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Somebody order a nightmare?

pity kitties

I owned this particular set of prints, which I ordered from the back of some magazine in, like, 1967. Four for a buck. The artist was called Gig and the genre was called Pity Kitties (and Pitty Puppies, Pitty Cubs and God knows what these are, but Gig painted them). Thanks to Gig, I wander the earth in fixed belief that millions of adorable kittens die every day for want of ham sammiches and weasel smoochies.

If I ever find Gig, I’m going to murder him. Murder him until he’s dead.

That’s not likely. There’s considerable mystery around the profusion of Big-Eye artists of the Fifties and Sixties: Gig, Eve, Mikki, Lee, Eden, Maio (something in addition to their tardonyms). No-one seems to know anything about them, and efforts to learn more have so far been fruitless (I’m guessing there’s shame and a great deal of soul-destroying guilt involved).

An exception is Walter Keane, who may have been the one to start it all. His schtick was big-eyed waifs, though it wasn’t really his schtick — the paintings were actually done by his wife, Margaret. But they were signed “Walter” and it was a hugely lucrative business, so when came the divorce, Walter claimed to be the actual painter.

To make her case, Margaret tore one off in front of the judge in Federal court (by which I mean painted a waif, not farted). Walter declined to paint one himself, on account of “his arm was sore.” She won.

Having a portrait painted by Margaret Keane was briefly in vogue among those refined citizens of Hollywood. Such noted aesthetes as Jerry Lewis, Liberace and Kim Novak sat for her. Natalie Wood and Joan Crawford were huge fans.

Keane is 81 and still painting. One of her bug-eyed originals will set you back tens of thousands nowadays. After she left Walter, she blissed out with the Jehovah’s Witnesses and currently describes her hypereyeballic waifs as weeping “tears of happiness.”

Get this: Kate Hudson is starring as Margaret Keane in a film called Big Eyes that will start production any day now. It’s a drama. About feminism. Kidding? Not.

This makes Weasel very sad.

sock it to me

Comments


Comment from S. Weasel
Time: July 7, 2008, 11:11 am

How sad? This sad:

pity stoat

 


Comment from porknbean
Time: July 7, 2008, 12:06 pm

Okay, now that big-eyed weasel is too frakking cute. She looks like she is hungry and someone offered her a Brazil nut.

“When you look at all this Big Eye stuff, you can’t help wondering what people were thinking about back then.”

It was the all the haze my friend. The purple haze.

 


Comment from porknbean
Time: July 7, 2008, 12:30 pm

The big-eyes were not only in art, but carried over into toys. From wiki –

Blythe – is a doll created in 1972 by designer Allison Katzman with the now-defunct U.S. toy company Kenner. Reportedly, she was modelled after drawings by Margaret Keane, similarly to many other dolls of the ’60s and ’70s. Her most distinctive and notable feature were eyes that changed color with the pull of a string attached to the back of her head. Due to a lack of interest, Blythe dolls were only sold for one year in the U.S. (produced in Hong Kong), during 1972.

thisisblythe.com

Somewhere on the outskirts of my brain, some cells vaguely remember that somewhat scary looking doll. Within the past decade, she has developed a cult-like following and bigger audience as she has been reintroduced to collectors.

Now the doll I do remember (and still have a tiny one) is the Liddle Kiddle. Tiny doll, huge head, huge eyes. Come to think of it…many of the dolls from that era had huge eyes. Flatsies, even the Barbies, which probably looked their best late 60s, early 70s.

 


Comment from Gibby Haynes
Time: July 7, 2008, 12:37 pm

‘I don’t care how big your eyes are. I told you to walk down that alleyway holding your tail. So do it!’

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to go and accuse some toddlers of being racist bigots.

‘Poopy cacka head!’

‘Oh, you’ve crossed the line this time, Hitler. You’re going to swing for this.’

 


Comment from S. Weasel
Time: July 7, 2008, 12:44 pm

Flatsie! Good lord! Thanks for reviving THAT mummified braincell, PnB. “Flatsie, Flatsie, She’s flat and that’s that!”

Did you see Twiggy and her daughter modeling together? I’ve always assumed Twiggy is where Flatsie came from. Spiritually, anyhoo.

