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Volume 7745a

ERB 100-Word Drabbles
DECEMBER V Edition :: Days 16-31
by Robert Allen Lupton
Back to Days 1-15 at ERBzine 7745

With Collations, Web Page Layout and ERBzine Illustrations and References by Bill Hillman

December 16:
On this day in 1916, All-Story Weekly published the fifth and concluding installment of “Tarzan and the Jewels of Opar,” the fifth Tarzan novel.
The novel didn’t make the cover of the issue. That honor went to a photograph of Douglas Fairbanks who was featured in the film version of the new novel by Octavus Roy Cohen and J. U. Giesy, The Matrimanic. Charles B. Stilson also contributed a short story.
    Publishing details for Tarzan and the Jewels of Opar:
    The drabble for today is, “It’s Only Good If You Like It, inspired by Tarzan’s omnivorous appetite. The Lord of the Jungle ate a lot of things that his adopted tribe, the Waziri, wouldn’t touch.
Mugambi said, “Tarzan, the men are hungry. We must stop marching and hunt.”
Tarzan ripped the bark off a tree, gathered a handful of caterpillars, and ate them. “These are delicious. The men can harvest them while we march.”

“No, Tarzan. Something more substantial, perhaps cooked.”
Tarzan snatched a beetle with one hand and crunched it. “Tastes like wildebeast.”
“We can’t eat bugs.”
Tarzan caught a snake and bit it in half. He handed one part to Mugambi.
“Is there anything you don’t eat?”
“The first thing I learned is a child is to eat it before it eats you.”

December 17:
On this day in 1925, Edgar Rice Burroughs submitted a proposal to the Newspaper Enterprise Association of Cleveland to write a Hollywood gossip column. He never received a replay. The NEA was founded by Scripps in 1902 and was the first American News Service to supply stories, illustrations, and cartoons to newspapers across America.
    The fictional 100 word drabble today is, Gossip Monger, and it was inspired by ERB’s attempt to write a gossip column.


Emma Burroughs asked, “Did those folks in Cleveland ever respond to your query about writing a gossip column?”

“Never heard a word.”
“Just as well, Ed. I can’t imagine you could write something like that.”
“I’ve been reading all the gossip columns and 99% of the content is balderdash. It’s fiction, pure and simple, and if there’s one thing I do better than anyone, it’s writing fiction. In my first story, Charlie Chaplin is secret illegitimate son of Queen Victoria and Arthur Conan Doyle.”

“Why Arthur Conan Doyle?”
“Well, H. Rider Haggard and Bram Stoker said they were too busy!”

December 18:
On this day in 1915, All-Story Weekly published the third installment of “The Son of Tarzan,” the fourth Tarzan novel. The story was serialized in six parts in December 1915 and January 1916. As was the policy at the time, “The Son of Tarzan” was on the cover for the first installment only and there were no interior illustrations.
The cover illustration was for Polaris of the Snows, the first installment. Written by Charles B. Stilson, this classic lost race novel shouldn’t be missed. It’s available in many formats. Read it. The issue also contained a Semi-Duel novel installment by J. U. Giesy and Junius B. Smith and a short story by George Allan England. What a great issue
    For publishing details, an Ebook of the entire novel, "The Son of Tarzan," and several illustrations:
    The drabble for today, “Somebody Has to Work, was inspired by “The Son of Tarzan,”


Tarzan and his son, Korak, reunited in the jungle and as they made their way home they encountered an abandoned village. Korak asked, “Dad, this village has a great location. Where are the people?”

“They starved, son.”
“Crops and game everywhere. How could they starve?”
“The Chieftan, Walmano, the well-meaning, decreed that all crops and game be divided equally, no matter who farmed, who hunted, and who did nothing. Soon, no one would hunt and no one would farm. They just sat in the village and watched themselves starve.”

“That’s stupid.”
“Indeed, but people keep trying it again and again.”

December 19:
On this day in 1897, almost forgotten actor, James (Jimmy) Dime, was born in Yugoslavia. Dime was a professional boxer nicknamed “Sheik of Spring Street,” who turned to acting. He appeared in King Kong, The King of Kings, The Lives of a Bengal Lancer and was the stunt double for Monte Bule in “Hawk of the Wilderness,” Among his 270 film credits, he appeared in Tarzan and the She-Devil” with Lex Barker, Joyce McKenzie, and Raymond Burr.
Details about Tarzan and the She-Devil:
    The 100 drabble for today, “All in Color for a Dime,” is a fictional conversation with actor, Jimmy Dime.


On the set of Tarzan and the She-Devil, Lex Barker said, “Mr. Dime, weren’t you a boxer called the Sheik of Spring Street. My grandfather said he saw you fight.”

