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ERB 100-Word Drabbles
JANUARY II Edition :: Days 1-15
See Days 16-31 at ERBzine 7098a
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/mag70/7097.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
PUT ON OUR DANCING SHOES
January 1: On this day in 1966, the unauthorized film, "Tarzan Ki Mehbooba" or "Tarzan, My Beloved" was released in Bollywood, India. One of almost 40 unauthorized Tarzan Indian movies, this one starred Azad Irani (he made 19 ‘Tarzan’ movies) and “Zippy’ the chimpanzee. Zippy made a couple movies of his own, including one where he was a detective.
The film featured Raj Kapoor, called the Bollywood Charlie Chaplin, and one of the best known Bollywood actors and directors, and Tun Tun, a well-known comedian. This musical production was directed by Ram Rasila.
Details and photos about the film are available in my article located at: www.erbzine.com/mag67/6740.html
Zippy said, “Okay Azad, they want another one of those Tarzan musical movies. I have to do it, I’m under contract.”
“Put On Your Dancing Shoes” is today’s 100 word drabble.
Azad responded, “Me too. I’m somewhat embarrassed by these films. I read the books. Tarzan and Jane don’t sing and dance around the jungle.”
Zippy grumbled. “They make me screech and scratch my armpits.”
“Tarzan’s a fighter, not a cartoon showman. This isn’t a magic kingdom.”
Zippy threw his lunch wrappers on the ground. “There are two worlds, but not one for strangers like me. I hate this food.
“That’s a mickey mouse complaint. Behave. Don’t trash the camp.”
IF WISHES WERE HORSES
January 2: On this day in 1995, Nancy Kelly, who played Connie Bryce, an American magician and the female lead in Tarzans Desert Mystery, passed away in Bel Air, California. A child actress and model, she was a repertory cast member of CBS Radio's The March of Time and became a movie leading lady in the late 1930s, while still in her teens. Kelly worked extensively in radio in her adolescent years. She played Dorothy Gale in a 1933–34 radio show, The Wizard of Oz.
She made 36 movies between 1926 and 1977, including portraying Tyrone Power's love interest in the classic Jesse James (1939), which also featured Henry Fonda, and playing opposite Spencer Tracy in Stanley and Livingstone later that same year. She had her greatest success in a character role, the distraught mother in The Bad Seed, receiving a Tony Award for the 1955 stage production and an Oscar nomination for the 1956 film adaptation. She was briefly married to Edmund O’Brien. She has a star on the Hollywood walk of fame.
Johnny Weissmuller said, “Nancy, you did a lot of radio. Didn’t you play Dorothy?”
Today’s 100 word drabble, ‘If Wishes Were Horses,”
is inspired by Edgar Rice Burroughs and Nancy Kelly’s career.
“Yes, radio was like theater, but with less practice. Everything was live and sometimes the script arrived minutes before showtime.”
“You like making movies more?”
“Johnny, the pay is better. We can do retakes, Working on location is a little tough.”
“So this is better.”
"I’m not sure. On the Wizard of Oz radio show, I could click my heels and make the villains disappear – just because I said so. The movie Nazis are too much like the real ones. Wishing doesn’t make bad "guys vanish.”
January 3: On this day in 1942, Edgar Rice Burroughs In his “Laugh It Off” column in Honolulu Star Telegraph, made some observations about the conditions for civilians during WW2 – the first one should make dog lovers everywhere happy.
“Greater love hath no man than this: A couple who own three dogs, hearing the wild rumor that fifth columnists had poisoned our water supply, sampled the water themselves before allowing the dogs to drink!”
“Things are looking pretty bad for the Axis, now that Hitler and his pet astrologer have assumed full command of the German armies. But Baron Hee Haw of Japan is still on the firing line slaying us right and left, as Samson slew the Philistines, with the jawbone of an ass.
Today’s drabble, “Heigh ho!” is by Edgar Rice Burroughs and is from that same column,
a column that reflected the times and the American attitude of those times.
Here's a tip for the kids when our schools reopen: Roger MacGuigan tells me that way back east on the mainland, the children on their way to school sing:
Heigh ho! Heigh ho!
We're off to Tokyo
To kick the Japs
Right off the maps,
Heigh ho! Heigh ho.”
January 4: On this day in 1809, Louis Braille was born in Coupvray, a small town about twenty miles east of Paris. He was blinded in one eye by an accident with a leather awl at age three. Infection set in and spread to the other eye. Louis developed the “reading by touch system” known as “Braille.”
The Braille Superstore has two books by Edgar Rice Burroughs currently available. “Tarzan of the Apes” costs $71.95 and “The Land That Time Forgot” is $27.95. .
