PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT FROM P.E.T.A... THE HEARTBREAK!

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The heartbreak of alcohol abuse in the modern pet household!!... Good morning, Friends!... (and I use that term loosely). Please ask yourself, and be brutally frank. Does your pet drink privately when you're at work?? ....Have you ever seen your Burmese casually brush things off kitchen counters while staring at you....or pretend to read the newspaper, and then eat it?...Does he or she hide stashes of catnip or old smelly socks under sofas, in cardboard boxes, or buried in houseplants? ....Does your four-legged friend cry inconsolably during broadcasts of the Westminster Kennel Club show.... or old Nine Lives commercials?? ....Does your tabby disguise himself as Morris the Cat and run up gambling debts, often with unsavory syndicate types? Has your chihuahua started wearing heavy perfumes or colognes to cover the smell of cheap booze on her breath?....Does your Collie secretly entertain OTHER pets in your home when you're away at work or on vacation, while claiming he’s actually Lassie?......Have you found livestock-nudey magazines, cassette tapes involving barnyard sounds, or OTHER pets' collars in YOUR home… with lip stick on them???.....These are all warning signs of the lonely downward spiral of pet-substance-abuse.....

Don't let shame keep YOU from helping your loved one!!!! Act now!!!!!! Dial PUSSY DRUNK!...that's right! P-U-S-S-Y D-R-U-N-K! Yes, go right to the telephone and dial 787-793-7865. The nice man will tell you how to order an intervention NOW!...and he'll even bring the leash... and a MUZZLE if necessary! Let your new command for this New Year be "HEEL!...and HEAL!" We thank you.

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Sybil's "Fascinating Folks!... Charles James"...

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Ok! You don't have to be a woman, or even a fashionista to appreciate both the over-the-top styling in this photo or the sheer brilliance of the architecture, both of the room and the gowns that these women have been hammered into! (Talk about a girl watching her diet! JEEEESH!) This is the famous Cecil Beaton portrait from 1948 of various socialite/models in a selection of ball gowns designed (and actually COMPLETED! JEEEESH, AGAIN!) by the crack-pot/genius Charles James (July 18th, 1906 – September, 23rd, 1978) . Acknowledged (often resentfully) by admiring/envious rivals like Dior, Chanel, et al, he was also notoriously temperamental (with an emphasis on the "mental"!), and unreliable in his follow-through. Dozens of his wealthy and powerful clients waited indefinitely, impatiently, (and finally forever!) for gowns that they had paid FULLY for, but might not see in their closets. His business as well as his reputation (and mind) unraveled until he ended up broke and alone in the marvelously ramshackle Chelsea Hotel in NYC... where he died, chain-smoking and drunk at the age of 72... practically a bag-man... but still, a genius! (photo by Cecil Beaton!... yes, THAT Cecil Beaton!!)

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A New Sybil's "WHO'Z DAT?"... ERNEST THESIGER (January 15, 1879 - January 14, 1961)

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Darlings! Mummy has made a decision! After reading dozens of posts and having hundreds of conversations with well-meaning folks who just don't know about the great CHARACTER actors who gave films the depth and genius that surrounded and supported the so-called "stars", I am going to post a regular, special entry called SYBIL'S "WHO'Z DAT??"....there'll be photos and a mini-bio, and the next time you see one of those familiar, fabulous faces that you just "can't quite place".......well, maybe these posts will help. Some of these actors worked more, had longer and broader careers, and ended up happier, more loved, and even wealthier than the "stars" that the public "worships"......I think there may be a metaphor in that! What do you think??? And while you’re considering it, let me introduce one of the rarest performers in the history of Hollywood…. An orchid in a field of daisies!

The grandson of the 1st Lord Chelmsford, Ernest Thesiger (January, 15th, 1879 – January 14th, 1961) was born in London, England and was the first cousin once removed of the explorer and author Wilfred Thesiger (1910–2003), and the nephew of 2nd Lord Chelmsford, who, exactly a week after Ernest's birth, famously led his troops in battle against and suffered a defeat at the hands of a Zulu army at the Battle of Isandlwana.

