Thursday, July 2, 2009

Better Than Fiction, No Obligation

Secret Service Operator No. 38 is on the job...follow him through all the excitement of his chase after the counterfeit gang. See how a crafty operator works.

I think I'd rather see Nancy Drew chase after the counterfeit gang, actually. At least she has that little blue roadster, and she's got Bess and George to help out on occasion.

This guy I'm not so sure about. For one thing, his best idea seems to be the arrow labeling him as Operator No. 38. If he needs this to distinguish him from the police officer, who is in uniform, and therefore easy to spot - then we're all in trouble.

And where are Operators 1-37? Answering the phones. So much for excitement, thrills and travel.

So the point of this ad is - what? Are you going to be Operator No. 39? Not really. This is all supposed to "open your eyes" to the thrill of being a Finger Print Expert. And you can achieve this by sending for the inevitable correspondence course.

You will also get Operator No. 38's confidential reports, if you act now. For free! I hardly think it's accurate calling those reports "confidential" - and as for the Chief, he needs to be a little more secretive. What's with all this handing out Confidential Reports to any old Joe who sends him a coupon? He must be running a TMZ type thing on the side.

Still, the Institute of Applied Science (in our favorite town, Chicago) knows - for they are in the business of knowing stuff, are they not - that this is "the kind of work you would like."

How do they know that? I see a guy sitting at a desk handing a very small piece of paper to a policeman. If you are "a boy under 17" you are not allowed to hand out small pieces of paper at a desk, though.

The little pieces of paper must be the coupons that everyone filled out. Operator No. 38 doesn't know it, but the policeman is about to send out all his Confidential Reports!

Let's just hope that the counterfeit gang doesn't send in a coupon.

*If you do send for the course, remember that exactly 47% of all Identification Bureaus in the US are headed by graduates of the Institute. Just don't ask yourself how any bureaus are they talking about, or how they figured out that 47%.

From Argosy, July 1936.


Hairball said...

And where are Operators 1-37?

Soylent Green is people!

Tori Lennox said...

I'm trying to figure out what's so exciting about slogging through fingerprints. Even in this day and age, identifying fingerprints is BORING not exciting. I can't imagine it was much more exciting back when it was "an exciting fast-growing profession".

And if these reports are so confidential, why would the Chief be giving them away for FREE? I have a sneaking suspicion J. Edgar Hoover (in a nice floral print dress and pearls) had the Chief sent to the Big House for this.

Doctor Faustroll said...

What a small world. My father was Operator No. 38 until he was promoted to Supervisor 47 at Identification Bureau 236 in Valparaiso, where he meet my mother, Cigarette Girl 16, whom eventually gave birth to Fetus Faustroll 2 in 1942.

My old man was somewhat of a fanatic about the accuracy of his percentages, which he always carried to triple digits, so the truth is that EXACTLY 47% isn't exactly true.

It was more like 47.263%, which is what you get when you divide 1796 Institute of Applied Sciences graduates by the 3800 Identification Bureaus they were heading while passing worthless bits of paper to the police during the not so great depression.

I still have some of dad's confidential reports, and let me tell you: Hoover looks really strange in a crotchless nightie.

Eric said...

Wait, is the 'crafty operator' mentioned the agent, the counterfeiter, or the company in Chicago that is selling this?

Lidian said...

Hairball - That is another mystery for them to solve, I suppose. When they get around to it.

Doctor Faustroll - Of course now I am hoping that you will post some of those not-so-Confidential Reports! Am not a bit surprised about Hoover, though.

Eric - Probably all three.

Bill said...

I have to admit, I'm developing a deep resentment that I didn't grow up in Chicago.

Lidian said...

Bill - Me too! :)

Kris said...

How come only men work at this company? Your request for this nonsense goes to "Gentlemen". And then they only send it to boys over 17! What if a 16 yr old girl ordered it? Will they still send it? Hm.... a bit sexist to me.

Lidian said...

Kris - You're right, all of these detective ads are totally geared towards men. Very, very sexist. Maybe the 16 year old girl didn't need their lessons, since she could emulate Nancy Drew (who was probably a much better detective anyway)