The Look-alike Fad, 1954

"Top campus style for both boys and girls this fall is reported to be charcoal gray flannel Bermuda shorts, pink man-tailored shirts, knee socks either in matching gray or a contrasting color, and the short storm coat originally designed for men, now adopted by girls.

Universal choice in shoes to go with this outfit is the loafer or moccasin, for both boys and girls.

So far the only deviation in this look-alike fad is that girls prefer their knee socks in vivid colors or Argyle patterns, while men stick to dark socks to match their sweaters, which may be bright red, green or any of a range of pastels now offered by alert manufacturers.

The dress-alike craze, of course, holds good only for casual daytime occasions. For dances and dates the girls go back to their petticoats and high hells, earrings and perfume, and look as feminine as any old-fashioned beau could desire."
~The Free Lance-Star — Aug 14, 1954

Posted By: Alex - Sun Apr 21, 2013 - Comments (3)
Category: Fads, Fashion, 1950s

Do the Peg Leg!

The "peg-leg" was a brief dance craze back in 1953. To do the peg leg, a man simply wore a wooden leg over his right leg as he danced with his partner. The dance was imported from the Dominican Republic where, so the story goes, a sailor with a wooden leg once was so seized by the rhythm of the merengue that "he stood up and took part in the dancing. The people loudly applauded and imitated the clumsy and awkward dancing of the seaman. This way a new dance came into existence." [Montreal Gazette, May 1953]

Posted By: Alex - Sat Apr 06, 2013 - Comments (3)
Category: Fads, 1950s, Dance

Long-Distance Bed Pushing

Whatever happened to long-distance bed pushing? It was a craze that swept across colleges in 1961. Time magazine (Feb. 24, 1961) reported on it:

The latest caper in Canadian colleges is bed pushing. Born at the University of Rhodesia, and perfected—as was last year's college craze, phone-booth stacking —at South Africa's University of Natal, it spread over some sort of Commonwealth bush telegraph. Last week Canadian college students from Nova Scotia to British Columbia were indefatigably mounting beds on wheels and pushing them over highways, prairies and frozen lakes. The current world's record of 1,000 continuous miles is claimed by a team from Ontario's Queens University, which kept its Simmons rolling day and night for a week.

I found reports of students continuing to push beds long distances as late as 1979 when a new world record was set (1,980 miles by students from Pennsylvania's St. Vincent College who pushed a bed in laps around a shopping center). But then the fad seemed to fade away. At least, I haven't been able to find reports of more recent updates to the record.

The picture below shows students from Ontario Western University pushing a bed along a highway back in 1961.

Posted By: Alex - Thu Mar 21, 2013 - Comments (6)
Category: Fads, World Records, 1960s

Keep On Trucking

It was back in 1970 that "trucking" became all the rage. The "Youthbeat" column in the Winnipeg Free Press (Oct 19, 1970) attempted to explain what the phenomenon was all about, and how it originated:

"Trucking," the expression for an exaggerated let-it-all-hang-out style of walking, is catching on.
The walk, which emphasizes a long forward step with the body tilted backward and the arms flapping in a Jackie Gleason and-away-we-go style, represent something similar to the Negro spirituals' "we shall overcome."
The walk says: "regardless how much we may be put down, we'll keep on trucking."
The expression originates in a blues song played by Duke Ellington in the 1930s. The lyrics say, "keep on trucking, truck your troubles away."
Kids say trucking around in school halls and outside makes you forget about frustrating classes.
The movement was popularized by the underground press. A cartoon strip which I believe originated in the Los Angeles Free Press and was printed locally about a year or so ago showed a grotesque person "trucking."

The cartoon the writer was referring to is, I believe, this one by R. Crumb:

And here's a page from a 1970 issue of The Student Life showing some young people trucking (via Pomona College's Photostream):

Posted By: Alex - Wed Feb 27, 2013 - Comments (7)
Category: Fads, 1970s

1970s Youth Documentary

If the clothes and talk and scenes in this film do not send you on a magical mystery tour, your next hit of acid is free!

PS: that guy in the first few minutes with the WASP fro and beard-no-stache and glasses--I have pictures of myself looking exactly like that!

Posted By: Paul - Sat Nov 10, 2012 - Comments (10)
Category: Education, Fads, Fashion, Juvenile Delinquency, Teenagers, Bohemians, Beatniks, Hippies and Slackers, 1970s

Skating in the Streets

Was there anything that wasn't ruined by the hideous touch of disco? Here's Martha Reeves re-doing her classic "Dancing in the Streets" for the disco era.


Posted By: Paul - Sat Oct 20, 2012 - Comments (6)
Category: Fads, Music, 1970s

I’d Give My Panties for a Crippled Kid

1952 was the year that the panty raid craze hit campuses across America. One of the primary goals of the raids was to cause chaos and commotion (and grab panties, of course), but a few students at the University of Idaho decided to use the raids to achieve a greater social good. They conducted a "reverse" panty-raid. This involved showing up, "whoopin' and hollerin," in the middle of the night at a female dormitory, and then they auctioned off panties to the girls, instead of stealing panties from them. They donated all the proceeds of the auction to the Crippled Children's Fund. It was a nice gesture, but the slogan they chose for the event, "I'd Give My Panties for a Crippled Kid," probably wouldn't pass muster with the guardians of political correctness on campuses today.

Posted By: Alex - Sat Sep 29, 2012 - Comments (4)
Category: Charities and Philanthropy, Fads, 1950s

It’s Flashbeagle, Charlie Brown

Flashdancing and squaredancing?!? Most swiftly outmoded Charlie Brown special ever!

