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ERB 100-Word Drabbles
DECEMBER IIa Edition :: Days 16-31
See Days 1-15 at ERBzine 7097
by Robert Allen Lupton
With Collations, Web Page Layout and ERBzine Illustrations and References by Bill Hillman
Twice a month, Bill Hillman, at ERBzine. takes 15 of my ERB themed drabbles, organizes them into a beautiful layout,, adds appropriate source references, and other details. Here's the link to the current selection:
www.erbzine.com/mag70/7097a.htmlERBzine is a trove of information, photos, illustrations, references, and history about Edgar Rice Burroughs and new pages are published weekly. The site says "more than 15,000 pages. I think there's a lot more than that. The site has more than 500 of my drabbles, several articles about foreign Tarzan films, and few semi-scholarly articles. Enjoy. www.erbzine.com/mag67/6730.html
THE TELL-TALE TAIL
December 16: On this day in 1920, Edgar Rice Burroughs finished writing, “Tarzan the Terrible,” ~ ERBzine 0494 the eighth Tarzan book. The 94,000 word story first appeared in Argosy All-Story Weekly, and was published by A. C. McClurg, Grosset & Dunlap, Ballantine, and Del Rey in the United States. A Big Little Book was published with a cover by ERB’s son, John Coleman Burroughs, and flip action pages in the interior.
Information about the book, cover illustrations, and the entire novel are available at http://www.erbzine.com/mag4/0494.html
Here’s the cover of the Japanese version published November 30, 1972. The illustration is by Motoichiro Takebe ~ ERBzine 5842. That’s the happiest Triceratops I’ve ever seen.
Tarzan said to Pan-at-lee. “You have a tail. I’ve never met humans with tails.”
"The Tell-tale Tail" is today’s Edgar Rice Burroughs inspired drabble.
Pan-at-lee waved her above her head. “I’ve never met anyone without a tail. Did a great beast bite it off?”
Tarzan said, “There’s a song, the monkeys have no tails in Zamboanga. They were bitten off by snails.”
Pan-at-lee shuddered. “A great snail ate your tail.”
“No, it’s just a song.”
“Sing me no songs and tell me no tales of tail-eating snails hidden on jungle trails.”
“I’m sorry. I didn’t mean offense. Can we put this behind us?”
Pan-at-lee waved her tail. “I already have.”
December 17: On this day in 1940, Edgar Rice Burroughs began writing, Tangor Returns. ~ ERBzine 0862 Burroughs finished writing the story in five days. It was published along with “Adventure on Poloda” in Blue Book Magazine in January 1942 as an eleven chapter novelette.
The complete magazine title on the cover was “Blue Book: Stories of Adventure for MEN, by MEN. (Capitalization as it appeared on that issue.) The cover illustration by Herbert Morton Stoops doesn’t appear to be for any of the 19 stories, including “Sierra Outpost,” co-written by Lila Loftberg – so much for stories by MEN.
The two combined Poloda stories were first published in book form in “Tales of Three Planets” by Canaveral Press along with The Resurrection of Jimber Jaw ~ ERBzine 0779 and Wizard of Venus ~ ERBzine 0752
Tangor said, “You’ve been a war as long as anyone can remember. Both sides build thousands of airplanes and millions of bombs. Every available man becomes a pilot and bombards the other side constantly. Right?”
“Hard Math” is today’s Edgar Rice Burroughs inspired drabble.
Harkas Yen answered, “Yes, they bomb us and we bomb them.”
“People who aren’t pilots make airplanes, bombs, uniforms, and guns – right?”
“Thousands die daily?”
“If 10,000 people a day die, 10,000 people a day have to be born to maintain the population.”
“Parenting children to die seems futile.”
“Hope springs eternal.”
So does stupid. You people need to change something.”