Awk! The Daily Mail is rotting my brain!

 


Comment from Allen
Time: July 7, 2008, 12:47 pm

Nope, I’m not buying it. That big eyed weasel is just trying to lure me in closer until it lets loose and rips my face off.

The use of color is marvelous, Weasel.

 


Comment from S. Weasel
Time: July 7, 2008, 12:54 pm

Thank you, Allen. Photoshop is a dream like that: you can saturate and desaturate and change the hues and move stuff around and re-order layers and…whatever. God, what I would’ve given to have those tools at 18.

I haven’t quite got the Gig thing down, though. Like, how did he leave a half-moon of eyeball below the pupil and still make the damn things seem like they were looking straight at you?

 


Comment from Jill
Time: July 7, 2008, 12:54 pm

Anything that Kate Hudson touches turns to dreck.
This little black duck is very disappointed.

 


Comment from Allen
Time: July 7, 2008, 1:09 pm

I know what you mean about having current tools when I was 18. If you look at all the eyes the half-moon underneath is counter-balanced by the light spot up above. When the head is twisted the spots are moved slightly to re-center the eyes. It’s a neat effect, which if you notice you did exactly the same thing.

Gig-eyed, is that a real term? Oughta be.

 


Comment from porknbean
Time: July 7, 2008, 1:16 pm

The National Children’s Bureau, which receives £12 million a year, mainly from Government funded organisations, has issued guidance to play leaders and nursery teachers advising them to be alert for racist incidents among youngsters in their care.

This could include a child of as young as three who says “yuk” in response to being served unfamiliar foreign food.

The guidance by the NCB is designed to draw attention to potentially-racist attitudes in youngsters from a young age.

WTF?! The Daily Mail reports school children get punished for not praying to allah and police sniffer dogs have to wear booties while working around mooselimbs (which, on second thought I would protect the beasts too). I can’t believe that many people are scared to death OR so proud of themselves for being so ‘sensitive’ and ‘tolerant’. *spit*

Is there noone with a spine to tell these jackasses to STFU and go away? Are there any thinking people other than Gibby and Uncle B in the whole of UK?

 


Comment from Steamboat McGoo
Time: July 7, 2008, 1:28 pm

What Allen-The-Observant said about the eyes, Weaz. You are sooooo close.

Scoot the white dots just a “RCH” closer to the moons (i.e. close the spacing ever so slightly)so that that the dark “midway point” between them is looking directly at the viewer and you’ll have it nailed.

I think.
And not knowing jack shit about art.
And shutting up now.

 


Comment from porknbean
Time: July 7, 2008, 1:34 pm

Hmm…twist the weasel’s head a little more forward facing and perhaps the color ‘half-moons’ a little more around the pupil.

Though I really like the weasel as it is.

 


Comment from Pupster
Time: July 7, 2008, 1:42 pm

Wow…I had that 2nd from the right kitteh with the ouchy paw on my bedroom wall until I was about 8 years old.
It seems really kind of sick and twisted to put up a starving, hurt, and mournfully sad alley cat living in squalor on the wall of a young impressionable Pupster.

Brings back some memories. I think I’ll drink them away later.

 


Comment from S. Weasel
Time: July 7, 2008, 1:43 pm

Hm. Well, there’s no twisting the head without repainting it, but moving the reflection does seem to help. It’s like the reflection is taking the place of the pupil. Spooky.

son of pity stoat

Craig McCracken is on record that the Powerpuff Girls were heavily indebted to Big Eye art. Well, duh. But still, he admitted it.

It’s enormously sick, Pups. And all those sad clowns and hobos…god, what an ugly era. I mean, we didn’t give kids pictures of cute things puking or having the runs, did we?

 


Comment from porknbean
Time: July 7, 2008, 1:57 pm

we didn’t give kids pictures of cute things puking or having the runs, did we?

Umm…that came a little later as trading cards/stickers, but yes we did. Wacky packages and Garbage Pail Kids.
LOVED Wacky Packages.

 


Comment from S. Weasel
Time: July 7, 2008, 2:04 pm

I don’t think too many parents bought those to decorate kids’ rooms. Those are things kids bought for themselves. Big Daddy Roth started that sort of thing, I b’lieve.

