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ERB 100-Word Drabbles
SEPTEMBER IIIa Edition :: Days 16-30
See Days 1-15 at ERBzine 7387
by Robert Allen Lupton
With Collations, Web Page Layout and ERBzine Illustrations and References by Bill Hillman
September 16: On this day in 1987, mezzo-soprano Elisebeth Hubert, who played Jane on stage in the Hamburg production of “Tarzan,” was born. She shouldn’t be confused with the French doctor, politician, and businesswoman born in 1956. Here’s a link to a video of her singing, “Fremde wie ich” (“Strangers Like Me”)with Anton Zetterholm, the actor who played Tarzan.
She has also appeared as Mary Poppins in “Mary Poppins”, and in “Mama Mia,” and “Sunset Boulevard.”
The drabble for today, “Deja Vue,” was inspired by the lyrics to the song.
Jane said, “This seems strange but familiar. The apes aren’t like me, and yet they are.”
Tarzan said, “Your kind seem strange, but also oddly familiar. I want to know about your world.”
“I want the same thing. Can you show me? Something’s familiar about these strangers like me.”
Tarzan said, “Yes. I see a new horizon beyond the trees. Teach me about your world.”
“Perhaps we shouldn’t try to be like everyone else. Anyone can hide in a crowd, but it takes courage to stand alone.”
Tarzan kissed her, “We are all different, and our differences make us strong!”
MELODRAMA OF MONKEYS AND MEN
September 17: On this day in 1921, “Tarzan of the Apes” was reviewed in the “Dramatic Mirror and Theatre” by H. K. Wheat. The play was staged in four acts at the Broadhurst Theatre at 44th and Broadway. The case included Ronald Adair as Tarzan, Greta Kemble Cooper as Lady Greystoke, Ethel Dryer as Jane, and Edward Stillward played Kala. In a major departure from the British version of the play, George Broadhurst, theatre owner and producer used real lions, Jim and Beauty, on stage.
The review was very positive, but even a good review wasn’t enough to save the production, indeed the play may have already closed by the time the review was published. According to various sources, the play opened on either September 1 or September 7, but by all accounts it closed shortly thereafter, although the actual closing date isn’t clear.
“Melodrama of Monkeys and Men” is todays drabble, 100 words take from the review by H. K. Wheat – hopefully in context. The entire review and a lot of information about the production is available at https://www.erbzine.com/mag15/1568.html
“It is a weird and amazing melodrama told in a series of ten scenes covering a number of years and vast amount of doings that would tax the credulousness of an infant in arms. It’s far from poor entertainment. The sentimental and emotional qualities of the semi-dumb animals has heretofore been sadly neglected. Animals of various kinds and qualities predominate in the story’s unfolding, though occasionally a human being makes his appearance felt also.
MELODRAMA OF MONKEYS AND MEN
Mrs. Trimble Bradly has outdone herself in the production. An evening’s entertainment not lightly to be overlooked, for it is the only one of its kind."
WORK, BUT BE PREPARED
September 18, 2021 and also in 1940: The Honolulu Star-Bulletin published an article about Edgar Rice Burroughs returning to Hawaii for his health and on that same day the Honolulu Advertiser published an article by Edgar Rice Burroughs where ERB says that young people should strive for physical fitness and preparedness. He went on to warn everyone that we are surrounded by people who do not like us. (Americans). He said that if were prepared for an invasion, they will let us alone. Alas, we weren’t and they didn’t.
I was able to find very bad, virtually illegible reproductions. The two articles are summarized at https://www.erbzine.com/mag0/0001.html.
The drabble for today is “Work, But Be Prepared” and it was inspired by the two articles published in Hawaii in those pre-war days.
The columnist said, “Mr. Burroughs, you said that you’re here for your health, but you’re writing 20,000 words a week. I know how long it takes for me to write 20,000 words.
WORK, BUT BE PREPARED
I type with two fingers, about 330 words in twenty minutes, but I stop occasionally and do a rewrite or two, so about 3000 words a day.”
“And after that?”
“Exercise, I walk every day.”
“I was in the cavalry. The day may come when you don’t have a horse. I’d like to think I can get away from trouble even faster as I got into it.”
