The Old Timey Times Almanack & Handbooke

The ultimate Handbooke, Almanack, and Encyclopedia for all things Old Timey. Please enjoy with safety, as it is old and could as easily crumble in your hands and cut them with merciless Prussian efficiency.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Old Timey Times Game!

Well, we've returned from a long hiatus, and will report on our adventures in an upcoming post. While you wait, we'll put up this fun summer activity-themed game. Pictured below is a celebrated novelist enjoying one of her most treasured pastimes, railway pushcar-ing, and a certain president playing a game of golf while Old Timey Times correspondent Crystal Gomes looks on. So, what's the game you ask? Well our challenge is simple: see if you can name the people pictured and spot 10 differences between the two photos. Watch out, it's tricky! Be sure to post your answers on the Queries page!


Friday, February 24, 2006

Old Timey Times Household Tips: The Difference Between a Tom Collins and a Harvey Wallbanger

One may have enjoyed or is at least vaguely familiar with the old timey taste of the cocktails Tom Collins and Harvey Wallbanger. One may not know about the two illusive gentlemen from whence these tasty cocktails derive their names. I’ve laid out some facts about Messrs Collins and Wallbanger in the instance that you find yourself with one of these drinks in your hand, but nothing to say. I’ve often used this information coupled with smoking jackets or croquet mallets with mixed results.

  • A Tom Collins contains gin; a Harvey Wallbanger contains vodka, but both men preferred Old Granddaddy Whiskey.
  • Although a Harvey Wallbanger contains the fancy liqueur Galliano, Harvey himself never liked Italians. The entire Wallbanger family has been feuding with the Gallianos ever since the Great Ice Cube Slinging of 1804. In a related issue, the Collins family doesn’t really mind the Gallianos, but the Gallianos think that the Collinses act like nincompoops.
  • Tom Collins lived an entire month solely on Maraschino cherries.
  • Harvey Wallbanger and Tom Collins went to a one room school house together in New Hampshire for twelve years, yet they never met.
  • Harvey Wallbanger’s wife, Mrs. Henrietta Wallbanger was a renowned harpsichordist and kept her harpsichord in the kitchen so that during rehearsals she could more easily drink the cocktail that bore her husbands name.
  • Tom Collins died a lifelong bachelor, although it was said that he lived most of his life with a life-sized cardboard likeness of Henrietta Wallbanger.
  • President Eisenhower was planning on awarding the Congressional Medal of Honor to Tom Collins for innovations in bar keeping, but changed his mind after Richard Nixon slapped him silly.
  • Harvey Wallbanger never once banged on a wall.

Hopefully this proves useful.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Old Timey Names Explored

What’s in a name you may ask? Well, we here at Old Timey Times say “Everything.” Presented below is a list of old timey names and their various associations. Please enjoy them respectfully.

Horace: The ancient Egyptian god of the underworld. This name should be given to fellows of stout and noble nature, with pronounced mutton chop hairdo style, and strange aversions to either longshoremen or cats named Nellie.

Gertrude: French in origin. Gertrudes are often plain faced ladies, full of contradictions and retained water. Gertrudes are generally librarians or proud and priggish mothers of three living in downtowne Delaware. One should never approach a Gertrude directly from the front, but should rather amble up from the side, bowing one’s head, and presenting a gift basket full of salted haddock and baby’s bonnets.

Clyde: Derived from the old Saxon adage: “Clyde ess ben nich taugh.” Meaning “A dead horse is considerably less effective than a live and galloping one.” Clydes are generally wild haired and described by many as “fancy free.” Should one approach a Clyde in a dark alley or deserted country trail, one should always present their Confederate identification tags and speak only when spoken to. Clydes are notoriously known for their love of one-legged Swedish typists and ancient runic figurines.