“I was, but I decided to go into acting. I could take a punch, but I hated the jokes.”
“Yea, like when my opponent would point to the canvas and say, “I’m gonna drop a dime on you. A sports reporter wrote that Jimmy Dime is fifteen cents short of being a two-bit fighter.”

“This is better?”
“Yep, now I’m fifteen cents short of being a two-bit actor.”

December 20, 2023:
On this day in 2006, Carl Sagan, perhaps the world’s most famous astronomer, died in Seattle. This charming intelligent scientist was also a prolific writer and the host of Cosmos. Over 400 million people watched Cosmos. Carl regularly credited Edgar Rice Burroughs as his inspiration and interest in astronomy and specifically, the planet Mars.
An excellent article about Mr. Sagan is located at:
    The drabble for today, “I Want My Thoat,” is expanded, it’s 172 words by Carl Sagan about Edgar Rice Burroughs.


I can remember as a child reading with breathless fascination the Mars novels of Edgar Rice Burroughs. I journeyed with John Carter, gentleman adventurer from Virginia, to "Barsoom," as Mars was known to its inhabitants. I followed herds of eight legged beasts of burden, the thoats. I won the hand of the lovely Dejah Thoris, Princess of Helium. I befriended a four-metre-high green fighting man named Tars Tarkas. I wandered within the spired cities and domed pumping stations of Barsoom, and along the verdant banks of the Nilosyrtis and Nepenthes canals. Might it really be possible - in fact and not in fancy - to venture with John Carter to the Kingdom of Helium on the planet Mars? Could we venture out on a summer evening, our way illuminated by the two hurtling moons of Barsoom, for a journey of high scientific adventure? ... I can remember spending many an hour in my boyhood, arms resolutely outstretched in an empty field, imploring what I believed to be Mars to transport me there."

December 21:
On this day in 2006, writer Mark Rhoads wrote an article / brief biography of Edgar Rice Burroughs, who was inducted into the Illinois Hall of Fame on that day. The article may be read at:
The Illinois State Society was founded in 1854. The 200 members of the Illinois Hall of Fame include, Mel Torme, Pat Sajak, writer Scott Turow, Betty Friedan, Miles Davis, Enrico Fermi, Mary Astor, Donna Mills, Cyrus McCormick, Nat King Cole, Josephine Baker, Frank Lloyd Wright, Nancy Regan, George Halas, and the Lone Ranger, Clayton Moore. Not a bad group to be in.
    The 100 word drabble for today, “One Million Dollars, is excerpted from the article by Mr. Rhoads


In January 1918, an eight-reel silent film adaptation of Tarzan of the Apes made it premier in New York starring actor Elmo Lincoln as Tarzan. The commercial film was the first his history to gross more than one million dollars. In 1919 when Edgar was 43, they moved from Oak Park to his 540-acre estate called "Mil Flores" or "thousand flowers." The estate was later renamed as "Tarzana" for the character whose exploits paid for the land and it is now heart of Tarzana, California. Edgar continued writing and producing movies during his California years in the 1920s and 1930s.

December 22:
According to author, Neal Romanek, On this day in 2021, Edgar Rice Burroughs, Incorporated published the first edition of his Wild Adventure, “Skies of Venus: A Novel of Amtor.” The book is available at
    Neal’s website is You can find a detailed biography at that site. He’s the editor of the online video magazine, FEED, the writer of Boudicca, a graphic novel about amazing British woman and her battle against the mighty Roman Empire. He continues to write screenplays for film and television.
    The drabble for today is 100 words excerpted from Neal’s website about his Venus novel.


When a petty thief, Virgil Erath, is sentenced to death for a crime he didn’t commit, but is granted an unexpected reprieve when he is supernaturally transported to the world of Amtor. I’ve tried to be as true to Burroughs storyworld as possible – and to use it as a springboard for broadening its possibilities, creating new things within it which I hope are faithful in spirit and tone. It’s a book about outsiders and empire, and about responsibility and courage. And it has a lot of sword fighting and rayguns in it. I can’t wait for you to read it.

December 23:
On this day in 2011, actress Denise Darcel, who appeared as in Tarzan and the Slave Girl, died in Los Angeles, California. Denise Darcel Billecard was a winner of the “Most Beautiful Girl in France” contest and was a cabaret singer after WW2 until she moved to Hollywood in 1947. After a brief vaudeville career, she began appearing in motion pictures, including “Battleground,” “Westward the Women,” and “Vera Cruz.” After a short acting career, she became an exotic dancer and worked in clubs across California.
In “Tarzan and the Slave Girl,” Denise plays Lola, an attractive nurse. Lola and Jane are kidnapped by the Lionian tribe as breeding stock. A disease is killing all their women. Tarzan, Lex Barker, saves everyone, the good guys survive and the bad guys don’t. Tarzan’s friend, Dr. Campbell cures the disease.
Details about “Tarzan and the Slave Girl:”
    The 100 word drabble for today, “Know Your Audience,” was inspired by Darcel’s later career as an ecdysiast.