Thesiger attended Marlborough College and the Slade School of Art with aspirations of becoming a painter, but quickly switched to drama, making his professional debut in a production of Colonel Smith in 1909. After the outbreak of World War I, in 1914 Thesiger volunteered as Rifleman No.2546 with the 2nd Battalion of the 9th London Regiment (Queen Victoria's Rifles). After training in England for 3 months he was sent to the Western Front in late 1914, and was wounded in the trenches on New Year’s Day in 1915. He was medically evacuated back to England. At a dinner party shortly after his return, someone asked him what it had been like in France, to which he is supposed to have responded "Oh, my dear, the noise! …and the people!"

In 1917, he married Janette Mary Fernie Ranken (1877-1970), sister of his close friend and fellow Slade graduate William Bruce Ellis Ranken. In her biography of Thesiger's friend, Ivy Compton-Burnett, Hilary Spurling suggests that Thesiger and Janette wed largely out of their mutual adoration of William, who shaved his head when he learned of the engagement. Another source states more explicitly that Thesiger made no secret of his homosexuality. Thesiger moved in several artistic, literary and theatrical circles. At various times, he frequented the studio of John Singer Sargent, befriended Mrs. Patrick Campbell, visited and corresponded with Percy Grainger and worked closely with George Bernard Shaw, who wrote the role of the Dauphin in SAINT JOAN for him. Somerset Maugham, on the other hand, responded to Thesiger's inquiry as to why he wrote no parts for him with the quip, "But I am always writing parts for you, Ernest. The trouble is that somebody called Gladys Cooper will insist on playing them." 

Thesiger's film debut was in 1916 in THE REAL THING AT LAST, a spoof presenting MACBETH as it might be done by an American company, in which he did a drag turn as one of the Witches. Thesiger also played the First Witch in a 1941 production of MACBETH directed by John Gielgud. He performed more small roles in films during the silent era, but worked mainly on the stage. In 1925, Thesiger appeared in Noël Coward's ON WITH THE DANCE, again in drag, and later played the Dauphin in Shaw's SAINT JOAN. He wrote an autobiography “Practically True”, published in 1927, which covers his stage career. An unpublished memoir written near the end of his life is housed in the Ernest Thesiger Collection at the University of Bristol Theatre Collection. When he appeared in a Christmas production of THE MERRY WIVES OF WINDSOR in 1919, Thesiger met and befriended James Whale. After Whale had moved to Hollywood and found success with the films JOURNEY'S END (1930) and FRANKENSTEIN (1931), the director was commissioned to direct the screen adaptation of J. B. Priestley's Benighted as THE OLD DARK HOUSE (1932), starring Charles Laughton in his first American film, together with Boris Karloff and Raymond Massey. Whale immediately cast Thesiger in the film as Horace Femm (!) launching his Hollywood career. The following year Thesiger appeared (as a Scottish butler) with Karloff in a British film THE GHOUL.

When Whale agreed to direct BRIDE OF FRANKENSTEIN in 1935, he insisted on casting Thesiger as Dr. Septimus Pretorius, instead of the studio's choice of Claude Rains. Partly inspired by Mary Shelley's friend John Polidori and largely based on the Renaissance physician and botanist Paracelsus, it became Thesiger's most famous role, in which he gives a fey, flamboyant performance as Baron Frankenstein's mentor.

Arriving in the United States for the filming of BRIDE OF FRANKENSTEIN, Thesiger immediately set up a display in his hotel suite of all his needlework, each with a price tag, and during the making of the film he would work on needlework, one of his hobbies.

