Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Plenty Fun

Here's the Weird Classified Ad of the Week: three for the price of one, from a 1947 Popular Mechanics. Well worth the scanning, the enlarging, and editing. I am crazy about tiny ads, they tend to be incredibly wacky and sort of semi-hidden there in a magazine or newspaper. You really never know what you are going to find.

Take these three, for example. Sometimes when you read them in sequence they read like a story. A mystery story, of course.

Classified #1: What could Inventor Ozment (I love that!) be sending you to improve and correct your handwriting? Just ask the Wizard of Ozment and he will send you - something plenty fun! Maybe a typewriter.

Classified #2
: What would lead you to want to pretend to go to Boston? How many people want to do this? Whatever the reason for your fake trip, it's probably shady. (You wouldn't believe how many of these ads I found. Who are all these people faking travel?)

Classified #3
: While you're not-visiting Boston,why not send a few letters from New York, Boston and Providence? The mysterious Mr. Desmarais can post them for you...from Attleboro? What's up with that? Maybe he's subcontracting.


Coming Attractions, Varying From Week to Week

The MCP Ad of the Week
- a dose of the antifeminist past, still possibly relevant in the present!

Retro Celebrity Gossip
- Scandal isn't exactly new...

The Weekly Retro Recipe
- Good, Bad, or Indifferent, recipes from the past - untested and unproven. Like going to northern Labrador, only with better appliances!

The Royal Scam
- uh, these would be retro scams.

Retro Candy of the Week
- 20th century sugar highs, straight from the Five and Ten.

Retro Job Opportunities
- Make $1000s per hour! Easy work! Don't even leave your armchair! Become a millionaire while falling asleep watching lousy TV shows!...Like that.

...And more, as I think of them. Or as you think of them. Feel free to make suggestions!


Bill said...

These are fun. I was thinking that Inventor Ozment might send one of those French Curve things (I never understood why those were required for certain math classes...we never used them), but a typewriter makes more sense.
Do you really see a lot of ads for location alibis? That's very interesting. I'm guessing lots of fake business trips while The Mister is really right in town, shacked up with some floozie in a cheap motel.

KiKi said...

I just spit coffee everywhere. These are hysterical...but your narratives are even funnier!!! LOVE IT!

Lidian said...

Bill - Well, Popular Mechanics was a fun magazine altogether! I think you're right on the money with the postcards and the Mister. I think there was something like this in a Ruth Rendell mystery I read - it rang a bell but of course I can't remember the book.

KiKi - Thank you! The feeling is mutual, as you know :)

Amy said...

I'm thinking the first one - maybe they are offering other people to write for you? Wow I am looking forward to your up and coming ideas, can't wait for the features about scams and retro gossip.

Tori Lennox said...

Granted, taking a fake trip would cost a lot less, but I sure don't think it would qualify as plenty fun!

JD at I Do Things said...

I am dying to know who Inventor Osment was.

Love the ads. I agree: the little tiny ones are usually lots of fun.

JD at I Do Things

Lidian said...

Amy - I don't know...I was just taken aback at how many of these ads there were for fake letters. I think the postcards were written by you and sent up to whoever was going to mail them.

Tori - That's true. Because you will be having plenty fun at home improving your handwriting so you can write the fake postcards!

JD - I know, me too. I am going to see if I can find out more about this Inventor Ozment guy.

Preston said...

Very cool. I always liked the ads for x-ray glasses on the back of comics.

Ozowiezo said...

Classified #2: that's what I'll do next holiday (when we're broke and in the middle of a big house-renovation-project)! I take my little family and hide out in the house of parents-in-law, sending postcards from exiting places like Kaapstad or Reykjavik... Thanks for the tip!

Tiggy said...

In these hard times, a pretend trip is a great idea! I'm going to start selling postcards of Jamaica, Las Vegas and even the moon.

There's a lot of stupid people on eBay who would lap it up.

Lidian said...

Preston - Funny you should mention old comics and the ads in them, as I was just thinking about trying to find some. They were the best ads! I used to get Archies when I was sick, for a treat, and I always liked all the little ads. If only I'd saved them!

Ozowiezo - Yes, there are so many possibilities! :)

Tiggy - You're right - imagine what Ozment and Desmarais (who sound, now that I think of it like a shady law firm) could do on E Bay!

Melanie said...

Very fun ads.