 


Comment from Lemur King
Time: July 7, 2008, 2:07 pm

At every stage in history, adults have been giving kids pictures and/or stories fit to mar somebody for life.

Wacky stickers, right? With the really grotesque faces and leering tongues and bulging eyes? Talk about stamping an era with classy stuff.

Somewhere in my folk’s attic is a book titled “Little Brown Koko” that she had when she was a little girl. Looking at it from today’s eyes it is one of the more racist things out there.

 


Comment from Muslihoon
Time: July 7, 2008, 2:20 pm

I remember the Garbage Pail Kids. Never got cards of our own, but friends and cousins had them. Fun stuff.

 


Comment from Lokki
Time: July 7, 2008, 2:26 pm

“We are inherently attracted to a specific set of characteristics, including large, symmetrical heads, large eyes, small mouths and small noses,” according to Jeffrey Kurland, associate professor of biological anthropology and human development.

http://www.physorg.com/news8444.html

 


Comment from Jill
Time: July 7, 2008, 2:32 pm

I had both pictures on the right hanging above my bed.

It explains alot.

 


Comment from Gibby Haynes
Time: July 7, 2008, 2:49 pm

Yeah, Garbage Pail Kids made it over here too. I’ve still got my childhood bedside table in the loft, one of whose sides is covered in my collection of Garbage Pail stickers.

http://www.gpkonline.com/

 


Comment from Muslihoon
Time: July 7, 2008, 3:29 pm

my childhood bedside table

Wasn’t your childhood like only a few years ago? I think you’re the youngest whippersnapper around here.

And I mean that with all awe. I feel so old.

 


Comment from Steamboat McGoo
Time: July 7, 2008, 3:31 pm

Big eyes? How ’bout all the Henti stuff? And let’s not forget the Olsen twins.

BTW Weaz – I did not mean to presume to be a critic. I think the weasel is gorgeous! I love the translucency of the colors. That’s one of the layer-effects – yes?

And Lokki is right; we’re attracted to a specific set of characteristics, especially in the young, which evoke sympathy, protectiveness, etc. They say it is in all species to some extent that bear young that need to be cared for for any length of time. Fish ain’t got it. Dogs, cats, dolphins, whales, etc do (or the equivalent).

We are our genetic programs.

 


Comment from Allen
Time: July 7, 2008, 3:43 pm

Son of Pity Stoat has a pleading look in it’s eyes. Amazing what a slight shift in the reflection can do. You might be onto something there Weasel, each picture the same with a shifted reflection that might indicate a different emotion. Say, if they are shifted as to appear looking over the shoulder it might indicate fear.

McGoo, as far as the Olsen twins go, those big eyes say one thing: anorexia.

 


Comment from Gibby Haynes
Time: July 7, 2008, 3:44 pm

No Musli, I’m a year older than you are as I recall. The first Garbage Pail Kids came out in the mid-late eighties. I remember collecting them in my first or second year of ‘big school’.

 


Comment from Muslihoon
Time: July 7, 2008, 3:47 pm

Sorry, Gibby. So I’m the baby of this site.

*snaps whip*

Funny. I don’t associate youngsters with snapping whips. Anyway.

Excellent weasel, Your Ladyship. But the whole “Big-Eyed Suffering Aminal” thing seems so wrong. I don’t understand how people get into it. Seems almost sadistic, if you ask me, which no one did, but I’ll say it anyway, so there.

 


Comment from S. Weasel
Time: July 7, 2008, 4:03 pm

Oh, no, McGoo. I’m seriously mystified by the eye thing. It does look as though you put the reflection where you usually put the pupil, presumably because the pupils are so huge that they no longer make sense. In real eyeballs, the bright spot points at the light source, not the thing the eye is focusing on.

The second one is closer, but still not quite there.

 


Comment from Scubafreak
Time: July 7, 2008, 4:04 pm

Allen,I understand that for at least one of the twins, it means CRAZY BLONDE STALKER……

 


Comment from JuliaM
Time: July 7, 2008, 4:24 pm

Those prints are pretty horrible, but hopefully they aren’t cursed.

