Category Archives: WORDS

Top 10 non-medical doctors in pop culture who might be able to aid you in an urgent medical situation

The pitch: You are in the jungle, slowly bleeding to death. Your left leg needs amputating. You have been stung multiple times by angry hornets. You have been partially mauled to death by a black panther. Bitten by a venomous snake. Vultures are circling overhead. The beast of the jungle – a 60 foot Megaprimatus ape – is waiting for nightfall to finish you off!

Short of a miracle, you are completely fu^@*d! Luckily there are ten doctors who might be able to aid you. Problem is, none of them are medical doctors! Nevertheless, each one possesses certain skills, powers and motivations which may help save your life… or not!!

Let’s rate your chances…

1. Dr Pepper

Dr. Pepper, so misunderstood. The Dying You: “I understand you are a can of carbonated soft drink?” Dr. Pepper: “You misunderstand me, I am actually a tin robot full of medicine.” The Dying You: “Thank goodness, any chance you can save my life?” Dr. Pepper: “No, I am lying, I really am a can of carbonated soft drink.” The Dying You: “Curse you Dr. Pepper!!” Dr. Pepper: “Muhuhuhahahaha!”.

Quite obviously you are hallucinating from your injuries, and are conversing with a can of carbonated soft drink. Dr. Pepper is unable to aid you. Chances of survival: 0%  

Dr Pepper advert, 1947. Image Wikipedia

2. Dr. Phibes

Dr. Anton Phibes is a famous concert organist and expert of music, who was thought to have died in a car crash while racing to visit his wife, Victoria, who was having emergency surgery. Phibes survived the crash, but was horribly disfigured and left unable to speak. After learning of Victoria’s death, Phibes went into hiding and developed an evil revenge plan to kill the incompetent surgeons he believed were guilty of Victoria’s death.

It is highly unlikely that the seriously unhinged Dr. Phibes will aid you in any way whatsoever, unless you happen to resemble his beloved Victoria, or are able to seduce him with a vast, musical knowledge you probably don’t possess. Chances of survival: 2%

The Abominable Dr. Phibes. 1971. Movie Time DVD.

3. Doctor Octopus

Save your life? Unlikely. This Marvel supervillain is more likely to baffle your brain with his knowledge of atomic physics, before battering you with one of his four electrically powered, prehensile, tentacle arms. Chances of survival: 8%

Doctor Octopus. Top Trumps.

4. Dr. Manhattan

Before Dr. Manhattan became a superhero he was Dr. Jonathan Osterman, a nuclear physicist who survived disintegration in an Intrinsic Field Subtractor, and managed to reconstruct himself into an all-powerful being.

Prone to mood swings, and with a strong sense of detachment from human suffering, butt-naked Dr. Manhattan is unlikely to help you in your hour of need. But you never know… it all depends on what mood he is in! Chances of survival: 19%

Cover detail of Watchmen. By Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons. Titan Books, 2008, Spain.

5. Dr. Lillian Isley (Poison Ivy)

Before Posion Ivy became a formidable DC supervillainess, she was Dr. Pamela Lillian Isley, PhD, a Gotham City botanist who studied advanced botanical biochemistry. Poison Ivy is in her element in a jungle setting, and may well rise to the challenge of battling a 60 foot ape beast with nought else but whatever jungle toxins she can mix up into a potion, and depending on what mood she is in (sweet or evil?) there is a slim to fair chance she may help you in your hour of need. Chances of survival: 34% 

Variant cover of Batman vol. 3, #26, Sept. 2017.
Art by Joshua Middleton. Image Wikipedia

6. Dr. Hook

At last, things are looking up for you!

Dr. Hook was an American rock band who enjoyed chart success throughout the 1970s and 80s with hits like “Sylvia’s Mother”, “When You’re in Love with a Beautiful Woman”, “Better Love Next Time”, and “Sexy Eyes”.

Don’t wanna end up being a human banana for King Kong’s hungry cousin? Then let Dr. Hook’s Essential hits save your skin with smooth ballads penned to lullaby even the most fearsome beast of the jungle into a state of tranquility, as you crawl to the nearest hospital! Chances of survival: 50%

Dr. Hook. Essential.