September 19: On this day in 1980, movie producer Sol Lesser died at age 90 in Hollywood California. In 1933, Lessor bought the film rights to Tarzan and produced “Tarzan the Fearless” with Buster Crabbe. ERB refused to deal with Lessor and attempted to make his own films. This was short lived and the rights passed to MGM, who relingquished the rights in 1943, when Lessor regained them.
September 19, 2021 and the 1200 consecutive daily entry in this series.
Lesser produced 14 Tarzan films with Johnny Weissmuller, Lex Barker and Gordon Scott, including the TV pilot, Tarzan and the Trappers. I always considered Lessor and his successor, Sy Weintraub as bad guys because they controlled the film rights for so long and when they weren’t making Tarzan films, no one else was allowed to do so. In retrospect, Lesser’s persistence was responsible for several Tarzan films. He wanted to make Tarzan pictures and he didn’t let anything stop him.
The drabble for today is “Love Tarzan,” and it’s a 100 word compilation of comments by Sol Lesser and Edgar Rice Burroughs. Evidently, the two decided to get along. ERB’s comments are in the first two paragraphs and appeared in “The Film Weekly,” an Australian Variety magazine on January 7, 1943.
Burroughs said Sol Lesser would make two Tarzan films this season, these being "Tarzan Triumphs," which is already finished, and "Tarzan and the Sheik," which is being prepared for production.
"I've great faith in Sol and feel very happy about this new deal."
Tarzan is pure escapist entertainment. He’s the original superman, fighting for the rights of the downtrodden and persecuted against all villains, be they human or beast. He rules with a minimum of words - hence he’s understood by all. Rarely does Tarzan get gooey with Jane. Thus the kids love him and so do the old folks.
September 20: On this day 1n 1980, the Mike Grell written and illustrated Tarzan Sunday Page story arc, “Tarzan’s Return to Opar,” concluded. The story began on July 19, 1981 and ran for ten weeks. It can be read in its entirety at: https://www.erbzine.com/mag29/2968.html
Jessica Faraday is part of an expedition to study a solar eclipse. She stopped to take photos for National Geographic and was is attacked by a bull gorilla. Tarzan killed the gorilla to save her. Tarzan recognized her guide Tusker Shanks, an evil man who’d poisoned elephants for their ivory.
The next morning Tarzan discovered that Shanks and Faraday had been captured by the beast men of Opar. La sentenced Jessica to death, but fascinated by Shanks blonde hair, decides to keep him for herself. Shanks’ betrayed La and tried to become the ruler of Opar. It worked out poorly for him.
“The drabble for today is “Bad Blonde,” and it was inspired by the story arc, “Tarzan’s Return to Opar.
Tarzan said, “La, Tusker Shanks is a bad man. What were you thinking when you decided to keep him and sacrifice Jessica.”
La flipped her hair. “The woman’s blood would be enough to satisfy the flaming god when he rides the skies at dawn tomorrow. The man has hair the color of the sun. A man with golden hair might make a suitable mate.”
“Sometimes golden hair only hides a black heart.”
“Indeed, he 's betrayed me. If I can’t have him, then the flaming god will. His hair color will only make his sacrifice taste sweeter to the sun god.”
SIZE IS AN ATTITUDE
September 21: On this day in 1991, Angelo Rossitto, who played the evil dwarf in 1932’s “Tarzan the Ape Man” died in Los Angeles, California. Angelo was 2’ 11” tall.
He appeared in over 70 films, playing dwarfs, midgets, gnomes, monsters, villains, and aliens. He performed with Lon Chaney and John Barrymore. Three of his films were “The Greatest Show on Earth,” “Requiem for a Heavyweight,” and of course, his role as “Master,” the top half of “Masterblaster” in “Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome.”
The drabble for today is, “Size is an Attitude,” and it’s based on Angelo Rossitto’s career.”
“Mr. Rossitto, you’ve made over 70 films, including several silent pictures. Were any of those what they once called shorts?”
SIZE IS AN ATTITUDE
“You making fun of me?”
“Heavens no. I was talking about one reel films.”
Rossitto lit a cigar. “Just messin’ with ya. Yes, I made several.”
“You didn’t always get screen credit.”
“But I always got paid. I believed every part I played was important and that I made a big difference in every film I was in. You think little things can’t make a difference, stick a fire ant in your nose. Let me know how that works out.”