Originally cast to play the luddite sculptor Theotocopolous in H.G. Wells's THINGS TO COME (1936), Thesiger's performance was deemed unsuitable by the author, and so was replaced by Cedric Hardwicke, although he was retained on the parallel production of Wells's THE MAN WHO COULD WORK MIRACLES. Around this same time Thesiger published a book, “Adventures in Embroidery”, about needlework, which was his expert hobby. The remainder of Thesiger's career was centered on the theatrical stage, though he did appear in supporting roles in films produced in Britain, prominent among which is the 1945 CAESAR AND CLEOPATRA with Vivien Leigh and Claude Rains, and THE MAN IN THE WHITE SUIT (1951), starring Alec Guinness. He plays "Sir John," the most powerful, the richest, and the oldest of the industrialists (jointly with the trade unions) trying to suppress Guinness's invention of a fabric that never wears out and never gets dirty. In 1953, he appeared as the Roman Emperor Tiberius in THE ROBE, starring Richard Burton, Jean Simmons, and Victor Mature.

Thesiger made several appearances on Broadway, notably as Jacques to Katharine Hepburn's Rosalind in 1950 in the longest-running production of AS YOU LIKE IT ever produced on Broadway. Later films included THE HORSE'S MOUTH (1958) with Alec Guinness, SONS AND LOVERS (1960), and THE ROMAN SPRING OF MRS. STONE, with Vivien Leigh and Warren Beatty (1961). That same year he made his final stage appearance—a mere week before his death—in THE LAST JOKE, with John Gielgud and Ralph Richardson.

In 1960, Thesiger was awarded the Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE). His last film appearance was a small role in THE ROMAN SPRING OF MRS. STONE (1962). Shortly after completing it, Thesiger died in his sleep from natural causes on the eve of his 82nd birthday, and is buried in Brompton Cemetery, London.

In the fictionalized James Whale biopic GODS AND MONSTERS (1998), Thesiger was portrayed by Arthur Dignam. And the real Thesiger is seen in the film when Brendan Fraser, as Whale's gardener, sits at a bar watching televised repeats of the original 1935 BRIDE OF FRANKENSTEIN.

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Oscar on a snowy morning....

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Oscar always was the first one to be ready on a snowy morning for box-sledding....he liked the snow to be absolutely perfect before all the other kitties had messed it up!....But then he liked everything to be just so; His water bowl, his treats, his ear fur, his pillow, his toys, his kitty collar, even his fresh kills. "A kitty should be surrounded by perfection...why do you think they call it PURRRING?" was his motto, and he'd wink!.... and on a sparkling, silent morning like this, with the whole world still curled up asleep in their beds, everything, EVERYTHING was perfect.

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Sybil Bruncheon's Merry Memoirs..... page 892.... “It’s All Downhill”…

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          Darlings! Did I ever tell you about the Winter of 1888 when my family had the most enchanting row house in Gramercy Park? Ah, blinding days filled with bright, white, glinting light on the brittle drifts that, by the second day, were climbing to the sills of the second story windows in that memorable blizzard. As children we of course were innocently unaware of the concern all the adults around us were feeling! My mother (a very difficult though brilliant woman as many of you who know my story remember) tried her best to keep the entire household cheerful and engaged, even the servants and merchant men who struggled to make deliveries. She was notoriously intriguing to outsiders and always amusing, witty, and ready to chat with everyone who came into her presence, and most especially during emergencies, weather catastrophes, natural disasters, or events involving fire, explosions, gunfire, or kitchen mishaps. She thrived on tragedy and how lovely and even amusing she would present herself to "rescue" the unfortunate from their woes.... or life-threatening injuries. My sister and I (my identical twin-sister, Dagmar) were in thrall to her at that young age. We hadn’t discovered or perhaps surrendered to the grim and often frightening truth of her multi-sided presence in everyone’s life… I suppose that later she would be described as a classic narcissist, although later in the 1920s my bridge partner Sigmund Freud was convinced she was a true sociopath… but with very good table manners. Through the 1930s, Sigmund and I would accompany the gardener on his rounds in the flower beds digging around for her possible victims while pretending to plant bulbs, while she smiled placidly from the study windows sipping her Earl Grey tea… the tea we regularly medicated with opiates…or peyote.