7. Doktor Avalanche

More musical medicine! Doktor Avalanche is a drum machine and credited band member of dark rockers The Sisters of Mercy. Essentially, Doktor Avalanche was whatever drum machine lead singer Andrew Eldritch was using at the time, and the good Doktor underwent several electronic incarnations across their three studio albums and live tours.

Rhythm may well save you here, as the 60 foot ape beast of the jungle is mesmorised by the dark and hypnotic loops of “Black Planet”, “Lucretia My Reflection”, “Dominion”, and “Doctor Jeep”. Chances of survival: 60%  

Boss DR. Rhythm. DR. 55. As used by The Sisters of Mercy and called Doktor Avalanche.

Floodland. The Sisters of Mercy.

8. Dr. Seuss

Theodor Seuss Geisel was an American children’s author, political cartoonist and animator, and is famous for his internationally-loved stories like The Cat in the HatGreen Eggs and Ham, and One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish. Dr. Seuss offers a decent chance of saving you as he entertains and bamboozles the ape-beast of the jungle with his fun and nonsensical tales. Chances of survival: 75%

Cover for Green Eggs and Ham by Dr. Seuss. 1997, Harper Collins, UK.

9. Doctor Graves

Dr. M. T. Graves hosted stories for The Many Ghosts of Doctor Graves which was published by Charlton Comics throughout the 1960s to 1980s. Graves is well-equipped in matters of the supernatural, and among his many talents are energy manipulation and magic. Bringing a cool, calm and intellectual air to any scene of alarm, Doctor Graves is certain to be able help. Chances of survival: 82%

US. Charlton. The Many Ghosts of Doctor Graves. Steve Ditko cover. 1969.

10. The Doctor

Time travelling adventurer, the Doctor, may not have medical expertise, but you can bet your left leg (why not, it needs amputating anyway) that the Doctor will always find a way to get you out of a tight spot! And with so many Doctors to choose from, you will be spoiled for choice! Chances of survival: 98%

The many faces of The Doctor. Image BBC.

Doctor Who. Thirteen action figure. TVTA collection.

Doctor Who. Vol 1. Marvel US. Cover by Earl Norem. 1981.

*****************************************

Top Ten Time’s up! That’s all folks! We hope you managed to survive with the aid of one of our handy non-medical doctors, and didn’t end up as ape dinner in the middle of the jungle!

Get well soon 🙂

What is your special super power?

Whether you’re a superhero or a supervillain, one thing’s for certain… you’re going to need a special super power!

Now you can use TVTA’s handy chart below to find out yours!

Let us know in the comments what your special super power is!


What the critics said:

“Marvellous! TVTA does it again! The only blog to provide free super powers!” – The Morning Early Evening Weekly Daily Standard.

“Holy soup! The Incredible TVTA bestows super powers to blogosphere!” – The Times Litter Supplement.

“TVTA saves cat in tree!” – Feline Fine in Space Monthly.


Thanks for getting super powerful with us 🙂

Ka-pow image courtesy of Wyatta. Collage and chart by TVTA.

Top tips for being a successful blogger in an age of uncertainty


Greetings vintage mates,

If you wish to become a successful blogger in this age of uncertainty,

you will need…

#1 – a ridiculous but click-worthy title. Like the one I’ve used for today’s post. Utterly meaningless. But somewhat intriguing. I’d click on it for sure.

You will also need…

#2 – attention-grabbing pic fairly early on, as some people simply won’t be bothered to read your words, no matter how good a wordsmith you are. I already added a cool pic at the start of the post, but here’s another one to keep things fresh…

How to handle your hamster correctly.


#3 – you will also need a sense of self-deprecation. As editor of TVTA I daily suck at many things. I try to do well but often fail miserably, or spectacularly. Here I am one time in Paris, trying to look cool but in reality taking up valuable image hosting space which could be used for something far more useful. Thank goodness I don’t have a Facebook or Instagram to share this photo on!

I eat croissants. Portrait of the artist in pre-tentious moment of vintage grandeur. Mon Dieu, I love France, and it’s curious and beautiful people, and old-school postcards, and display rack anti-theft devices.