Burroughs consistently gave the Library for the Blind permission to publish his books in braille and www.erbzine.com reports that several of the Mars novels, many of the Tarzan novels, and “The Outlaw of Torn” were published in braille editions.
Literally hundreds of articles use some version of the following phrase “His books (ERB) have been translated into (enter a number here from 32 to 42 depending on the article) including braille and Esperanto.” “Tarzan of the Apes” and “The Land That Time Forgot” are the only two I’ve been able to locate. The covers of both books are blank orange pages and the books are bound with plastic binders.
Lord and Lady Greystoke visited an English home for the blind. Students were struggling with English lessons. Tarzan asked, “Why don’t these children have books they can read with their fingers? I know such books exist.”
The Edgar Rice Burroughs inspired drabble today is “Suitable Instructor.”
The headmaster replied, “We have no staff who can teach such books.”
Lady Greystoke said, “We’ll pay for an instructor. The teacher should be blind –like the students.”
“A blind teacher, how absurd.”
Tarzan said, “Who better. A fish teaches another fish to swim and a it takes a cobbler to train an apprentice to make shoes. A chicken can’t teach eagles to fly?”
January 5: On this day in 1928, Russ Manning was born. Also, on this day in 1970, the Russ Manning Daily Tarzan Strip “Tarzan and the Renegade Part Two, Chapter One, Tarzan and the Magii of Pal-ul-don” began. The story followed “Korak’s Story” and ran for 120 days.
Interestingly, the main bad guy in this story line is Ab. This choice of name led my wandering mind to a 1928 book, “The Story of Ab,’ or “The Story of Ab: A Tale of the Time of the Cave Man”, a novel written by Stanley Waterloo in 1897. The book was quickly followed by a story by Jack London, "Before Adam", which was so similar to Waterloo's novel that Waterloo accused London of plagiarism.
Ab is a Stone Age boy. With his friend, Oak, he digs a pit and catches a baby rhinoceros, participates in a mammoth hunt with the tribe to prove himself a man, and courts the young women from a neighboring tribe. One girl in particular, Lightfoot, holds the attention of both men, and Ab is forced to kill his friend in a savage fight. As Ab grows older, he helps the tribe kill a marauding sabre-tooth tiger, leads his people in a great battle against an invading tribe, and eventually becomes the leader of the cave men. Ab is used by the author to support his contention that there was no sharp division between the Paleolithic and Neolithic periods, and that man learned to make fine, polished tools and weapons gradually and naturally, as Ab does. During his life Ab invents and perfects the bow and arrow, and is the first of the primitives to domesticate wolves as pets. Ab was quite the Renaissance man – well before the Renaissance.
Women from Ab’s tribe were trapped in a cave by a Gryf, a dinosaur. Tarzan said, ”Ab, I have a sealed vessel filled with an ointment that is irresistible to gryfs. I’ll slather on a little and the monster will follow me.”
The Edgar Rice Burroughs inspired drabble today,
“Moderation,” is about Ab, Russ Manning’s Ab.
Ab grabbed the clay jar from Tarzan. “No, Ab will do it. Ab save women and be hero.”
He smeared half the slimy contents on his body. The gryf chased him, but a hundred more gryfs ran from the forest and hills and pursued Ab. He ran.
Tarzan shouted, “Too much. Too Much. Ab, a dab’ll do.”
THE HOLE TRUTH AND NOTHING BUT
January 6: On this day in 1967, those of who were fascinated with Pellucidar, were shocked and amazed when the world was rocked with the news that the polar opening to Pellucidar had been discovered. The satellite ESSA-3, in very high polar orbit around the Earth, took a remarkable photograph, from straight above the North Polar area, showing a huge HOLE, about 1400 miles in diameter, centered where the North Pole should be!
The ESSA-7 satellite took an even better quality photo of this HOLE on November 23, 1968. Both photos were published in the book 'Secret of the Ages -- UFO's from Inside the Earth,' by Brinsley Le Poer Trench, 1977. ESSA was renamed National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) in 1967.
Unfortunately for those of us preparing to make the trip to the Earth’s core, the “hole” on the photograph turned out to be nothing but an area blacked out for some unknown reason (security, treaty with sasquatch, actual polar opening, or to conceal the location of Superman’s Fortress of Solitude.) In any event, the untouched photograph is still not available and that leaves everyone the freedom to wander the abysses of their minds for any explanation they like.
There are dozens of articles about the photo available online including at www.ERBzine.com: ERBzine 0319 ~ ERBzine 6311 ~ etc: Find more with the ERBzine Internal Google Search feature.
