Monday, October 09, 2006

Oh, Ethel!

I was rummaging around for my old 1960's Civil Defense manual today. I kinda though with missles zinging our way pretty soon maybe I'd better study up on which ass cheek the Civil Defense recommended kissing goodbye first. I'm guessing those things'll still be having steering problems so anything aimed for D.C. would make a sharp right and wind up in Stinktown. I'd come home from class and find one of the things plopped on the front lawn, hissing and sparking, probably with the North Korean version of "Hi There!" painted on the side. It would probably go unremarked for several days, since we'd all think it was Bad Student Art and you pretty much tend to ignore Bad Student Art around here unless you're a freshman sculpture major then you squeal and wet yourself every time you see any in case your bestest friend made it. Don't get me started on the stuff made from tampons.

Where was I going with this? Besides me subtly suggesting that I'm not a sculpture major? Uhhhh, hmmmm...

Oh. Yes. Anyhow, I was rummaging around looking for my old 1960's Civil Defense manual and found another manual: Getting to Know Your Frigidaire Imperial Cold Pantry. Nothing remarkable about it; I've had it for years and never opened it. Have no idea where it came from. It's just been on the shelf with a handful of other mauals like Osterizer Recipes and Cooking With Electricity!

Before I put it back I did however, notice that a sheet of old paper with something Xeroxed on it fell out onto the floor. The fridge manual is from the 1950's but I'm guessing the paper is late 70's early 80's.

Back in the day, (beware: old person story) before people e-mailed each other 100 Amazing Things You Can Do With Old Dryer Sheets and crap-shit alerts in ALL CAPS on avoiding bananas because you can get flesh-eating bacteria, they used to while away the day sending each other what folklorists call Xerox-lore. (Google Jan Brunvand) Office workers would waste reams of copy paper printing mountains of crap and passing it around the office, some of that in ALL CAPS as well, most of it pretty useless and painfully unamusing.

Anyhow, I've found a gen-u-ine piece of Xerox-lore, in the form of a festive, hand-drawn holiday card, signed "Love Ethel". It doesn't fold right at all and the drawings are painfully deformed. Do up the holidays old-style by printing a bunch out, folding it up and passing it around at work. Your name doesn't have to be Ethel for much hilarity to ensue, you just have to hope there's an Ethel in the office that it'll all get blamed on.

Extra points if somebody gets fired. Bonus points if somebody gets offended not by the well-endowed short-bus passenger or the nude woman with deer hooves but by the very idea that you were passing around generic non-denominational Season's Greetings cards.

That Ethel must've been a real pistol.




15 comments:

Mouse said...

My guess is that Ethel was the one who got drunk at the office christmas party and xeroxed her butt while having hot sex with the mailboy in the copy room... hee hee.

Severina said...

And this is Ethel's "break up" card.

Anonymous said...

What a great idea for a t-shirt!!

Or we could have "I love Ethel" t-shirts made up just for ourselves and everybody would wonder who Ethel is?

Ok I need to eat something.......love those sexy knitted fire engine red knickers!!!

your rocking secret punk gift exchangeing person! ++

metal and knit said...

maybe Ethel was retiring and hated the Boss so she slipped it under the door as she left.

Ellen said...

I was rambling through old memories (i.e., cleaning out the closet)when I found an item of this sort called "Pollok jumping his battery"... Who draws these things anyway?

Jane said...

Vintage naughty office humor...there should be a museum for this stuff. My dear old dad has a rubber stamp from his Air Force days that says "Horse Shit!" on it. I look forward to bringing that to work someday...heh heh.

And I like the idea of handing it out anonymously to coworkers...who cares if there's even an Ethel where you work. Innocently speculate that "someone named Ethel Johnson retired years ago; I wonder if it could be her...."

Jane said...

It doesn't seem as if there is an easy way to access this collection; and it's not clear that they are currently adding to it. I wonder, though, if Ethyl's opus is somewhere here...this is the first thing that's ever made me interested in visiting Utah.

http://library.usu.edu/Folklo/folkarchive/elore.htm

Severina said...

Ahh yes! I think that's part of the university Jan Brunvand taught at. Too lazy to go look it up.

I think we all could use a rubber stamp that says "Horse Shit!" at work, unless now rubber stamps are also outmoded.

Who draws these things, Ellen? People with a not so very clear idea of how the human anatomy works, perhaps. I mean, that guy's got flippers for hands!

Jewels said...

I remember having file folders filling up half a drawer of xerox-lore jokes at my first job.

Obsidian Kitten said...

i think you need to stick a copy under the door of the big prick who decorated your domicile with his puke this morning (or last nite, whenever) and then slogged toilet paped around in it

see, these things have many uses

Obsidian Kitten said...

boy, it'd be even better if it had been mimeographed

remember that SMELL?
and that lovely purple hue?

ah, THAT's how old i am
(ok, so it was only grad school, but i loved those sopping wet spelling tests, with that unmistakable aroma...or my lovely southrin teachers..."sorry, childrin, no quiz today, the mimeo's broke agin!"

which reminds me, i was just thinking of how we used to watch filmstrips with tape recorder accompaniment, and the narration had that "beep" that cued you to advance the slides... hehhehheh

kinda like blogger photos, when you post 89 at a time like i do...i wanted to post something like that, with *beep* written in cueing you to "please scroll down now!" but i didn't think anyone would get it

except maybe Sev, she probably even knows the guy whose voice is in all those old 50s educational films

Obsidian Kitten said...

EEEK! NOT GRAD school, er, uh, GRADE school

as in, elementary school
primary school

i ain't never been to GRAD school
i kin barely spel

i'm not THAT old

just rly rly tired

Severina said...

Mmmm, mimeographed stuff...

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