Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Space Oddities

Zoe and Teejmahal and I had a leddy's wager on the oddest book we could find at the recent Lifeline Book Fair. Personally, I think Teej won, with Zoe's a close second (having glimpsed it at point of purchase, she hasn't blogged it yet), but I'll show you mine because it/they are still lots of fun.

I say it/they because I'm displaying a few oddities, none of which are the sort of thing you squeal over, but each of which deserve a snigger. I couldn't bring it down to just one.

1. Where's Charles and Di?

Chaz & Di

Well, we know exactly where they are now, but back then nobody was really sure. The odd thing is, I'd have thought this was a royal wedding cash-in from 1981, but it was actually printed in 1992, when all was going awry! Very strange timing. Gotta love the banded warning on the top right corner: WARNING! SATIRE/PARODY! THIS IS NOT A WALDO/WALLY BOOK. I don't know why the concern. There's not a rude bit in sight. And no Camillas lurking in the corners as far as I can make out. Shame. She could have been dressed in yellow and black stripes on every page.

2. How to Survive an Attack


Not a crocodile attack, or even a stingray attack, but a (start quaking) spiritual attack. With chapters like 'How to recognise an attack' and 'How to go through an attack', this is one self-inducedhelp book you cannot live without. Best Beloved was very pleased when I brought this home. It will sit on the shelf next to his Chick tracts and books about snake-handlers and babblers-in-tongue.

3. Wake up Australia


Indeed. Off your arses and down a mine! Classic gems of sage advice from the man who chose to marry Rose Porteous Hancock. The introduction says it all:

Are Australians grateful to Lang Hancock? That is a subject of profound indifference to him. He does what he thinks is right. He usually is.

But, true to LH, he has to say more anyway:

The time to cash in on nuclear mining is now when we cn be at the head of the queue and whilst the spoils to the victor are greatest. There is no prize for dragging the chain in this fiercely competitive world.

If we are prepared to jump into the nuclear age immediately, there is no reason why the Pilbara in Western Australia could not become the "Ruhr of Suth-East Asia". With the build-up in economic strength Australia would be strong enough to defend itself. The raw materials are here. What is lacking is leadership, guts and foresight.

That was written in 1979. Could have read it in the Australian last weekend, don't you think? What further proof do you need that the Howard govt is dragging us back twenty-five years? I'd say this book is on a few Liberal Party bookshelves.

Actually, that wasn't much of a snigger, was it? Try this one:

4. Meat. Every Which Way.


Published by the Australian Meat & Livestock Corporation (no date, but I'm pretty sure early 80s), I think this was the precurser to the 'Feed your Man Meat' campaign. From the look of that butcher, he's getting something every which way. I'm sure this is the closest you'd get in visual terms to Cutbush the Grocer from The Vivisector.

With subchapters like 'Beef: Moist Heat Cooking', 'Lamb: Meat with Care', 'Good-looking Cooking' and 'Cooking Economically with Meat Using Appliances', this book* is a weird mix of recipes, advice, drawings from the 1880s and 'fresh' images like this one:


Tell me what you think that boy is thinking. I've got my own ideas, but I'd love to hear yours.

*Which will probably join Zoe's cookbook collection (if she wants it!)


Teej Mahal said...

Ha! Awesome. I love them.

Incidentally, what on earth is that painted on the blue plate behind the little boy's head?!

Ampersand Duck said...

Not sure -- there are others in the book and they're either ducks or those early kangaroo drawings or the fabled tantiwantigongolope.

Bernice said...

Boy: What the hell is that green stuff?

seepi said...

LOve the Charles and Di book!

My favourite wierd book is a collection of speeches from Sheila, partner to the Baghwan. Unfortunately the speches are a bit dull, but it is the thought of where that book has been, and who read it that gets me. I used to leave it out when they were selling the house I lived in. Along with other wierd books. I wish I'd had the butcher one.

Boy: I'd rather have Maccas.

lucy tartan said...

He's thinking: that's the biggest blood blister I've ever seen, wonder what will come out when I squeeze it?

Ampersand Duck said...

Ha! Laura, you have the mind of a child, and I mean that in the nicest possible sense.

And I think the 'Meat' date is closer to 1978, since that is the date the mother is scrawling all over her meat packages to go into the freezer.

Ampersand Duck said...

Actually, the way the crockery matches the wallpaper is making me feel a bit ill.

Galaxy said...

LOL. That boy's thinking 'You're not gonna make me eat Skippy, are you?' Or 'How exactly did that butcher have his way with the pot roast before me?'

I need to know more about the spiritual attack. Does it involve convulsions or just an overwhelming urge to stand on street corners and proselytize?

Mummy/Crit said...

*sigh* _what_ a furry jumper she has on, and not a sign of having cooked dinner in it...the butcher looks like Alexei Sayle...and I too noticed/loved the disclaimer on "where's charles and di?" I almost had a spiritual attack (at least I think that's what it was) yesterday when some Oxfam beggars set up outside the shop, stopping the passers-by to get them to donate...sometimes collaring them _in_ our shop.

Ron said...

Laura, you crack me up.

Ron said...

AD, you're right about the wallpaper/crockery but I wish you hadn't mentioned it 'cause that's all I can see now!

Mikhela said...

I don't know about the boy but that mother is thinking 'Mr Baillieu said little Jimmy deserved his father - well here he is'

Ampersand Duck said...

Mwah ha ha ha ha
Excellent, Igor.

Kate said...

I was about to write something similar:

Timmy: Mummy, why does our potroast look like daddy?

I think I used up all my witty comment juju at Sarsaparilla.

Darlene said...

Wake up Australian by Lang Hancock.

That's priceless.

worldpeace and a speedboat said...

I have a feeling the meat book is c.1983... I did Agriculture at school and used to send off to all the different corporations for their brochures. I was way too keen. I still have lots of bee and goat and pig and citrus fruit info. only 20yrs out of date.

also, that particular sort of crcokery was fashionable in the early-mid 80's. if it was the 70's you'd still be eating off hand-thrown earthy stuff, or lurid orange melamine...

and nanna would be wearing something in brown or olive-green, perhaps in cable or rib knit, and definitely a large silver pendant. and perhaps a headscarf.

Nanna: in my day all we had to eat was the dripping which came off the roast, so be grateful, my boy...

Boy: if I keep smiling, maybe I won't have to eat it.

Laura said...

I like the matching wallpaper and crockery. Shows a bit of forethought.

tigtog said...

I once had a relative whose house was packed with Chick tracts, which he was always pushing on me. I wish I'd kept them and made me a collection now - I envy BB his stack.

Ampersand Duck said...

You can still start one! There are heaps on ebay, and I'm sure they're still being handed out :)