A MEAN LOINCLOTH
December 18: On this day in 1968, Casper Van Dien was born in Milton, Florida. His full name is Casper Robert Van Dien Jr. and he is the son of a nursery school teacher and a U. S. Navy Commander and fighter pilot. In addition to his role as Tarzan in Tarzan and the Lost City ~ ERBzine 0038, Van Dien appeared in “Beastmaster III: The Eye of Braxus,” “Starship Troopers,” “Sleepy Hollow,” and Starship Troopers 3: Marauder.” He also appeared as Captain Abraham Van Helsing in “Dracula 3000.”
It’s hard for me to picture the man who played Tarzan and Johnny Rico as fifty-one years old. As of this date, he is still active in film and television.
Lawrence Van Gelder reviewed “Tarzan and the Lost City in the April 25, 1998 New York Times. The entire review may be seen at https://www.nytimes.com/1998/04/25/movies/film-review-tarzan-now-80-still-sports-a-mean-loincloth.html
A throwback to the days of Saturday afternoon adventures in exotic locales, ''Tarzan and the Lost City'' swung into theaters yesterday, carrying Edgar Rice Burroughs's durable ape-man closer to another millennium. Mr. Van Dien, of ''Starship Troopers,'' seems fit and appears at home in the cinematic wild (South Africa). And once Carl Schenkel, the director, overcomes an early tendency to use the camera like a carousel, ''Tarzan and the Lost City'' zips along, past the ritual lions, elephants and cobras to the city of Opar and its temple of illusions, tunnels and traps, and right to the inevitable satisfying showdown.
The Edgar Rice Burroughs drabble for today, “A Mean Loincloth,” is taken directly from the review above.
TRIBE OF TARZAN
December 20: On this day in 1916, Herman Newman wrote to All-Story Weekly in a letter dated Dec. 20, 1916, and one month later they published a notice telling the world that Herman was organizing a Tribe of Tarzan ~ ERBzine 1795 in Staunton, Va., and wanted to hear from others interested in starting clubs.
Details and correspondence about the Tribe of Tarzan are located at: www.erbzine.com/mag17/1795.html
Ed was honored with membership card number one, dated 1916, and signed by Acting Chief Newman and Secretary Gilbert Wheat. Davis replied jokingly, "More strength to Herman Newman, Emperor of the Tribe of Tarzan . . ." and added a hope that all the members would subscribe to All-Story for twenty years in advance.
Ed, not amused, rated the project as worthwhile, noting that the boys were "in real earnest" and that their interest was undoubtedly shared by other young readers. He offered two reasons why All-Story should become the official organ of The Tribe of Tarzan: the obvious one was for circulation-building purposes, but more important was the opportunity to "accomplish something for the good of the boys. ..."
Davis remained reluctant about sponsoring the group, but agreed to run an announcement which Ed had written and published it on January 20,1917 in All-Story Weekly.
The boys of Staunton, Virginia, have organized the first Tribe of Tarzan. They would like to hear from boys in other cities and towns who are interested in forming tribes in their own jungles. The men of Staunton are helping the boys. They have a Tribe Room where they hold their meetings; they have grass ropes, bows and arrows, hunting knives, and the author of "Tarzan of the Apes" is having medallions struck for them symbolic of Tarzan's diamond-studded golden locket. Boys who are interested are invited to write to HERMAN NEWMAN, Acting Chief of THE FIRST TRIBE OF TARZAN.
Today’s Drabble, “Tribe of Tarzan,” is taken from the announcement in All-Story Weekly..
TARZAN AND THE DECOY
December 21: On this day in 1950, Cyril Ralph Rothmund, General Manager of Edgar Rice Burroughs, Inc., and Walter White Jr. signed a contract giving Commodore Productions the right to produce a series of half-hour Tarzan radio programs.
Lamont Johnson, starred and Tarzan. He performed on numerous radio shows went into television in the early 1950s where he acted and directed for several years. He eventually concentrated on film work, which he also began in the early 1950s as an actor, before directing several films including Kona Coast, One On One, A Gunfight, Lipstick, The Groundstar Conspiracy, The McKenzie Break and Spacehunter: Adventures in the Forbidden Zone.