Hopefully…

 


Comment from Steamboat McGoo
Time: July 7, 2008, 4:32 pm

What I discerned from whatshisface’s work (and Allens well-phrased prose) is that the moon and white spot bracket the point of the pupil that is “looking” at the viewer, i.e. the white spot should be offset in some direction, and the moon-shape should be offset in the opposite direction. The pupil in between is doing the “looking”.

 


Comment from S. Weasel
Time: July 7, 2008, 4:35 pm

Holy geez, Julia! A whole new genre of tack of which I was previously unaware!

Sadly, they haven’t translated the Crying Boy Fanclub into English yet, but words aren’t really necessary.

Or available.

 


Comment from JuliaM
Time: July 7, 2008, 4:46 pm

There’s a fanclub for those things….? *boggle*

What reminded me about them, when I saw your post about the bigeyes, was seeing one at a boot sale yesterday. I could have made a killing on eBay.

Maybe literally…

 


Comment from Pupster
Time: July 7, 2008, 5:06 pm

The eyes don’t look right ’cause you didn’t commit unholy sacrifice rituals to the big eyed demonic spawn of Satan.

Correctly.

 


Comment from S. Weasel
Time: July 7, 2008, 5:10 pm

The link was at the bottom of the Wikipedia article you posted.

The great thing about British boot sales is, you never know when that butt-ugly red-faced burgher beer stein that you picked up for 50p might turn out to be a priceles (though still butt-ugly) 18th Century example of the potter’s art worth a zillion pounds. That’s why people hang on the Antiques Road Show.

(There’s an American version, but it’s pretty lame in comparison. It’s all kitsch, toys, weirdly valuable ugly thingummies made by native Americans, and letters from George Washington).

 


Comment from Allen
Time: July 7, 2008, 5:16 pm

I know exactly what I need: Big Eyes on Black Velvet.

I can just imagine the level of tack that could be taken to. One might swoon from lack of oxygen at that altitude.

I don’t know if any of y’all have seen the Breyer Horse thing, but it’s absolutely bizarre. Tack for model horses?

 


Comment from Lokki
Time: July 7, 2008, 5:20 pm

Funny – the first thing I think of when I see these big-eyed pictures is:

Don’t fire until you can see the whites of their eyes”

May be just a little residual 4th of July going on though….

 


Comment from nicole
Time: July 7, 2008, 5:50 pm

I’m guessing this is what you mean by the Breyer Horse thing?

http://www.breyerhorses.com/products/

Speaking as a formerly young girl who desperately wanted toy horses for her cowboy dolls and barbies, I would have loved to be able to get saddles, etc. for them. 🙂

I was an odd child. I had Johnny West dolls instead of baby dolls. My grandad made a wooden jail with hitching posts. Barbies were the saloon girls. I have a picture somewhere of a poker game I set up for them, making tiny cards for them to hold. Sadly, only one horse to go around, though. Geronimo generally got it. 😛 So the Breyer Tack Barn would have been a dream come true.

 


Comment from porknbean
Time: July 7, 2008, 6:18 pm

weasel, are you going to print out Pity Weasel, frame it, and put it above your bed? Maybe make a series of Pity Weasel paint-by-numbers? I would buy one.

 


Comment from Muslihoon
Time: July 7, 2008, 6:31 pm

Just don’t make the Weasel cry in your drawing.

Or make it cry and give to your enemy. Trojan horse! Er, Trojan weasel?

 


Comment from Allen
Time: July 7, 2008, 6:31 pm

Nicole, yes that’s it. Oh no don’t get me wrong I know lots of parents whose kids are into it. It’s fine up to a point, then it can get a little obsessive.

A granddaughter of a friend of mine got so bad with it I had to do an intervention: gave her riding lessons. That horse was brushed within an inch of its life 🙂

 


Comment from S. Weasel
Time: July 7, 2008, 6:37 pm

My best friend (who was poor, and therefore was bought all the toys in the world) had the whole West family. Not to mention the Museum of Barbie. I didn’t like dolls, but I loved little teeny tiny models. I remember especially, for some reason, a tiny Coke bottle.

The Wests…they were a whole family, with their clothes molded on their bodies, except for fringed chaps and vests and cowboy hats and such…yes?

