THE ADVENTURES OF SIR MONTAGUE BLASTOFF, INTERPLANETARY SPACE DRAGOON.

Announcer. And now Malt-O-Cod, the only malt food drink flavored with real cod-liver oil, presents…

[Music: Theme, in and under for…]

Announcer. The Adventures of Sir Montague Blastoff, Interplanetary Space Dragoon!

[Music: Fade.]

Announcer. Today we find Sir Montague and Colonel Darling about to embark on what may be the most extraordinary adventure of their lives.

Sir Montague. I say, my dear, are you ready to embark on what may be the most extraordinary adventure of our lives?

Col. Darling. You know I’m always ready for anything when I’m with you, Monty.

Sir Montague. And that’s jolly decent of you, I must say. If our experiment succeeds today, there’ll be a bally great load of paperwork, and I can always rely on you to push a pen. It’s just through here—we’ve repurposed our temporal displacement chamber as a dimensional threshold overlap zone.

Col. Darling. How thrilling!

Sir Montague. Now, if the boffins have got their figures figured, ourselves from the alternate universe should be along any moment now.

Sir Montague (distant). I zay! There we are!

Col. Darling. Look, Monty! It’s us from the alternate universe, just like the scientists said!

Sir Montague. And we don’t look a bit different. So perhaps the alternate universe is exactly like ours, after all.—I say, you two, are you really us from the alternate universe?

Sir Montague (approaching). Jolly amusing goinzindenze. I was aboud do azg you the zame gwezdion.

Col. Darling. Alternate-universe you talks funny, Monty!

Col. Darling. I mighd zay the zame aboud you.

Sir Montague. Id abbears thad zome gonzonands thad are voized in our univerze are voizelezz in yours.

Sir Montague. A curious difference. Otherwise we seem quite identical.

Sir Montague (distant). Ooklay, Olonelcay! Erethay eway arehay!

Colonel Darling. Look, Monty! It’s another pair of usses!

Sir Montague. I say, are you two also from an alternate universe?

Col. Darling (approaching). Istenlay, Ontymay! Eythay eakspay Igpay Atinlay!

Sir Montague (distant). Howdy, y’all!

Col. Darling. Loog, Mondy! Dwo more uzzez!

Col. Darling. Gosh, Monty! There must be a lot more alternate universes than we thought!

Announcer. How many more alternate universes are waiting for our intrepid pair to discover? Will the repurposed temporal displacement chamber be big enough to handle all the Sir Montagues and Colonel Darlings meeting there? Don’t miss the next thrilling episode in the Adventures of Sir Montague Blastoff, Interplanetary Space Dragoon!

[Music: Theme, in and under for…]

Announcer. Kids, no matter how you say it, when you crave the rich, satisfying flavor of malt, together with the rich, satisfying flavor of cod-liver oil, there’s only one drink you want. All the others have been suppressed by the FDA. So remember that name: Malt-O-Cod, now with the pocket edition of Burnham’s English Dialect Dictionary in specially marked packages. Malt-O-Cod—the malt food drink that’s brain food!

[Music: In full, then out.]

POOR COVER DESIGN.

froissart-chronicles

Sometimes, when one is looking for something in the Internet Archive, one finds books with cover designs that one can only describe as questionable, such as the one for this edition of Froissart’s Chronicles.

RANKS OF NOBILITY.

Empress of the Blues

King Oliver

Duke Ellington

Earl Hines

Count Basie

King of Jazz
(N.B. This item is not misplaced.)

Sam, the Accordion Man

Blue Barron

THE COUNTRYWOMAN AND THE FAIRY.

From Dr. Boli’s Fables for Children
Who Are Too Old to Believe in Fables.

Once there was a woman who lived on a farm in the country, and she was just about like all the other farmers’ wives around her, neither more beautiful nor uglier, neither richer nor poorer, neither more nor less fortunate, and neither happier nor more discontented with her lot. This woman had a friend who was a fairy, which is more common in the country than city folk imagine, and when it came time for our farmer’s wife to give birth to her first child, she naturally invited her friend the fairy to her lying-in.

