Sunday, March 05, 2006

Pin the verpa on the privatus*

Amongst the amazingly many things I've managed to do this weekend was take another look at some of the fun posters I was sent by Lucy Tartan. Last time I looked, I pulled out all the obviously fun ones and put the others aside for a rainy day. It didn't rain today, but I was cleaning up, and I managed to stop cleaning up on the pretext of needing to look at the images again.

I'd overlooked a beaut little number, which I will display here in the spirit of the impending Commonwealth Games. It is an educational portrayal of athletes preparing for the Olympic Games, circa some time before clothes were invented. Printed by Macmillan & Co Ltd, there is no date, only verification that it belongs to Macmillan's History Pictures: Introductory Set. This is obviously an introduction to either sport ("right, outside kids, and get your gear off") or 1950s sex education.

The Glory of the Olympics, as seen by MacMillan & Co.
The Glory of the Olympics, as seen by MacMillan & Co.

I've cleaned this one up, to allow you to appreciate the unsullied beauty of an image that manages to avoid the ish-ew of genetalia completely. Now look at what years on the wall of a classroom can do:

The Glory of the Olympics, as seen by school students
The Glory of the Olympics, as seen by school students

I didn't want to make the images too big, knowing that many of you are still stuck in dial-up hell, so I'm not sure how much you can see. I've stuck the picture up on the window and let the sun shine help you out: every "rudie" point has a pinhole.

I love it. I've spent all the boring parts of today (riding the bike into the studio, moving prints around, riding home, doing the washing up, sweeping etc etc) wondering whether the pins were used to provide subtle little orifices for classmates to snigger at, or whether they left the pins hanging out to make little metal substitutes, or whether the pinholes are the remainder of a wonderful orgy of additional cut-out extras for the characters...

genital piercing in ancient civilisations
Genital piercing in ancient civilizations

Can't you just see something stuck on the front of this fellow? Something to show how much he's enjoying the thought of grasping his playmate to the accompaniment of his latest ipod selection? And the game of chasies in the background is just crying out for a phallus! The togate fellow on the left has a pierced nipple -- I think he'd like to join in the grappling before too long.

genital piercing in ancient civilisations
Flippin' out in front of the fan dance

School kids like bums. They obviously loved poking holes in these bums. The poor fellow in front has three bumholes! The only thing stopping the flipper from having a hole like his unfortunate flippee is that Macmillan left no possible space for one. I have no idea which Olympic sport involved naked starjumps with fans, but it obviously didn't survive to modern times, more's the pity.

Discussing whether Gary Glitter should have got 3 years
Engrossed in debating whether Gary Glitter should have got 3 years

Here's nipple man again, standing behind a fellow scraping the olive oil off a young man who doesn't look very comfortable. I think the scraper has reached that part of his leg where he's not sure if the man is being friendly or friendly. Discus Man wants Javelin Man to throw it straight at whoever is holding the pins.

Because the pin holes are fairly clean and not ragged with overuse, I can only assume that of my three guesses, the first two are probably most likely. Doesn't stop me having a play with some pin-ons though; I've got a nice book of graphic Pompeian murals that might provide some additional imagery...

*Yes, I know this is Latin and the picture is Greek. I don't know any Greek. And the Romans liked posing nude scraping the oil off each other too.

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