Oct 1951: Edward Harrison died in a freak golf accident, by managing to stab himself in the leg with a broken club. As he lay bleeding to death, he screamed for help. "Two other golfers said they twice heard screams, but thought they were the cries of peacocks from a peacock farm."
Ads for the "Talking Fish Lure" began to appear in papers in 1959. They promised that, thanks to this new talking lure, fishermen would be guaranteed to catch fish:
An amazing built-in "fish-attracting" transmitter that broadcasts a steady stream of irresistible underwater messages that talk, coax and actually command a fish into snapping at your hook. Yes, actually excites and stimulates 5 different fish senses all at the same time . . . and forces each and every fish up to 2,000 feet away to come darting straight for your line.
The Vancouver Province - May 30, 1959
Eight years later, the promoter of the lure was indicted on 60 counts of mail fraud. From the New York Daily News (May 12, 1967):
A talking fish lure, designed to "force each and every hunger-crazed fish from up to 2000 feet away to come darting straight for your line," became snagged yesterday on a federal grand jury, which indicted its promoter on 60 counts of mail fraud.
Named in the indictment was Monroe Caine, 38, of 222 Daisy Farms Drive, Scarsdale, described as an advertising man and mail order promoter whose ads for a "remarkable European talking fish lure" ran July 19, 1964, in newspapers across the country.
The jurors, who were shown the ads, found the whole thing somewhat fishy, especially after being told that fishermen who sent in $1.98 or $2.49 for the lure got either a worthless gadget or nothing in return.
This large event seems to have vanished from 2021 memory--at least judging by the paucity of Google references, most of which are for the accompanying song that was created for the occasion (below). One thing we can affirm: it did not bring Peace on Earth.
Released in 1960, this record promised to teach you how to ski in the comfort of your home.
In this handy little record, the authors have distilled exceptional knowledge of the sport of skiing into simple yet straight forward detailed instructions. With step-by-step illustrations they have presented the art of learning "How to Ski" in an orderly progression of simple measures...
In this record Réal Charette has presumed that the student, whether teenager or adult, has never skied before. He has taken the ski techniques one at a time—kick turn, straight running, snow plow, stem christie, Walden and explained each in turn. He starts with the proper selection of equipment, explained basic and advanced ski techniques and ends with safety hints of value to every skier.
In the late nineteenth century, Emile Kinst decided that the game of baseball was too easy, so to make it more challenging he invented a curved bat which came to be known as the "banana bat". Obviously his invention never caught on. But Kinst made several hundred of these bats, and the few that are still around are quite valuable. The one shown below sold for $2880.
Bats have been the subject of brain cogitations by ambitious inventors. Some years ago the players became familiar with what was called the flat bat. This was never patented, but it showed the inventive genius of some player. This bat was made by shaving one of the round bats with a knife until a part of the bat near the end was flat. The object of this was to give the player a chance to bunt the ball by catching it a short clip...
There was another bat invented, however, and the man who originated it had such faith in his idea that he had it patented in 1890. This bat had a curve in it and was something like a lacrosse stick. According to the theory of the inventor, Emile Kinst, when the ball was struck by a certain portion of the bat, in addition to the regular flight produced by the blow the ball would receive a rotary motion more or less violent. The result was supposed to be a ball not only difficult to handle by the fielder if it were to come straight at him, but also hard to hold if it were a fly and he got under it, because of the spinning produced by the bat.
It was also designed to produce the effect of a bunt, but in a better way, for the inventor claimed his bat would cause the ball to land near the batter and stay there under certain conditions. With these results Mr. Kinst claimed that it would make the game more difficult to play, and therefore more interesting and exciting. But his hopes were not realized, for the bat never got the official sanction of the league.
Shaver's golf = a game to find out the smallest number of strokes with which you can shave your face.
Minneapolis Star - Aug 6, 1939
A useful aid for this game would be the "stroke-counting razor" invented by engineers at Gillette a few years ago. Using this tool, Gillette determined that the average man takes about 170 strokes to shave his face. So, in the game of shaver's golf, I guess that 170 would be considered par.
On April 9, 1932, Leon "Goose" Goslin of the St. Louis Browns stepped up to the plate with a striped "camouflage bat" during an exhibition game against the Cardinals. The bat was "designed to confuse the pitcher and fool the infield players." The Cardinals didn't object so Goslin used it.
But when he tried to use the bat again three days later during the opening game of the season against the Chicago White Sox, the umpire declared "That's not our kind, Goslin!" and forced him to use a regular bat.
The next day, William Harridge, President of the American League, ruled out any further use of the camouflage bat.
High-kick competitions were once part of Kivgiq, the Messenger Feast. As each man entered the qargi he tried to kick an inflated animal bladder or ball suspended from the ceiling. An Iñupiaq story tells of a young woman who owned two balls; the larger was the sun, and the smaller the moon. The sun ball fell (or in one version was dropped by Raven) and burst open, bringing light to the world. The circular designs seen on this ball represent the sun and commemorate this ancient story.
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.