All went as well as could be expected, and the woman gave birth to a healthy baby girl.

Immediately the fairy snatched the child into her arms and said to the mother, “Choose now whether your daughter shall have beauty greater than any other woman’s, with wit and understanding greater than her beauty, and be the empress and autocrat of an immense country, but unhappy; or whether she shall be the ugliest creature in seven counties, with only so much intelligence as she needs to keep her from falling down a well, and with just enough in the way of possessions to keep body and soul together, but contented.”

The farmer’s wife, still recovering from her labor, answered slowly. “It is a hard decision. You say she would be empress with unlimited authority?”

“Unlimited,” the fairy answered.

“And the most beautiful woman on earth?”

“None would surpass her,” said the fairy.

“Or ugly?”

“Hideous.”

“And poor?”

“Just barely able to feed herself.”

“And to be contented she has to be ugly and poor, but to be exalted and beautiful she has to be miserable?”

“Yes, that is the alternative.”

“Well, what if, instead of an empress, she were, say, prime minister of a prosperous medium-sized republic? Would she still have to be unhappy?”

The fairy thought for a moment. “I suppose that, in return for a diminution of her autocratic powers, she might be allowed a few moments of happiness every so often. Not too much, you know, because prime minister is still a pretty big prize.”

“And suppose, say, she were not quite so beautiful: suppose, I mean, she were only the second-most-beautiful woman in the world, or possibly the third.”

“A few rays of happiness might shine into her life,” the fairy reluctantly admitted, “in return for the sacrifice of some of her beauty.”

“Or suppose I chose ugliness and poverty, but instead of absolute contentment, she always wished she had practiced the piano more assiduously. Would she have to be quite so unfortunate then?”

“A small but gnawing regret might gain a little less ugliness and a little more prosperity, I suppose,” said the fairy.

“Or suppose I chose beauty and prosperity, but, instead of prime minister, she were, say, a county commissioner, in a large and prosperous county of course.”

“I dare say the drop from prime minister to county commissioner would purchase several days of happiness.”

And so the conversation went, while the child patiently waited (for the issue of happiness or discontent for her had not yet been decided), until at last the mother and the fairy had reached an arrangement much less extreme than the one the fairy had originally proposed.

So the girl grew up into a woman, and she was not exceptionally beautiful, but not really what you would call ugly, and in spite of a receding chin could actually be quite attractive in certain lights; and she was not by any means rich, but not really poor either, and she was able to support herself and her family when it arrived; and she was not a great wit, but not stupid, and her intellect was adequate to most of the tasks demanded of it; and she had her share of misfortunes and disappointments, but she managed to get through them somehow, and her life was enlivened by moments of sincere delight. In short she was just like the rest of us; for it turns out that most mothers have fairies for friends, and they all end up making more or less the same deal.

HOW TO WASH YOUR HANDS.

Because today is Global Handwashing Day, we are running this useful feature again, which we humbly dedicate to St. Pontius Pilate.

1. Remove a paper towel from the United brand paper-towel dispensing system.

2. Using the paper towel you have just removed, remove a clean paper towel from the United brand paper-towel dispensing system. Do not touch the United brand paper-towel dispensing system.

3. Discard the first paper towel, but not the second paper towel.

4. Using the second paper towel, turn on the faucet.

5. Adjust the water temperature so that it is warm but not scalding. This may take some practice, so allow 15 or 20 minutes.

6. Discard the second paper towel.

7. Remove a paper towel from the United brand paper-towel dispensing system.

8. Using the paper towel you have just removed, remove a clean paper towel from the United brand paper-towel dispensing system. Do not touch the United brand paper-towel dispensing system.

9. Discard the third paper towel, but not the fourth paper towel.

10. Using the fourth paper towel, push the button on the soap dispenser repeatedly.

11. We should have told you to hold your other hand under the soap dispenser, so kick the soap off your shoe and try again, this time holding your other hand under the soap dispenser.

