Dear Dr. Boli: While working on costumes for a revival of Cordelia’s Aspirations at the Shiras Theater, I was struck by the question of the bustle, that peculiar mechanical apparatus that gave women’s skirts such a ridiculous bulge in the rear. Why did women affect such a monstrous exaggeration of their own anatomy? —Sincerely, “Raven,” from Claude’s Costumes & Tattoo Parlor.

Dear Madam: Do you mean to tell Dr. Boli that artificial mechanical contrivances were responsible for— that is to say— This is dreadfully unsettling, and Dr. Boli will need some time to recover himself. He had always assumed it had something to do with a change of diet. Mechanical apparatus! Well, this is the frozen limit.


  1. Dr. Boli, I Love it when you say:”frozen limit”.


    A big fan

  2. Ohio Engineer says:

    Dr. Boli –

    I do believe you found yourself nonplussed.

    : 1

    Thank you kindly for the laugh.

  3. Vega says:

    Oh my stars and garters! I cannot believe what I am reading. Is Dr. Boli not omniscient after all? What will that spell for the rest of us hoi polloi who rely on his infinite wisdom?

  4. Sean says:

    It feels as though one of the solid underpinnings of the universe has been removed and we must all tread lightly, lest the house of cards collapse and we go spinning off into the void for eternity.

  5. Martha says:

    Dr. Boli, may I reassure you that my own figure in the lower half of my body owes nothing to artifice, whether mechancial or not, but is all due to nature. I feel that I can speak for many others of my sex when I assure you that not all ladies resort to the costumier’s art to achieve the shape mentioned.

    I trust this restores some, at least, of the composure you lost due to Raven’s intemperate disclosure.

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