To be a successful blogger in an age of uncertainty you will also need:

#4 – a loyal and intrepid office cat. Like TVTA’s very own Wooof! 75% of stuff that gets done around here can be attributed to the cat. The other 25% is me, but only because the cat has mind-control powers which I am unable to resist – no matter how often I wear my protective blue and red lens vintage 3D glasses, or the orange and purple-striped teflon-lined woolen jersey Mrs Coldkettle the tea lady knitted me last winter.

Wooof, TVTA intrepid office cat (in secret moustache and Dicky Bow disguise kit).


#5 – a fear of clowns. This will help you to focus, stay sharp, and keep you on your blogging toes at all times!

Run like the wind!


#6 – space ships. Statistics show that 71% of successful bloggers in an age of uncertainty have access to functional spaceships.


#7 – Giant motorised fruit and vegetables. A must-have for bloggers in an age of uncertainty!


#8 – you will also need a Karma Credit Roll

What’s this?

A Karma Credit Roll, or as TVTA likes to sometimes call it The Boomerang In Your Arms Effect is quite simply the force of love. In the words of the great German thinker/Scorpions vocalist, Klaus Mein: “The more love you give, the more you’ll find.” In blogging terms this can be related to an appreciation of the works of your fellow bloggers to gain an appreciation of your own work, while at the same time creating an enriching environment for all.


#9 – you’re also gonna need a stack of vintage adverts, magazines and comics! (if that’s your thing). Luckily Wooof and I have a few thousand of these scattered around the place…


#10 – and lastly, to be a successful blogger in an age of uncertainty, you will need to post a Top-Ten list of something you think is cool, even if it’s been done before, or it’s not cool, or it doesn’t make any sense – you absolutely must (by internet law) make a Top-Ten list of something… which is exactly what I’ve done with this post 🙂

Now, sit back, soak up all those likes, comments, reblogs, and endorsements from major corporations and Hollywood stars. You’ve earned it baby!

Suggested power song to blog to today: “The Best” by Tina Turner.

As always, thanks for looking 🙂

This post was brought to you by office cat disguise kits and top ten lists of top ten things to top ten list about when you generally avoid top ten things. No hamsters, fruit or vegetables were handled incorrectly in this production. All images courtesy of French comic/magazine Pif Gadget

Poem: Idles when idle

There I was, propped up in bed, a thousand thoughts forming
in the holiday of my head, mask off, headphones on, YouTube,
streaming, dreaming, coming to terms with a recently-deceased aunt
who had trouble breathing. Yes I loved her so, she helped me find sense
in the mess of teenage years, she gave me shelter from the helter
and the skelter of life’s tests, used to tell me: follow your dreams.
Loved her, loved her so, even though she voted Leave.
She’ll never know I’m that close to needing a visa to attend her funeral
in ruled Britannia, God save the Titanic, and all who sink with her.

On the bed was where I met them, mask off, headphones on,
finding sense in a present tense, correct, this is why, this is why
you never see your father cry. Council flats and country piles,
apartments in France – renewed my passport before it turned the blue
they want to make us feel, and act and march in their same shoes.
This is why, this is why, my heart swells with pride, not theirs but mine.
Idles your Colossus is a bridge between my republic and my septic isle,
septic minds, this is why, I point to freedom which is mine,
which is yours, which is ours, it’s called sharing, and it rhymes with caring.

Gone past caring? Don’t give up. Don’t stay down. Get back up.
There I was, propped up on the bed, time for a tea and something on bread.
And there they were, my family, watching The Voice on French TV,
Happily yabbering away in French, and me, in English, bemoaning the lack
of decent tea bags, and the way in which no matter how hard you always work
you’re still broke by the end of the month. Back and forth in two languages,
add Frenglish, Brummie accents, mais, ne t’inquiète pas, pas de problème,
je parle français, oui, avec un accent merdique, c’est pour ça,
c’est pour ça, mon clavier est AZERTY et pas QWERTY.