Ethel: Derived from Archie comics. Ethels, as immortalized by said comics, generally play a big-toothed, vaguely sad, supporting character in the typical person’s life. Should one be forced to promenade with an Ethel, it is wise to avoid discussing Hoof and Mouth disease, the term “brick-a-brack,” or the color blue. Should you incur an Ethel’s wrath, simply lie down on the ground, feign death, a quietly hum “Shuffle Off to Buffalo.”

Chester: As per an edict from President Chester A. Arthur, the name Chester has been wrapped in swaddling cloth and hidden in the secret vault under Mt. Rushmore. It will be unearthed in December of 2068, and closely studied to see what nutrients can be extracted from it, in hopes of finding a cure for Ethelism.

Lord Dingsleydon: Since there is only one recorded Lord Dingsleydon, it is a safe assumption that any Lord Dingsleydon will be a four foote, eight inch barrister who speaks in soft, elegiac iambs and carries a small framed daguerreotype of Chief Sitting Bull giving Susan B. Anthony “rabbit ears.” It is also a safe assumption that any Lord Dingsleydon will die at 38, drunk and happy, after sustaining multiple injuries on the archery range.

Sally Bojangles: This is an ancient Sumatran name meaning “Sally Bojangles.” A young lady named Sally Bojangles will often bemoan the nature of hoop skirts and sun parasols. Two hours later, she will feel remorse for her outrageous musings, and take to sulking on the porch swing for some time. Best served with a side of mint jelly and parsnip juice.

Barnabus: Derived from the popular television series “Dark Shadows.” Few know that in 1754 several adventurous Viennese scientists traveled through time to the late 1960’s, spent most of their time eating stale popcorn and watching television, and returned only with an early Janis Ian EP and the name Barnabus. Most Barnabuses are genial, quiet fellows, who are only occasionally prone to fits of vampirism. Barnabuses generally only respond to the name “Hector” and often smell of aged Edam cheese and virgins’ blood.

Hyacinth: Derived from some kind of flower. Rough, brooding creatures, Hyacinths have always been rare and intriguing, at first existing only in the Dutch alps (which mysteriously disappeared with little fanfare in 1902.) One famous Hyacinth, the Baroness Hyacinth Du Chat, was known to speak backwards, much to the confusion and delight of her dinner guests. There have been only three Hyacinth spottings since the Baroness’ death, and the only documentation of said encounters are fuzzy photographs showing a tall, loping figure chewing on a piece of bamboo. Should a Hyacinth be encountered, Old Timey Times recommends prayer and honest repentance.

We hope you’ve enjoyed our list of old timey names. As with every other fact listed in this Almanack, we hope that you use them carefully and discerningly.

Sunday, January 29, 2006

A Well-Waxed Moustache Will Never Let You Down

There’s nothing like listening to a barbershop quartet. Since the dawn of time, there have been four men who sing in approximate harmony whist appearing in the dapperest and oldtimiest of fashions. These singing groups have also been known to venture outside of barbershops and don their matching vests and arm garters in places such as:

  • The county fair
  • A Bar mitzvah
  • 50th wedding anniversaries
  • Foxwoods Resort and Casino
  • My meat cellar

Although the art of the song/haircut combination is fading from our modern landscape…some things never should.

Those things are a well-waxed moustache.

It can save your tail in many a sticky situation. Just ask Horatio Moustachio, the fashions founder:

“Sure, sure, a moustache needs to be waxed. It’s only right. How else will it get that sheen? You might as well be an animal. You might as well be a weasel for Christ’s sake. Even weasels wax their moustaches.”

If anyone knows, it’s Mr. Moustachio. Toting a moustache well over two feet wide, he can attest to the necessity of proper moustache care. His pet weasel, Montgomery also seems to don a tiny and well-maintained whiskerstache. Moustachio is quite perturbed by the lack of wax on the modern moustache.

“Holy crap. What’s wrong with everyone’s moustache?” he seems to say with every displeased glance at a nude or unkempt upper lip.

