Macaroni woman of the year

Since I posted a few days ago about eggplants that looked like Richard Nixon, I thought it only fitting to also note that his wife, Patricia, had her own food thing going on. In 1970, she was named Macaroni Woman of the Year by the National Macaroni Institute. She also had her portrait painted out of macaroni by the artist Don Wheeler.

Redlands Daily Facts - Oct 1, 1970

Wilkes Barre Times Leader - Apr 14, 1971

Posted By: Alex - Sat Sep 01, 2018 - Comments (4)
Category: Art, Awards, Prizes, Competitions and Contests, Food, Politics

Richard Nixon Eggplants

In May 1973, New York magazine ran a photo of an eggplant that looked like Richard Nixon. In 2017, the magazine's blog remembered it as "Maybe the funniest page New York has ever published."

But it turns out that there were quite a few other Nixon-resembling eggplants reported in the news in '73 and '74. For a while it was quite the thing to do. I think there are just a lot of eggplants that look like Nixon.

New York Magazine - May 14, 1973

Philadelphia Inquirer - Sep 6, 1974

Gastonia Gazette - Aug 15, 1973

Hartford Courant - July 24, 1973

Denton Record Chronicle - Dec 10, 1973

Posted By: Alex - Wed Aug 29, 2018 - Comments (3)
Category: Politics, Vegetables, 1970s

Flush Polling

Also known as Cess Polling. It's a form of non-traditional presidential polling that was started in Emmetsburg, Iowa in 1980. Voters were asked to indicate which candidate they preferred by flushing their toilet at the appropriate time. The local water plant then measured how far the water level dropped in the city water tower to calculate how many toilets had been flushed.

The tradition of flush polling continued throughout the 1990s, though I can't find any sign that it was used in recent elections.

Des Moines Register - Nov 4, 1980

Posted By: Alex - Mon Aug 20, 2018 - Comments (5)
Category: Politics

A long, awkward silence

With the Trump-Kim summit all over the news, this 1969 N.Korea/U.S. meeting seems timely:

Back then, an American and North Korean general sat across a table from each other for 11 hours and 35 minutes. For the entire time, no one took a bathroom break or ate, and during the final 4½ hours, no one even spoke. They just stared at each other in silence.

Palladium-Item - Apr 11, 1969

Posted By: Alex - Tue Jun 12, 2018 - Comments (0)
Category: Politics, 1960s

Top Ten Teen Idols of 1967

I would have liked to see the sample cohort of teens that voted in this poll.

Posted By: Paul - Sun Jun 10, 2018 - Comments (4)
Category: Awards, Prizes, Competitions and Contests, Celebrities, Music, Politics, Teenagers, 1960s

Deer Semen Fundraising

Recently filed campaign contribution reports reveal that Ana Lisa Garza, who primaried unsuccessfully to be the Democratic candidate for a seat in the Texas state house, received more than half her campaign contributions in the form of frozen "deer semen straws" — which came to an estimated value of $51,000.

ABC7 News explains that down in Texas "deer semen has been a popular way to support political and charitable causes for years." This is because deer semen straws can fetch thousands of dollars within the deer-breeder community. And so, they've become a form of currency.

Deer Semen Straws. (Source:

Posted By: Alex - Sat Mar 24, 2018 - Comments (0)
Category: Money, Politics

Hypnotizing the voters

Nick Belluso, while running for governor of Georgia in 1978, came up with the idea of hypnotizing the voters to vote for him. So he hired a hypnotist and created a TV ad which went as follows:

Candidate: This is Nick Belluso. In the next ten seconds you will be hit with a tremendously hypnotic force. You may wish to turn away. Without further ado let me introduce to you the hypnogenecist of mass hypnosis, the Reverend James G. Masters. Take us away, James.

Hypnotist: Do not be afraid. I am placing the name of Nick Belluso in your subconscious mind. You will remember this. You will vote on Election Day. You will vote Nick Belluso for governor. You will remember this. You will vote on Election Day. You will vote Nick Belluso for governor.

However, Belluso's scheme was foiled when every TV station but one refused to run the ad, fearing the hypnosis might actually work, which would open them up to potential legal liabilities.

So Belluso lost the election. Though he subsequently became a perennial candidate running for many offices, including President of the United States in 1980.

You can see most of the ad in the clip below.

Also worth noting: Belluso claimed he had been endorsed by "The Force."

The Nashville Tennessean - Aug 11, 1978

Posted By: Alex - Thu Jan 25, 2018 - Comments (2)
Category: Politics, Psychology, 1970s

The Encyclopedia of Ethical Failure

This curious book, compiled and published by the U.S. Government, is a catalog of examples of ethical failure among federal employees. As explained in the intro:

The Standards of Conduct Office of the Department of Defense General Counsel’s Office has assembled the following selection of cases of ethical failure for use as a training tool. Our goal is to provide DoD personnel with real examples of Federal employees who have intentionally or unwittingly violated the standards of conduct. Some cases are humorous, some sad, and all are real. Some will anger you as a Federal employee and some will anger you as an American taxpayer.

Some of the categories of ethical failure include Abuse of Position, Bribery, Conflicts of Interest, Credit-Card Abuse, Financial Disclosure Violations, Fraud, Gift Violations, Travel Violations, Misuse of Government Resources and Personnel, and Time and Attendance Violations.

You can download a word document of the entire book for free from the DoD. Or, you can buy a hard copy from Amazon.

It was last updated in 2015. Can't wait for the post-Trump era edition!

Posted By: Alex - Fri Jan 05, 2018 - Comments (8)
Category: Lies, Dishonesty and Cheating, Politics, Books, Ethics and Morals

Weighing the Mayor

The town of High Wycombe in England has an ancient custom of weighing their mayors, first upon taking office and again at the end of their term. To have gained weight is taken as evidence that they've grown wealthy at the taxpayer's expense. It's like an ancient form of fat-shaming.

In the 1950s, the mayor of Minneapolis, Eric Hoyer, decided to adopt this custom. He even arranged to have the official scales flown in from High Wycombe. He apparently was pretty confident that he'd lost weight, but according to the scales he had gained some. He blamed the extra weight on the ceremonial costume he was wearing for the occasion.

It's an interesting custom. Perhaps we should weigh more politicians periodically. Such as an annual weighing of senators and the president.

Pleasant Grove Review - Jan 4, 1952

Cincinnati Enquirer - Dec 1, 1951

Posted By: Alex - Mon Oct 16, 2017 - Comments (6)
Category: Politics, 1950s, Dieting and Weight Loss

Full Financial Disclosure

Back in the old days, when politicians still felt obliged to reveal their finances...

October 1952: Mike Murphy, 12-year-old candidate for secretary of the student body at Madison high school in Phoenix, AZ, felt it would be the honest thing to do to release a full financial statement. He revealed that he earned a dollar a week allowance, and a dollar for every gopher he caught in the yard. Gophers from neighbors' yards didn't count. He won the election.

Kansas City Times - Oct 13, 1952

Posted By: Alex - Wed Sep 13, 2017 - Comments (4)
Category: Politics, 1950s

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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.

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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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