          Anyway, that wasn’t the point of this little memoir-ette. This photo fell out of one of my childhood books in the attic while I was rooting around… It was taken by a young man named Alfred Stieglitz who was just beginning to take up photography as his career as a circus contortionist fizzled. At that time, there were still way too many veterans from the Civil War only twenty-odd years earlier who had sustained appalling injuries, and the public’s taste had begun to wane for men folded into strange shapes and making odd faces…. Even scantily clad men with calliope music blaring and oompah-pah-ing in the background. Alfred was another one of those handsome young men-about-town who was enamoured with my mother, and he often dropped by for dinner parties, artistic “salon discussions”, and games of chance with celebrities and eccentrics of all stripes. My mother encouraged both his contortionism and his new interest in photography…. The contortionism again because she was secretly bemused by disaster, and the photography because she famously “could never take a bad picture”! In fact, she deliberately made the most hideous faces and even drooled which caused either great merriment or consternation among the photographers for which she posed. And then, the great mystery! Her image on the photo plates (or the tintypes when she was a young girl!) would always be sublime, almost dreamy. Her bone structure or….whatever… was unassailable. Even the back of her head was something to admire, envy, and perhaps fall in love with… Needless to say, it was infuriating to be the daughter of such a creature!

           Ooops! Well there I go again… this memoir-ette was supposed to be about that particular blizzard of 1888, and I’ve been derailed into details about my mother… Sigmund (Freud) said that the power of narcissist/sociopaths was that all conversations eventually revolved around them, even when they weren’t in the room. Even when they were dead. And had been dead for decades… they are always pulling focus..or more accurately, gravity. Yes. Like black-holes in galaxies, they suck all the energy out of everything around them, and even when light can’t escape their pull, they somehow are “radiant”...or at least make it impossible for the rest of us to look away. Medusa was supposedly like that; so fascinatingly ugly that her victims couldn’t look away, and then they were destroyed. My mother was sort of the same, but a Medusa in reverse... so fascinatingly charming that her victims couldn’t look away… and then they were destroyed. …well, at least some of us…

          Damn shit! I did it again. My mother! My mother! My mother!.... sadly, everything that I consider my best qualities is her legacy to me. She bequeathed me my curiosity, my eager intellect, my ability to make people laugh, my nimble wit, even my delight in thunderstorms…and yes, the more extreme places and experiences of life. She fed me caviar, beluga, osetra, and sevruga and taught me the difference between them. I was three. She introduced me to both black and white truffles, and we went hunting for them with a pair of lovely pigs on my 5th birthday! I adored Yugoslavian garlic, Chilean sea bass, Montenegran sea urchins, Monagasque saffron, Madagascar and Tahitian vanilla, Florentine osso buco with marrow, Japanese Matsutake mushrooms, and rare black watermelon from Hokkaido…I was even chosen as the little pixie mascot for the Veuve Clicqout Champagne Company on all their posters. The Gerber baby be damned!...speaking of which, my sister Dagmar was the original Gerber baby… well, not the actual Gerber baby! Long before Gerber ever strained their apple sauce or mashed their peas, the Honeycott Bouncy-Babe Corporation had made their sixty-four different delectable treats for newborns and toddlers starting fifty years earlier, but that’s another story for another time.

            And don’t worry, I’m not going to bring up my mother again, well, not quite… You see, this old photo that Alfred (Uncle Alfie!) Stieglitz took was in Central Park during the blizzard of 1888, just below the Dakota Apartment building, that amusingly grim pile of Victorian and Gothic brick and stone. And there I am on the left on my sled and slightly behind Dagmar who is on hers looking down at the snow with a somewhat grim determination on her face. And THAT is the purpose of this little story. You see, my poor twin sister inherited a totally different perspective on our mother...and indeed, on our whole upbringing. Though only seven minutes younger than I, she was consumed with… well, I won’t say a vengeful spirit, but certainly a competitive edge that permeated everything that we did. I sat up first, but she crawled first. I walked first but she ran first. I tangoed, waltzed, cha-cha-d, paso doble-d, and merengue-d first…and she could do…um... bird-calls. Oh well. The photo shows us sledding down the hill, some of our family’s servants in the background. The little girl behind us all bundled up on her sled is three year old Trudy Fairbunkle who of course grew up to be the infamous “Trudy the Truncheon Murderer” of the 1920s. You remember, she was never caught… but may have been thrown into Mt. Agung, the huge volcano in Bali because the natives thought she was too beautiful not to be sacrificed to their  fertility god Basah Bergoyang-Goyang. Apparently, she did put up a fight…before she ..um…”joined her husband”…

