Friday, April 20, 2012

Vintage Photo

I was going to make this a "What Is It?" contest but I'm certain nobody would be able to guess correctly, not in a million years. And besides, I'd have to give out a prize of some kind which means you'd have to wait for it to get there -- and I know people hate waiting for stuff like that.

So, I'll just explain it to you. There was no description where I found it, but it's amazing what you can deduce from a picture if you examine it one element at a time.

First, the time period. If you'll notice, all the cars are from the 50's. Plus the gasoline contains lead, and the Sunoco (see the sign) attendant is pumping the gas for the customer. Also, look at the businessman's clothing: that sports coat was available exclusively at JC Penny in the fall of 1959. The lack of leaves on the trees confirms this. Final date-clue - the angle of the sun. That's right, it was a Wednesday morning in September of 1959.

Now the interesting part, that device on his back. Obviously it uses gasoline, so some sort of combustion could be involved. And the astute among you will have noticed a nozzle of some kind in his hand, so he means to spray it on something.

But that doesn't necessarily mean fire is involved. Those of you who are old enough might remember that we used to use gasoline to kill the weeds that would pop up from cracks in the pavement. So you look at this man and suspect, "Obviously, this is one of those traveling weed-killing Gentlemen from the 1950's. He's going door to door to assist housewives who just don't have time to do their own weeding. They do not pay him much, but his needs are few and he is happy to make a living doing honest work."

But you'd be wrong, and I'll tell you why. Notice the briefcase? That is the badge of the 1950's businessman. (plus, I gave you that business-man hint earlier) This man is on his way in to work. And look at the rope attaching the device to his roller skates. He wanted to be sure to remember to take his device when he put on his skates this morning. So the skates are definitely involved. (special hint: in the late fifties cars were the thing, and anyone still skating to work would be laughed at by all the girls in accounting. They'd try to hide their tittering but he'd know. Oh, he'd know.)

Have you figured it out yet? Of course you have, we all have. Understandably, the condescension from his workmates has taken it's toll. The businessman knows that with winter coming, the ridicule will only get worse. So he's built a flame thrower and attached it to his skates so that he won't forget it this morning. He's planning on burning every last person in that real estate office alive. Especially his supervisor, who has taken to making him work late every Wednesday.

See the glasses? They're only partly to shield him from the bright flame of burning real estate professionals. Their main purpose is so that his boss can see his own reflection as the flesh burns from his face. You can't tell from the picture but he is probably muttering "today they'll pay for their jokes, today they'll all pay" under his breath.

Lastly, notice the hairline. Where have you seen that receding hairline before? Yes, there is a very good chance this was Al Gore's father.

So now you know the rest of the story.


So far I have 8 e-mails saying that I'm completely wrong in my interpretation of the photo. Which, if you combine that with the 8 people who didn't e-mail saying I'm completely wrong, comes out to 50% agreement, which is just as good as you can get when it comes to these things. If one more person doesn't e-mail me challenging my findings, that will be over 50%, which is also known as "scientific certainty."