And on that day I labored not, except I did. Finished a piece and sent it in and dealt some some mortifying correction work that spoiled the entire day and made me good for little but sitting in the heat wilting in the sort of mood where you think you deserve to wilt. It's always the damned detail you think you have nailed down that someone else is keen to correcy at 7:32 AM in a mocking email.

Anything else? No. Not really. Oh, wait - On Sunday I went to the mall to look for a belt at Macy's, because I suspected they were having a belt sale. They did, in fact, have a belt sale. Can you believe it? The luck! The happenstance! The syncronicity! What are the odds that I need a belt, and Macy's has them for the unbelievable price of 30% off? I mean, what if I'd gone a day earlier? I get all clammy just thinking about it.

It's not that I need a new belt now, but I know I will need a new belt soon, because the one I have now has developed a crack. That usually means it will be aesthetically wanting in a week and structurally unsound in two. It is a reversible belt, of course, because guys have one belt that serves both of our standard hues, just as we have shower goop that is both soap and shampoo. Or even better: I use goop that is soap, shampoo, and conditioner, which somehow puts the lie to everything women use. It's likely my hair is not as manageable, and does not have bounce, I grant. The only way my hair has bounce is if I fall head-first down the stairs. But let us consider the standard routine we were all expected to learn in the 70s when Conditioner became unisex. First you shampoo, then you rinse, then you apply conditioner and let it work its chemical magic while you perform the rest of the ablutions. At the end of the event, you rinse it out.

The two-in-one makes an utter farce of that process. You shampoo, and rinse, and somewhere in there, in that narrow window of opportunity, the separate and distinct sequence of chemicals that comprise the conditioning process do their work. Somehow your initial lathering motions remove all the oils, and then the second series of lathering motions put them all back in.

Anyway. I found a belt. I also found a shirt, marked at 40% off. It's as if some astonishing act of public philanthropy suffused the entire store. I left feeling richer than I had felt upon entering, with a shirt and belt to boot!

Oh, boots were 25% off.










I’m watching this movie on YouTube. It’s about a young fellow who has a summer fling at an English seaside town. And my jaw slowly winches down to my sternum. For I do behold:

I mean, it’s like one of the few places outside of London in England I know.

It is the Thatched Shelter in Walberswick!

It has reviews.

The Google Page has times when it’s most busy.


I really do not think that it is particularly crammed at 3 AM.

Thereafter the family travels to a seaside resort, where we meet the autocratic woman who runs the hostel:


I recognize her: she played an obstreperous visitor at Fawlty Towers. Joan Sanderson. You think my, there's an English archetype! But you might think that simply because you saw her Fawlty Towers episode seventeen times.

It gets better:

Now we’re in Southwold. That’s the lighthouse, of course.

I was up there two trips ago with Natalie, and our tour guide was Jan, who volunteers. The people who take the tour cannot possibly know - why should they? - that Jan writes a delightful BBC radio play starring Joanna Lumley and Roger Allum..

A bit of googling reveals the particulars. Obviously, it’s shot in Suffolk, in Southwald, and has a loverly backstory. The writer recounts an adolescent vacation with his family. He’s an only child.

His parents are a bit mortifying, as they are when you're 17. But look at how the father's dressed for some beach cricket.

Does his brain hurt?

He meets a girl. It’s a coming-of-age tale, but the thing is this: The author based it on his own experience, and the girl . . . he married her. Damned sweet story.






It’s 1912.

A man needs help to wake, sometimes. That’s where Big Ben comes in.



We have the entire 1908 advertising campaign strategy. It makes some interesting points.

"Yankee", "Standard", "Peerless", etc. are names that are too general and meaningless and have cost their owners much more to establish then if they had selected one of the first class in the first place. The latter have been applied indifferently to any class of goods, bath tubs, watches, tiling, so that the same name is often used for two entirely different articles. A good name is a valuable asset. It has been said for instance that if all the plants of the National Biscuit Co. were to burn down over night, the word "Uneeda" would be their best asset the following morning.

He was a real fellow:


Dr. Joseph Parker Pray was a well-known manicurist and chiropodist who practiced in New York City. He died at the aged of 52 from complications of an operation on a carbuncle.

"Complications." Also:

In 1882, a lawsuit was brought against Dr. Pray for assault by a young woman, Della Springstead, in which she accused Dr. Pray of placing a towel over her mouth and, by his own admission, trying to kiss her. Dr. Pray, in turn, filed charges agains Miss Springstead for blackmail, stating that she demanded $2.00 or she would file assault charges against him.

His family grave. Impressive.

Their comeliness was enhanced, and thus they were happier:

Curious? Buy some from their website.

So . . . is Orange in Texas or Louisiana?

It’s in Texas, on the border. And it’s the damndest thing: the city has no downtown. Just downtown-type buildings surrounded by lots of vacant space.

Wasn’t always so.

Send no money! All sent on approval! Just mail us money each month if you desire to keep the goods! Pinkertons sent ‘round to bust teeth if payments missed!

Fifty cents - cash! You'd tape two quarters to an index card and mail it in, I guess. One dollar for a fargin' bed


After that you are DEAD TO ME

This seems to be quite the claim.

Imagine the customer’s horror when he learns that a man will soon be showing up to saw his other leg shorter and attach a rubber foot.


You get the sense that a spirit of American Ingenuity was in the air, and plenty of folks were sure they'd stumble on a gadget or device that would make their fortune.

And often, they were right!

That's a relief: everyone breath easy and go about your day. We've licked mankind's eternal scourge!

An industry leader, until they weren't. Failed to adopt new technology, which someone else . . . had patented.

Now two ways to chip in!


That'll do. We end the 30s portion of Comics Obscura today, and will be exploring the next decade soon enough. Note: I have cleaned up and link-fixed some errors in the whole Comic Sins site, in case you were drumming your fingers waiting for me to do that. I do despair of keeping this whole thing up and running some times, with all its links and such. I mean, the sub-sub-subsite I just fixed (MAYBE) has a 175 pages, each with at least seven links. It's too much.



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