And this is why, this is why, I love myself and always try
to send the love and give the light, to cry when I like and fight the good fight.
Your tee-shirt, it said: Voltaire. I noticed you wearing it the other day,
got me thinking it did, that tee-shirt, and slogans in general,
Choose Life, Frankie Says, Make Love Not War, #MeToo #Remain, Idles on Tour.
Fudge-packing Crack-smoking Satan-worshipping motherfucker Nirvana,
that I wore on my back in days when my aunty wasn’t a Brexiter.
Wouldn’t mind now: Fairy Remoaning Snowflake Traitor Enemy of the People
see their faces when I tell them I don’t like barriers, and I dream in European.





Poem by the editor. Thanks to Idles.

Poem: The Broken Boat Inn

The Broken Boat Inn

1.

Suddenly we were confronted by God – in the ancient bar of the Broken Boat Inn,
a final frontier drinking den unclaimed by gentrification,
suits with blank cheques and brutal franchise,
our misty outpost for broken-hearted lovers the world left behind.
We’re All In The Same Boat proclaimed the sign above the bar,
next to a Thompson submachine gun that the landlady swore
was once used by Al Capone in a gangland war.
So full of bluster, though we dared not say – at least to her face anyway,
and instead would butter her up for her fine tattoos and curly hair,
order copious amounts of her strange beer and liquors
before setting our weary frames at tables full of the same old faces.
The house band there never got paid – except in beer and nuts –
yet they turned up most evenings to help detach us
from the pins, cogs and wheels of a world bent to grind us.

 

2.

The Broken Boat Inn, where we’d huddle together in that leaking life-boat,
poor, overfilled, but able enough to carry us away from whatever
sinking Titanic every man, woman and child had abandoned themselves from.
And in that creaky boat, with sails turned amber-rose
from nicotine and blood; and in the comfort of other refugees
and survivors of the seas – multi-lingual and all colours and creed,
we’d bail out our grief and plug the holes of despair
as wide as rivers filling gorges all the way to the top,
spilling silky streams down garbagy, pot-holed streets,
up the steps to buildings that jailed music for its own protection.
You heard it as good as we: that watery rap at the door which opened
to the bouncer’s clenched paw – he wasn’t letting it in…
not on yours or anyone else’s nelly!
“You’re not on the list,” the bouncer growled.
“Friend… I wrote the list,” the stranger replied.
Asked the bouncer: “What’s your name?”
“I am Duende. Duende with no beginning, middle or end,
and I am here to show you God.”

 

3.

And in Duende came, dressed in black, cowboy boots and a ten gallon hat,
hard to tell if it was a woman or a man if truth be known, let’s say ‘he’
went straight to the bar and said: “I am Duende.”
“What’s your poison?” the landlady enquired.
“Whiskey, and three of your patrons to get up on that stage,
for I’m in need of both liquor and entertainment.”
“Cost ya,” said the landlady. “The whiskey ain’t cheap and neither are my customers.”
Said Duende: “You misunderstand, I make no payment for the things I want,
but I will give you a night to remember when I show you God.”
The Inn went silent. The landlady spat on the floor, lit a cigarette,
before shouting across the bar for three to take the stage –
three to entertain the stranger called Duende.

 

4.

Old Ginette got up first, with aid of her cane.
Her hair dyed pink, as was her custom in later years,
some called her Lady Rose but most just Old Ginette.
Well, she took to the stage and struck us silent as a mighty bell
would still us to make us stare up at the heavens.
And was it poetry or song that parted her lips? as she said to us:
“Brothers and sisters, I quit going to church on Sundays
because my legs could no longer make the steps,
nor could my eyes bring themselves to look into the faces
of people that bored me to godless and witless tears.
So, now, brothers and sisters, I sit in my bungalow,
low, low, low, all alone and pray to God, lo!
Because you don’t need to go to church to find God, right?
God was with me Sunday morning when I dyed my hair pink.
God’s in my hair, brothers and sisters, Gods in my hair!”
We hardly even noticed her exit the stage, such was our awe,
our enchantment, open-mouthed and dumb as dead salmon.
And the house band seemed just in awe of her as we –
that ragtag trio of slackers dressed in black – bass, drums and guitar,
skinny little dogs they were, declaring often: “The Lion Cult loves you!”

 

5.