Pat held out a photograph. “John, they found the polar opening. Pellucidar is real.”
The Edgar Rice Burroughs inspired drabble for today is “The Hole Truth and Nothing But.”
“This photo is just blacked out. It’s a circle drawn with magic marker. Earth isn’t a Christmas ornament.”
“The government just wants to hide the truth. Their probably mounting an expedition right now.”
“Pat, that’s silly. Men have walked on the North Pole. There’s no opening.”
“It’s a conspiracy. I’m going to find someone who’ll take me there in a balloon or airplane. I’ll walk if I have to. The hole is real.”
“Pat, you can’t walk downtown. The only real hole is in your head.
ARE YOU ASHAMED?
January 7: On this day in 1937, the film, “Tarzan’s Revenge,” was released to an underwhelming reception and poor reviews. In the world of 1937, people accepted Tarzan as Johnny Weissmuller and Jane as Maureen O’Sullivan. “Tarzan the Ape Man,” “Tarzan and his Mate,” and “Tarzan Escapes” had established their credentials and the public was not inclined to accept another Tarzan, especially not the Olympic decathlon champion, Glenn Morris.
Morris is probably the real reason why the film gets its bad reputation. He made an unconvincing Tarzan with a goofy expression and his awkward way of saying his only two words in the whole script ("Tarzan!" and "Good!"). Olympic swimming legend, Eleanor Holm, fared much better. Like Morris, she had no experience for the part other than her athletic fame but she seems to at least be having a good time. She kept her own name, Eleanor, rather than being called Jane), and also looking quite lovely in a bathing suit. Tales are that she drank heavily.
After a drinking party aboard the SS Manhattan on the way to the Olympics, the team doctor found Holm in a state approaching a coma. According to David Wallechinsky in “The Complete Book of the Summer Olympics,” the Olympic team doctor reported that she was suffering from acute alcoholism.
Weissmuller said, “I watched that guy, Morris, playing Tarzan in that Sol Lessor film, “Tarzan’s Revenge.” He looks like he’s been drinking all the time. He doesn’t even pronounce ‘Tarzan” the right way.”
“Are You Ashamed” is today’s Edgar Rice Burroughs inspired drabble.
Maureen said, “Eleanor Holm played herself instead of Jane. From the reports by Hedda Hopper, Eleanor didn’t look drunk, but she partied every night. They should both be ashamed.”
“I hope the film doesn’t damage our movies. I’d like to get back at Sol Lessor.”
“Johnny, there’s no need. The public and the critics will provide all the revenge we need.”
Weissmuller smiled. “What Jane say. Tarzan good.”
DON'T BET ON THE REPLAY
January 8: On this day in 1929 "Tarzan and a Daring Rescue," a Whitman Big Little Book was copyrighted. It is one of those items that is so rare you seldom see it, and when you do see it, it is high priced. The book was a Pan-Am Motor Oil giveaway.My copy is in good shape with some browning to the pages and rust stains from the staples.
The front cover is by Juanita Bennett. The cover is identical with a Tarzan billboard advertisement for the Pan-Am Oil Company. There are 31 Rex Maxon illustrations inside – all taken from the daily newspaper storyline, “Return of Tarzan (1929). The location of the incident and the place and character names were changed from those used in the comic strip to new names in the Big Little Book.
The Arab sheik, Abdulla, captured Jane, Harriet Powers, and the slave, Fatima. The evil Brokoff and Vastovich hated Tarzan and lusted for Jane and Harriet.
“Don’t Bet On the Replay” is today’s Edgar Rice Burroughs inspired drabble.
Tarzan traveled the trackless desert. He entered the encampment and saved Jane and Fatima. Jane asked, “How did you find us?”
“It was deja-vu all over again.
Fatima marveled. “You walked past the guards.”
“I’ve done this before.”
“Yes, but the Sheik was named ben Saden, Brokoff was called Rokoff, Vastovich was Paulvich, and Fatima was Olid-Nail. Lastly, Harriet was Strong, Hazel Strong.”
Jane said, “Don’t worry. You won the game and the replay.”
WELCOME TO PELLUCIDAR
January 9: On this day in 1937, Argosy published part one of “Seven Worlds to Conquer.” Emmett Watson drew the cover illustration featuring the Burroughs’ novel.
By 1928 Watson was painting covers for slick magazines, such as “The Farmer's Wife,” “The American Legion Magazine”, and “Everybody's Magazine.” In 1930, the stock market crashed and the subsequent loss of advertising revenue forced slick magazines to cut back. Emmett Watson was reduced to lower-paying freelance assignments in the pulp magazines, which ironically were entering their most profitable era. The pulps did not depend on advertising revenue, but instead sold cheap thrills to the masses. Most pulp artists aspired to "move up" to the slicks, but Emmett Watson was among a few artists who were forced by circumstances to "step down" from the slicks to the pulps.
