In 1980, Danya Padilla of Montclair, New Jersey came out with the "SWEAT-T." It was a grey t-shirt with artificial sweat marks under the arms and down the front and back, designed for people who hated exercise but wanted to look like jocks anyway.

I haven't been able to find any pictures of an actual SWEAT-T, but the picture below is what I imagine it must have looked like.

Shrewsbury Sunday Register - July 6, 1980

Posted By: Alex - Mon Feb 12, 2018 - Comments (3)
Category: Fashion, 1980s

Carlton, Your Doorman

A never-purchased pilot for an animated cartoon series starring the Doorman from the Rhoda show.

Read the fascinating background story here.

Posted By: Paul - Sun Feb 11, 2018 - Comments (3)
Category: Cartoons, 1970s, 1980s

Yell Yaa Hoo

Years before the Internet company Yahoo! came into existence, the Indian guru Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh was urging use of the word as a more hygienic form of greeting: "When you come across a friend, raise your hands to the sky and scream 'Yaa Hoo' instead of employing the universal handshake."

The Molina Dispatch - Apr 1, 1988

Apparently Rajneesh believed that "Yaa-Hoo" was quite a powerful word, since he also had his followers use it in a ritualized laughter therapy:

The first part will be Yaa-Hoo!—for three hours, people simply laugh for no reason at all. And whenever their laughter starts dying they again say, "Yaa-Hoo!" and it will come back. Digging for three hours you will be surprised how many layers of dust have gathered upon your being. It will cut them like a sword, in one blow. For seven days continuously, three hours every day... you cannot conceive how much transformation can come to your being.

And then the second part is "Yaa-boo." The first part removes everything that hinders your laughter—all the inhibitions of past humanity, all the repressions. It cuts them away. It brings a new space within you, but still you have to go a few steps more to reach the temple of your being, because you have suppressed so much sadness, so much despair, so much anxiety, so many tears—they are all there, covering you can destroying your beauty, your grace, your joy.

Posted By: Alex - Sat Feb 10, 2018 - Comments (6)
Category: Hygiene, 1980s

The Presidential Comedy Albums of Earle Doud

Everyone knows the famous JFK-Vaughn Meader album. But how many realize the producer Earle Doud went on with that theme, to much less acclaim?

I can't seem to find any clips on YouTube of the later ones.

Posted By: Paul - Thu Feb 08, 2018 - Comments (3)
Category: Government, Humor, 1960s, 1970s, 1980s

With real lemon juice!

In 1982, the Maryland Poison Center reported almost 80 cases of people who had suffered nausea and diarrhea after drinking Sunlight dishwashing liquid. They had received free bottles of the stuff in the mail as part of a promotional campaign. The source of the confusion was a picture of lemons on the label as well as the phrase "with real lemon juice." This led many to conclude that the bottle contained some kind of lemonade. Or a lemon-flavored drink mixer. A lot of people added it to iced tea.

A spokesman for Lever Brothers, the manufacturer of the product, noted that the bottles also clearly said, "Sunlight dishwashing liquid."

Sunlight no longer uses the phrase "with real lemon juice." Apparently they learned their lesson. But they've still got a picture of a lemon on their bottles.

Muncie Evening Press - July 15, 1982

Indianapolis Star - July 15, 1982

The bottle that caused the confusion

More in extended >>

Posted By: Alex - Sat Jan 20, 2018 - Comments (6)
Category: Soda, Pop, Soft Drinks and other Non-Alcoholic Beverages, 1980s

Greenhouse Helmet

Patented in 1986 by Waldemar Anguita of Brooklyn, NY. And I'm not sure, but this may be Waldemar's Twitter account. After all, how many Waldemar Anguitas of approximately the right age can there be in Brooklyn?

A principle object of the present invention is to provide a greenhouse helmet designed to contain plants secured within and the helmet worn completely over the head of a person so that the person can breathe in the oxygen given off by the plants.

Another object is to provide a greenhouse helmet that has air filters so that ambient air containing carbon dioxide will be filtered therethrough and mixed with the carbon dioxide breathed out by the person to be used by the plants.

An additional object is to provide a greenhouse helmet that will contain hearing and speaking devices so that the person can hear within and speak out through the helmet.

A further object is to provide a greenhouse helmet that is economical in cost to manufacture.

A still further object is to provide a greenhouse helmet that is simple and easy to use.

Posted By: Alex - Wed Dec 27, 2017 - Comments (3)
Category: Inventions, 1980s

Takes $1.95 Dispute to Supreme Court

During the gasoline shortage of 1979, New York state ordered a $7 minimum purchase of gas at stations, to stop people topping up. Frank Makara's tank would only hold $5.05 woth of gas, but he had to pay the full $7 minimum anyway. Outraged, he sued the BP station that charged him the $7, and took his suit all the way to the supreme court... which refused to hear the case. He ended up spending over $100 to try to recover $1.95.

According to the online inflation calculator I ran the numbers through, $1.95 in 1979 has the same purchasing power as $7.18 in 2017. So, even in today's money, not worth going to court over. Unless you're a stubborn old goat for whom the principle is worth more than the money spent on court fees.

White Plains Journal News - Apr 21, 1981

Posted By: Alex - Thu Nov 16, 2017 - Comments (7)
Category: Lawsuits, 1980s

The Atmos Clock

If only you had invested in an Atmos Clock in 1982, the date of the B&W ad, you could have saved a bundle!

Posted By: Paul - Wed Nov 08, 2017 - Comments (4)
Category: Excess, Overkill, Hyperbole and Too Much Is Not Enough, Nature, Technology, 1980s

Paperbacks from Hell

For Halloween or Xmas, what could be a better gift? A brilliant art and history book about the crazy-ass horror novel covers of yore?

Read a review here.

Posted By: Paul - Tue Oct 24, 2017 - Comments (1)
Category: Horror, Ineptness, Crudity, Talentlessness, Kitsch, and Bad Art, Books, 1960s, 1970s, 1980s, 1990s

Michael Fish Moment

With Hurricane Ophelia headed in the direction of the U.K., it seems like an appropriate moment to remember the Great Storm of 1987. In particular, Oct 15, 1987, when TV weatherman Michael Fish opened his forecast with the remark, "Earlier on today, apparently, a woman rang the BBC and said she heard there was a hurricane on the way; well, if you're watching, don't worry, there isn't." A few hours later, the worst storm in 300 years hit Britain, killing 18 people. Though, in Fish's defense, it technically wasn't a hurricane.

In the UK, whenever anyone makes a really bad prediction, it's still known as a "Michael Fish moment."

More info: wikipedia

Posted By: Alex - Sun Oct 15, 2017 - Comments (2)
Category: Predictions, 1980s, Weather

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Alex Boese
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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