FOR EFFICIENCIES SAKE
September 22: On this day in 1919, Edgar Rice Burroughs began writing “The Efficiency Expert,” a novel / novelette based on his experiences as a businessman. The story was serialized in four installments of All-Story Weekly in October of 1928. This was ERB’s thirty-sixth novel. He wrote in 31 days. The first edition of the book was published by House of Greystoke in 1966 and reprinted as Burroughs Bulletins #57-58 in 1976. Unlike most of ERB’s work, I haven’t been able to find a foreign edition.
Charter published a paperback version of the book in June 1979, the only mass edition of the book. Since 2000, the story has been published by people believing the story to be in public domain: Amereon House. Wildside Press, Pulpville Press, and ERBville Press (not associated with ERB Inc.) Here's one of the more interesting covers.
Publishing details and the entire text of the original pulp magazine version are available at: https://www.erbzine.com/mag7/0768.html
The drabble for today is “For Efficiencies Sake,” and it was inspired by the novel.
The shop foreman said, “Everyone is busy. How can you help?”
FOR EFFICIENCIES SAKE
Torrence said, “The more efficient you are at doing the wrong thing, the wronger you become. It is much better to do the right thing wronger than the wrong thing righter. Reorganizing can create the illusion of progress while producing confusion, inefficiency, and demoralization.”
“How nice. What qualifies you as an expert?”
“I came from elsewhere and not accountable for the results of my recommendations.”
‘How does that work?”
“If things get better, I take the credit. If they get worse, I’ll say you didn’t do what I recommended!”
GIVE IT BACK
September 23: On this day in 1966, the third episode of the Ron Ely television Tarzan was broadcast. “Leopard on the Loose” The episode featured Russ Tamblyn, Alan Caillou, Ken Scott, and Morgan Jones.
A worker at the local trading post needed money to get home and he decided to steal Jai’s leopard and sell the beast.
A complete list of the episodes is at: https://www.erbzine.com/mag74/7420.html
The drabble for today, “Give It Back,” was inspired by “Leopard on the Loose.”
Morrisey, a trading post worker, wanted desperately to go home. He stole Jai’s leopard planning to sell him to some hunters. He leashed the leopard and led it toward the hunter’s camp.
GIVE IT BACK
The leopard cooperated briefly, but it missed Jai and struggled. Morrisey wrapped the leash around a tree and held it so the leopard couldn’t bite him.
Tarzan arrived quickly, guided by the leopard’s screams and Morrisey’s shouts.
“I can’t let go.”
Tarzan laughed. “Sometimes the worst thing in the world is to get what you want. You wanted a leopard. You dealt the cards, you play the hand.”
TOO MANY WOMEN
September 24: (Happy birthday to me.) On this day in 1984, actor James Neil Hamilton passed away at age 84. This is the second article and drabble about Hamilton this month. He was born on September 9, 1989. Hamilton, who played Commissioner Gordon in television’s Batman, but not Perry White in “The Adventures of Superman,” (Different Hamilton – no relation.) played Harry Holt in the Johnny Weissmuller / Maureen O’Sullivan films, “Tarzan, the Ape Man” and “Tarzan and his Mate.”
His first film was “The Beloved Imposter” in 1918 and his last was “Which Way to the Front” in 1970. In between, he appeared in over 100 films.
The 100 word drabble for today is “Too Many Women,” and includes the titles of 16 his films, 17 counting the title. See if you can find them all.
Adam West said, “Neil, working dawn patrol this morning? Evidently the cat creeps in morning’s shadows and so do you. Command performance last night?”
TOO MANY WOMEN
“What a night. Seemed like three weekends. Something always happens when you meet a dangerous woman.”
“Tell me. I met a dangerous lady. She said, ‘Take me home.’ I said, ‘Lady behave. I’ll spend the night all by myself.”
“Neil said, ‘The hot news is the sky’s the limit when strangers may kiss,’ but I saw the devil’s hand in her plot. About an hour ago I took the family jewels and came to work.”
I love it when I mess up dates. I posted the "on This Day and Drabble" for September 26th on September 25th, so here's the 25th on the 26th. ~ RAL
September 25: On this day in 1976, the television animated “Tarzan, Lord of the Jungle,” broadcast its third episode, “Tarzan and the Golden Lion.” In the episode, Tarzan once saved an orphaned lion cub and years later, when the Jungle Lord is captured by the Bolgani (Gorillas) the lion rallies elephants and other jungle dweller to save Tarzan. Aesop would be proud.
