Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Ray X Sells Out

I always said I would sell out if the price was right. After years of printing an adless zine, followed by an ad-free blog, I’ve had enough of poverty. That’s why I am now the official spokesperson for Dr. Cheeseman’s Female Regulating Pills.

I will only stand behind a product with a proven track record stretching over 170 years. Dr. C’s miraculous pill were invented in sometime in the 1830s, the exact date lost to history. Hey, if it worked back way back then, why not now? After all, consider all the fringe items that the Food and Drug Administration allows to be sold -- dietary supplements, magnetic soles, whatever -- that also claim relief.

Let’s look at an ad from the Plattsburgh Sentinel newspaper, Thursday, April 5, 1866:

Dr. Cheeseman's Female Pills Will immediately relieve without pain all disturbances of the Periodic discharge whether arising from relaxation or suppression. They act like a charm in removing the pains that accompany difficult or immoderate menstruation and are the only safe and reliable remedy for Flushes, Sick Headache, Pains in the Loins, Back and Sides, Palpitation of the Heart, Nervous Tremors, Hysterics, Spasms, Broken Sleep and other unpleasant and dangerous effects of an unnatural condition of the sexual functions. In the worst cases of Flnor Albus or Whites they effect a speedy cure.

It should be noted this drug does have a certain side-effect. To quote the ad from 1866:

[Dr. Cheeseman’s Female Regulating Pills] are offered as the only safe means of renewing interrupted menstruation, but Ladies must bear in mind that there is one condition of the female system in which the Pills cannot be taken producing a PECULIAR RESULT. The condition referred to is PREGNANCY – The result MISCARRIAGE. Such is the irreversible tendency of the medicine to restore the sexual functions to a normal condition that even the reproductive power of nature cannot resist it. They cannot do harm in any other way. ONE BOX Will restore the natural function to any FEMALE no matter what her condition or age.

Of course, one shouldn’t read between the lines and think Dr. C’s pills are some sort of abortifacient. Ignore that story your great-grandma might have told about a girl in trouble who faithfully took Dr. C’s medicine and nine months later she gave birth, the baby holding a Regulating Pill in its tiny hand.

So take a copy of this article to your druggist and demand the best and most reliable Female Medicine in the world, which is comprised in Dr. Cheeseman's Female Pills!!!

Monday, August 11, 2008

Liar, Liar, Panties On Fire?

ITEM: In Japan panties previously worn by schoolgirls are available in vending machines.

That factoid was sent to me by Jim Moseley, perpetrator of the zine, Saucer Smear. He said that such a news item was too hot for Smear, a publication known for reproducing artwork depicting a man abducted by crypto-sexy aliens, ET females undressed for the occasion.

Well, I’m Ray X, not Ray XXX. But I did investigate the vending machine story because I’m interested in urban legends and objective reality.

The article Jim snail mailed me was a printout from snopes.com, a site that is supposed to weed out the crap from the candy when it comes to rumors. But after the Mr. Ed deal, I double-check anything that Snopes passes along.

Mr. Ed was the star of a TV show called, appropriately, Mr. Ed. It was a half-hour comedy series about a talking horse and the problems he caused for his owner. This show harks back to the days of black-and-white broadcasts – a detail that someone used to create a story that Mr. Ed wasn’t a horse.

A zebra, so the story goes, is easier to train than a horse. And since its black stripes don’t show up on black-and-white TV sets, it appears to be a completely white horse.

Snopes repeated the story as fact. But if you dug deeper into the post, you would see that it was a put-on. By scrolling down and clicking on a link to more info, a special page would appear, explaining that Mr. Ed was only a horse and that you should question any authority, even one such as Snopes.

But the page about Japanese schoolgirl panties doesn’t have any special link to the truth, at least not one I could find. It states that the girls visit a shop before school, put on the clean panties, and then drop them off after school.

Do a bit of Googling and you will find sites that say Snopes is wrong, that while vending machines do exist in Japan for dispensing clean sexy panties and other potentially embarrassing items, the used schoolgirl panty story is a myth.

So what is the truth? If Snopes isn’t pulling another “Mr. Ed,” it’s still possible that it could be wrong. After all, did anyone from Snopes actually go to Japan and verify the story? It only passes on what it heard from its readers.

