13 Nov 2010

And Then I Was Back Again….

While pondering the pop of caps my poor brain went ‘pop’ and I was back with comics. Not Beano or Dandy or Topper or Eagle but more the scary type. Now I’m not sure of the titles of these publications, but I believe they were something like ‘Unknown’ and ‘Creepy Tales’ and stuff like that.

The thing is, as good as these comics were, it was the very back page that held the absolute box of delights. Remember? A page of, what, one inch by one inch adverts for wonderful stuff of total wonderusnuss and wonderment.

This is an American picture, fairly recent given Star Treck is there, but the idea is as it wuz. Now do you remember? ‘Course you do!!


I remember one thing I really, really, REALLY wanted and after three months of careful pocket money budgeting, finally found myself in the position of buying my postal order for 2/6 and excitedly sending off for a ‘Genuine’ Java{?} Shrunken Head.

I do remember being a tad disappointed, upon it’s arrival, to discover it was genuine rubber rather than ‘Genuine’ as in the genuine I was expecting. Never-the-less it took pride of place in my bedroom for a very long time. Do you think my folks derided it as a complete waste of 2/6? You better believe they did!

Remember the Seebackroscope? Plug it over your eye like a monocle and through a cunning alignment of little mirrors you could ‘spy’ on people behind you. Would it stay in your eye, un-supported, like a monocle? Your kidding, right? Of course it wouldn’t. I don’t believe this, but, again, Google and ye shall find…. and many more memory joggers!


And let’s not forget the little gizmo that would instantly have you imitating bird calls and was also the number one aid to becoming a ventriloquist and ‘Learning to Throw Your Voice In minutes!!’.

This sucker turned out to be a half moon of tin with a bit of rubber stretched across it. Stuff it in the roof of your mouth and warble away, the instructions said. Best I ever got was a sort of farty noise. As for ventriloquism – it was just that close to being swallowed through many an attempt. All failed attempts of course. Then it was thrown – voice never was.

Invisible ink, crystal radios, stink bombs, Charles Atlas, X-ray glasses, see in the dark glasses, and on and on and on……………

Did it matter that these things never quite did what they said they would? Sure, but not for long. Did the fact they didn’t ‘work’ stop us wanting more? Of course not.

Oh simple, happy daze.

Quote; William Cowper.

“Men deal with life, as children with their play
Who first misuse, then cast their toys away.”


Caratacus said...

Yep - signed up for the Charles Atlas course when I was nine.... Got ever such a nice letter back when my Mum wrote to them!

Apart from the X-ray specs (obviously) the one thing I really wanted was one of those thingys you put on your old black and white TV to turn it into brilliant technicolour - instantly. As it was, by the time I had bought a goodly supply of Bazooka Joes and Spanish Tobacco there wasn't a lot left...

Mac said...

I do remember the black and white TV to colour thingies!! The old man couldn’t be persuaded to invest in one of those. I’m sure they worked like a charm. As did the X-ray glasses... Oh.

But prior to TV who, of an age, can forget crouching by the wireless and listening, in fascination and terror, to ‘Journey Into Space’. I think it came on after ‘Life With The Lions’ or my favourite, Al Read; Sunday evenings? Have a laugh, then be frightened, then sent to bed.

When TV did make it to our house, the original ‘Quatermass’ gave me many a night huddle beneath the bed covers.