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1950s Instructional Film: What To Do On A Date

I might have benefited from this film when I was a teen (and possibly from some therapy).  This 1950s instructional film is pretty swell.  I appreciate their use of the word swell and demand that it be brought back into the common slang.  Call your congressperson today using the swell old phone number listings and the giant ancient phone.

Try not to notice how Kay’s being a little sly looking at Nick’s butt.  Try not to consider Kay’s particular interest in the weenie roast and taffy pulls.  It’s not really all Freudian.

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Men Without Cats

nocatsby Jonathan B. Perry
I take umbrage at the idea that there’s something ‘funny’ about single men with cats. That’s utterly preposterous. If you consider that cats are more like women and dogs are more like men, it would only make sense that dog-men cope a little too well with other ‘men’ when they should be learning to cope with women by way of cats. How is a cat like a woman? Evil. No, just kidding! Haha! You know how you reach out to pet a cat when you’re sitting at a slight distance? At some point the cat will get comfortable and maneuver to just be out of reach, though seemingly still interested in the petting ceremony. You can tell that the cat still wants to be petted or at least looks anxious to be petted, but then you think to yourself, “Does the cat really want me to work harder to come to her?” “Does she not want me to come to her?” or “Is she mocking me?” or “Should I buy her jewelry?”

When my cat was alive, I’d find myself superimposing feelings of frustration for women onto her, which was pretty useful. I could have an imaginary argument with my mom or sister-in-law and manifest it live through interaction with Callie the calico kitty. For instance, in the absence of proper mental therapy, I might perceive a rough cat meow as the nagging beseeching of my mother, whereupon I’d presume to tell the cat where she could stuff her guilt trip (just an example, mom).cat-freudThis could in itself be a fantastic therapeutic device, because I’d feel the freedom to talk back without the normal consequences of human retribution (silent treatment). Not only would this make the cat a woman, but a therapist as well. Maybe a female therapist. How exciting.
(Wow. That’s a lot of cat art. I’ll totally have to write some now about sports or testicles or something masculine because the site has been suddenly overrun with cats & glamorous ladies.)
(Thanks to my brother, Jay Perry, for the ‘No Cats’ art. And for doing ‘The Safety Dance’. Do it now!)

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Valentine’s Day Shame

by Jonathan B Perry
Not to go all girly on you, or anything, but I thought I’d talk for a moment about V Day in a reminiscent musing sort of way.

Shannon, Mrs. Abbott, and me at the Cinderella Ball

Shannon, Mrs. Abbott, and me at the Cinderella Ball

Wednesday, I hit a few stores (shopped, not robbed) and took a gander at the Valentine’s chocolate, as per my gluttony (chocolate, not V Day). Swarming the holiday aisles, hoards of parents with children in tow picked out Powerpuff Girls and Hanna Montana Valentines for the kids to pass out to their little friends and classmates. Of course, we all remember taking part in this ritual of elementary school, though we probably had more Batman, Transformers, GI Joe, and Smurf stuff. I also remember that we each had to give Valentines to everyone in the class if we gave them to anyone, as part of the communist gifting system that starts early in the schools, even if one of the kids was a little snot. Despite the gift equality edict, there was still a little wiggle room to show favor. You could always buy crappier cards for the kids you cared less about, then give the cooler cards to your friends, perhaps adding chocolate. If there was a special little someone you wanted to impress, you could even make your own homemade cards using construction paper, paper doilies, and glitter. This was an area in which my mother excelled in training her sons.

In her pursuit of making us properly domesticated humans, much attention was paid to teaching us certain arts and crafts that might eventually become useful in tricking future mates into liking us. Also, mom didn’t have any girls, so we’d have to do. We’d make those cards, but we’d also do weird, almost shameful things. Making sugar cookies and frosting them wasn’t bad because we’d get to eat several of them, and the Prince Charming costume for the Cinderella Ball was fine model-rocket-modelbecause it looked pretty cool and the girls dug it, but the mop doll thing was very different. And this was perhaps in high school, so it was extra weird. From some evil women’s magazine, she took the idea to make dolls out of mop heads for Valentine’s Day. Ribbons, bows, paint, and a hot glue gun were required in the multi-hour contruction. I believe we each made 2 or 3 and gave them to our closer female friends and interests. Apparently the girls liked them, but I think we always felt this essence of shame in having made them and publicly owning up to having made them. Now, if we’d made model rockets together and given those to the girls, there would have been more pride involved. Of course, there might have been some Freudian subtext to it. And the therapy sessions would be different.
Oh, happy Valentine’s Day.

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