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Category Archives: Strange freaks

Dallas Morning News, February 1, 1886. Said Frenchmen would in fact have been Quebecois rather than F.O.B. cheese-eaters. Now, your Quebecois gene pool is (no aspersions intended) a tight and tidy affair, which raises the possibility that the behavioral oddities manifested by these Gallic lumberjacks stemmed from some kinda mutation. But I’m more inclined to think that this was a culture-bound syndrome like latah, piblokto, bulimia or Republicanism. Read More »

Assuming my my flight gets me there on time, I’m going to be giving a brief lecture on Wild Women as part of this here cultural event at the Gershwin Theater in New York on April 29th, 8 PM. The rest of the program sounds entirely legitimate though, and admission is a mere fin. Come one, come all.

San Francisco Bulletin, June 11, 1891. I appreciate it when some obliging newspaper editor has done all the gleaning and gathering for me. Thank you, nameless long-dead newspaperman.

Atlanta Constitution, January 22, 1890. In colonial New England, the birth of such a monster would typically inspire suspicions that some man had had carnal relations with the mother. The freakish progeny would be scrutinized for clues as to the identity of the malefactor. The penalty for bestiality was hanging, but first the condemned man would have to watch his animal consort killed before his eyes. And no, I’m not making this shit up.

wild childTrenton Times, September 23, 1885. Used to be the woods and plains were thick with these half-Tarzan, half-Kasper Hauser types. Though the ability to clear a 7-foot stump in a single bound surely puts this young woman near the top of her class. Read More »

eminent domainNew York Times, October 4, 1854. There’ll always be some folks who just don’t cotton to the concept of eminent domain.

boston journal 1 17 13 1Boston Journal, January 17, 1913. The name for this poor woman’s dangerous fixation is claustrophilia. It’s a sex thing for some people. Read More »

tucson cit 6 4 06Tucson Citizen, June 6, 1904. I’m surprised to learn that Youngstown once had an “aristocratic” sector. I got stranded there once and it struck me as an undifferentiated shit hole.

lingerieTucson Citizen, January 5, 1907. Interesting bit of reportage here. First you’ve got that skeptical “at least to the satisfaction of the police,” then a similarly qualified reference (“police say”) to a confession obtained “under the third degree,” meaning they beat the snot out of the guy. Which leads us to the point that the whole arson scenario makes zero sense. He sets fires and then runs into the burning buildings to steal “fluffy things”? There are easier ways than that to get your hands on some cashmere.

gf daily herald 9 18 09gf daily herald 9 18 09 2Grand Forks Daily Herald, September 18, 1909. Kee-rist, I’d pay just about any sum you could mention to avoid laying eyes on this homespun hellspawn. But Wilhelm Peterson is quite right about Denmark appreciating a freak. They worship Udo Kier as a god there, for instance.