 


Comment from Scubafreak
Time: July 7, 2008, 6:46 pm

Actually, that looks alot like schroedinger did last night. I was doing the dishes and letting him prowl the house (the girls were outside), when suddelnly he decided to take a flying tackle from behind, sink his not-so-little claws into my inner thigh and swing like he was in a playground. Unfortunately, being caught COMPLETELY unawares, I let out a howl of pain that scared the living shyte completely out of the rotten little bastard. It took me 40 minutes or so to convince him that I wasn’t going to wring his neck and that it was safe to come back out from behind the couch. I then gave him lots of fish treats and bandaged my latest war-wounds….. LOL

 


Comment from porknbean
Time: July 7, 2008, 7:02 pm

Sorry, scubafreak, but that visual of ninja kitty is too funny.

 


Comment from nicole
Time: July 7, 2008, 7:05 pm

A whole plethora of hard plastic figures with clothes molded on. Knees and elbows that bent, which made them cooler than Barbies.

http://www.stewartsattic.com/marx/figures/figureinfo.cfm

And yes, I had several girlfriends who were obsessed with the model horse thing.

 


Comment from Scubafreak
Time: July 7, 2008, 7:06 pm

Oh, I was laughing about it later, but at the time he made me jump right out of my skin….

 


Comment from TattooedIntellectual
Time: July 7, 2008, 7:38 pm

Was that the start of those creepy precious moments things. Those totally weird me out.

 


Comment from jwpaine
Time: July 7, 2008, 9:08 pm

Weaz: Big Daddy Roth “bug-eyed art” was the only art I could do. I spent hours of algebra/history/whatever class “creating” endless iterations of it. Other than that, I couldn’t even do a passable paint-by-numbers.

Gibby: ‘Big School’ in the mid-80s? Sheesh. I’d already been (in no discernible order) discharged from the Navy, run a newspaper, gotten married, gotten divorced, been in jail, graduated from college, ridden a mechanical bull at its highest setting, published a novel, went broke, bought a house, held innumerable jobs and moved innumerable times.

 


Comment from jwpaine
Time: July 7, 2008, 9:47 pm

Jeez, I thought that would be funny; instead, it reads like some smug asshole’s list of “accomplishments.”

/killing threads like the smug asshole I am since 1984

 


Comment from Steamboat McGoo
Time: July 7, 2008, 10:18 pm

FYI jwp, I didn’t read it that way. It reminded me that Gibby is young(er), which clashes with (my) impressions of his Weasel Persona: much older.

Of course I’m usually dead wrong, dude…

 


Comment from Mrs. Peel
Time: July 7, 2008, 10:49 pm

I think I’m younger than Musli. In fact, I was toddling in the mid-80s. *steals the whip*

Didn’t the Weasel go to that Precious Moments creepy museum thing a while back, and blog it for us?

 


Comment from Nicole
Time: July 7, 2008, 10:55 pm

Brr. I avoid the Precious Moments museum whenever I drive southward. I much prefer the pity weasel. 🙂

 


Comment from Allen
Time: July 7, 2008, 10:57 pm

jwpaine, I completely don’t understand most of the comments over at your place. Is there a decoder ring?

Your comment made me think of the song “Willin” I prefer the Little Feat version.

“…I’m still in a whole lotta trouble…”

 


Comment from Gregory the First
Time: July 7, 2008, 11:00 pm

I’m 28, and it amazes me how ancient I am.

 


Comment from Muslihoon
Time: July 7, 2008, 11:46 pm

Surprising how mature young-uns seem on the Internets.

 


Comment from jwpaine
Time: July 7, 2008, 11:57 pm

Well, Allen, like all hobbies, Ward Churchill Watching is a subculture with its own language, lodge signs, and secret handshakes. And, I have to admit, I’ve taken to writing for the regulars, who are already conversant with the various Churchilliana I allude to. I tend not to like to write the same thing twice, so it would be rather bewildering to anyone who hasn’t been following the case for the past four years (or hasn’t read all the PB archives–not recommended if you plan to operate heavy machinery after).

