-have-fun-in-new-orleans

****Bonus Saucy Wow! Variant:

Wow! Saucy Variant.jpg

*****Bonus Alligator-Biting-Butt Card that looks terrifyingly realistic

5505b636efbf4_84511b

******Lest you worry, here’s how it all turns out in the sequel:

beauty-and-the-beast

 

The Residence of George Burns & Gracie Allen for No Good Reason

Found a postcard. Look at that palatial mansion! Boy, these celebrities sure live high on the hog. They’ve got an attached garage!!!!!

In Beverly Hills, CA, in what? 1960? Burns and Allen are gone now, bless them, but I bet, like, those Kardashians or Kanye West lives in this place now.

burns-and-allen

Wednesday Art Pirate Metaphor: Death on a Pale Horse

death-on-a-pale-horse

“Death on a Pale Horse” (1796) by Benjamin West

The naked dude in the center represents me, defending my wallet against bills.

Monday Art Pirate Metaphor: Watson and the Shark

What inestimable value is there in modern digital photography. Walking through the fabulous Detroit Institute of Arts with a camera and bringing the paintings home feels like a SERIOUS TRANSGRESSION, but it’s not, I think- particularly the when the artist kicked it about 201 years ago, and I’m not making postcards, anyway. I’m just lookin’. And posting on my website for your edification…

Here’s the magic of the internet, whether artists and their lampreys like it or not: If you can absorb it with your eyes or ears, it’s been rendered effectually free. It’s only when you get the other senses involved that you still have to pony up some cash. Like, when you buy one of my books, listed over to the right, before I’ve been dead for 201 years already, you actually get real Borax to TOUCH, keep on your bookshelf, give to your enemies or burn to make a point. Hungry? You can actually TASTE my books, you could maybe even eat them,  it probably won’t kill you. And the heady SCENT of supporting a truly independent artist wafts enticingly from every page.

I offer you a metaphor: The dude in the water represents Nitro von Borax, the shark represents total financial disaster, the guys in the boat represent you, the harpoon is like 20 bucks or something for cripes sake

watsontheshark

Watson and the Shark: John Singleton Copley.

Moist Towelette Album Cover 6: FRESH NAP

moist-towelette-FRESH NAP

This surprisingly upbeat Moist Towelette album from 2007 was recorded entirely in an abbatoir in Uzbekistan. Band members wore special designer feathered unitards for all sessions, which was, by all accounts, tickly. Features songs:

“Towelette Me In”
“Kari-Out Company”
“Drive-Thru Windows of my Soul”
“Fresh Nap!”
“Moist of the Time”

Moist Towelette Album Cover #5: “IF YOUR HANDS ARE CLEAN”
Moist Towelette Album Cover #4: “Royal Fingerbowl”
Moist Towelette Album Cover #3: “American Towelette”
Moist Towelette Album Cover #2: “Oo o”
Moist Towelette Album Cover #1: The eponymous album

Appropriated and Remarketed for No Good Reason

I have no idea what this absurd medical device actually does, but I think it’d sell better with this caption:

state of the artnvb

 

Appropriated & Remarketed for No Good Reason

KafkaPoncho

Because sometimes I think it’s not the PRODUCT that drives sales, so much as having a perfect message that’s timely and useful for a clearly defined target demographic

 

 

With the Compliments of Shangri-La Hotel

Shangri-laHotelSingaporeNVB

From the back of a 1980 copy of the 1933 book Lost Horizon by James Hilton: a probably free promotional copy issued with your swanky room at the  Singapore Shangri-La Hotel. 

A Picture of Loni Anderson for No Good Reason

LONI

…a postcard from 1981.

 

Moist Towelette Album Cover #4: “Royal Fingerbowl”

Released in 2004: with guest Harpsichordist Lord Cholmondeley of Borrf-Woffordshire, who only used nine of the keys on his harpsichord, but played it with a part of his anatomy rarely employed for the activity.

Featuring hit songs: "Sanitized for your Perfection" "Royal Since 1949"  "(I ain't your) Fingerbowl"

Featuring hit songs: “Sanitized for your Perfection”
“Royal Since 1949”
“(I ain’t your) Fingerbowl”

Moist Towelette Album Cover #3: “American Towelette”
Moist Towelette Album Cover #2: “Oo o”
Moist Towelette Album Cover #1: The eponymous album

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