Posted By: Paul - Wed Jul 18, 2012 - Comments (3)
Category: Fads, Cartoons, Dogs, 1980s, Dance

Goldfish Swallowing

There's a site for every fetish, and if your fetish happens to be watching people swallow live goldfish, then check out From their site intro:

Welcome to
Our website offers hundreds of videos of beautiful girls and tight men swallowing whole, live goldfish, tetras, bettas, sharks, and other aquatic creatures. Other small items, like diamond rings, wedding bands, sockets, and pretty much anything else that can fit down a throat, can also be seen within our pages. With the largest swallowing archive anywhere on the Internet, you will definitely find what you're looking for, and we are certain you're going to love it!

They offer some more info in their FAQ:

Millions of people around the world enjoy Goldfish Swallowing, enough so that the swallowing of live creatures actually has its own scientific name (vorephilia). The resources dedicated to this passion are few and far between, and the ones that exist are somewhat sketchy. Goldfish Swallowing, the website, is a common, safe place for people to come together, talk about the activity, and watch videos of others gulping down live fish.

Their sample videos all are safe for work (unless, maybe, you work in an aquarium). Which is to say, that although the site may superficially resemble a porn site, that doesn't seem to be the case -- i.e. no nudity. It's just good-old, wholesome fish swallowing.

Posted By: Alex - Thu Jul 05, 2012 - Comments (7)
Category: Fads, Food, Fish

New Meaning For Drop Dead Gorgeous

I don't keep up with fashion trends. If I can't go somewhere wearing elastic-waist pants and a baggy T-shirt, then I don't want to go. But I think I'm in the minority. Or maybe it has something to do with age. Younger folks often seem to be obsessed with their appearance and are even willing to put their lives at risk just to look "good". For example, the government of Thailand has issued a health warning that proclaims black leggings put people at risk of catching Dengue Fever. I realize that might sound a bit paranoid, but they have a compelling reason behind the warning: the mosquitoes that transmit the disease are attracted to black and can easily bite through the thin fabric used to make the leggings. You can read more here.

Posted By: Nethie - Mon Aug 09, 2010 - Comments (7)
Category: Death, Fads, Fashion, Health, Disease, Insects and Spiders, More Things To Worry About

Page 5 of 8 pages ‹ First  < 3 4 5 6 7 >  Last ›

weird universe thumbnail
Who We Are
Alex Boese
Alex is the creator and curator of the Museum of Hoaxes. He's also the author of various weird, non-fiction, science-themed books such as Elephants on Acid and Psychedelic Apes.

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.

Contact Us
Monthly Archives
January 2022

December 2021 •  November 2021 •  October 2021 •  September 2021 •  August 2021 •  July 2021 •  June 2021 •  May 2021 •  April 2021 •  March 2021 •  February 2021 •  January 2021

December 2020 •  November 2020 •  October 2020 •  September 2020 •  August 2020 •  July 2020 •  June 2020 •  May 2020 •  April 2020 •  March 2020 •  February 2020 •  January 2020

December 2019 •  November 2019 •  October 2019 •  September 2019 •  August 2019 •  July 2019 •  June 2019 •  May 2019 •  April 2019 •  March 2019 •  February 2019 •  January 2019

December 2018 •  November 2018 •  October 2018 •  September 2018 •  August 2018 •  July 2018 •  June 2018 •  May 2018 •  April 2018 •  March 2018 •  February 2018 •  January 2018

December 2017 •  November 2017 •  October 2017 •  September 2017 •  August 2017 •  July 2017 •  June 2017 •  May 2017 •  April 2017 •  March 2017 •  February 2017 •  January 2017

December 2016 •  November 2016 •  October 2016 •  September 2016 •  August 2016 •  July 2016 •  June 2016 •  May 2016 •  April 2016 •  March 2016 •  February 2016 •  January 2016

December 2015 •  November 2015 •  October 2015 •  September 2015 •  August 2015 •  July 2015 •  June 2015 •  May 2015 •  April 2015 •  March 2015 •  February 2015 •  January 2015

December 2014 •  November 2014 •  October 2014 •  September 2014 •  August 2014 •  July 2014 •  June 2014 •  May 2014 •  April 2014 •  March 2014 •  February 2014 •  January 2014

December 2013 •  November 2013 •  October 2013 •  September 2013 •  August 2013 •  July 2013 •  June 2013 •  May 2013 •  April 2013 •  March 2013 •  February 2013 •  January 2013

December 2012 •  November 2012 •  October 2012 •  September 2012 •  August 2012 •  July 2012 •  June 2012 •  May 2012 •  April 2012 •  March 2012 •  February 2012 •  January 2012

December 2011 •  November 2011 •  October 2011 •  September 2011 •  August 2011 •  July 2011 •  June 2011 •  May 2011 •  April 2011 •  March 2011 •  February 2011 •  January 2011

December 2010 •  November 2010 •  October 2010 •  September 2010 •  August 2010 •  July 2010 •  June 2010 •  May 2010 •  April 2010 •  March 2010 •  February 2010 •  January 2010

December 2009 •  November 2009 •  October 2009 •  September 2009 •  August 2009 •  July 2009 •  June 2009 •  May 2009 •  April 2009 •  March 2009 •  February 2009 •  January 2009

December 2008 •  November 2008 •  October 2008 •  September 2008 •  August 2008 •  July 2008 •