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Category Archives: Children in peril

Philadelphia Inquirer, April 6, 1890. It gives me the jibblies, the way some people shove religion down their kid’s throats.

Chicago Daily Tribune, October 31, 1889. Your average false arrest of a Bender suspect is a pretty prosaic affair: Some unlucky schmuck or schmuckess is in transit through a hick town, and a random resident of the latter spontaneously decides That’s John Bender! (sometimes senior, sometimes junior) and/or That’s Kate Bender! and/or That’s Almira Bender! An arrest or arrests ensue, and the newspapers triumphantly report that the long-sought criminal or criminals have been arrested at last and for sure this time, and no mistake about it. Often the coverage simply stops there until the next round, though sometimes there’s a sheepish follow-up item to the effect that, uh, perhaps the rock-solid Bender identification had been a bit premature after all. This one, however, is a bit more complicated. Read More »

Blocked from my regular blog praxis by the good people at Hewlett-Packard, makers of the valetudinarian paperweight known as the Compaq 6510b, I’ve been honing a new Erma Bombeck shtick over at the Chicago Reader (here and here). The first one blew up real good with the help of Twitter momentum provided by no lesser man than Roger Ebert, which I thought was kind of cool.

Philadelphia Inquirer, November 13, 1900. Been a while since we ran a mince-related story, though this particular item is not exactly without precedent. I wonder why the mince spirits have it in so bad for 3-year-old boys.

Okay, so I’ve roughed out a provisional draft of alternate lyrics to “My Favorite Things” for our own Jackie of Finland to record, per our contractually-binding exchange in this comment thread. I’m also in negotiations to get the two surviving Seidlitz Brothers to dub some backing vocals, though according to their agent, Shlomo’s voice box is pretty much shot from three packs of Chesterfields a day since the McKinley administration. No matter: that’s why God made Pro Tools and the electrolarynx.

I’m kind of going back and forth on the first verse here, as it lacks the 100% concrete historicity that the other verses have. Though maybe I could fix that by nailing down concrete references to back it all up.

Barrel-clad hobos and window-ledge pastries
Irish patrolman and drunks with the DTs
Blackguards and maidens and oncoming trains
These are a few of my favorite thangs

Phials of acid in ex-lovers’ faces
Naked wild women in desolate places
Negroes with blue gums who kill when they bite
This is a load of my favorite shite

Mince pies for breakfast, and luncheon, and dinner
Corpses injected to make their eyes glimmer
Med school students defiling the dead
This sort of thing tends to fuck with my head

Cuckqueaned wives killing spinster cult leaders
Cats sold as rabbits to unwitting eaters
Show-offs igniting their cee-gars with bills
These are symptoms of society’s ills

When the dog brings
Dynamite back

When I’m feeling sad
I simply remember my favorite things
And then I feel truly bad

Jackie: Far be it from me to impinge on your creative process, but I was thinking this would work best Lento assai and in a minor key.

Columbus Enquirer, July 9, 1909. I sympathize with this young woman, but at the same time I find the sheer mythological purity of her plight insanely pleasing.

Savannah Tribune, November 9, 1922. Call me judgmental, but that is just plain bad parenting.

I forgot to publicize this one over at the Reader.

Philadelphia Inquirer, February 3, 1885. Ciboire de tabernac, il aime pas trop les gosses, ce dingue la.

Chicago Herald, June 2, 1891. The victimological gamut of “merchants, mechanics and laboring men” establishes that the perp is an equal-opportunity wisenheimer and not some filthy workshy Iowan anarchist targeting the haves and sparing the have-nots. “Mechanic” here is being used in the wider 19th-century sense of a technologically-skilled worker quelconque.

Statistically this was a very strange week here at THC. I can never anticipate which items are going to grow legs and which will not, but on December 7th traffic on this site suddenly spiked from the normal range of 1,000,000 hits per diem to 5,000,000.* To my surprise, the big rainmaker was this. Which was odd because mince, while good for generating comments from the front of the class, has never been a popular favorite. Though it’s 3D celebrity pron when compared to the poor unloved BGN, whose poison extends to the box office.

*Above numbers may differ from reality by several orders of magnitude.