The episode featured the voices of Robert Ridgely as Tarzan, Ted Cassidy as Phobeg, and Lou Scheimer as N’Kima, Tarzan’s monkey.
The drabble for today is “What Thorn,” inspired by the animated story with maybe a wee touch of Androcles and the Lion” by George Bernard Shaw.
The Bolgani surrounded Tarzan. The biggest gorilla said, “I will kill you.”
Tarzan replied, “I am not your enemy. I’m one of the Mangani.”
“You stink of the white hunters. We will kill you.”
Tarzan yelled in defiance and the golden lion, Jal-ba-da, heard the cry. The lion gathered elephants, lions, leopards, even zebras and brought them to Tarzan’s defense.
The Bolgani said, “Lion, why do you help this man? Did he pull a thorn from your paw.”
“Thorn,” said the lion, “We don’t need no stinking thorns. He’s my friend. You’d do well to remember that in the future.”
September 26: On this day in 1936, Argosy Weekly published part two of “Tarzan and the Magic Men.” Magic Men was to become the first half of the twenty-first Tarzan novel by Edgar Rice Burroughs, “Tarzan the Magnificent.” The book has no relation to the film of the same name. The cover by Hubert Rogers illustrated the first installment of “Raid of the China Clipper,” by H. Bedford Jones.
The second half of “Tarzan the Magnificent” was published as “Tarzan and the Elephant Men,” serialized in Blue Book from November 1937 through January 1938.
The drabble for today is “Language Barrier,” inspired by the story, “Tarzan and the Magic Men.”
The magic men, Mafka and Woora, were brothers. They used a diamond and an emerald, both of strange origin, to control men’s minds. They were powerful, but they ruled separate cities because they wouldn’t share with each other. They tried to control Tarzan, but he could resist their powers.
“Woora,” said Mafka. “His thoughts are strange. I can’t control him.”
“Neither can I.”
Tarzan said, “A man thinks in the language of his childhood. I was raised by the great apes. You can’t monkey with my mind if you don’t speak monkey.”
The apeman took the jewels and hid them.
September 27: On this day in 1932, the Hal Foster, George Carlin and R. W. Palmer Tarzan Sunday strip, “Hawk of the Desert” began. The page was Hall Foster’s first Tarzan Sunday page. It featured Tarzan battling gorillas and D’Arnot parachuting to Tarzan’s rescue. In those days, each Sunday page had its own title and the title for the September 27. 1931 page was “Terror From The Skies.”
For information on all of the Hal Foster Sunday Pages, go to https://www.erbzine.com/mag55/5502.html
The drabble for today, “Landings,” was inspired by that first strip.
D’Arnot looked down from his airplane and saw Tarzan captured by a gorilla tribe. The apes tied Tarzan to a stake and danced around him. D’Arnot parachuted into the midst of the horde, gun blazing and saved Tarzan.
Tarzan said, “Thank you, old friend. How did you find me?”
“I was flying overhead. I jumped from my plane.”
“If you jumped, who’s flying the airplane? Where will it land?”
“Anywhere it wants, but probably badly. Funny thing about airplanes is they’ll always land. If the pilot doesn’t pick where and how to land, the airplane will always make that decision.”
September 28: On this day in 1911, Edgar Rice Burroughs completed writing “Under The Moons of Mars,” his first novel. The world would never be the same. My thanks to whichever muse sat on his shoulder and helped him write the story. Read the book, or reread it, and raise a glass to the best swordsman on two planets (four if you count Thuria and Saturn) and the incomparable Dejah Thoris. Drip a couple drops into a bowl for Woola, but not too much – the effects of alcohol on calots hasn’t been determined.
Burroughs began the novel in July 1911 and finished it in a little more than two months. It was serialized in six installments of ‘The All-Story Magazine’ listing Norman Bean as the writer from February through July, 1912. The story was published in first edition by A. C. McClurg on October 10, 1917 as A PRINCESS OF MARS, and has been reprinted by Grosset & Dunlap, ERB Inc., Ballantine / Del Rey, Dover, Doubleday Book Club, Carroll & Graff, Easton Press, and Bison Books, along with several publishers who’ve reprinted based upon its ‘public domain’ status. That’s just in the United States.
