Weird Universe


Debtor’s Revenge

In my latest article, I explore the phenomenon of Debtor's Revenge — when debtors decide to get even by paying fines with pennies. Though it's not always pennies. Might be $1 bills, or some other form of deviousness intended to spite the debt collector. There were so many examples of this that I could easily have made the article 10x as long as it was. Also might have mentioned that, if I remember correctly, Chuck once declared this phenomenon "no longer weird."

Posted By: Alex | Date: Tue Jun 30, 2015 | Comments (5)
Category: Misbehavior, Rebellion, Acting-out and General Naughtiness, Money, Alex

Robert Baudin, Aerial Counterfeiter


Although he seems generally forgotten today, counterfeiter and pilot Robert Baudin was quite notorious while alive, and seems to have had quite a remarkable career, as detailed in the review of his autobiography Fake (see sidebar) quoted below.


Kirkus review.

More details of his life here.
Posted By: Paul | Date: Sat May 16, 2015 | Comments (2)
Category: Crime, Money, 1960's, 1970's, Australia

Fat Cat


Maybe Chuck has deemed "animals inherit estate" stories NO LONGER WEIRD. But such was not the case in 1966.

Original article here.
Posted By: Paul | Date: Fri Sep 19, 2014 | Comments (4)
Category: Eccentrics, Money, Cats, 1960's

Cash Cannon

I imagine this is what investment bankers do at parties. Just spray each other with money while laughing maniacally! Available at Real cash not included.

Posted By: Alex | Date: Sun Jul 13, 2014 | Comments (2)
Category: Inventions, Money, Outrageous Excess

The Good Old Days of Electronics


Sure, it's only 25 inches on the diagonal, with the resolution of an Etch-a-sketch. But look at that wood cabinet!

Posted By: Paul | Date: Tue Jun 03, 2014 | Comments (11)
Category: Money, Technology, Television, 1970's

Cyrus Eaton III, Runaway Scion

We often hear of folks such as "Clark Rockefeller" who are born poor and masquerade as rich people. But what about a fellow born rich who wants to be poor?


Original article here.

A picture of Cyrus Eaton III circa the runaway period.


No doubt it was hard being the grandson of Cyrus Eaton the First, creator of the family fortune.

Here's Grandpa leading the pack in 1958, with Cyrus the Third appearing as the third child behind Grandpa.


Cyrus Eaton the Second followed pretty much in his father's mode, as we learn from the obituary of Cyrus Eaton II.

And guess what else we learn from that obit? Cyrus Eaton the Third has become "Cyrus Wind Dancer." A little googling finds out he now runs a clock repair business in Santa Rosa, CA.

Free from the burdens of wealth at last!
Posted By: Paul | Date: Wed May 07, 2014 | Comments (8)
Category: Family, Misbehavior, Rebellion, Acting-out and General Naughtiness, Money, 1950's, 1960's

Groucho Sells Bonds


Who would buy anything that Groucho was trying to sell? I can't imagine this campaign moved too many bonds.
Posted By: Paul | Date: Tue Dec 31, 2013 | Comments (15)
Category: Government, Money, Advertising, 1940's

Why the poor are happier than the rich

From the Washington Post - April 30, 1916.

The gist of the article is summed up in the first paragraph:

The poor do not have to worry about what they are going to wear or where they will spend the summer or winter. They have good appetites and enjoy their food when they get it. They lead hard lives and so grow strong and healthy and do not have dyspepsia. They do not have to buy a burial cloth or order a mausoleum. As they have no money to leave, no one is anxious to see them die.

As far as I can tell, the Duke of Manchester (William Montagu), wrote this without a hint of irony or sarcasm. He seemed to genuinely believe that being born rich was a great burden. So it's interesting that he did his best to relieve himself of his riches and become poor. From wikipedia:

Manchester was a notorious spendthrift, and as a result of the excessive spending of both him and the prior two Dukes, the family's fortune (already low) was completely exhausted, culminating in the sale of the family's lands during the tenure of the tenth Duke. He spent much of his life abroad, evading creditors, seeking out wealthy consorts, and attempting to extract money from wealthy acquaintances. He is perhaps most well known in America from the leading case of Hamilton v. Drogo, 150 N.E. 496 (N.Y. 1926), which concerned the establishment of a spendthrift trust for the benefit of the young Duke.
Posted By: Alex | Date: Sun Nov 10, 2013 | Comments (4)
Category: Money, 1910's

Wallet Screams If You Don’t Have The Money

Too bad this is only a prototype -- mass distribution isn't planned. But what a great/terrible idea!!

Not only does it run away if you are out of money, it screams for help if you pick it up. It will also call your mother to tell on you.

The bad news is that when you have money it starts suggesting buying Amazon products as it scoots towards you playing classical music.
Posted By: gdanea | Date: Mon Oct 28, 2013 | Comments (7)
Category: Money
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All original content in posts is Copyright © 2008 by the author of the post, 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.