Safe deposit box.

Joke #1 - Great, The weirdo who kept old copies of the Sun Times in his safe deposit box was here. If he asked for help with the Jumble one more time, it was time for little Donny to "accidentally" wing his first customer.

Joke #2 - Hmm. That guy was looking at a racing form. Gambling was a sin. Gary felt ready to distribute some divine justice.

Joke #3 - "That's some good guarding posture, son. Soon, you'll be guarding a vault for real, and caressing a real gun, and shooting real people, and making real plea bargains for real slap-on-the-wrist sentences for real administrative leave with pay.

Joke #4 - "Okay, Donny, we'll see what the customer wants together. But, let me do the talking. One more of your expensive misunderstandings and the department will ask me to justify giving a firearm to a nine-year-old.

[Commenter jokes will be added to the post.  -Mgmt.]


Vito Belt - Exqueeze me?

How long have doctors been generally in favor of some kind of exercise? Kinda long, right? Well, it seems that, in 1939, the Hamilton Belt Company (makers of the Vito Belt) surveyed all doctors and - whattya know? - the safest way to get slim was to use their product!

"...excessive exercise may strain his heart" (so don't even try) "... dieting and drugs may be dangerous" (so don't try that either). "Why not take care of that ugly paunch the safe way... with a Vito Belt?"

Right there in the ad, it says that abdominal muscles can become stretched. True enough. However, to actually get rid of a pot belly involving abdominal muscle stretching would require an overall exercise regimen, involving anaerobic and aerobic exercise and abdominal crunches to strengthen the abdominal muscles. Crazy, huh?

But we shouldn't be too hard on this goofy little ad in the April 1939 issue of Popular Science, a magazine which I'm sure was widely read by people of every single body type, and in no way could be said to have a readership made up mostly of flabby nerds. Absolutely not.

After all, it's not like pseudoscience and snake willful ignorance have vanished, here in the bright and shiny information-is-practically-free future we live in. Jenny McCarthy ("Shut up, science, I know what I know, because I'm a mom."), Doctor Oz ("Was that 'Hippocratic' or 'hypocritical'" oath?") and Gwyneth Paltrow ("Magic potions!") spring nauseatingly to mind.

After all, I'm sure the rubber belt worked as advertised. It squoze your belly, which is more than can be said for Dr. Oz's "miracle" drugs or Gwyneth's vagina steamer. Rule of thumb: don't take medical advice from someone trying to sell you something at the same time.


Peugeot - Mouche du coche?

This 1964 ad for Peugeot seems to be trying to convince us that their cars are built to a high standard. Go ask any car geek you know and ask them if Peugeots are famous for their build quality and reliability. Innovation? Quirkiness? Clever design? Ten out of ten. Rock-solid construction? Errrr...... no. More knowledgeable understanders of Gallic carness are free to contradict this assertion in the comments, of course.

Ask Google to translate the idiom "busybody" into French, and it'll come back with "mouche du coche", which, directly translated back to English, means "fly in the coach". Hmm. Interesting. Do a search on "mouche du coche", and French dictionary sites will tell you it means "kibitzer" or "busy bee". So, it looks as though Google's translation feature is getting pretty good at understanding figures of speech and other non-literally-translatable phrases. That could be handy in the future.

The picky Frenchman in the picture could be useful in your graphical adventures some day too, n'est-ce pas? Let's have the Phil Are GO! Graphic Blandishment and Photoshoppery Brigade (PAGGBPB) pop him out of his native ad, complete his beret for him, and save him out as a PNG on an alpha channel backgorund.

Aah yes, just like that. But what if somebody doesn't want the naturally-yellowed version, and just wants him in pure black and white?

Can do. Hop to it, team....

Formidable! Right click that picky frog onto your "disque dur" for safe keeping, do you can use him to help convince people of your attention to detail, just like the build quality of French cars sort of doesn't.

What? More??? Jeez! Fine. Here's a new t-shirt in our shop, made from stuff we pulled from this ad. now you can show everyone how proud you are of your Peugeot 106, sitting back home in the garage, waiting for a new fuel pump to arrive on the slow boat from Nice.

Link to the Peugeot shirt at our Spreadshirt shop.

Yep. Those cars are sort of arranged in the colors of the French flag. Clever, huh? Yep, that's that attention to detail the French are famous for.

Lastly, you know what's interesting? While, yes, Peugeot does still make cars and bicycles, they make a surprising number of high-end salt and pepper shakers, for some reason. Next time you're in a reasonably fancy restaurant, and you notice the shakers are made of stainless steel (not glass, for some reason), look at the bottom while you're adding some big flavor to your soup and see if there's a Peugeot logo down there. Then you can make the face like the guy in this ad, because you noticed a detail.



BSA Gold Vase - Greatest Sports Model Ever

"Who?" I know what you mean. Apparently BSA made bicycles. If you're a Yank, you could be forgiven for never having heard of BSA, as they haven't had a presence in the U.S. market for a bunch of years, but they were a major player in England.

BSA stands for Birmingham Small Arms. They got their start way back in 1861, making guns. Unsurprisingly, a factory that made gun parts was pretty easily adaptable for making bicycle parts - you know, precision machining metal parts for long service life.

So, in 1880, BSA branched out into bicycle manufacture, with the Otto Dicycle, which looked like this....

Yikes. Perhaps BSA recognized that they could do better for themselves. Instead of building the kooky "Dicycle" for another company, they began making the more conventionally-designed "safety bicycle" under their own brand, later in the 1880s.

This led kind of naturally to building motorcycles under the Triumph brand, peaking in the 1950's and 60's. Later, when BSA got out of bicycles, selling off that part of their business to Raleigh.

Before they gave up on making bikes, BSA did make one of the best internally-geared hubs in history. Sturmey-Archer hubs were brilliant and nearly indestructible three-speed hubs that demanded nearly zero maintenance. They were on the best bikes back in The Fifties. You know Pee-Wee Herman's precious red bike? It probably had a Sturmey-Archer rear hub on it.

This ad proclaims the Gold Vase (the model pictured in the ad) as "The greatest sports model ever". Look at the size of that saddle bag. What did people carry around in 1950 when they were out "sporting"? You could put a loaf of bread in that bag... or a pair of shoes... or a pair of breadshoes.

Maybe you're feeling a little nostalgic for the BSA you had when you were a kid, and also English? Well, the Phil Are GO! Graphic Blandishment and Photoshoppery Brigade have harvested a couple of elements from today's ad and made up a shirt, which you can actually buy and actually wear, if that's what you're into. Maybe yellow's not your thing, or being a lady? Other colors and a bunch of different kinds of shirt are also up there, including man stuff. Here's the link.