The Air at the Top of the Bottle

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Entries from December 2008

Bachelor Girl

December 29th, 2008 · 1 Comment

As a postscript to our survey of “Old Maid,” I’d like to add these alternate rules.  They’re tucked into a 1945 deck (a later edition of the one we posted here as #25, back on 9/18/08).  I assume somebody at the company bridled at the stigmatization of the Old Maid, and so decided to make her the […]

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Tags: Card Games · Ephemera

Children’s Card Games (39)

December 27th, 2008 · 3 Comments

We close the year with a final “Old Maid” (at least for a while).  This one’s from Whitman: no date or copyright, as is traditional.  And a fine breezy design, I think. Here’s the Old Maid: (Posted by Doug Skinner)

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Tags: Card Games · Ephemera

Henri Salvador

December 27th, 2008 · 1 Comment

Henri Salvador, the great Guyanese singer/songwriter, died this year (back in February), and we never marked his passing here.  I wanted to salute him, briefly, before this dismal year evaporated for good. He had a long and active career in Europe and South America, but never crossed that baffling cultural divide to win much of an […]

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Tags: 'pataphysics · Literature · Music

Children’s Card Games (38)

December 20th, 2008 · 5 Comments

And here’s another specimen of “Black Peter”: a Danish one this time.  In this one, players match black and white sketches of couples from different countries.  I’ve chosen to post the cover this time, since I thought you’d like a splash of color. (Posted by Doug Skinner) 

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Tags: Card Games · Ephemera

Pierre-Henri Cami (2)

December 20th, 2008 · 3 Comments

I’d like to add a couple of images to my earlier post about Cami, particularly since he’s now so obscure, and since so few images are available.  The first is a photo of the man himself, taken from a 1964 anthology of his work: And the second is one of his cheerfully naive illustrations, taken […]

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Tags: Literature

Laws and Sausages (2)

December 20th, 2008 · 2 Comments

To our earlier post (10/21/08), illustrating the classic axiom, we add this variant.  It’s from 1902, from Underwood & Underwood; the caption reads “Try our sausages!  Made while you wait!– you can see just what you’re getting!” (Posted by Doug Skinner)

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Tags: Animals · Belief Systems · Politics · Stereoscopy · Symbols

Children’s Card Games (37)

December 13th, 2008 · 6 Comments

Black Peter is a Christmas tradition in several European countries; he accompanies St. Nicholas, and punishes the bad children.  He was usually depicted as an African or Moor, and portrayed in parades and pageants by a Caucasian gent in blackface and fanciful “exotic” silks and trappings.  Due to changing racial and cultural mores, he’s now usually shown as a chimney […]

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Tags: Card Games · Ephemera

Pierre-Henri Cami (1)

December 13th, 2008 · 3 Comments

Pierre-Henri Cami (1884-1958) is all but forgotten today.  But in the ’20s, his work was popular in France; he was translated in Vanity Fair; Chaplin called him the “greatest humorist in the world.” His preferred form was the short and stupid play: an unstageable drama that moved swiftly from one gag to the next.  He’s […]

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Tags: Literature

Children’s Card Games (36)

December 5th, 2008 · 4 Comments

The Piatnik Company, of Vienna, produced this game, “Famous Cities,” sometime in the ’50s.  The English edition seems to have been handled by Benno Products of London.  The young players were expected to collect cities in sets of four.  Besides such familiar metropolises as Paris, Berlin, and Rome are some less obvious choices, like Örebro. (Posted by […]

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Tags: Card Games · Ephemera

The Turkey Supper

December 4th, 2008 · 4 Comments

Although we have crossed the Thanksgiving abyss, there are more holidays ahead; and, all too often, turkey dinners will be a part of them. I gave up such nonsense long ago; but I realize that those of you who still eat meat and celebrate holidays may long for some variety.  And so I offer the […]

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Tags: Animals · Belief Systems · Dietary Mores · Diversions