Listen to all the Commodore Tarzan Radio shows in ERBzine 2337: http://www.erbzine.com/mag23/2337.html
"From the heart of the jungle comes a savage cry of victory. This is Tarzan, Lord of the Jungle! From the black core of dark Africa... land of enchantment, mystery and violence comes one of the most colorful figures of all time. Transcribed from the immortal pen of Edgar Rice Burroughs—Tarzan, the bronzed, white son of the jungle! And now in the very words of Mr. Burroughs, here’s the story of “Tarzan and the Decoy.” Long ago, Tarzan had learned to hate the Tarmangani, the dreaded white men who came with their thundersticks to cheat and rob and kill.”
The drabble today is the introduction from the episode “Tarzan and the Decoy.”
THE LIONS CAN FEED THEMSELVES
December 22: Wolfgang von Wyszecki was born on this day in West Berlin. Thirty-two years later, under the name Wolf Larson, he played a Tarzan who hung around with a researcher named Jane Porter.
Tarzan was a French-Canadian-Mexican television series that aired in syndication from 1991–94. Tarzan (Wolf Larson) was a blond environmentalist, with Jane (Lydie Denier) portrayed as a French ecologist. The series aired in syndication in the United States.
Ron Ely, who played Tarzan on television, played a character named Gorden Shaw in the first-season episode “Tarzan the Hunted.” There were seventy-five total episodes over three seasons.
Jane said, “I worried that the people are clearing too much land. The deer and wildebeests will starve.”
Edgar Rice Burroughs inspired drabble today is “The Lions Can Feed Themselves.”
Tarzan said, “That’s bad. If they starve, then the lions will be hungry.”
“The birds and insects that depend on the wildebeests will go hungry. All the animals are interdependent. It’s a delicate balance.”
“Perhaps, we should we stop people from clearing the land?”
“I’m not sure. This isn’t an exact science. Things have unintended consequences and people have to eat. I worry about the lions?”
“Most people run slowly. The lions are survivors. More people mean more food for the lions.”
PUBLISH OR PERISH
December 23: On this day in 1949, Edgar Rice Burroughs’s nephew and artist, Studley Oldham Burroughs ~ ERBzine 0053 died of an embolism at age 57 following an operation for hiatus hernia. Studley designed the Edger Rice Burroughs’ bookplate and illustrated four novels, including Tarzan the Invincible ~ ERBzine 0722 Jungle Girl ~ ERBzine 0776 Tarzan Triumphant ~ 0723 and Apache Devil ~ ERBzine 0775
Ed's suggestions for research and details of action and costume left little to Studley's imagination. The emotionally unstable Studley buckled under the stress and began drinking heavily again. He missed the completion deadlines for his assignments. The increasingly frustrated Burroughs was forced to contact other artists, including St. John. Publish or perish is a reality for those who depend upon it for their livelihood.
He offered his nephew still one last chance, Tarzan and the City of Gold ~ ERBzine 0725. Studley's preliminary sketches arrived in November 1932 and Ed sent a $100 advance. But when the January 1, 1933 deadline was missed, Ed turned the assignment over to St. John.
I personally liked Studley’s work and considered his covers among of the best. “Apache Devil” is my favorite Burroughs' first edition cover..
“Studley, I have to publish my books on schedule. No publication means no income. I have expenses. You want paid, my editor wants paid, and my printer wants paid.”
“Publish or Perish” is today’s Edgar Rice Burroughs inspired drabble.
“Sorry uncle, I’ll get on it.”
“Sorry doesn’t pay the bills. It’s like baking bread. If you want bread every day, you have to buy flour, eggs, and milk – every day. You can’t bake without fuel for the fire. To publish, I must write and you must draw – every single day.”
“You expect me to draw every day.”
