More Basic Humor

     I know you had your hopes, but there are a LOT of postcards sitting around in the files.  If people would get busy and BUY them, we could be chatting again about Turkey Liver Pizza.  But though we nearly covered our “behinds” in the last column, there are other running gags in the world of postcard posteriors (And there were actually a couple of cards using the word “behind” which did not appear last time around.  But we must put this behind…what?  Oh, very well.)

     I did think “mooning” people had been left behind in the twentieth century until the big mass mooning held at a building not far from where I am writing these words.  Certainly, the use of “moon” as a synonym for the human situpon was not neglected by previous generations.  The couple above has their minds on higher things.

     But this chap from the 1940s is clearly thinking of the old saying that “Man wants but little here below.”

     The joke was popular enough to be repeated by another cartoonist in the 1950s.

     And by another in the 1960s.

     The whole point of this sort of joke, as it was in the gags about behinds, was that the word used could have a perfectly innocent use in the sentence, though the picture elucidates matters.  A previous generation, sending cards in or around 1915, enjoyed this bit of wordplay.  (Those are his sister’s underdrawers, if that is not obvious.  If you compare their size to his size, you see he is living very dangerously, as his sister could probably throw him over the house if she catches him.)

     In case you thought a previous generation was too pure, too honest to swipe other people’s gags, you must have skipped a few lectures on the history of comedy.

     It seems to have been the rule to make the child involved as obnoxious as popular.  This version, you’ll note, is for people who don’t have “sitting rooms”, a term that was by no means universal.

     Though it was understandable enough to go on being used in the 1950s.

     I would be remiss, of course, if I did not make mention of this joke, popular wherever sex and drinking were on people’s minds.

     So, um, just about everywhere.  Especially at the beach.

     As always, a cartoonist could use one traditional joke to slip in another old favorite.

     Or even two.  This may seem to be too much, but we’ve always been willing to rise to the occasion.

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