Watson sold most of his freelance pulp covers to the Frank A. Munsey Publishing Company for Argosy, Big Chief Western, Detective Fiction Weekly, and Railroad Stories.
It appears that Watson drew two pulp covers feature Edgar Rice Burroughs’ work. “The Resurrection of Jimber-Jaw” and “Seven Worlds to Conquer.” There could be more.
The Argosy issue included “Steeplejack” by L. Ron Hubbard and “Wench Caravan” by Johnston McCulley. The Table of Contents lists “Monsters” by Algernon Schultz on page 74 but it does not appear anywhere in the issue.
The Edgar Rice Burroughs inspired drabble for today is “Welcome to Pellucidar.” It was probably written by someone on the editorial staff at Argosy as the first part of the prolog for “Seven Worlds to Conquer.” Read the entire prolog and other details about the publishing history at www.erbzine.com/mag7/0745.html.
“The tale of the pioneer flight of the giant Zeppelin O-220 has already been told. In the Log Book of Great Adventures, written deep in red, have been inscribed the perils and privations, the victories and defeats, of those gallant companions from this land of ours who braved the mysteries of Pellucidar.
Welcome to Pellucidar
Pellucidar—mocked by smug scientists who blind themselves to the proofs our Earth is a hollow sphere, containing a habitable world inside! Pellucidar—scorned and derided by timid savants fearing to see beyond their own knotted brows, scoffing that here is no great opening at the frozen poles.”
January 10: On this day in 1943, war correspondent, Edgar Rice Burroughs went to Mascot Airfield in Australia and climbed aboard the ‘Chugger,’ a C-45 aircraft, more commonly known as a DC-3. He accompanied 20 more Marine Corps transport planes to New Caledonia. Ref: ERB's Wartime Journals starting at ERBzine 6800
Burroughs’ diary entry for the day mentioned that the navigator complained about the lack of navigation instruments. 1000 miles by dead reckoning over the ocean is not an easy task. Everyone on board was worried, but the island was finally located.
Edgar Rice Burroughs wrote today’s drabble, it’s from his diary and my source for today’s photograph credits Burroughs with taking the picture. Here’s “Dead Reckoning.”
“The navigator told me that he had practically no navigation instruments, and our objective was over a thousand miles away -- and no road signs. As a matter of fact, we came damn near missing it.
As we neared the position where New Caledonia should have been visible, the navigator and pilots were visibly apprehensive. So was I apprehensive. The island is two hundred and fifty miles long, and Tontouta is only about thirty miles from its southern extremity. We raised northern end of the island first. A few more miles to port, and we might have missed it entirely.”
NEW TARZAN ON SET
January 11: On this day in 1930, Rod Taylor was born. He was famous across Australia for his performances as Tarzan on radio. In the early '50s Australian radio imported the Tarzan radio show from America. After they had aired 104 of these episodes they produced 1040 12-minute episodes of their own serial – “Tarzan, King of the Apes.” The series started about 1953 and many of the storylines were based upon ERB's books. The most intriguing thing about these shows is that they starred Rod Taylor. Marcia Hathaway and Joan Landor played Jane. The announcer was Roger Climpson. After Taylor left the show, both Lloyd Berrel and Ray Barnett appeared as Tarzan.
The show aired at 6 p.m. Monday to Friday beginning in 1954. It was one of many action-adventure serials for young listeners that were so popular in the 1950s. For more information go to https://www.erbzine.com/mag0/0011.html#australia
For two sample episodes, go to https://www.erbzine.com/mag0/tarzanoz1.mp3 and https://www.erbzine.com/mag0/tarzanoz2.mp3
Rod Taylor also starred on the radio drama, "Blue Hills" in 1954 and today's photograph was taken on that set.
“Mr. Taylor, I appreciate the recommendation. I’ll enjoy playing Tarzan.”
“New Tarzan on Set” is today’s Edgar Rice Burroughs inspired drabble.
“You’re welcome Lloyd. You’ll be great".
“Any advice from one Tarzan to another?"
“Don’t hold back on the Tarzan yell. If it doesn’t hurt, you aren’t trying hard enough. Keep the day job. Nobody runs forever.”
“Good luck in America. Will you do radio there?”
“Doubt it. Radio is for the birds. Radio drama will soon be a thing of the past. Television is already big in America. You can ask any girl.”
“Wow, are you sure about that.”
“Of course not. It’s not like I have a time machine.”
