Number One Column

     There has been absolutely no call for equal time, but we did commit a modest oversight a few months back with a series of columns on what dogs do, and what babies do.  Although there was a brief examination of the possibility that cats also did such things, we may have given you the wrong idea about our ancestiors.

     Of course, our ancestors knew this was a universal activity.  Someday, when I am desperate for material to fill this space, I may discuss the different industrial uses found through the centuries for the oldest chemical compound discovered by humans.  It was used in laundry, in medicine, as a food additive…for that matter, it is still essential in a number of consumer products.

     But our ancestors were such prudes, as we are told over and over: people who refused to acknowledge the truths of life.  They wouldn’t have discussed such subjects in postcard illustrations, would they?  Not on things that would go through the mail with someone’s name on them.

     As mentioned before, it was okay if you discussed it in conjunction with babies.  Nanies didn’t know better, though this gentleman suggests otherwise.

     Even in a sacred setting, it was okay, if a baby was involved.  But grownups were, well, too grown up to be indiscreet and discuss such business on a postcard, right?

     This, of course, is a joke which goes back as far as fire hydrants and women who could see their shoes to tie them, since those long skirts and high button boots went out of style.  But this is essentially a joke about dogs and fire hydrants.  Men might sometimes be indiscreet, but a lady was far more conscious of the improprieties.

     Privacy was essential for the mature adult.  Even the truck drivers noted at the top of this column, almost certainly men, retreated behind a roadside sign.

     Ladies also knew enough to leave the seat down.  Men were another matter entirely.

     There was a camaraderie among men, and a more raucous sense of humor.  This card, published in Germany, shows an entire group enjoying the opportunity to, as the send of the card has written on the back, make sure the water level in the lake remains satisfactory.  This card was actually sent through the mail, from Huntington, New York, in 1911.  The recipient was male, and, of course, in those days, the postal delivery system was handled largely by men, so there was no chance of offending the fair sex with such a picture.  Women, especially American women, wouldn’t find this sort of thing funny.

     Um, this card was mailed in 1911 from Huntington, too.  And this card, you’ll notice, did not deal with vulgar foreigners.  Well, anyway, we have set the record straight on postcards and dogs and babies.

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