The novel was published under a third title, “Carter of the Red Planet” in Modern Mechanics, a pulp magazine - published in three installments from April through July of 1929.
The cover art of the first installment issue wasn’t for ‘Under the Moons of Mars, which like the other 24 stories in the issue, wasn’t mentioned on the over. The art is a Mexican man smoking in an open window and the only story that fits the cover is “A Serenade” by Edward Coate Pinkey.
A wealth of information about “The Princess of Mars” is online at: https://www.erbzine.com/mag4/0421.html
The drabble for today is “Pseudonym,” and it’s inspired by the mix-up concerning the credit for “Under The Moons of Mars,” as listed in the 1912 The All-Story Magazine issues.
Emma Burroughs said, “You said you wrote “Under the Moons of Mars.” The magazine credits somebody named Norman Bean.”
“You know I wrote it. You saw the check.”
“But who’s this Norman guy?”
“My story is a fantasy. Didn’t want people to think I’m crazy, so I used the pseudonym, Normal Bean. Get it? Normal bean.”
“But it says Norman. Shouldn’t you get credit?”
“If I get a book deal, I’ll use my real name and change the title to something with princess. People like princesses.”
“You’re not thinking of “Under the Princess of Mars?”
“Interesting image, but probably not.”
NEVER LOOK BACK
September 29: On this day in 2021, actor Tony Curtis died of cardiac arrest in Henderson, Nevada. Curtis played the ex-cop father of Jane, Archimedes Q. Porter in “Tarzan in Manhattan.” In his early acting years Curtis' goal was to play Tarzan in films. . . this was as close as he got.
Curtis appeared in well over 100 films, too many to mention them all, but “The Great Race,” “The Boston Strangler,” “Some Like it Hot,” “Spartacus,” and Trapeze,” have to be mentioned.
Curtis, a notorious womanizer, was married six times, and suffered from alcohol, cocaine, and marijuana addiction in his later life.
Today’s 100 word drabble, “Never Look Back,” is a short compilation of quotations by Tony Curtis.
I wouldn’t be caught dead marrying a woman who’s old enough to be my wife. They gave me away as a prize once – a ‘Win Tony Curtis For a Weekend’ competition. The woman who won was disappointed. She’d hoped for second prize, a new stove.
NEVER LOOK BACK
Don’t listen to people when they say don’t drink, or drink very little, don’t smoke, don’t eat too much, don’t eat badly, don’t get fat, don’t get ugly, and pissed off that life is passing you by. Keep smiling. Don’t spend your future looking back and thinking, "Oh shit, I wish I hadn't done that.”
PIRACY, PILOTING, AND ALL THAT JAZZ
September 30: On this day in 1933, London’s “The Passing Show Magazine” published the first installment of a serialization of “Pirates of Venus.”
The weekly paper of humor and short fiction had two distinct incarnations, both published by Odhams Press, London. The first series ran for 918 issues from March 1915 to March 1932.
In 1932 the paper completely reinvented itself as The New Passing Show (though the title reverted after eight issues) under Editor William A Williamson, who guided The /Passing Show from 1925 until the end. In this form it ran for a further 362 issues, from March 1932 through February 1939.
I don’t have the first issue of the run that featured “Pirates of Venus,” but here’s the cover of the issue for November 11, 1933 – it included one installment of the Venus novel.
The drabble for today is “Piracy, Piloting, and all that Jazz.” It was inspired by The Passing Show’s” publication of “Pirates of Venus,” with a hint from Gilbert and Sullivan.”
“I say, Andy, are you reading that Venus story by the American, Edgar Rice Burroughs.”
PIRACY, PILOTING, AND ALL THAT JAZZ
“Yes, George, the one about pirates. Nice story so far, but I liked the Gilbert and Sullivan version better.”
“Are you insane?”
“A space ship is just a ship that travels in space. Evidently the Carson fellow is the same as Frederic. It’s the same training problem. Both chaps were misapprenticed to a pirate instead of a pilot. That’s the best explanation for how Carson ended up on the wrong planet and fell in with pirates straight away. Think “A rollicking band of pirates we!”
See Days 1-15 at ERBzine 7387
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