 


Comment from Christopher Taylor
Time: July 8, 2008, 12:30 am

Their tilty heads and doleful expressions remind me a lot of the tilty head apologizers at Tim Blair’s site.

 


Comment from JuliaM
Time: July 8, 2008, 2:58 am

“The link was at the bottom of the Wikipedia article you posted.”

Heh. That’ll teach me to do more than skim read it!

“The great thing about British boot sales is, you never know when that butt-ugly red-faced burgher beer stein that you picked up for 50p might turn out to be a priceles (though still butt-ugly) 18th Century example of the potter’s art worth a zillion pounds.”

True. Though my best purchase so far is a signed, limited edition Carl Brenders framed wildlife print. Not exactly priceless, but certainly worth a lot more than the house clearance bloke’s hopeful “Five pahnds, luv..?”.

Also usually good for plants, without having to pay the eye-watering prices demanded by garden centres. And when cold and flu season approaches, if you find a stall doing toiletries, they’ll sell you as much paracetamol as you need! Unlike supermarkets..

 


Comment from S. Weasel
Time: July 8, 2008, 5:17 am

Only virtually Mrs P. I’m not sure I could handle it in person.

When I was in art school, the nice man from Hasbro came around to talk to us. They had surveyed little girls and found the one thing nearly all of them wanted was a pony. So they came up with this neon-colored hard plastic lumpy pony thing.

“You idiot!” I thought, “little girls want a pony. Not that horrible plastic piece of shit.”

My Little Pony. One of the most successful toys of all time. Don’t *ever* take investment advice from a weasel.

 


Comment from TattooedIntellectual
Time: July 8, 2008, 6:58 am

Dude, my mom threw AWAY ALL of My Little Ponies. Now I live vicariously thru my friends kids and buy them MLP whenever Bdays or Xmas comes around. BTW, they made a comiccon MLP. Way cool!

I was born during RRs presidency (early years). Usually makes me youngest over at GCP as well, although I think Hopetofloat is a bit younger.

 


Comment from S. Weasel
Time: July 8, 2008, 7:29 am

TI: just for you. Brrrr.

 


Comment from Steamboat McGoo
Time: July 8, 2008, 7:31 am

I remember that Precious Moments post, and the place: its out west of StL on I44 – yes? I used to pass it whenever I took that route to Dallas from St. Louis. Creepy place.

Might be a good place to fuck with. I need to think about that… I could pretend to be the bereaved parent of sextuplet epileptic quadriplegics who died in an unfortunate accident involving a merry-go-round and a dish of Bing cherries.

 


Comment from S. Weasel
Time: July 8, 2008, 7:57 am

Happens more often than you think, McGoo. Stupid cherries.

 


Comment from Mrs. Peel
Time: July 8, 2008, 8:17 am

My little pony, bleh. I played with Legos and Star Trek action figures.

…ok, I did have an Ariel Barbie. But I still have the Star Trek action figures!

 


Comment from porknbean
Time: July 8, 2008, 9:07 am

Hmm…never did want a pony. And that link to the MLP ‘rescue’…collectors are truly freaks. I know.

 


Comment from porknbean
Time: July 8, 2008, 9:10 am

McGoo, do you ever listen to 97.1, in the morning? Allman drives me absolutely insane.

 


Comment from S. Weasel
Time: July 8, 2008, 9:37 am

Heh. I just got a comment spam one-liner: “blow my whistle bitch.”

 


Comment from Scubafreak
Time: July 8, 2008, 11:44 am

Why do people always think that artists automatically work with miniatures? 🙂

 


Comment from Jill
Time: July 8, 2008, 11:51 am

Dang…some of you grew up in an era when toys were more closely regulated for safety.

I had a dollhouse made of metal that had edges so sharp you could slice cheese on them.

I also never wanted a pony. For me it was always about cats. Big cats, little cats, cats of all sizes and colors.

 


Comment from Lokki
Time: July 8, 2008, 1:01 pm

…some of you grew up in an era when toys were more closely regulated for safety.

Safety? SAFETY?? We didn’t need no stinkin’ SAFETY when I was a kid.

When I was six, I had one of these. Still have it too. Just in case, you understand.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hR9ojNddiSI

 


Comment from porknbean
Time: July 8, 2008, 1:37 pm

Holy crap Lokki! I wonder how many eyes were put out with one of those?
And in our day, if you did lose an eye, it was a mark of being a man.