It’s easy to meme BS on the Net, a fact that Jim Moseley might not completely appreciate.

For example, did you know that Mr. Ed wore bright white panties that on black-and-white TV blended right in with his natural coat? The panties were required by the censors to hide Ed’s genitals from sensitive viewers.






Saturday, August 09, 2008

Cracker-Barrel UFO Stories

Late at night. Sittin’ around the cracker barrel at the general store, swappin’ spooky stories about strange lights and weird critters.

I’ve never had the pleasure of sitting in on such a get-together. But I do have a recording of a local radio program that featured such stories contributed by callers. The cassette tape is dated 08/08/06. After haunting my desk for a couple of years, I thought the time had come to write about its contents.

Flashback: WIRY 1340-AM, Plattsburgh’s Hometown Radio Station, used to broadcast a weekly program called “Healthy, Wealthy, and Wise.” The co-hosts were Bob, a jovial WIRY DJ, and Gail, owner of the Crystal Caboose up there in West Chazy.

Gail described the Crystal Caboose as a gift shop, bookstore, music shop and community meeting place all rolled into one. I’m guessing that one could find the right crystal for aura-tuning at her metaphysical resource center.

Each week Gail and Bob would discuss a particular New Age topic. The program I recorded was about UFOs. Call-ins were invited.

This neck of the woods, the northeastern corner of New York State, is very rural. Many of the people are unpretentious, plainspoken, honest. It’s interesting to hear a local call in with a UFO story. You can easily imagine what they would look like in person, sitting across from you at the cracker barrel.

During the program the co-hosts talked about the great power blackout on November 9th, 1965, that affected the US northeast and parts of Canada. Were UFOs responsible for plunging New York City into the dark?

That topic prompted a caller to share his story about a weird encounter the same evening of the great blackout. Darkness falls early in November. Around 6 or 7 PM he was traveling with his son on the Jersey Swamp Road out there in the Beekmantown area. The caller said he had been a civilian employee at the Plattsburgh Air Force Base (PAFB). He had picked up his son after work at a friend’s house. His son was around 7 or 8 years old at that time.

Driving along, he suddenly spotted a strange being in the middle of the road, maybe four or five feet tall, the size of a human child. It was humanoid, glowing. Its eyes reflected the car’s headlights, eye shine like that of a deer. The thing ambled away into the dark.

The caller said he and his son were shaken. He wanted to turn around but decided against it because his son was so traumatized by the sighting.

As a civilian employee at the Plattsburgh AF base, he heard about a room where reports of “bogies” were collected from enlisted men and civilians. Every base had such a room. There was speculation that the Air Force was keeping track of UFO and other paranormal sightings because such events could’ve been part of a plot by the Soviet Union.

Another caller related her experience that dated back to the late 1950s. She had been living near Saranac Lake, out in the countryside, no streetlights around. One summer night she heard a humming sound and noticed a greenish-white light outside her window. She tried to awaken her husband but he just told her that it was only a storm or fog, nothing to worry about.

The woman caller said she saw an UFO hovering over the pen where they kept their two horses, some chickens and a big barn cat. The object was hazy; she couldn’t tell if it was metallic.

The UFO directed a light beam down at her cat as if it was trying to pick it up. For some reason the UFO left without taking any animals for a ride.

The woman caller said that her pet was a Maine Coon cat. It used to be very vocal, meowing a lot, but after the UFO incident it remained silent.

She called the PAFB and the person who answered the phone said the base had been receiving reports of mysterious lights that night from both pilots and civilians, even though the sky was clear and the lights didn’t seem to be the aurora (northern lights).

The woman caller said that her daughter and son-in-law didn’t believe her story. She added that she wasn’t a kook or insane. She was a conventional person who enjoyed quilting as a hobby and at one time belonged to the chamber of commerce. She wasn’t the “seeing things type.”

The only ones to back up her story to some extent were neighbors who also heard the humming sound and noticed the lights, but like her husband thought it was just a summer storm.

That was the only time she had a UFO sighting.

She thanked the co-hosts for letting her share her story. She hoped that other people would also talk about their sightings without worrying about the “astigmatism” associated with such reports.

So what do I think about these stories?

I’m staying off the Jersey Swamp Road at night. My car insurance doesn’t include chupacobras collision coverage.