The strip club manager complained, “Denise, you got the words wrong on the last song. It’s hot times in the old town, not hot limes for a cold clown.”

“I sing the words right. You hear them wrong.”
“The men can’t understand your strong accent.”
“Idiote! The men don’t pay to hear me sing. They want sequins and glamour, and damn few sequins, at that. My English may not be perfect, but I dance the universal language. Qui?”

“Qui, I mean, yes. You’re on again in an hour. May I bring you something to eat?”
“Sure, hot limes, you clown!”

December 24:
On Christmas Eve in 1941, Edgar Rice Burroughs’ Laugh It Off column appeared in the Honolulu Star-Bulletin. Burroughs complained about the phrase Japanese-Americans, perhaps foreseeing the day that the use of Ethnic hyphenated Americans would be common usage in the United States. His observation is that we’re all Americans and shouldn’t be placed by origin in little cubicles of discrimination. Good and bad, loyal and disloyal, kind and unkind, are distinctions of behavior that belong to single individuals, they aren’t ethnic characteristics.
Burroughs feelings about race, contrary to contemporary accusations, were more enlightened than most. In his writings, Earth people mate with Martians, Moon people, the Venus born, and even folks from beyond the farthest star. Characters of different races untie to fight evildoers. If his heroes and heroines can get along when they come from millions and billions of miles apart, what’s the problem with folks who were born across an ocean? Think about it, we’re all on the same lifeboat. We’ll sink or swim together. Enjoy your Christmas Eve and leave out cookies, Santa’s got a few billion stops to make tonight.
    The drabble for today is, “Small World,” and was written by Edgar Rice Burroughs for that 1941 article. The first sentence is from “Tarzan of the Apes" and it makes an understated comment about the common origins of mankind. Sadly, the world hasn't taken his advice.


“Hundreds of thousands of years ago, our common ancestors faced the same problems which we face, possibly in these same primeval forests.

"There can never again be "Japanese-Americans" in Hawaii. That term is a misnomer. It is like calling Peter McLean, a Scotch-American, or me an English-American. A citizen of Scotch descent, or English descent, or Japanese descent might be disloyal; but because of such individual cases, all people of that ethnicity should not be damned. I’ve heard of many Americans of Japanese descent who are as bitter in their hatred and denunciation of the Japanese attack as any other."

December 25:
On this day in 1942, the world’s oldest war correspondent, Edgar Rice Burroughs enjoyed Christmas Day in Sydney, Australia. He’d arrived the day before and taken a Nay bus to the Usher Hotel. His room had a bath and sink, but no toilet. ERB telegraphed HQ to check for mail. He was hoping his Australian royalties were no longer frozen. He went for dinner and drinks with two friends and three local women. On Christmas morning he had a traditional Australian breakfast, which is known to the locals as “The Big Fry.” Similar to an English breakfast, it consists of eggs, bacon, grilled tomato, mushrooms, baked beans, fried potatoes, and toast or muffins. There’s always Vegemite for the toast.
For those who are unfamiliar with the joys of Vegemite, the product has the consistency of jelly and is spread over bread or toast. It’s dark brown in color and a by-product of beer production, containing brewer’s yeast, salt, and vegetable extract, usually onion and celery, with a touch of malt for good measure. ERB said his breakfast was excellent, except for the coffee, which tasted like ether. FYI, during the war, Australian coffee was cut with chicory and other ingredients to make it go further.
    For more information about Edgar Rice Burroughs’ time in Australia:
The drabble for today, “Christmas Over Easy,” and it combined ERB’s observations about his Christmas in Australia.


I have no business being here and shall probably lose my job and have to go back to writing Tarzan and Martian stories and other factual and scientific works; but when the opportunity presented itself, I couldn't resist the temptation. So here I am 'down under' on Christmas 1942, and I’m glad of it.

"Christmas down here happens in mid-summer. Today is warm and sunny. Everything is closed up tighter than a drum, to remain closed for four days. It seems that tomorrow is Race Day, the next day is Sunday, and Monday is Boxing Day, or something like that."

