This post is for KDP, who in response to Paul's post yesterday about the Maid of Cotton pageant, noted the apparent lack of a counterpart, Miss Boll Weevil.
There is indeed a Miss Boll Weevil, as well as a Mr. Boll Weevil. These titles have periodically been conferred on students at Alabama's Enterprise State Community College, whose mascot is a boll weevil.
July 20 was the anniversary of Neil Armstrong landing on the moon. Back in 1969, the Fisher cheese company, located in Armstrong's home town of Wapakoneta, Ohio, capitalized on that achievement by coming out with "Moon Cheeze." It seems to have been just regular American cheddar cheese. Only the packaging was special. It came in a container shaped like the state of Ohio. Apparently it was so popular that they kept making it for years.
Continuing our intermittent look at oddball beauty pageants.
The Maid of Cotton pageant began in 1939. The annual pageant was sponsored by the National Cotton Council (NCC), Memphis Cotton Carnival, and the Cotton Exchanges of Memphis, New York, and New Orleans. The pageant was held in Memphis, Tennessee, in conjunction with the Carnival until the 1980s.
In mid-December every year the NCC released a list of contestants. Contestants were required to have been born in one of the cotton-producing states: Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, New Mexico, North and South Carolina, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas or Virginia. They might have also been born in the cotton-producing counties of Alexander, Jefferson, Massac, Pulaski, Williamson or Madison, Illinois or in Clark or Nye counties of Nevada. There were usually twenty contestants each year.
Contestants were judged on personality, good manners, intelligence, and family background as well as beauty and an ability to model. A Top Ten were chosen and then a Top Five, and finally second and first runners up and a winner. Winners served as goodwill and fashion ambassadors of the cotton industry in a five-month, all-expense tour of American cities. In the mid-1950s the tour expanded globally. In the late 1950s a Little Miss Cotton pageant was begun but lasted only until 1963 before being discontinued. In the mid-1980s Dallas,Texas took over the pageant, in conjunction with the NCC and its overseas division, Cotton Council International. In 1986, to bolster interest and participation, the NCC eliminated the rule requiring contestants to be born in a cotton-producing state. The pageant was discontinued in 1993, one of the reasons being that Cotton Inc. stopped contributing scholarship money as well as waning public interest and changing marketing strategies.
In the late 1920s and early 1930s, Scott Tissues ran an advertising campaign that sought to convince the American public that there was such a thing as 'Toilet Tissue Illness,' and that it was one of the great public health crises of the time. Toilet Tissue Illness was caused by using cheap toilet paper. It could lead to serious complications, possibly requiring rectal surgery to fix. So the ads suggested.
The most notorious ad in the campaign was the 'black glove' ad below.
The image is stark: a clinically white sheet, an array of gleaming surgical instruments, and a hand, clad in a glove of thick black rubber. 'Often the only relief from toilet tissue illness,' the slogan reads (managing to suggest that 'toilet tissue illness' is a recognised medical condition). Consumers who managed to get past the photo and slogan without dropping everything and running for the high hills were then subjected to another lecture from the haemorrhoid-fixated Scott ad-men. It's the usual litany: 'Astonishing percentage of rectal cases ... traceable to inferior toilet paper ... protect your family's health ... eliminate a needless risk.' The words are so much prattle — but the image of the black rubber glove lingers in the mind. Following criticism from the American Medical Association, Scott eventually back-tracked on its doom-laden claims — but pledged to undertake trials in order to prove beyond dispute that 'improperly made toilet tissue is a menace to health'.
And a few of the other ads featured in the campaign:
It was their name and ultra 70s look that first caught my attention. But when I googled about them, I discovered they also had a run-in with tragedy. One of the original members, Lissa Kastin (middle, above), became a victim of the Hillside Stranglers in 1977.
Q: How is it possible to fill a boat with water and have it not sink?
A: The sleek design of a Hot Tub Boat allows for a high load capacity. The Hot Tub Boat has been carefully engineered, and the hot tub is positioned on the boat’s center of buoyancy, allowing for remarkable stability, even with 2100 pounds of water.
Also from the FAQ:
Please refrain from nudity while renting a Hot Tub Boat and insure all the “important bits” are covered.
Alex is the creator and curator of the Museum of Hoaxes. He's also the author of various weird, non-fiction books such as Elephants on Acid.
Paul Di Filippo
Paul has been paid to put weird ideas into fictional form for over thirty years, in his career as a noted science fiction writer. He has recently begun blogging on many curious topics with three fellow writers at The Inferior 4+1.
Chuck is the purveyor of News of the Weird, the syndicated column which for decades has set the gold-standard for reporting on oddities and the bizarre.
Our banner was drawn by the legendary underground cartoonist Rick Altergott.