“No, I expect you to draw on the days you want to eat.”
ALL THINGS BEING EQUAL
December 24: Christmas Eve: On this day in 1929, Maximilian Elser Jr., of the Metropolitan Newspaper Service, promised to follow up on Edgar Rice Burroughs’ request to have Webster's and Funk and Wagnall's dictionaries include his biography and the word "Tarzan" in future revisions.
Webster's added this: Noun 1. Tar’zan, n. - (sometimes used ironically) a man of great strength and agility (after the hero of a series of novels by Edgar Rice Burroughs): a strong agile person of heroic proportions and bearing ~ He is a white man of prodigious strength and Chivalrous instincts, reared by African apes.
2. Tarzan - a man raised by apes who was the hero of a series of novels by Edgar Rice Burroughs
Tar’zan-ish, adj. ~~ Webster’s New International Dictionary Synonyms: Tarzan of the Apes "-- a character that has a place as a noun and an adjective in Webster's Unabridged Dictionary
President Herbert Hoover confronted his press secretary. “I just got my new Webster’s Dictionary and there’s an entry about that Tarzan guy and his writer. The only Hoover entry is about those ugly vacuums,”
Today’s Edgar Rice Burroughs inspired drabble is “All Things Being Equal.”
“Well, the vacuum does suck.”
“I’ll ignore that. He’s in the dictionary and I’m not.”
“Tarzan and the Lost Empire” and “Tarzan at the Earth’s Core” appeared in Blue Book and “Tarzan the Tiger” is at the movies. Tarzan’s in the funny pages every day.”
“Exactly what are you telling me?”
“With all due respect, Mr. President, the apeman had a better year than you did.”
DIDN'T CATCH YOUR NAME
December 25: Christmas Day: On this day in 1915 All-Story published part four of The Son of Tarzan ~ ERBzine 0487 The Burroughs tale wasn’t mentioned or illustrated on the issue’s cover. Part Two of “Polaris of the Snows” by Charles B. Stilson didn’t make the cover and neither did “Snared Part Three of Prince Abdul Omar of Persia “ by J. U. Giesy & Junius B. Smith. The cover illustration and blurb is for “Trail of A Traitor” by C. C. Hotchkiss.
“Ed, I read “The Son of Tarzan” and I admit that I’m a little confused. Sometimes he’s Jack, Billings, or Korak. Tarzan is Tarzan, John Clayton, and Lord Greystoke. I think Meriem calls him Bwana.
Today’s Edgar Rice Burroughs’ inspired drabble is “Didn’t Catch Your Name.”
“Different people use different names for other folks. I’m Ed, Edgar, Mr. Burroughs, and Father. Once I was called Private.”
“Yes, but Captain Jacot is also a prince and Meriem’s Jeanne. Akut is Ajax and Sven is Mr. Hanson. Are all those names on purpose, or do you forget what you named people.”
“That’s the beauty of being a writer. I never have to tell.”
A BENNY FOR YOUR THOUGHTS
December 26: On this day in 1974, Benny Kubelsky, famous as Jack Benny died. You might wonder what Jack Benny has to do with Edgar Rice Burroughs, but read on. In 1962, Jack Benny devoted an episode of his long running television show to Tarzan. Carol Burnett played Jane. She didn’t do the Tarzan yell.
On the show, Benny invited Burnett onto the stage and they joked for a few minutes before the switch to the Tarzan set which, at first, had future "Mission Impossible" strongman Peter Lupus in the loin cloth before his Jane, Carole Landis, was replaced with Burnett and Lupus was replaced with Benny, complete with padded muscles attached.
Years earlier, when Jack Benny and his troupe traveled to the Pacific to put on shows for the troops fighting World War II, Burroughs met and spent some time with Benny on Hawaii. It was in September of 1944, and ERB told of the experience in a letter home to his daughter-in-law Jane that month.
