Weird Universe Blog — May 10, 2022

Mr. Plastic Fantastic

Walter Cavanagh's hobby is collecting active credit cards issued in his name. Which is to say that he's not interested in collecting the cards themselves, as a typical credit card collector might be (such as a member of the American Credit Card Collectors Society). Cavanagh's collection consists entirely of cards that he could use to buy something.

By the mid-1970s, when the media first got wind of him (and dubbed him 'Mr. Plastic Fantastic'), he had already acquired 788 cards, giving him available credit of $750,000.

By 2016, in the most recent update about him that I could find, his collection was up to 1,497 cards, giving him available credit of $1.7 million.

However, he never taps into this credit. He uses only one card, and he always pays off the balance in full each month.

Los Angeles Times - Feb 1, 1976

But how does he keep getting companies to send him new cards? Wouldn't companies see the huge amount of credit already available to him and deny his application? Apparently not. Cavanagh reports that he's hardly ever had an application denied.

According to the Next Gen Personal Finance blog, this shouldn't be surprising. Both his payment and credit history are long and positive. Also:

he has $1.7 million in available credit and since he is only using one card, his utilization rate (credit used divided by total credit) is probably less than 1% or way below the 30% that is the generally accepted figure that you want to be below.

So companies keep sending him new cards.

Posted By: Alex - Tue May 10, 2022 - Comments (8)
Category: Money | World Records | Collectors

Unlikely Reasons for Murder No. 9

These two were "lucky" enough to be immortalized by Weegee.

Article source: The Grand Island Daily Independent (Grand Island, Nebraska) 03 Aug 1936,
Mon Page 1

Posted By: Paul - Tue May 10, 2022 - Comments (2)
Category: Crime | Scary Criminals | Stupid Criminals | Family | Photography and Photographers | 1930s

May 9, 2022

Legs of Tomorrow

In 1939, ice skater Erna Anderson was declared to have the "Legs of Tomorrow" on the theory that "the woman of tomorrow will be more athletic."

Arguably this prediction came true. At least, it's common now for women to go to gyms, whereas it wasn't in the 1930s.

Minneapolis Star - June 2, 1939

Erna Anderson. Source: New York Public Library

Posted By: Alex - Mon May 09, 2022 - Comments (7)
Category: Awards, Prizes, Competitions and Contests | Exercise and Fitness | 1930s | Legs | Yesterday’s Tomorrows

The Torre Galatea Museum

Created by---who else?--Salvador Dali.

A nice write-up with more pix at this link.

Posted By: Paul - Mon May 09, 2022 - Comments (3)
Category: Art | Surrealism | Museums | Europe | Twentieth Century

May 8, 2022

The Loved One Launcher

Starting at $375.00 from

The Loved One Launcher is the only device of its kind that will shoot earthly remains over seventy feet into the air!!, allowing for a wide dispersal of ashes that can be observed by all in attendance. To add to the celebration, ashes can be mixed with confetti or even streamers for a dreamy visual effect, creating a beautiful, joyful scene that sets the perfect tone. Paying homage to a loved one’s life is simple and intimate with what feels almost like a daytime fireworks display in their honor. The Launcher should not be aimed at any structure or living thing as its blast is powerful.

They should next come out with a catapult model for non-cremated loved ones.

via Dave Barry

Posted By: Alex - Sun May 08, 2022 - Comments (6)
Category: Death

Nipper Runs Amok!

Harder than you might imagine to get Nipper to respond correctly to His Master's Voice.

Posted By: Paul - Sun May 08, 2022 - Comments (0)
Category: Technology | Advertising | Dogs | 1900s

May 7, 2022

Whistle-Trained Horses

Odd fact: Race-horse trainers teach the horses to urinate when they hear a whistle, in order to make the process of post-race urinalysis easier.

Source: Equitation Science, 2nd ed.

Source: The Blue Collar Thoroughbred

Posted By: Alex - Sat May 07, 2022 - Comments (0)
Category: Animals | Body Fluids

May 6, 2022

Lamp Shade Queen

Pittsburgh Press - Apr 2, 1939

Posted By: Alex - Fri May 06, 2022 - Comments (0)
Category: Awards, Prizes, Competitions and Contests | Fashion | Furniture | 1930s

Follies of the Madmen #531

"Our pants are endorsed by shirtless murderers."


Posted By: Paul - Fri May 06, 2022 - Comments (8)
Category: Death | Fashion | Advertising | 1960s

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All original content in posts is Copyright © 2016 by the author of the post, which is usually either Alex Boese ("Alex"), Paul Di Filippo ("Paul"), or Chuck Shepherd ("Chuck"). All rights reserved. The banner illustration at the top of this page is Copyright © 2008 by Rick Altergott.

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