Saturday, March 14, 2009

Expect Something Odd

Today we're going to party like it's 1955!

There are some amazing opportunities to be had in Science and Mechanics magazine. Their Classifieds section is most entertaining. To begin with, there is an entire section devoted to Remailing Letters. People in the 50s sure had a lot going on! In case you missed my other post on this (ahem) Letter Remailing is a little caper in which you deceive your friends and family into thinking that you're in Paris or LA or Fond du Lac, having sent your mail to a sneaky person in that place who will post them for you. For a fee, of course.

The master of Remailing was a fellow called George. Check out his repertoire:

Why stop at Canada, though, George? Why not the capitals of Europe, why not Asia and Australia and the North Pole? Think what kind of fees you could charge Santa Claus.

If you want to go into business yourself, like George, you don't even have to tell people what you are doing! You may not even know yourself, that's how secret it is:

Just expect something Odd in the mail. Really very Odd, since it is capitalized. After all, the Pacific is sending it to you. As in the Pacific Ocean? Maybe. Didn't know it hung out in Oceanside. Although that makes sense, I guess (though it's a little self-referential).

And finally we have some amazing opportunities in magic:

A Top Hat that lives in Evanston wants to send you Joker's Novelties and the BEST Magic. If it can pull that ten cent catalog out of itself, then I'll be impressed.

Fred Maher is very excited about teaching you some ventriloquism. And how to project your voice complete with exclamation points! But first, tell him your age! Because the Dummy Catalog is not for minors!

And the Southeast Magic School can't keep a secret. They spend most of their time, it would seem, mailing them out to anyone who sends them a quarter wadded up in toilet paper in an envelope. They just love sending things in the mail - as frequently as possible!

George must be keeping them busy.


Relax Max said...

How odd that where one lives might have hidden financial assets. It set me to wondering what else one could sell besides one's postmark.

1. Exclusive Snickers candy bars bought from a New Mexico WalMart. Guaranteed.

2. Plastic pill vials full of New Mexico dirt. Only $9.99 plus shipping an handling. Certificate of authenticity included FREE!

3. Ah, well. I've taken up too much comment space already.

Except to say that what a bummer to have written a booklet on ventriloquism for children, but then not be able to offer it to minors. Sucks.

Kirsten said...

If only I could find someone nowadays who could mail a letter for me from Milwaukee!

Heather Cherry said...

All this letter-forwarding business is really fishy.

And hey, you know that instructional book series with titles like "Computers for Dummies"? Do you s'pose they have a volume on ventriloquism called... wait for it... "Dummies for Dummies"?


Alicia aka "Fashiona" said...

Talk about keeping up with the Joneses. I guess some people did anything to "Keep up Appearances" then too.

Lidian said...

Max - Your ideas are not too far from the genuine 50s classified ads. And the ventriloquism thing made me think of Jerry Seinfeld's routine about the ventriloquist's dummies always seeming to be obsessed with sex and having girlfriends. This might explain the catalogue.

Kirsten - Yes, you never know when it might be handy to have people think you are in Milwaukee.

Heather - LOL! There really ought to be a Dummies For Dummies! :)

Alicia - The eternal problem. The Jones family must have overachievers in every generation.

Tori Lennox said...

I have a sneaking suspicion George's business could make a lot of money these days from criminals wanting to establish alibis!

Amy said...

hmm I wonder what odd successful businesses they're talking about?

Lidian said...

Tori - Yes indeed. Sneaky old George!

Amy - I wonder, too. I wish I could send away and find out.

Bill said...

If anyone needs something mailed with a Richmond VA postmark, I won't even charge a fee. Just being part of the intrigue would be rewarding enough.

Hey, just for fun I looked up Eutawville SC. Did you know that eutaw is the Catawba Indian word for pine tree? Me, neither!
There's no info about Eutawville's former place of prominence in the world of magic. They do have some fanciful street names, however:
Danish Way
Epiphany Road
Milkyway Lane
Round O Road

Lidian said...

Bill - I didn't know all that! Thank you, I love this sort of trivia...They do seem to like pastries and candy in Eutawville, don't they? :)

Shay said...

Oceanside is the base town for MCB Camp Pendleton. The last time I looked there was nothing in Oceanside but bars and retired Marines.

Interesting location for a scam artist, you'd think LA or San Diego would offer more scope (as well as more places to hide).

Lidian said...

Shay - They must have hidden their operation really well!