Catching Up

    The Arms of Krupp, a massive volume, lumbered onto the bestseller lists in 1968.  I was a wee bit younger then, and not afraid of large numbers of pages, and what I took away from William Manchester’s riveting tale of a family that manufactured arms and armor for centuries was my admiration for a company that would produce the most powerful shell ever seen in the world of artillery one year, and then the next year announce a kind of armor which would resist it.  The next year, they would have a new shell that would pierce last year’s armor, and, of course, a new, improved armor the following year to hold back the ammunition of the previous year.  Selling a product and its antidote always struck me as ingenious, even if I never quite figured out how to do it myself.

    In a less death-dealing fashion, postcard manufacturers were perfectly willing to do the same sort of thing.  On Monday, we looked at a few of the “Why Haven’t You Written?” cards people could send to nag their friends.  Let us consider today the “Sorry I haven’t written, but….” card.

    Oddly enough (or not, given the basic human sense of humor), “Sorry I haven’t written” seemed to go with “But”, as you can begin to see above  there were plenty of variations on the theme, for people blaming the post office

    For the busy business executive

    For the busy housewife (who has been too thorough with the laundry, I guess)

    For the person who is really apologetic about the whole thing.

    I’m not altogether certain where the connection comes from, but quite a number of these apologies deal with cattle and the cowboy, perhaps simply as a way of rounding up excuses.  A lot of these blamed everything on the cattle involved, be they Midwestern bulls (note the extra moo joke)

    Or the far Western variety

    Which gave them an opportunity for another very popular postcard pun.

    Other writers could just claim they were busy, or thirsty.  (That horse looks jealous)

    While still others could claim they were busy without needing a four-legged scapegoat.

    Sometimes with a subtext of “I sure wish I WAS spending my vacation on this.”)

    That sort of activity could lead to other people to blame your lack of correspondence on.  (If your children are going to be levitating like this all the time, you obviously are going to be distracted.)

    In most of these cases, no pretense is made that sending a postcard will quite fill the bill.  (Next time: I have nothing to say, but I do have a stamp.)

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