Luckily, one group of people has kept up with their moustache maintenance and that is the barbershop quartet community. Perhaps it is because they spend a considerable amount of time in barbershops, they always appear well groomed and appropriately waxed. This double whammy of old timey has propelled the B.S.Q. community into the realm of Old Timey Extrordinaire. The quartet, Phil’s Harmonic had this to say about the subject in perfect four-part harmony:

“Hello…hello…hello…how ya doin?

Thanks for the tip is super swell

Hey Phil, what is that musky smell?

It’s the waxed moustache right under my nose

One must be careful about the way it grows.

Keep it combed and keep it nice

Pick out the chili and the rice

Sing in fours and not in fives

Because that’s how we all met our wiiiiives!”

Friday, January 27, 2006


Rickets is a disease caused by a lack of various nutrients, tonics, or salves containing Vitamin Otto Van Bismarck, High Chancellor of Germany (or Vitamin D, in its shortened form.) The first recorded case of Saddle Shoe (as it was first called) was in an eastern corner of Alsace. The Abbe Vischy, following a six month cloister where he pondered the nature of turnips, rutabagas, and the current vole scourge, was remarked to have “legges of an ill-reputed lass, curved and bulging as a King’s gout-ridden spine”[1] Bowlegged-ness is one of the myriad symptoms of rickets, along with gelatin-like bone consistency and chronic vole pondering. The Abbe was immediately put under a strict regiment of poultices and witch stews, which unfortunately resulted in even more cases of rickets. A tired man, aged sixty five, the Abbe succumbed to his illness on May the 11th, which has since been known in Alsace as the kick off to the month-long Rutabaga Roundelay.

Rickets is decidedly old-timey in its ability to both render its victim dead and comically deformed. Who hasn’t chuckled at a ricketian’s jilting, rounded gait as they make their way, ever so slowly, down the boulevard? Or at their complete inability to hold an ice cream cone or riding crop? Soft, squishy bone consistency has always been the most hilarious ailment, followed closely by Fish Monger’s Eye and Neapolitan Taint. However, certain, perhaps more warm-hearted scholars, have questioned society’s innate tendency to laugh at these poor souls stricken with Saddle Shoe. Are we not, they argue, all guilty of some deficiency? Whether it be floppy bone or booze-addled brain, is some brand of suffering not the most universal of human experiences? Well, let this Alamanack set the record straight: these scholars are wrong. Bowlegged-ness is always worthy of ridicule and derision, no matter that the laughing party has a cauliflowered ear or a withered and useless clubbed-foot. The Abbe Vischy would be the first to tell you: having the leg diameter of the town whore (in Alsace her name was Vivienne Du Le Chien, and she had a slight hump) is funnier than a herd of voles gorging themselves on carefully poisoned turnips. Which, according to the Abbe’s diary, discovered many years later in his private study, under a pile of used poultices and small, yet haunting paintings of the Belgian seaside, was both a “Hoot” and a “Holler.”

[1] For more on Gout, or “The Meat Lover’s Maladie,” please await an upcoming post.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Welcome to the Alamanack!

Greetings and Salutations! By popular demand, we've decided to create a website to enliven and promote the art of remembering the old timey times. Officially, "old timey" describes anything created, invented, discovered, born or developed between the years 1743 and 1956. This includes but is not limited to:

1) Bicycles with an enormous front wheel and a teeny, tiny little back wheel (See Above)
2) Stripey knee-length Coney Island-style bathing costumes
3) Phrenology
4) President Taft
5) The phrase, "Hello Heathcliff, how's your old straw hat?"

Although we do not necessarily condone the use of computers, we felt that creating a blog on our mimeograph would be a little less effective. If you have any questions about the legion of facts we shall present to you, there is a place where you can leave Queries. Thank you, and enjoy the site.

Cordially yours;

Richard Lawson and Crystal Gomes
Self-proclaimed Proffessors of the Decidedly Old Timey