My brother had a big metal truck and decided to play a game of jumping over it from an armchair. Fell on it and ripped his knee wide open. Can’t remember how many stitches it took to put it back together. My parents never would have thought of going after the toy company…but they did smack my brother around for costing them money at the ER.

 


Comment from Jill
Time: July 8, 2008, 1:40 pm

We had one of these:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pUDG_nPBcYI

It was my brother’s, and being the inquisitive little sister, I plugged it in every chance I could. And man, did this thing get HOT. You could make pancakes on it.

 


Pingback from Daily Pundit » Have You Ever Seen One of the Damned Things?
Time: July 8, 2008, 1:44 pm

[…] Somebody order a nightmare? This makes Weasel very sad. […]

 


Comment from S. Weasel
Time: July 8, 2008, 1:54 pm

Dammit! I can’t see YouTube at work. But, Jill, if it’s the thing where you pour the goop in the metal mold and heat it up…I had one of those! Before it got hot enough to set, that stuff stuck to flesh and burned like napalm.

Of course I tried it.

Repeatedly.

 


Comment from Lemur King
Time: July 8, 2008, 2:04 pm

I cannot read my daughter any of the “My Pretty Pony” books without screaming “Saccharine!” or “Insulin!” at the end of each page. The books also paralyze my tongue and cause kidney stones.

Anybody remember Dan Aykroyd and Jane Curtin SNL skits with the “Bag O Broken Glass” toys? There was also one that was nothing but a dry-cleaning bag…

My personal favorite toy was those cars that used to be metal-skinned, and you pulled the ripcord to smash them into each other at high speed – smash-em-up derby style. After the one millionth hit they were just oozing with sharp metal fragments. Now THAT was a toy. Band-aid sales skyrocketed that year, I’m sure.

 


Comment from Allen
Time: July 8, 2008, 2:09 pm

Oddest “toy” I ever had, well of course it was in England. There was a big thing called conker fights. You took this nut from a certain tree (I don’t recall what kind) drilled a hole in it and then baked it until it got hard. You then put a string through the hole. You held your conker up while your opponent swung his at yours then vica versa. The first person’s conker to break lost.

I had one that won 52 times until it gave up the ghost. So yeah… Allen what was your favorite toy when you were a kid? “Ummm a nut on a string.”

 


Comment from S. Weasel
Time: July 8, 2008, 2:14 pm

Horse chestnut. Uncle B was always finding “particularly good ones” on the path and pressing them on me. I came home with pockets full.

It was kind of sweet.

In a retarded way.

 


Comment from Allen
Time: July 8, 2008, 2:24 pm

Weasel, that’s funny I can picture it. I had some sort of memory that it was a chestnut of some flavor.

 


Comment from S. Weasel
Time: July 8, 2008, 2:26 pm

Well, we just call them chestnuts in the States.

 


Comment from JuliaM
Time: July 8, 2008, 2:31 pm

“There was a big thing called conker fights.”

With safety glasses, I hope…? 🙂

 


Comment from Allen
Time: July 8, 2008, 3:27 pm

Oh dear, safety glasses, say it isn’t so, please? I didn’t realize it was still a big thing. For me it was almost 40 years ago.

 


Comment from Jill
Time: July 8, 2008, 3:27 pm

Swease, no goop, but roughly 4″ x 4″ thin plastic squares. It were a Vac-U-Form. The plastic squares had tiny holes along each edge, which fit precisely over extrusions on the toy.

 


Comment from Jill
Time: July 8, 2008, 3:30 pm

I thought conk fights were illegal?

:0)

 


Pingback from S. Weasel
Time: July 8, 2008, 3:42 pm

[…] big thing called conker fights.”… S. Weasel: Well, we just call them chestnuts in the States…. Allen: Weasel, that’s funny I can picture it. I had some … S. Weasel: Horse chestnut. Uncle B was […]

 


Comment from Lemur King
Time: July 8, 2008, 4:14 pm

I thought horse chestnuts were ultra-bad poison???