           Back to the photo, on the right the three boys are, from back to front, Kip Pearny in the derby, cheering (or haranguing) poor Dagmar on. He had bet his week’s wages as an apprentice to a barrel-maker on her winning. Then standing to the right of him is Evelyn Prescott, who wandered back and forth from being a boy to a girl again and again, baffling his/her parents, and intriguing all of Fifth Avenue society for the next several decades…especially when she became an aviator (aviatrix?) and flew an emerald green Sopwith Camel to cocktail parties all over Europe. Oh, and the last boy in the front there on the right is, of course, Charles Foster Kane… with his “Rosebud”… and we all know how that turned out. He’s screaming something at me about Dagmar, and I believe it was, “Don’t let that little bitch beat you, Sybil!”… but I did. I did let her.

          You see, it meant so much more to her. I picked and chose my battles as the years went by, and, as much as I could when fate didn’t intervene too aggressively, I chose my victories. I wasn’t always successful. Even when I tried my hardest, I didn’t always win. But this one winter day, with the snow and the cold, I looked at Dagmar, my identical twin, racing ahead and wondered if I was to bring her joy, and celebrate her triumphs, well, maybe she might NOT end up like Mother; compelled and compelling, infuriated and infuriating, maddened, maddening, and probably “mad” as the Victorians called it…. quite mad.

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Sybil's "WONDERFUL WORLD of TOMORROW!"..... Wonder #112… The “Do-It-All Pal”…

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Hello Friends! (...and I use that term loosely!) Did you know that scientists and engineers are working around the clock to improve YOUR lives in the future? Well, they ARE! And here’s a case in point… Professor Zellner Baffin of the Happy, Healthy & Hygienic Homemakers Institute has finally perfected his “Do-It-All Pal”…. A device that can walk, talk, cook, clean, and do every chore in the house!... even drive a car and help your children with their homework!! And tuck them in at night! Can you imagine? 

Trial testing was carried out in the most scientific and thorough methods and under the most extreme conditions too! Zellner’s Pal was able to serve an eight course meal for twenty guests including hors d'oeuvres and aperitifs, and two amuse-bouche palate cleansers, all with accompanying wines and champagnes…and in a subzero igloo. It was able to wash 84 windows inside and out of a speeding bullet-train traveling at 120 mph from Akron to Toledo… in just 17 minutes.

Everything about the new Pal was perfection, except for one thing. The Conservative Ladies Review Board for Higher Proclivity and Purpose withheld its approval rating for a couple of factors. After examining the device in their laboratories and interrogation rooms over a stressful weekend, they were unable to determine the gender of the machine. Its anatomical features baffled and vexed them. Was it male or female? Although large and fairly blocky, the presence of…(ahem)..nipples on the front threw many of the women into a fit. Was the Pal in fact a female, rolling around the American home, driving a car, weeding the garden on its hands and knees, (and perhaps even learning to smoke on its time off!) going to be a temptation to the husbands of America as a …”Sexual Plaything”? Even when Chairwoman Dolores Kanque pointed out to the board that men too have nipples, and that shouldn’t be the only criteria, their was still consternation at the fact that “the groin area made no definite statement about gender or reproductive capabilities, and by thus being vague, it may conjure misapprehensions among small children, inappropriate fantasies among pubescent persons, and unnecessary touching or exploring by adults and the whimsically elderly”. 

