So after two weeks of discussing potties, indoor and outdoor, on the modern postcard (or at least those I have on hand), what can we discuss? Well, looking over the array, I noticed a strange preponderance of postcards dealing with something else most humans used to do outdoors and now primarily do inside the house, namely, drying the laundry.
Washing clothes was hard, sweaty, dangerous work, what with tubs of scalding water, soap based on caustic chemicals, and that exceedingly dangerous wringer. Naturally, our ancestors found some humor in all this, but they found more fun in hanging the wet clothes out on the line, which, though similarly backbreaking, at least got you outside where you could cool off in the gentle breeze. (It is NEVER a hundred degrees or ten below on laundry day on a postcard. Besides, in the winter, you strung the clothes up in the laundry room or somewhere, so they wouldn’t freeze solid.)
What struck me particularly about the clothesline postcards is how many of them deal with love (and/or sex). Was it the domestic nature of the chore? Was it seeing the cool breeze waft through your undies? What is it we have lost with our indoor washer and dryer combinations? Look at that couple at the top. That looks in their eyes has NOTHING to do with the satisfaction of getting their clothes cleaned. The look in his eyes, especially…well, let’s move on before she bends over the basket again.
Of course, the possibility for a simple pun had some attraction.
Yes, a simple pun and a simple drawing….
A realty simple…look, if there were a law against ever using a joke again, all our standyup comedians would have to be mimes,. So count your blessings.
Maybe that’s what it is, though. The word “pants” was kind of taboo for a while, and even mentioning underdrawers (“unmentionables” was a word for them for a reason) so maybe the idea of letting it all hang out just…no. I am NOT going to go into a lot of research on whether or not that phrase was related to hanging panties on the clothesline. You can do that in YOUR blog.
SOME experts recommended you observe proprieties by never hanging male garments next to female ones on the line, or even hanging up a ladies nether garments inside a pillow case. Yes, they took longer to dry that way, but the price of public decency is easily budgeted.
But it ain’t just the clothes that are involved in romantic interludes at the clothesline. Here’s a little scene involving a man who was apparently just passing (you don’t wear a hat or shoes like that for helping with chores) and stopped for a bit of good, clean flirtation.
And then there’s this cheerful couple: once again, it seems obvious he was just passing by and stopped for a neighborly greeting.
I suppose there’s no posted limit to what you can do at the clothesline if you are of a romantic nature. I’m not sure that justifies getting between the sheets thisaway.