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Some of my all-time favorite memories are from the past. Back then, America was a land of peace and prosperity, free of dirty homeless people, dirty wars, and uppity minorities. Streets were so clean you could eat off the pavement, and often I did--getting a whole steak dinner for just a quarter down at the local Elk's Club. But I digress. Let's travel back in time and have a look at two of the all-time classiest decades, for a few fads and fashions that Father Time forgot.

Lindsey hop
buff sailor


The Lindsay Shuffle:

This popular dance craze was started by "Jumpin'" John Lindsay, later the mayor of New York City. Steps, which included "the pounding heart, the knocking knee, and the forward-slump", were inspired by Lindsay's own childhood bout with polio. The craze ended after FDR brought shame to our nation when he accidentally goosed Stalin with his crutch when they danced together after Yalta. In the fracas, Stalin fell forward into a plate of ice cream, thus beginning the Cold War.

Fireman Fashion:
During the summer of 1941, it became very stylish for the women of high society to wear asbestos suits and other fireproof gear. When you said a woman had "nice gams", that meant that she would probably survive a burning car wreck. This trend died quickly, though, as 1942 became the "Year of the Domestic Servant". 

Really Buff Sailors:
These noble men, heroes after World War II, would grease themselves up with hot sesame oil and then walk the Earth flexing their pecs. Throughout late 1945 they marched up and down Times Square kissing anyone they saw. Let me tell you, my balls dropped that New Year's Eve!

Golden Oldie Radio Programs:
Before cable television families would gather around the radio for a wonderful night of "theatre of the mind". Some of my favorite programs included the suspenseful drama of "The Low Voiced Guy", the unexplainable superhero adventures of "Mysterious Man" and the hilarious comedy of "Those Scheming Negros". Also popular were radio ventriloquists like Candace Bergen & Art Garfunkel.


Doberman Skirts:
Young ladies wore these flashy numbers in the early 1950s, before the dawn of the music we now call "rolling rock". Not only did the sides of these babies flare outwards like a dog's nose, but they were fitted with teeth so you couldn't put our hands up a girl's skirt. For that you needed a "muzzle" which was made out of barbed wire and an old car jack

Elvis Goes to Singapore:
"Everybody shake your pants/As Elvis does his Singapore Dance!" Or so went the hit song. Elvis Costello was one of our great national treasures, and according to legend, he met his legendary manager Colonel Mustard on a fencing trip to the Far East. This meeting was later commemorated in song, and on the television special, "Caning Ed Sullivan."

shark on car
magenta meance

Dead Sharks Tied to the Tops of Covertibles:
Kids in the 50s always seemed to have some new craze going, like filling telephone booths up with stuffing. Me and my friends liked to kill great white sharks and tie them to the top of our car. Most expensive cars already had shark-like fins, but having an entire dead shark flopped over the roof of your automobile was a cool guy's way of saying, "Don't mess with me, bucko."

Drive-Thru Movie Theatres:
Drive-thru movie theatres were always great for inexpensive, quick dates. I remember seeing "The Creature From New Jersey" AND getting a delicious burger and fries, all for under a dollar and in sixty seconds flat.

"The Magenta Menace":
The only way for our men to stand out in the Korean Jungle was to have some sort of flashy pattern or hue. The Nips wore yellow, and we wore Magenta. It was our men's way of saying, "Hello there, fella, I'm an American!" But if a regular civilian was caught wearing magenta Stateside, he or she would be alienated immediately. Tragically, people lost their jobs, their wives, even their pets. In 1955 Screenwriter Dalton Trumbo had to use a "front" for his Oscar winning script for "Johnny Got His Gun" all because of a zesty magenta tuxedo he wore to the People's Choice Awards back in 1953.

Alger Hiss and Friends Variety Hour:
Who could forget the finest TV variety hour of the 1954-55 season, Alger and his wacky friends, including Red the Tap-Dancing Monkey (played by Ricky Ricardo) and Buttons the Siamese Twin Albino (played by a young Richard Nixon), wormed their way into the hearts of America. When he was executed in front of a national audience by his network for low ratings, Hiss delivered a fantastic speech that people will always remember. I'd quote from it, but I can't recall his exact words.

"The Internet":
It was a little more primitive than it is nowadays, what with all the advances in copper wire and Dixie cups, but the essence of the Internet was still the same (albeit stickier). Even then, people had trouble connecting to America On-Line. If you look closely at the film "The Girl Can't Help It" and you'll see one scene where Jayne Mansfield uses an early beta of Netscape to browse for "lesbians, lesbians, lesbians".

"MALTSHOP" JOE THRONEBERRY hosts a weekly radio show out of his basement in Dritfwood, Kansas. He has a steel plate inside his skull.


Babyland: Home of the Cabbage Patch Kids

Star Trek Faire or Renaissance Convention?

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