Thursday, July 7, 2011

David'Z RantZ: The Return of the "Short Shorts!"

My friend Betsy says that the woman above looks like she's wearing
a skirt rather than short shorts (and I agree), but the photo is from a 1956
LIFE article about "Short Shorts for Girls..." Serves me right for not
taking the easy way out and using a shot of Catherine Bach as Daisy Duke.

When David'Z RantZ was an actual, active blog rather than "just" an occasional heading on this blog, I often had an irregularly scheduled feature known as "Short Shorts." And rather than feature photos such as that 1956 shot of the little lass above -- I said "little lass," Pat! Read it slowwwwly, and keep it clean! -- it featured a series of short and mostly unrelated observations by Yours Truly.

So, let's see how I do, reviving "Short Shorts." (Keair ought to like this... except for the comic book crap.) And there will also be a bunch of incestuous little links to other Blogger-bloggers.

1.  Pickled Packaging. With most food items, the container it's... errrr... contained in when you're buying it doesn't usually matter. Most people, for example, don't care whether their soda comes in a glass bottle, a can, or a plastic bottle. (I care, however. I prefer a glass bottle to a can, and would rather drink from a can than a plastic bottle. But I digress.)

In some cases, it does matter. I don't know too many people who like canned spaghetti sauce as opposed to that sold in a glass jar. And I once saw an episode of Taxi where 12-ounce cans of champagne were served at a party. Yuck.

So when my friend Anika at work began raving about the following item, I was stunned.

Canned pickles? Canned freakin' pickles? Really? Seriously?

I tried 'em, however, and was hooked. If they're available in your area, give 'em a shot. And tell 'em Foxy sent you.

2. The Time-Traveling Turtle. To steal borrow (and amend) a phrase from Roy, I scripted a few comic books in the late 1980s as part of the "Second Wave of Comic Creators," those who grew up with comic books (and other pop cultural influences), as opposed to those creative types of the 1960s and earlier who had influenced them. Or something.

Well, in the pages of The Bird #1, a 1987 offering written (mostly) by me and drawn by my friend & creative partner, Skip Simpson, I showed that I was (and am) part of that Second Wave.

When I was a little tadpole, this far-from-Silver Fox used to enjoy a cartoon called King Leonardo and his Short Subjects. The show was produced by Total Television, later responsible for shows such as Underdog. (Clicking that Underdog link, by the way, will take you to a post with my unique take on the character. You've been warned!)

One segment, "Odie and the King," concerned the Leonardo of the title, but the show contained two other features. One was a canine detective called "The Hunter," and the other was vaguely similar to "Peabody's Improbable History" from Rocky and His Friends (later known as The Bullwinkle Show.) That segment was "Tooter Turtle" (also known as "Tutor" or "Tudor." Don't ask.)

Tooter was constantly begging his friend, a lizard named Mr. Wizard, to magically transport him to another section of the globe, or even some era in the past, on the assumption that his "new life" would give him the happiness he craved.

It never worked. Invariably, Tooter ran into more trouble than he could handle. (The moral of the story, boys and girls, is to be satisfied with being who you are.) At this point, Tooter would plead that the absent-but-observing Mr. Wizard would save him. And the lizrd would do so, bringing Tooter back while intoning "Drizzle, drazzle, druzzle, drome, time for zis one to come home."

Roughly twenty-five years later, in the pages of The Bird, genius inventor Roland electronically retrieves the titular superhero, The Bird, from a parallel dimension while (unnecessarily) spouting those very words, "Drizzle, drazzle, druzzle, drome, time for zis one to come home." That was my doing, of course.

Second Wave of Comic Creators, indeed.

(This specific "Short Shorts" segment was mainly targeted at LadyCat, one of my regular readers (or so says my StatCounter, unless there's someone else who always accesses my blog from LadyCat's blog), in the hopes that she will finally be urged to comment. Heh. Just sayin'. UPDATE: And I'll be darned, it worked!)

3. To Coin a Phrase, "Drink Up!" People love to create controversy where none should exist. (If you didn't know that already, shame on you, haha.)


The above photo is of a simple, unassuming coin, right? Right.

Now here's the other side:

Would you believe that this, to some, is controversial? (Hey, was that Alan I just heard, passing out and hitting the floor?)

I kid you not, fellow babies. Here is a link to the article that made me aware of the coin in the first place!

In short, the article states that Latvia's health ministry claims that the coin "amounts to hidden alcohol advertising" and "contradicts [their] efforts to cut down on the consumption of alcohol in society."

To quote from myself, above... Really? Seriously?