Luke got up next, with the aid of two friends,
drunk beyond measure and deemed ’round the bend’ –
even when he was sober, which was rare.
Dandy Luke they sometimes called him – and he tried his best,
with his silky hair gelled up on the crown of his head
like a hillock of freshly-laid dog turd.
Ink spots on his frilly white shirt (Luke liked to write poems
when he wasn’t seeing double),
kept a Hollywood lea of neat black stubble
on his beer-soaked face.
Yet he sure smelled nice under that beer stink of his,
from the free samples of cologne handed out by his sister
who worked at the perfume counter of a well-known chain.
“Gonna tell you about a girl called Emma-Jane McGee…”
Luke began to sing, and oh boy were we shocked
that not only did he possess some mighty fine pipes,
but knew words other than: “Bartender make that the same again.”
“Emma-Jane McGee fell from her tree,
into a grave pre-dug by her lover,
a lover whose heart was owned by another.
No stone was laid to mark her place,
no words carved to honour her grace,
nor even a memory, in the cold embrace
of a brand new lover with a different face –
the face that usurped the one of Emma-Jane.
How he’ll kiss that new lover upon her fresh lips,
twist a ring on her finger and say “I do”.
And poor Emma-Jane beneath her tree,
turns in her grave and slips to sleep.
Eternal sleep, the heart goes free,
and endures no pain nor misery.
Goodnight, goodnight, Emma-Jane McGee.
Sleep tight, sleep tight, Emma-Jane McGee.
After, the house band had to be nudged into action to play,
because they were standing there in just as much awe as we.
“The Lion Cult loves you!” they declared to Luke,
as he stepped down from the stage, and fell flat on his face.

 

6.

Unaided, ha! – as if she ever needed anyone’s help!
Third and last to get up on the stage was Rude Girl Sally who was all the rage
back in ’98 when the sun shone for days,
and we all got our money’s worth of a good decade.
Rude Girl Sally snatched the mic and began to sing:
“Show me your face, your soul, your prick, your tits, your money, your bling.
Show me your heart and I’ll show you mine too,
‘cept my black heart is broken in two.
Suckers don’t like that? Then fuck, fuck you.
I’ll keep my fertile futility close to my breast
which will ne’er feel your touch nor tongue on my nipple.
Ra-ra-raspberry ripple, triple lovers in a bed with mirrors on the ceiling.
Mirror, mirror on the wall, who’s the sassiest of them all?
The classiest, bad-assiest, nastiest, canniest, most trashiest?
See, I want it all and I want it now! So gimme, gimme, gimme…
diamonds and tiaras and black panthers and piranhas,
bananas in pyjamas and Barbie dioramas.
Doctor, Doctor, I have this disease… and the disease is myself.”
We watched Sally toss the mic over her shoulder –
Lord, it hit the bass player of the house band square on his head,
though he didn’t seem to mind too much – he was in awe of Sally
like the rest of us. Awe, red raw, bleeding all over the sticky stage floor,
as rude Girl Sally suddenly ripped off her dress
and showed us her breasts, upon which she’d scrawled in black pen:
‘Over’ on the left, ‘Rated’ on the right.

 

7.

And we thought we witnessed a miracle that night
at the Broken Boat Inn after Duende walked in.
And in the silence that followed Sally’s performance,
we heard the slow-handclapping of Duende at the bar,
who supped his whiskey and sucked a fat cigar.
“Did you see God?” he asked us. “Did you see your true creator?”
Sort of. Kind of. Not sure. Maybe, was the general response –
sometimes the crowd there is so hard to work
– none more so than the landlady, who pulled down the Thompson,
and aimed it’s barrel at the head of Duende.
“Let’s call it three-hundred bucks, shall we honey?
Coz the only God we know here is the colour of money.”
And Duende stood straight and tall and took off his hat,
and his head was all shiny, and had this queer radiance, an aura
that stunned us one and all in the ancient bar of the Broken Boat Inn.
“You say you saw no God tonight?” Duende said evenly.
“If so, then who do you see before you now – if not your God?”
“I see a man full of holes,” snarled the landlady,
and she shot Duende dead to the bar room floor,
who did nought else but got back on his feet, dusted himself down and said:
“I’ll forgive you for that, for I’m the forgiving type. Now get to your knees
and worship your Lord, and pray The Lion Cult has a song left in them yet.”
And the house band, not immune to the occasional spell of metaphysics,
began playing something by Jerry Lee Lewis,
and for sure that night, after Duende walked in,
there was a whole lot of shakin’ goin’ on…
Shaking and a-quaking, and a rush to the bar to buy drinks for Duende
who was deemed a God worthy of celebration that night
when idols came calling at the Broken Boat Inn.