12. Discard the fourth paper towel.

13. Rub your hands briskly under the warm water for the length of time it takes to sing “Chinnin’ and Chattin’ with May.” If you do not know the song “Chinnin’ and Chattin’ with May,” send $5 in unmarked bills to the United Paper Towel Manufacturing Corp., Hays, for the complete authorized sheet music.

14. Remove a paper towel from the United brand paper-towel dispensing system.

15. Using the paper towel you have just removed, remove a clean paper towel from the United brand paper-towel dispensing system. Do not touch the United brand paper-towel dispensing system.

16. Discard the fifth paper towel, but not the sixth paper towel.

17. Using the sixth paper towel, turn off the faucet.

18. Remove a paper towel from the United brand paper-towel dispensing system.

19. Using the paper towel you have just removed, remove a clean paper towel from the United brand paper-towel dispensing system. Do not touch the United brand paper-towel dispensing system.

20. Discard the seventh paper towel, but not the eighth paper towel.

21. Using the eighth paper towel, push the button on the United brand forced-air hand-drying machine.

22. Discard the eighth paper towel.

23. Rub your hands briskly and ostentatiously under the United brand forced-air hand-drying machine.

24. Remove a paper towel from the United brand paper-towel dispensing system.

25. Using the paper towel you have just removed, remove a clean paper towel from the United brand paper-towel dispensing system. Do not touch the United brand paper-towel dispensing system.

26. Discard the ninth paper towel, but not the tenth paper towel.

27. Using the tenth paper towel, dry your hands.

These instructions provided courtesy of the United Paper Towel Manufacturing Corp., Hays.

ART CORNER.

Dr. Boli thought it might amuse his readers to enlarge this picture and see the angriest-looking psalm-singers in the world. It might also amuse them to note the signature under the engraving.

NEW BOOKES FOR THE YEERE OF GRACE 1598.

O ye who hunger for Learning and Wisedome, come ye and bee filled at the Booke-shop of Iohn Willet, neere the little North Doore of Paules at the signe of the Bustard, where Tuesday hath ever been and ever shall be Seniors Ten Per Centum Off Day. Heere ensueth a List of new releases which, Deus laudetur, shall be accomplish’d in the Yeere of Grace 1598.

A Panegyrick uppon Virtue, in which Virtue is shewn to be worthie of Praise, and Vice of the opposite. By the Archb——p of Y—k.

A most pleasaunt conceited Comoedie, entituled, Whatever: or, I Cant Bee Bother’d. As it hath beene sundrie times playd at the Greene-friers to great Applause. By W. S.

A Pindarick Ode upon the occasion of the Pulling of her Maiestie’s Molar. To which is added, Aphorisms on the Tooth-ake, illustrated by copious Quotations from Hippocrates, Celsus, Galen, Sacred Scripture, &c.

The Poem call’d Ickle Pickle Packle Pop, by I. M. Maister of Art, & resident at Bethlehem Hospital.

The Index of Obscene and Vicious Bookes, prohibited in this Kingdome, arranged according to the Alphabet, and provided with blank Boxes at the Head of each Entrie, the Whole Designed for a Copious and Convenient Check-List.

The Tragedie of Iack Farthing, Lord-Maior of Cheeseborough, with the Conquest of Granada, & the Building of the Royal Exchange. As it would have been plai’d before Her Maiestie but for an unfortunate Accident.

Discourse on the Voyage lately undertaken by certaine Cittizens of London unto Southwarke, with the Maners, Morals, Governement, &c., of the Peoples they found there. Very profitable and pleasant to all such as are desirous to heare and read of strange thinges.

A Treatise Paraenetical, shewing our Most Gracious and Glorious and All-Wise and Victorious Princess Elizabeth how shee could run her Government better. Dedicated to King Philip of Spaine.

A Fourth Sermon, preach’d to ii. or iii. Stragling Mendicants before the Booke-shop of Iohn Willet, on the Vanitie of Secular Learning, & the Need for Immediate Repentance therefrom: By Wilmot Greesehaire, Selfe-Righteous Prigge.