Professor Baffin was summoned before Kanque and the entire board to answer any and all charges. He quickly flattered the board on its perspicacity and tried to allay their fears. First of all, those were not nipples, but rather headlights to allow the Pal to vacuum late at night or to wax linoleum floors without running over the cat or the afore-mentioned whimsically elderly who are often milling about kitchens in the wee hours…often on hands and knees. Secondly, and here he demonstrated, the entire so-called “groin areas” of the machine were both the suction and exhaust ducts; the front was the source for the retractable hose which allowed for the all-powerful vacuuming and many convenient attachments. And the rear groin area was the exhaust which allowed, as the brochure claimed, “for m’lady to rest her freshly washed and set hair in the comfortable double cushion and have her coiffure dried in 10 breezy minutes”! Everyone agreed totally that both features were fundamental and considered by all to be the height of modern technology. Several of the ladies were embarrassed that they had even mentioned topics like nipples and groin areas, and apologized on the spot for any misunderstandings. Indeed, many of their fellow-board members later at the luncheon looked disapprovingly at them and said things like, “Really Millicent, you’d think you were raised as a Hootchy-Kootch in a Burlesque Palace”, or “My gracious, Gladys! I’m surprised you even THINK about nipples! Stop it at once. If not for your own sake then for your children’s…and any house pet’s!”. 

Zellner, who was asked at the last minute to be the honored and impromptu guest-speaker at the luncheon, was later sent on his way with the Pal and a 100% approval rating, the first ever given by The Conservative Ladies Review Board for Higher Proclivity and Purpose! Manufacture began almost immediately, and sales were brisk and nationwide!…. It wasn’t until the Murphreesboro Temple of the Knights of Jonah began making inquiries as to the race of the Pal that things got so complicated. Well, the race of the Pal, and whether that hook on the left wrist indicated that it was a war veteran… or a pirate…. And that’s when everything went so tragically downhill….. so very tragically…

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Sybil's "A Winter's Tale #44"... The Stockford Children...

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Boys and Girls! Back before the Internet, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, cell phones, androids, or even Girl Scout cookies, people used to send each other little notes and postcards made of chewed up lumber products called cardboard! Whole forests across the countryside disappeared so that nice people could be polite and cheerful to each other through 6 mail deliveries a day! Can you imagine?! Every few hours, a mailman would ring your bell to bring you the latest news about Mary Louise's graduation from Posture College or Aunt Zeldeena's bunion surgery. But people also sent very serious and sometimes tragic news through the mail! Here is an early version of today's "Amber Alerts"..... 

It seems that in the brutal Winter of 1897, the four Stockford children went out of their home in Wauseon, Ohio around 5PM to pick up some cheese and Carr's Table Water Crackers at Mrs. Pinckney's Delicious Notions Shoppe on the busy corner of Granger St. and William Henry Harrison Blvd. But they never arrived. As soon as these charming little "Missing-Children-And-Presumed-Dead" cards went out, search teams began looking. Sadly, because of the postal system, many of the cards didn't get delivered to the authorities until a week or so later!.... But everyone thought the likenesses were very accurate and the nice lace borders were very attractive! And who doesn't like getting lovely cards through the mail?....for any occasion!!... 

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Sybil's "History-On-This-Date - Jan. 1st, 1912"... The good ship Longan Hills.

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Yes, Folks, on this date in 1912, this photo was taken of the Longan Hills Ferry which crossed from Staten Island to Manhattan and back again on regular service for several years until that fateful first day of 1912. It was at 2PM, and although the sun was shining brightly and there had been a brief warm-up in the Winter weather, the danger of icebergs was still high. This is the last photo of the passengers and the ill-fated ship... within 18 minutes of the shutter clicking on this happy scene the terrible horror unfolded. Captain Ira Hankheimer had pushed the vessel to its maximum speed of 3 mph and rushed headlong into the ice field. Warnings had been issued, by both seal hunters and members of the Polar Bear Nudist Society, but NO! Hankheimer was determined to break the holiday-crossing record, and he (and his passengers!) paid the hideous price.