Words and art by the editor.

Thanks to a three-masted ship of inspiration:

Sophia Riley-Kobacker ** The History of Emotions Blog ** Everything2: Nick Cave’s Love Song Lecture **


 

Curiouser and curiouser… the Bburago HAT Catalogue 1976, starring:

“The Curious Case of the Random, Everyday Objects Superimposed Next to the Cars!”

… and nothing to do with hats, though it is a little mad, Alice…

… mad objects like coins, pasta, moon rocks, pencil shavings, Andorran flag bottle tops, and more! Maybe some of our Italian visitors can help out with the significance of these photographed objects placed next to drawings of cars? Or will they be as nonplussed as us? Non? What’s Italian for ‘no’? The catalogue in question is Italian, a Bburago HAT (Hobbies And Toys) 1976 N°2 edition. Perhaps catalogue N°1 had similar designs? The objects seem to be ‘hobby’ or ‘food’ related? Just how are these everyday items related to toy cars??

So many questions, I know, I know! Let’s move quickly to the scans which show some truly wonderful artwork of the models available by Bburago at the time. As was often typical with 1970s advertising, design teams didn’t photograph their product they hired artists to draw it!


The cover… already you see weird objects, but not so noticeable as the images are tiny…


Inside… it all begins in a quite orderly fashion with a very cool cross section of a die cast car…


And then… Bam! Straight down the rabbit hole… it’s random object time… 

(with bonus FREE pun-and-nonsense commentary from our editing team!!)

1.

… A serious car, serious coinage!

Coins!


2.

Please put the lid back on the toothpaste when you’ve finished brushing your teeth!

Toothpaste lid!


3.

Somebody call me a thimble!

Thimble!


4.

Excuse me, officer, I seem to have lost my marbles!

Marbles!

There are others…

Think I’ve got most of them…

(click images to go bigger)

5 – 22


23.

Bottle tops. The nearest one appears to be the Andorran flag?

Bottle tops!


24.

The pen is mightier than the police car?

Pen nibs!


25.

Back to school. Pencil shavings!

Pencil shavings!

At school, in your pencil case, you were likely to have a cheap, plastic sharpener, red, yellow or blue or something; if you were lucky, you’d have one of those sturdy, metal, technical drawing sharpeners; some had sharpeners that were moulded inside see-through containers into which the shavings could be collected and emptied later; others had novelty promotional sharpeners for cartoon, TV and film characters.

Then there was the ‘beast-of-all-sharpeners’… the one that belonged to the entire class, usually bolted onto the end of the teacher’s desk – a sinister-looking device that could grind down three different-sized pencils at a time, automatic or crank handle-operated, when in motion it sounded like a derailed steam train driven over a cliff by Godzilla, and this monster of a pencil-sharpener, make no mistake, could easily rip off your fingers, and the entire lower arm of some of the smaller pupils!


26.

Decorative beads or tongue-tingling sweets?? No fear, we’re not taste-testing them, they’ve been out of their packaging since 1976!

Decorative beads or tongue-tingling sweets??

Calls down to archives: “Wooof… got some tasty new treats for you to test out, dear cat(muhuhahaha)…”
Wooof: “But you’ve already tested them yourself, dear editor.”
Me: “I have?”
Wooof: “Yes, what do you think it was that I sprinkled on top of your cappuccino this morning?”
Me (going green about the gills): “Uuumph!”


27.

… And finally… a back pages questionnaire, for kids, in Italy, in 1976.


Thanks for identifying random objects with us :) If you know the identity of any of the mystery objects in today's post please let us know in the comments. Likewise, if you have any idea what is going on, about anything at all really, ever, we're here, and we'd like to know too! This post has been brought to you by TVTA random objects and old school schools of old school school stories.