Last night I was wandering through the intertubes, looking for some information on Pancho Barnes. Pancho was a woman aviator in the 1920's and 30's who was almost as famous as Amelia Earhart, but usually took a back seat to her accomplishments, because Earhart and her husband were better hucksters. Pancho held the world air speed record for a period of time, and in later years gained notoriety for her Happy Bottom Riding Club, just outside of Edwards Air Force Base in the high desert of California. You might remember that she was a character in the movie "The Right Stuff". Unlike Earhart, Pancho did a lot of stunt flying in the movies made during her earlier years, including the one featured in the picture I've predominantly displayed above.
Pancho ... Looking awesome!
Being immature, the first thing I did when I saw this was snigger. "Cock Of The Air" ... Heh, heh ... heh, heh. This made me think of George Carlin's "The Seven Words You Can't Say On Television, and my favorite line from his act "You can prick your finger, but don't finger your prick". This, of course, made me snigger some more. Wouldn't it have been hilarious if Howard Hughes had managed to ram through the title "Prick Of The Air"?
This picture was made before the Hays Act was recognized and the motion picture industry was forced to knuckle under to "family" standards. In fact, a lot of movies made right after the advent of talkies and into the early 30's could be quite racy. And Hughes was in the forefront of constantly challenging the MPAA's forerunner on the content of his movies, until he was beat down by the association over his movie "The Outlaw", starring Jane Russell. After that, he pretty much gave up the motion picture producer game and went on to realize his lifelong dream of becoming a world class weirdo.
And speaking of Howard Hughes, if you've somehow missed the cinematic treatment of his life "The Aviator", I highly recommend that you put it on your viewing list for the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday/weekend.
As long as I'm prattling along, I might as well take the opportunity to answer a question that was sent to my highly occasional feature "Mr. Answer Guy". Today's question comes from JD, who hails from the perpetually soggy but beautiful town of Tacoma, Washington. JD writes:
Dear Mr. Answer Guy, I was at a baby shower recently, and we were playing one of those incredibly stupid games that they insist on doing at those things. I was thrown the question "What is a baby eel called?" Well, of course, I didn't have a clue, and everyone started laughing, and I got so nervous that I started sweating and the sweat stain spread from my armpits across my chest and my back, creating a phenomenon called "saddlebags". But the joke was on them, because no one knew the answer. What is a baby eel called? And how do I get the sweat stain out of my blouse?
Well, J ... this is a pretty simple one and I'm surprised that you didn't know the answer. A baby eel is called an "elver" or in local parlance, a "glass eel". I would file this one away in the old noggin, because it comes up often in daily conversations. Oh, and use Shout with Oxyclean to get that stubborn stain out.
Finally, to all of my loyal readers ... followers and lurkers alike, a very pleasant Thanksgiving to you and yours.