LOSE THE HABIT
January 12: On this day in 1968, “The Convert” was the episode title of Ron Ely’s television Tarzan show. The Supremes and James Earl Jones were featured in the episode. As nuns, though, they rode in a canoe while singing "Michael, Row the Boat Ashore." Diana Ross, Mary Wilson, and Cindy Birdsong played three nuns who had come to a native village to set up a hospital and became unwitting pawns in a struggle between the village chief and a scheming land developer. James Earl Jones played the village chief. Joe Pagano wrote the screenplay and Harmon Jones directed.
See the summary of this Episode and dates and summaries of the entire Ely Tarzan series at https://www.erbzine.com/mag0/0014.html
Cindy Birdsong complained, ‘I can’t believe Barry Gordy signed us up for this Tarzan gig.”
Today’s Edgar Rice Burroughs, Supremes, and Tolkien inspired drabble is “Lose the Habit.”
Mary Wilson said, “Michael Row the Boat Ashore.” We’re the Supremes, not Buffy Saint Marie.”
Diana wiped her face. “I don’t see how nuns dress like this. I’m hot and I don’t like this habit.”
Mary said, “You think we like your hobbits?”
“Those little people who help you dress and do your hair and makeup.”
“That’s my staff. I said habits, not hobbits. Hobbits are little people in some book about Frodo, Bilbo, or Dodo."
“Sorry, I though you said hobbits. Never mind.”
TONGUE TIED WEAVER
January 13: On this day in 1969, The Russ Manning written and drawn daily Tarzan Strip, “Tarzan and the Renegade Part One, Chapter Two, Tarzan and the Tyrannosaurs,” began. What a wonderful title.
The strip ran until April 19, 1969 and was followed by “Tarzan and the Winged Men of Pal-ul-don.” The title aside, the first tyrannosaur didn’t appear in the strip until March 15, 1969, over two months after the story began.
Chulai and N’Dema tried to maroon Tarzan on an island to protect Marta, a girl they’d protected since her birth. Tarzan swam after their canoe. They were going to shoot him, but Marta seized the rifle and killed the crocodiles threatening the ape man.
The drabble today is “Tongue Tied Weaver.”
Tarzan build a raft of reeds and followed the three to Pal-ul-don. Marta asked, “How did you escape the island?”
“I wove a waft of weeds.”
“You wove a waft?”
“No, I wove a raft."
“Why didn’t you say that?”
“I tried. You say ‘I wove a raft of reeds’ three times fast.”
January 14: On day in 1914, Edgar Rice Burroughs saw some of his poetry published in the "The Chicago Tribune," The poem, "Nay, It Hath Not Gone," carried the byline of Normal Bean. The sentiments expressed in the poem are as appropriate today as they were back in 1914.
The poem, and other Edgar Rice Burroughs poetry, is available to read on line at https://www.erbzine.com/mag0/0003.html
Today’s drabble is the unedited poem – 101 words.
Nay, It Hath Not Gone
Oh, who hath copped the Wailing Place
I ask you, dear old pal.
No Place they keep where one may weep
In sunny southern Cal.
The butcher man he robs me blind;
Robs me the grocer deft;
The brigand cruel who sells me fuel
He taketh what is left.
The garage man (accent the gar),
Unmindful of my groans,
He wrecks my car with loud Har! Har!
And later picks my bones.
And now the Wailing Place is gone
Where shall we find us rest?
Unless you say: “Come hither pray,
And weep upon my vest.”
A SKUNK IN DEFEAT
January 15: On this day in 1941, Edgar Rice Burroughs wrote the poem, “A Skunk in Defeat,” about how much he disliked the Nazi party. It seems like January is the month for ERB poetry, this is the second post in a row featuring one of his poems. This one featured in ERBzine's Patriotic Poetry of Edgar Rice Burroughs: ERBzine
A Skunk In Defeat” is today’s drabble, 126 words long, but who am I to edit the master.
A Skunk In Defeat
The skunk came out and looked about and waved his gorgeous tail;
The people ran, each ev'ry man; the bravest there did quail.
The skunk would strut and wave his butt; a chesty skunk was he.
He looked around that well known ground to see what he might see;
Then from on high up in the sky there came a horrid stench;
The skunk did quail and lower his tail, and e'en his face did blench
He held his nose with little toes and ran away from there,
For who could hope to fairly cope the stink that filled the air?
He beat it then to hidden den to lay him down and die;
And what, you think, that awful stink? 'Twas a Nazi flying by!
See Days 16-31 at ERBzine 7098a
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Publishing History ~ Cover & Interior Art ~ Pulps ~ E-text
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