Alley Oop and Woogazoola

In search of the ineffable WOOGAZOOLA.

My youngest sister C. recently posed a question in an electronic forum. It addresses an etymology that continues to pique the interest of my oldest sister: T.

“My sister T. and I are trying to figure out what a “Woogazoola” is. Our mother used to say our hair looked like a “Woogazoola” when it was messed up. My understanding was that it was a comic strip character from maybe the 1920’s or 1930’s. Anyone have any idea?”

A response from H. followed in short order:

“My mom thinks it might have come from the comic strip Alley Oop from the thirty’s.”

hamlin_arizona-2

I think H.’s mom has hit a nail on the head. Let’s take some time to consider this clue. I have discovered an Alley Oop comic strip from sometime between 1932 and 1939. My mother would have been from 11 to 18 at that time, perhaps already remarking upon classmates’ messed hair. Here we see Alley Oop with The Grand Wizer:

alley.oop.wizer

A point to ponder: text contained within comic strip balloons is scarcely as googleable as:

===> this here text <===

Internet search engines do not parse the words in a balloon, so I decided to actually read some more Alley Oop comic strips from the 1930’s.

In the highly unlikely event that you are reading these words, I will point out that my findings are anecdotal at best. They are also probably incompetent, irrelevant and immaterial — I leave it to the judge to decide that.

Well then, I shall now toss in a few presumptuous conjectures. These have been peer-reviewed by our cat Loki: my go-between editor (Loki is sitting in a cardboard box between the keyboard and the monitor).

oop.punctuation

Now, let us consider context. We already know that “messed up hair” elicited what I am tentatively calling an incantation: “Woogazoola.” Additional research is needed to find other contexts that would have elicited the motherly exclamation “Woogazoola.”

But let’s work with what we have: two words that beggar the imagination. Consider the 3rd frame. The Grand Wizer has a skull on his head, he incants: “GAWOIK GEEEZOOOIE !”

Hamlin has a way with ALL CAPS, bold fonts and the gradual change in font size. Witness GEZUNK! and ZONG!

Look for the consonants G K W and Z, for example. Then switch over to vowels that wow you with their repetition: OO, OOO. The name of Oop’s girlfriend? OOOLA.

Ooptimemachine4939

Modern science fiction owes much to Hamlin’s vision. He set a model for time travel that is still familiar stuff. Take a look at The Precisely Rendered Blam to whet your interest 🙂

Woogazoola!

Thanks for reading.

 

First Job: 1965 — Steampunked

Well, it’s time to steampunk the time machine again. The one over there. The one in the corner. That’s mine.

Yes. The time has arrived to set its calendar function to a May day in North America — its 1,965th iterations of C.E or A.D. (your choice). My machine, its vacuum tubes warm to the challenge. I click the counter to 2000 + 17. Dial needles slowly sway forward as the tubes warm. I click the destination counter to 1900 + 65.

steampunk.knapsack

Was it…

OK it was McDonalds. My parents dropped me off so I could put in an application while they did journey upon an errand. I shall never disclose the nature of their journey-called-errand because both joined the deceased quite some years before I started writing this account you now read, that is, unless you have already departed from this post.

Dear readers, we are now in that very McDonald parking lot. Do you see the car leaving this lot? Do you see me walking in at the back door?

OK. There was this guy at a corner desk. Did he tilt his head sidelong in my direction? Yes he did. How did you know?

mcdonalds.1965

That guy would utter something of portend the following day. You’ll read about that mere minutes from now. Allow me to repeat his very words, so that you may carefully note them:

“The uniforms are in the basement.”

By gosh there were uniforms in that nether room. And don them I did.

Bill, thank you for recalling the insignificant.

Upon donning the red and yellow vest, upon tilting the paper cap to a jaunty angle, I returned by the same set of stairs.

mcdonalds-ad-1961-cincinnati-enquirer-2

And thus did I learn the milkshake-machine trade. A fellow tradesman was already at our shared station. Few customers demanded shakes that day. We simply stood there and took turns. My associate posed an inquiry:

“Why did they assign two tradesmen to this light-duty trade?”

“Why were we not assigned the task of squeezing mustard and ketchup for the grillsmen?”

Excuse our yawns, Bill. Uh, did you parents return from their quest?

Indeed. They returned. I do not think that they expected to find me in full uniform regalia, jaunty tilt and all. I do not.

steampunk.time.machineDay number two: co-shaker and I are on the job,  waiting for the ever infrequent shake order to arrive. In the mean while the manager and his assistant sat upon a picnic table outside. They watched us as we nervously stood, working hardly at faux cleaning.

Some short minutes thereafter the assistant manager of picnic-table note informed me that my application existed not, one person where only half-ass staffing sufficed.

application-mcDonalds

Fortunately I had a prepared response “uh, yeah. I haven’t done that part yet.” My second day was also my last — pink papers were drawn.

Next job to visit via steampunk: OS&D Clerk at Dance Freight Lines — connecting the north with the industrial south.

 

crackerbox_red_dance_lf_lg

Thanks for reading.

 

Sacred Mountain, Lost City and an Apocryphal Wolf | 315glenroy

Sacred Mountain yet rests above the Ohio River in Delhi Hills 45238. But you’ll have to dig under a plentitude of 1960s houses and apartments that is still called Delshire. I call it the scou…

Source: Sacred Mountain, Lost City and an Apocryphal Wolf | 315glenroy