On impact, sixty-eight of the passengers and thirteen of the brave crew perished in the rushing waters. An additional fifty-six died later from the exposure mostly to the cold, but many also at the sight of the Polar Bear Nudist Society. Some actually gouged their own eyes out back on dry-land. As you can see from the photo, at this time, there were separate parts of the boats for men and women.... the men could spit, smoke, swear, and recite saucy limericks at will on their side, and the ladies could discuss gardening, fashion patterns, and ...um.. "women's hygiene" on theirs. Sadly, it was on the ladies' side of the boat that the Polar Bear Nudists attempted to board and save lives during the sinking. It was impossible to decipher whether the hysterical screams of the women were from drowning in the icy water or from seeing a man's "private areas".... in icy water.

You may ask why you haven't heard more about this sea-going tragedy; the answer is very simple. The sinking of the Titanic just a few months later on April 15th completely eclipsed the public's memory of that tragic New Year's Day in 1912.

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SYBIL PREDICTS!!!... #51....

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SYBIL PREDICTS!!!... yes, folks, it's that time again when I make my predictions for the New Year and those mysterious days lying ahead of us...

Prediction #51: In this next year, the cost of housing both for sale and rental will continue to skyrocket! As super-wealthy politicians like former Mayors Mike Bloomberg and Rudy Giuliani of NYC and most of the Republican Senators and Congressmen in Washington continue to ignore the crisis and even aggravate it, some innovative designers will create new alternatives for urban dwellers. Just because a modest one-bedroom apartment will rent for over $12,000 a month in a bad neighborhood doesn't mean that we won't be able to have some basic and even cute touches in our homes; for instance, your "kitchen" is actually an end-table in your living room?...why not this sleek Mini-Kitchen the size of an overnight case!? It makes every part of a delicious breakfast for you in minutes, and clean-up is a snap! Of course, with a solution like this for kitchens, the logical step is that living rooms will be reduced to the size of a roll-on suitcase, bedrooms will be storage boxes, and a bathroom will be a Maxwell coffee can and a ladle. ...On the plus side though, there will be no more need for real estate agents! People will simply shop for their new apartments at Walmart! ...in the "Storage", "Travel", and "Grocery" aisles.... Your new home will all fit neatly into a shopping cart! 

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SYBIL PREDICTS!!!... #10....

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SYBIL PREDICTS!!!... yes, folks, it's that time again when I make my predictions for the New Year and those mysterious days lying ahead of us...

Prediction #10: In this next year, there will be some very good news! Increasing feelings of brotherhood between different races, religions, creeds, and nationalities will result in a huge wave of "humanism" first espoused by, of all things, ANIMALS! In Polka-Ma-Hola, Mississippi, in a surprise election coup, the new Grand Imperial Dragon Emperor Wizard of the National Ku Klux Klan will be an affable mixed breed named Scritchy. Belonging to the Hottler family of 1312 Sackett Lane, he will assume his new title today, New Years Day at 12 Noon. When interviewed by local news crews, Enid Hottler (11 years old) stated that no one in the family had known that Scritchy had ever been a member of the Ku Klux Klan, "..but then he often would go out by himself on weekend nights and not come home till Monday!".

Scritchy himself has told the press that his agenda in the Ku Klux Klan of the new millennium will be to turn all their attention away from Jewish people ("They always talk intelligently to cats about European literature and philosophy!"), African Americans ("They're great cuddlers and let you lick frosting!"), Catholics ("Who doesn't like Italian leftovers?", and Gays ("They're obsessed with fabulous kitty-accessories! How do you like my new Grand Wizard cape...with the glitter-embellishments?")....

Scritchy also stated that the new Ku Klux Klan would now focus on civic activities like alleyway "sing-alongs”, extensive tree and leg rubbing, and human-face purring at 6 in the morning. He would also ask the national council to begin a reign of terror on objects that need to be gradually pushed off counters, on computer keyboards that need to be used as cushions, and on various garden bugs that need to be brought into the house and played with in front of shrieking owners.

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