I have always stood with Jim Henson and his Muppet crew, who had as one of their guidelines the motto that “A joke not worth telling once might be worth telling seventeen times.” I have tried, in my own small way, to hold true to that standard, and I see that the postcard makers of days gone by did as well.
The number of jokes about donkeys alone would fill a few blogs, and the lion, equally useful for “line” or “lyin’” is popular as well. But I was just going to burro a little inspiration from the donkey and consider a couple of jokes derived from the humorous potential of the southern end of the body, known sometimes as the situpon.
Here, for example, is a fairly simple means to an end. I’ve heard of high water pants, but this lady’s swimsuit was not what I ever pictured. The phrase provides the artist with an excuse to illustrate the tale of a summer vacationer whose clothing is humorously revealing, without being actionable.
Now, maybe great minds think alike, or maybe artists visit the same beaches. Anyway, someone else found the image compelling enough to offer us a second helping. I feel he has let us down with the lady’s hat, though: more realistic, perhaps, than the first lady’s, but it lacks the firm definition of her sister’s example.
And a third artist wanted to give us an action shot. The joke is a fairly harmless pleasantry, but what made it popular enough to earn so many reruns.? And in none of these pictures do I see a particularly high tide. I could just waive that requirement, but somehow it all seems wishy-washy.
There is a word which is deep-seated in United States English in reference to the rump is a source of some confusion as it is, in the slang of other English-speaking nations, used to refer to either the chest or the pubic area. It is also to complicate matters further, frequently used as a first name, but itself or as a short version of Frances.
“Tush tush, Uncle Blogsy,” you say, “Anyone can tell from the context which meaning is meant!”
No. No, actually they can’t, and that is what has the young lady in this card so concerned. Or perhaps she is concerned, as any thinking person would be, about what, exactly, the lady on the phone is sitting on. (I mean the furniture, not the fanny.)
A fellow has to be so careful, when paying compliments, to avoid backfire. From the lady’s expression in this version, she is clearly taking this the wrong way.
And I’m not certain the joke really called for repetition, but another artist thought he could do it as well or better, giving us these two ladies who have not learned to wear clothes that fit. The bearded gentleman, looking a lot like George Bernard Shaw, must be a man of iron nerve, because the look on Mom’s face here would make anyone turn tail. I suppose this kind of joke was aimed more at collectors who wanted to plump up their albums than at people who would use them to send a message through the mail. In any case, almost none of these cards has anything written on the back side