Michael Stivers had an interesting career. He was a professional wrestler, who used the stage name "Pretty Boy Behning." He was also a police officer for 13 years, but around 1990 he quit that profession to become a hypnotist.
At first, he ran a pretty ordinary hypotism business — using hypnotism to help people lose weight or quit smoking. But around 1991 he discovered a unique way to specialize and differentiate his practice. He became a "breast enlargement hypnotist."
His pr material explained: "The larger-breast style of self-hypnosis relaxes the subject, then allows her to will an increased blood flow into the fatty tissues of the breast, much like that during menstruation or pregnancy. Daily conditioning through self-hypnosis allows what amounts to a permanent enhancement."
But according to a 1991 AP story, some patients had mixed results:
A 58-year-old Tampa woman who wouldn't give her name said her bust measurement grew 3 inches through hypnosis in April, but then shrank 1 ½ inches.
As far as I can tell, Stivers stayed in business until at least 1995.
In Boobies, Peckers, and Tits Olaf Danielson documents his quest to obtain the world record for nude birdwatching. He managed to see 594 North American species in one year, while in his birthday suit.
It doesn't seem that there was a world record for this activity before Danielson decided to obtain it. So he had to invent his own official rules, which include the following.
You have to be nude to count the bird. Hats and footwear are fine but nothing else.
You have to had left naked to go birding (or for another nude activity) to count the bird. Seeing a turkey vulture while playing nude volleyball is acceptable, while driving along in a car or walking textile, seeing a bird, and then slipping off your clothing does not count. In fact, being in car doesn’t count ever. To count a bird, you will have to go back to car, or house, undress and then return unclothed. For legality reasons, leaving a car walking around a corner and disrobing is acceptable, as long as it wasn’t because you saw a new bird.
You cannot be inside an enclosed boat, house, or car/ truck for it to count. A bird blind must be open to a degree any birder would consider it open. Being naked on an ATV if you left naked on an ATV or even a snowmobile (burr!) is acceptable.
In 1957 the American Institute of Men's and Boys' Wear began running print ads that sought to increase sales of men's clothing by using outright shame and scare tactics. Their message to men was that if you don't dress better you'll be a loser and an embarrassment to your family and friends.
Playing on social fears had long been a staple in advertising aimed at women, but hadn't really been seen in ads for men — at least, not done so blatantly. So the ads generated quite a bit of controversy. For instance, they prompted the following editorial in the Brownwood Bulletin (Dec 30, 1957):
I understand that the manufacturers of men's and boys' clothing are fretting right smart these days because Paw and Sonny are not buying enough wearing garments. they note that in the past 10 years spending for autos has increased 133 per cent and for male clothing only four per cent.
So they have got themselves organized and are blowing in all kinds of cash trying to educate the menfolks on the value of being properly garbed.
They are running ads, for instance, showing Teenage Daughter appealing tearfully to Mom: "Couldn't Daddy stay upstairs when Jimmy comes for me?" Or Young Husband telling his smock-clad wife, "I didn't get the promotion, Tom did." Or Big Boss saying earnestly, "John we are putting a new man in your territory."
Frankly, I think this is Grade A garbage, and I predict the pants peddlers are going to find the American male is tough to brainwash. Hit him with the slogan, "You can't afford not to dress right," and he'll come back with one of his own: "You can't suit everyone."
In the first place, a lot of men don't care how their clothes look. They are dogs and they are satisified if you toss them an old herringbone now and then. You won't change them any more than you will make a clotheshorse out of the boy who hasn't yet found out that girls can be more interesting than frogs and fishhooks.
In the second place, papa's pocketbook is taking a bigger beating than ever before from the piper, the baker, the hair dresser, the TV repairman, the grocer, etc. He's having to make that 1954 suit do from necessity. And if there should be anything left over, he'd a sight rather blow it on a new spinning reel than an Ivy League jacket.
My advice to the hungry haberdashery huckster is to get out of men's wear into something feminine. Our lady folk, bless them, will buy a bundle of glad rags quicker than you can say "20 per cent off." And Daddy-O will growl but he'll love 'em for it.
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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.
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