Well, that was that. Rose at 5:55 to get to the airport, which of course occasioned the same perturbations I always cause when I’m trying to get everyone on the plane.

Me: let’s go there might be lines

Other people who don’t care if they miss the plane: we’ll be fine

Me: you don’t know that, are too many unknown variables

OPWDCITMTP: we’ve never missed a plane yet

Me: that’s because I have a strong whip-hand

OPWDCITMTP: The plane doesn’t leave until 8

Me: that’s wheels up. It boards at 7:30

OPWDCITMTP: okay but that’s still look 7:50

Me: (blood shoots from ears)

So we had that argument for the 97th time until I realized it was pointless, and the time was better spent in cheerful talk. Dropped her off, big hug, said that despite the fact that this was all out of joint and it was too bad she’d missed so much, it had been really, really great having her back. I could see the smile under the mask as she said Yes. It was.

And it was. But that was that, and now it’s technically the worst day of the year. Supposedly people are the most depressed the third Monday of January. Remember what I said before about the “newness” of the year wearing off and everyone realizing, again, that they are still the same and things are the same and it’s grey and cold with the long scrape of winter ahead? Right. But I’m not particularly down.

Not exactly doing a jig, either.
But! Right after I wrote the above, ding! Text. She’d arrived. Later a FaceTime tour of the dorm and some voice messages recounting a shopping expedition.

So okay, a good day. Jig worthy after all.










Netflix has a series on The Ripper, but not that Ripper. The Yorkshire Ripper, Nasty evil man who of course lived out his life in the care of the state, until he got sick and died. I hadn’t thought about him in years, and remembered his name straight away.

The case wasn’t big in the states, but I think Esquire or Rolling Stone did a big piece on the case, and how they stopped him. Three points:

1. The series is notable for its period footage, which has a real Life on Mars vibe - Seventies Britain looked like a tumbledown careworn sooty place with bad fashion and a tired heart. The collapse of aesthetics was almost total, and seemed to mirror the collapse of the spirit of the nation. It’s as if they were suddenly struck blind to beauty. A pell-mell race to renounce the past, simply because it had brought everyone to this point of societal dissolution.

The modern interviews are conducted in well-lit tasteful rooms that made you think: it is better now; we got past that.

2. The Yorkshire Ripper spawned an absolutely horrible British syndicated show in the late 70s / early 80s devoted entirely to Ripper-like cases, all fictional. It was literally the Serial Killer of the Week. It ran on Mpls TV late at night, after Letterman, and I remember watching it to be appalled. Who watched such a thing? Well, me, but I was watching it out of curdled fascination that such a thing existed. It seemed to be aimed at people who liked to see pretty birds in knee-high vinyl boots get strangled, or hammered, or stabbed, and the eventual inevitable arrest seemed to be tacked on to satisfy broadcast standards.

I can’t find anything about it. No search term turns up anything close. It’s as if the show was sunk by a wave of shame.

3 The Netflix warning about a documentary concerning a man who beat women to death has two warnings: “Nudity, Smoking.”




It’s 1932. The back pages of a movie mag, a dream rag.

Times are lean and mean. But you still have needs.

“Requisites.” No doubt some cheap junk with no brand, sold by dozens of outfits.

Not a bad address, though.

50 Nassau Street was built in 1894–1895 as the headquarters of the American Tract Society (ATS), a nonprofit, nonsectarian but evangelical organization that distributed religious tracts. Designed by the architect R. H. Robertson, it is one of the first skyscrapers built from a steel skeleton and was among New York City's tallest buildings when it was completed.

An elegant tale of personal stinkage, from the clean pen of Timmins. Mrs. F is puzzled: why would anyone send her soap?


Go ahead, give it a try! Each row must add up to 13.

Give the little lady nine-hundo for promptness!.

It’s not the bon-bons. It’s your weakened gland.

What was it? “Marmola, a purported weight loss miracle made of a little desiccated thyroid and a lot of laxatives.”

The FTC got in on the game.

Decrying the rise of “anti-fat fraud,” one Commissioner observed in a 1926 editorial that “Fabulous sums are spent on these fakes since the female skeleton became the fashion.” He also noted the difficulty of prosecuting weight loss fly-by-nighters: “They are usually fleet and cunning crooks that engage in the business. When located, they fold their tents and silently vanish, and commence business again in some new locality, under some new name.”

The FTC tried to regulate Marmola out of existence, but the Supreme Court ruled against them. Misleading claims in ads weren’t the same as an “unfair method of competition.” The FTC eventually amassed the regulatory power to get around that one.

And the rest is where we are now.

More bushwa, aimed at women who wanted that ironing-board figure so popular in the flapper era:

All that comes up for Doris Kemp Form Reduction are obits, which I suppose is technically correct.


It looks like she got ‘em, and she does’t like ‘em at all.

Maybe she’s angry you got ‘em, and batted them so effectively you took her man.


Well, it will in 80 years, when there’s lots of oligarch money looking to be laundered:

The Federal School turned into that outfit that advertised on matchbooks: Draw Me! Yes, yes, Charles Schultz went there. If you average out his earnings among the other pupils, you might not get BIG MONEY.

I can’t imagine a less successful ad - unless the readers were expected to find this guy a handsome lug and want to investigate him.

We’re still in the -O suffix period of product naming.

Health-O. Seriously. Health-O.

That will do today, I hope.




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