Monday, February 16, 2009


Sir, there is a simple explanation for your condition. It seems that your back is stiff as a log.

That is because it is a log.

Also I'm not sure where your right arm is. It may be transforming into a branch. In any case, arborization (I just made that word up) looks like it may be your primary problem.

No need to confuse the issue with such strange hyperbole as "exercise acids." Perhaps you mean lactic acid. You make a lot of that if you lift weights, but it shouldn't cause you loads of pain days after you played with that medicine ball down at the gym or anything. That is a fallacy, sir! (I looked it up in Wikipedia just now, so I know!)

Bottom line: you're turning into a tree. That seems to be the real problem. And no amount of Absorbine Jr. is going to fix that.**

Never mind, there may be a career in acting ahead of you. You could be one of the Ents in Lord of the Rings. And there was a Mr. Grumpy Tree on the Canadian children's show Dudley the Dragon. Just lay off the Absorbine, and you'll have all the requirements for the role.

This ad is from the mid-1930s, from a Canadian magazine (I just found a little brace of them in my favorite secondhand bookstore, and they are wonderful - although they are so enormous that the best ads are going to be tricky to scan. You needed to know all this, I know.)

**It would be worth asking why the public is not being offered Absorbine Senior. That must be the company's version of Private Stock.


Thank you so much to Maria of the wonderfully funny Curly Wurly, for the Superior Scribbler award!


Kirsten said...

That is a CREEPY log-back picture!

Tori Lennox said...

I'm still trying to figure out what the heck "fatigue acids" are. And this dude really looks like he should be in one of the Oz books....

Bill said...

That guy should stop wasting money on doctors and salves.
He ought to just lumber over (get it???) to the hardware store and buy a belt sander. He could fix himself up in no time.

Lidian said...

Kirsten - It really gets stranger the more you look at it. At first glance I had no idea quite how strange it was!

Tori - There you go, another possible acting job! I thought they meant lactic acid but my goodness, you know, they probably just made it up!

Bill - I get it! And I don't usually LOL but I am! :)

JD at I Do Things said...

This looks more like an ad for a HORROR movie! My god. "Tree-Man, Scourge of the Forest." It's about a guy who ate some tainted bark and turns into a tree. Painfully. Weird. Just weird.

Amy said...

oh that why my back's been hurting me lately...hmm I've probably grown a log.

Exaggerator said...

The original form of Absorbine is known as "Absorbine Veterinary Liniment," intended primarily for farm animals and livestock suffering their share of muscle problems.

"Absorbine Jr." is a slight tweaking of the Absorbine Veterinary Liniment formula for human use.

Come to think of it, there was a time when Watkins Red Liniment (made here in Winona, MN) was recommended "for man and beast."

Tiggy said...

I think I'll just avoid "unusual exercise", whatever that is!

Lidian said...

JD - Sounds like something Mr. Crabby Tree would like seeing!

The Exaggerator - Oh, Watkins! I have some of their books, they are terrific. They made everything, too, so am not surprised they made something like this. Thank you for the background info!

Tiggy - I think that's very wise.

Lidian said...

Amy - Sometimes my back does feel a little bit loggy. Or logy.

bluecocktail said...

the real reason absorbine senior was never offered to the public? because he "supposedly" overdosed on carter's liver pills and died. but it is widely speculated that absorbine junior made it look like an accident, although it was widely known that absorbine senior was involed with the kennedys. amazingly, absorbine junior married his stepmother, the widow absorbine senior. her first husband? mr. buttersworth! oh, the scandal!

Frogs in my formula said...

"Unusual exercise" like carrying a tree on your back? That ad is plain old creepy!

Relax Max said...

Doesn't cure athlete's foot, only relieves it. Wonder what that means? Anyway, it says it is pleasant. I like these old ads.

Dori said...

This made my back itch as I read this. LOL

Jenn Thorson said...

He also seems to have a unique torso visual dissipation problem.... it seems to join the log at an odd angle and then fade off into nothingness.

This is a serious ailment. He should have that checked.

Woodspine affects one in 50

Lidian said...

bluecocktail - I am looking forward to your expose! Won't you write a post about this? So much intrigue, such fun! :)

Frogs in my Formula - Yeah, what was he doing with a log on his back anyway? Very strange I agree.

Max - So do I. They are strange, yet pleasant also.

Dori - It really is such a bizarre little ad!

Jenn - Yes, I think there is a multi-faceted medical problem here.

David said...

He could also play the lead in the movie of the book The Giving Tree.

He would be just about perfect for the role.


Lidian said...

David - That is an excellent suggestion! This guy does not need Absorbine Jr, he just needs a good agent.