Jill… *rimshot*

Allen, that actually sounds like it could eat up any number of fun hours as a kid. At least until the dread of all moms thing happened “someone puts an eye out”. Paper on straws was a fabled doom of my mother…

We grabbed garbage can lids and lumps of hard clay. Rules of the game, what happens in clay wars STAYS in clay wars, until the weenie that got hit stopped thinking it was funny and went cryin’ home to mama. Man did I get in trouble for that.

 


Comment from jwpaine
Time: July 8, 2008, 5:15 pm

Well, we live in A Different World.

 


Comment from jwpaine
Time: July 8, 2008, 5:21 pm

I got my nose broke in a tar-paper fght with my buddy next door. The houses we were living in had identical sheds behind them that intrepid young boys could easily climp atop. And they were roofed with cheap tarpaper, which we discovered could be torn up into frisbee-sized sheets and whipped at your buddy atop the neighboring shed. I was just standing up to hurl a good one when my buddy’s preemptive missile whacked my nose. Much pain and blood ensued. But no telling. Only cry-babies tell.

Besides, to drop a dime on my buddy I would have had to confess to the same crime–worse would have been the tacit admission that I wasn’t particularly good at it.

 


Comment from Steamboat McGoo
Time: July 8, 2008, 5:50 pm

Lokki! I had a Mattel Shoot-n’-Shell outfit too! With Greenie Stickum Caps! My buddy down the street had the holster that “rotated” so you didn’t have to draw the weapon out to fire it. The swine.

I loved that six-shooter! I’d try to outdraw Mat Dillon on “Gunsmoke” every week on TV. Failed, every time.

Nowadays, no manufacturer would get within a mile of the assembly drawings of that toy. “Put your eye out!”

Politically correctness is a disease: the assholes.

 


Comment from TattooedIntellectual
Time: July 8, 2008, 5:59 pm

Okay swease, I’m not that far gone. I just buy the new ones. I’m okay w/ leaving things that have been put in the trash there 😉

 


Comment from S. Weasel
Time: July 8, 2008, 6:04 pm

Oh, man…that’s one sweet six-shooter!

I found what I was talking about: Creepy Crawlers Fright Factory. (310°F! No wonder I got scars!)

 


Comment from Lokki
Time: July 8, 2008, 8:10 pm

Hi everybody – Weasel made me go to my room after my post in the new thread, but she said I could still talk to my imaginary friends here….

Yeah, McGoo – I still have my old gun, and I have the holster too. Many a bad guy fell to that six shooter….

You mentioned Gunsmoke – do you remember “Have Gun will Travel, with Palidin? He was my hero for a long time.

And JW – our neighborhood battle weapons of choice were green apples slung from long pointed sticks. I’m sure that there must be a ancient and proper name for a weapon where you put an apple or a stone on the end of a long stick and use the additional length as a lever to accelerate the apple….
You could get a nice green apple going hard and fast enough to dent a car 🙂 and a 1960’s car made from real steel too! :-):-)

Oh and Jill – you’re right about them being illegal but you’re wrong about the spelling. Here’s a little video of them in action, but you should be careful where you are and who’s around when you open the video because… well, just because. But hey! You’re over 21, right?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W0-fxvNEvAw&feature=related

 


Comment from Steamboat McGoo
Time: July 8, 2008, 9:27 pm

Lokki – you bet I remember HGWT! Watched it every week in glorious Black & White. Funny thing; I always thought Paladins first name was “Wire”, because his card said, “Wire Paladin” if you needed help.

It was years before I knew that the word paladin means “hero”.

And I would pay real money to have my old shoot n’ shell six-shooter back. Good memories.

And….(an aside)… I recognised 1984 from the first sentence. I need to go re-read that to see how well it holds up over the years.

 


Comment from S. Weasel
Time: July 8, 2008, 9:30 pm

Pretty well, McGoo. I re-read it not long ago.

 


Comment from Steamboat McGoo
Time: July 8, 2008, 10:24 pm

It stands the test of time, eh? Good. If I get a break tomorrow I’ll run by Borders or B&N and grab a paperback copy.

I haven’t read it since I was a teen, but remember it well – I think. We’ll see how my perceptions have changed after all the decades.

 

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