We have addressed some of the themes which were huge hits in the days when we sent postcards instead of texts: fishing, outhouses, clotheslines, and street sweepers, but we have been ignoring the eight hundred pound….let’s try that over. We have not indicated the fun our ancestors found in Round People, or Fat Folk.
We have touched on this here and there. Some people in postcard jokes incline toward XXXL clothing: people who say travel is broadening, adults about to get swatted on the backside (on the principle that the joke is funnier, the larger the target), a lot of women who sit at one end of the canoe…while wives and cleaning staff (male or female) have a tendency to have developed in round ways.
But there are several other types of Fat Folk, and one of these is particularly pertinent as we slip away toward next week’s four day weekend: People On Vacation.
Once upon a time, as seen in the postcard at the top of this column, it was actually considered a sign of good health to round out your figure a bit. And it was taken for granted that most people going on vacation were going somewhere that someone else would be feeding them, without themselves having to indulge in such calorie burning activities as setting tables and washing fishes.
You know how it is when you go on a long cruise.
So a lot of postcards took the words away from the person writing a message on the back and bragged about how much healthier they were while away from home.
A little laziness and overeating was felt to be a good sign on your days of vacation.
Though naturally some people took the opportunity to indulge in other caloric activities.
This was perfectly healthy if one went to the beach to do it, of course.
One did not have to spend the entire vacation eating and napping. A lot of people did go in quest of strenuous exercise they couldn’t indulge in at home. Sometimes, of course, the strenuous part of the exercise was shared by someone else.
The postcards dealing with Round People on horseback is legion.
Though some humane and more progressive souls went for long healthy rides without inconvenicing a horse. (I have been told, on no authority whatever that this is the great-grandmother of the model who appeared in one of Queen’s sleeve illustrations. No points for guessing which one.)
Other round people spent their time between meals on the golf course.
Or took long walks on the beach. (Note: additional proof that letting a child learn about architecture is dangerous for the morals.)
In any case, the Fat Folk really enjoyed their vacations, though sometimes the weather would turn out too hot.
Whatever happened, though, there was plenty to report when one got home and all those vacation slides were developed. (Okay, so once upon a time, in the heyday of the vacation postcard, people had to take photos with cameras which were not attached to phones or the Interwebs. They could have these developed into prints—pictures in paper—or slides, transparencies which could be loaded into a machine and projected on a screen. It was a chore sometimes to look at these things, but it beat having someone scroll through the pictures on a phone and then hand it around.)
Round People were out to enjoy their vacations, and on postcards, they generally did…even if sometimes their adventures were not things to write home about.