Carole Landis's breakout role was as a cave girl in the movie, "One Million B.C." She traveled more than 100,000 miles during the war and spent more time visiting troops -- in Europe, North Africa and the Pacific -- than any other actress. Landis became a popular pin-up with servicemen during World War II.
View the entire Jack Benny program with the Tarzan skit and read the script for the Tarzan skit in ERBzine at ERB-TV The Jack Benny Tarzan Script www.erbzine.com/mag0/0014.html
“When Jack Benny was here this week I had him and Larry Adler at lunch at the Outrigger Canoe Club. The next day we all went as Jack's guests to see his show. We had staff cars and a motorcycle escort of MPs. I rode with Carole Landis. She is very lovely and very sweet. (Oh, to be seventy again!) The audience at the show was almost as interesting as the show -- some 18,000 to 20,000 servicemen. They ribbed Jack, which is part of every show he gives for them. He’s a swell guy -- with no swelled head."
The drabble today, “A Benny For Your Thoughts” is from Burroughs’
letter to his daughter-in –law, Jane and was written later that month.
December 27: On this day in 1928, Edgar Rice Burroughs expressed his opinion of his own experiment in writing stories for juveniles. He believed that The Tarzan Twins ~ ERBzine 0498, written for a juvenile audience, wasn’t well received. It was published by Volland the previous year on October 10, 1927. It contained 126 pages and 23,000 words. In spite of his opinion, the novel was reprinted by Volland several times, published as a Big Little Book, and a Whitman giveaway. The story was also published by The House of Greystoke, and in combined editions with Tarzan Twins with Jad-Ba-Ja the Golden Lion ~ ERBzine 0498 by Whitman and Canaveral ~ ERBzine 2805.
Burroughs added what he thought about Kipling's efforts in writing for a juvenile market.
I like Kipling, but agree with Burroughs about the ‘Just So” stories. I wrote a science fiction story based on the Jungle Book. “Forest Green Primeval” is available in “Classics Remixed II” and is readily available for purchase online and in finer bookstore.
"It gives me pleasure to hear from children and to know that they like my stories. An odd thing about my work is that my stories are written for adults and I have a very large adult following and that the only juvenile that I ever wrote, "The Tarzan Twins," is practically my only flop. I made my mistake in "The Tarzan Twins" by doing what is known as 'writing down.' I think Kipling did the same thing in his "Just So" stories, for I know that as far as I was concerned they were the rottenest things he did."
The drabble today, “Know Your Audience” was written by Edgar Rice Burroughs.
A DESERVED PROMOTION
December 28: On this day in 1939, Joseph E. Bray of A. C. McClurg died. Herbert A. Gould, a McClurg employee and friend of the Burroughs family, had persuaded Bray to publish the first Burroughs book, Tarzan of the Apes. Bray was later promoted to President at A.C. McClurg and Burroughs dedicated the novel The Outlaw of Torn to Bray in 1927.
“To my friend Joseph E. Bray.”Bray took charge of the publishing department at A.C. McClurg in 1911. NEW MCCLURG PUBLISHING HEAD: Joesph E. Bray has just taken charge of the publishing department of A. C. McClurg, filling the vacancy made by the resignation of F. G. Browne. Bray has for the last two years been representing the publishing department in the eastern territory. This is by no means the extent of his experience with A. C. McClurg Co., as, except for an interval of three years with the Outing Compnay, he has been with the house for twenty-five years. As Buyer for the wholesale and retail book department, he was well known to everyone in the trade."
Today’s 100 word Edgar Rice Burroughs inspired drabble, “A Deserved Promotion,”
is the announcement from “The Publishers Weekly” December 5, 1911.
December 29: On this day in 1929, Edgar Rice Burroughs wrote two love poems, “Sweetheart Eternal" and "Sweet Rose in God's Garden Above.” Evidently it was a really sweet day. Both poems remain unpublished as far as I can tell.