That part of Europe is known for its great beers (and God bless 'em for that)! I mean, correct me if I'm wrong, but Oktoberfest didn't originate in freakin' Venezuela, right?

Folks, when beer is available, there are always people around to drink it. I really doubt that a freakin' coin is going to make a difference! End of story. So, if they can't take a joke...

The best part is that a spokesman for the Bank of Latvia (which issued the coin) claims "that the health ministry's criticism has only increased interest in the new coin and that Latvians were queuing up outside the bank's branches to get hold of one."

Heh. Not just Latvians.

I just bought one on eBay.

4. Let's Be Brief. (Yeah, Right.) Speaking of "short subjects," "short shorts," etc., I'll never forget when Twitter was first becoming popular. My friend John suggested that I try it.

Yeah. Me. On Twitter.

I'm still laughing at that one.

5. Psych! No, no, don't worry... There is no number five. This whole post has been more than long enough, as I'm sure you'll agree. (And hey, I never promised that the length of the entire post would be short, did I?)

Thanks for your time.


  1. Ah yes, I remember Mr. Wizard. "Heeeelllllppp, Mr. Wizard! Heeellllpppp!" I couldn't remember what show that was a part of, though. Thanks for reminding me of Huckleberry Hound.

  2. You say "thanks for your time" but as you know time is money. And as you have so eloquently demonstrated money is beer (in Latvia at least) So I have read your post, now send over the beer.

  3. hahaha well played Alan.

    I read slow so it didn't come out my little you know. That wouldn't be good, advertising it on two blogs..haha

    Oh now you're showing food too, geez are you and Betsy trying to make me have a fit?

    That coin is awesome and yeah agreed peple are going to drink it whether it's shown on a coin, a mule or written across their forehead.

  4. @Roy: The Total Television cartoons were packaged with the Jay Ward ("Rocky and Bullwinkle") material in some markets during the later 1960s, so it makes things confusing. But you and I -- *sigh* -- are old enough to have seen these when they were first run in the early 1960s.

    (And how appropriate... As I wrote this comment, "Prove It All Night" by Springsteen was playing, reminding me of your recent posts discussing him. Third time in only twelve hours that something like that has happened.)

  5. @Alan: Impeccable logic, I must admit, but... as far as sending you any beer goes... ummm... would you settle for one of those Latvian coins?

  6. @Pat: Do you have a tendency to stay indoors, and turn the TV or DVD player off to avoid seeing food? I'll bet a pickles and Pringles combo would be just great. Heh.

  7. That turtle sure reminds me of a cloud ; )
    And I agree, drinking anything from a glass tastes better than metal or plastic. I can't stand to drink out of a plastic cup...yuck!

  8. @LadyCat:

    "That turtle sure reminds me of a cloud."

    Good thing a lot of my readers read Betsy's blog, too, haha!

    And gee, thanks so much for stopping by and commenting. :)

  9. Pickles and pringles??? Nasty indeed.

    No cable so commercials I do not see. But dvds I watch and as you know shows and movies usually only use food as a backdrop. They order a lunch or something, talk for two seconds and poof leave it all there untouched, going about their day, why order the crap to begin with? Oh right to make it look realistic. Can't have a scene in a dinner and not order food...haha

  10. @Pat: Very good observation about the "food in movies" thing. Unless eating is somehow an integral part of the scene -- like the pie-eating contest in "Stand By Me" -- food's rarely eaten in restaurant scenes.

  11. Are you sure those are shorts in that pic? Certainly looks like a skirt to me. Just sayin'! :)

    Loved Bullwinkle and Underdog in the 60's. And yes, I actually remember...late 60's anyway!

  12. @Betsy: Well, that photo is from a LIFE magazine article called "Short Shorts for Girls Become a Permanent Part of the U.S. Scene" from September of 1956, and if the miniskirt had even existed as a fashion then, it would have prompted arrests.

  13. It's beer or nothing my friend.

  14. I'm thinking the photo would have been funnier if the guy on the bike was know..from being distracted. ha.

  15. Tooter Turtle, Mr. Wizard...I remember the cartoon, the incantation, etc. What I don't remember is the show in which it ran. Odd. Was Tooter created before or after Rocky & Bullwinkel? If it's after, that explains it. My brother would have been watching it and I would have simply heard it over and over.

  16. @Cali Girl: The animation studio for Total Televison and Jay Ward Studios was provided by a Mexican company -- yes, early outsourcing -- called Gamma Productions. "R&B" premiered in 1959, "King Leo" in 1960, So, same era, similar look.


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