Here’s a 100 word drabble doggerel poem, a version of Sweetheart Eternal, with no evidence to support any similarity to Burroughs’ poem, not any evidence to the contrary. Fun to write, anyway.
I wrote today's 100-word drabble doggerel poem, a version of Sweetheart Eternal.
Sweetheart, my love for you is an eternal quest
Lasting through lifetimes complex and countless.
Trust me, I’ll find you wherever you are
From Earth’s core to beyond the farthest star.
From dead sea bottoms to continents lost
I’ll never stop, no matter the cost.
I’ll fight monsters and monster men
In jungles dark and Oparian dens -
Green men, gorillas, men who have tails,
And men with swords wearing chainmail.
If torn from my family, an outlaw I’ll be
Or a pirate sailing some underground sea
Whatever it takes you’ll be at my side,
My Sweetheart Eternal, forever my bride.
HEAVY LIES THE HEAD
December 30: On this day in 1933, Liberty Magazine ~ ERBzine 0228 published part eight of nine parts of Tarzan and the Lion Man ~ ERBzine 0726 The magazine serialization was shorter than the published novel. Leslie Thrasher drew the cover and Santa Claus, not Tarzan, was the illustration, and the cover blurb was for “The Beautiful Secret Agent by Major Herbert O. Yardley.
Herbert Osborn Yardley was an American cryptologist. He founded and led the cryptographic organization the Black Chamber. Under Yardley, the cryptanalysts of The American Black Chamber broke Japanese diplomatic codes and were able to furnish American negotiators with significant information during the Washington Naval Conference of 1921-1922. He received the Distinguished Service Medal.
Buckingham, an adviser to Henry VIII, gorilla king, of London-in Africa, said, “My king, Suffolk, Wolsey and Anne Boleyn plot your overthrow. Anne has been seeing Wolsey on the side. They’ve betrayed you. I believe Jane Seymour carries Suffolk’s child.”
Today’s Edgar Rice Burroughs inspired drabble is “Heavy Lies The Head.”
You say two of my wives are unfaithful and now they conspire to destroy me. I won’t stand for it. I’ll hang them and their supporters for treason. No one makes a monkey out of me.”
“My lord, with all due respect, it appears that God made a monkey out of you long before any of your wives were born.”
NEW HAIRDO, SAME AS THE OLD HAIRDO
December 31: New Year’s Eve: On this day in 1994, Woody Strode (Woodrow Wilson Woolwine Strode) passed away. He appeared in Tarzan’s Fight For Life ~ ERBzine 1955 Tarzan’s Three Challenges ~ ERBzine 1961 and Tarzan’s Deadly Silence Other jungle films included, “Jungle Man-Eaters” a Jungle Jim film, and “Invaders of the Lost Gold. He made two Bomba films with Johnny Sheffield, the “The Lion Hunters” and “African Treasure.”
On television, he appeared in Johnny Weissmuller’s, “Jungle Jim,” and “Ramar of the Jungle.” His ERB connection continued. He appeared in several episodes of the Ron Ely Tarzan series.
His other work ( hundreds of movies and television episodes) was extensive and well received. It included “Sergeant Rutledge,” “The Sins of Rachel Cade,” “The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance,” “Spartacus,” “The Buccaneer” and “The Ten Commandments.”
He played some pretty good football. The photo today is from his days as a professional wrestler.
The Edgar Rice Burroughs inspired drabble today is “New Hairdo, Same as the Old Hairdo.”
The barber said, “Mr. Strode, I didn’t know you had hair. You using some treatment?”
“I’ve always had hair, but my first movie was one of those Johnny Sheffield jungle things.”
“Bomba, la Bomba.”
“Spelled differently. They made me shave my head.”
“They made you?”
“Money whipped me. Offered me too much money to say no. After that, it was my movie look. Bald head meant movie and television roles. I did a couple films with hair, but my fans didn’t like the look.”
“Your hair is coming in grey.”
“I didn’t know that. Shave it off. Bald is beautiful.”
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