December 26: Boxing Day
in some countries. On this day in 1945, Edgar Rice Burroughs was probably unboxing rather than boxing. He moved into his last home at 5465 Zelzah Avenue in Encino, California. The two bedroom house on half an acre was priced at $14,000.00. The entire block of houses appears to have been destroyed and replaced with apartments. There’s a photo of the complex included below. The  fuzzy black and white photo is an interior family picture at that address unearthed by Bill Hillman.
    Over the years some famous folk have lived in Encino, and no I don’t mean the Encino man. Selena Gomez, Shemar Moore, Bud Abbott, Don Ameche, Steve Allen, Zendaya, Maya Rudolph, and Megan Fox. Of course so did Machine Gun Kelley. Some other writers in the group, Rudolph, of course, Steve Allen, certainly, and Bud Abbott was an underappreciated comic genius.
Not that it matters, but Zelzah means protection from the sun, basically shade. In the Bible, the word appears once as an otherwise unidentified location where King Saul planned to meet three unnamed men.
    The drabble for today, “Leash Laws” is totally fictitious fun. Justin Wilson knows the punchline.
A list of ERB’s residences has been meticulously compiled by Bill Hillman and it’s available at:


Tarzan visited his friend Edgar Rice Burroughs in Encino, California. The two were standing near the zoo with a small monkey when a policeman stopped them.

“Gentlemen, we have leash laws in this city. Your dog has to be leashed.”
Tarzan replied, “Not a dog. He’s a spider monkey.”
“He still has to be on a leash. Cute, though. Does your monkey bite?”
“No, he doesn’t”
The policeman reached for the monkey who screamed, grabbed his arm, and bit him repeatedly.”

The policeman wrapped his bleeding fingers in a handkerchief. “You said your monkey doesn’t bite.”

“He’s not my monkey.”

December 27:
On this day in 1949, Edgar Rice Burroughs’ nephew and artist Studley Oldham Burroughs died in 1949. Studley was a commercial artist, helped design the ranch’s golf course, which became the El Caballero Country Club, and illustrated four ERB novels, Apache Devil, Tarzan the Invincible, Jungle Girl, and Tarzan Triumphant. His illustration for Apache Devil is my personal favorite.
    ERB reluctantly replaced his nephew because of Studley’s inability to meet schedules.
    Studley worked for major newspapers, publishers, and advertising companies before his death.
Details about Studley and his artwork:
    Today’s drabble, “Good Advice,” is a fictional conversation between ERB and Studley, remembering that ERB was sent Studley a “kidding on the square’ cartoon drawing suggesting that his nephew open a bank account.


ERB shook his head, “Studley, the book is ready, but you haven’t finished the cover art. We can’t print without that. If we don’t print, we don’t sell. If we don’t sell, we don’t eat.”
“I understand. I’m planning to start any day now.”
“Never started, never done. It’s like writing. You can’t edit a blank page.”
“This one will be the best one ever!”
“Then it shouldn’t be a problem for you to sell it to someone else. I can’t wait any longer. The best product is the one delivered on time. You can’t harvest what you didn’t plant.”

December 28:
On this day in 1961, an article in The Milwaukee Journal addressed the issue of whether or not Tarzan and Jane were married, an issue raised when the Downey California Library banned the books because the couple were allegedly living in jungle sin. The Journal article quoted Edgar Rice Burroughs, who said, “I would advise you to read my books. In one of my early books it was established that Jane's name was Jane Porter, that she was the daughter of a minister in Baltimore, Md., and that the father went to the jungle and there married Tarzan and Jane.
    Tarzan and Jane were married near the conclusion of the novel, “The Return of Tarzan.” It was a double ceremony, another couple Tennington and Hazel Strong were married at the same time. I got out my copy of the book out and checked. The wedding ceremony was still in it.
If you need further evidence, Jim Pierce, who played Tarzan, and Joan Burroughs, who played Jane, were married in real life. Gordon Scott, a Tarzan, married, Vera Miles, who'd played Jill,  but that's close enough,
    Details about the controversy abound. A good place to start is:
    The 100 word drabble for today is a fictional conversation between my old friends from New Orleans, John and Pat, concerning the marriage status of Lord and Lady Greystoke.


John said, “I read in the papers that Tarzan and Jane aren’t married.”
Pat shook his head. “Of course they are. Jane’s father, a minister, married them in “The Return of Tarzan.”. Last chapter. Read it and weep.”

“Witnesses, there have to be witnesses.”
“Another couple got married at the same time.”
John sneered, “Participants, not witnesses. Who you got for witnesses, a bunch of monkeys and apes? They don’t matter.”

“The last man who told a bull ape that apes don’t matter is still looking for his left arm.”
“Married it is. Should I buy them an anniversary card?

December 29:
On this day in 1942, the world’s oldest war correspondent, Edgar Rice Burroughs was in Australia. After the Christmas holiday celebrations down under ended, Burroughs was able to get his laundry done and get a haircut. He met Pat Robinson, not the future evangelist, but the man who’d been the world’s oldest war correspondent until Burroughs signed on. He ended the day by seeing a double feature, a Blondie film, probably “Blondie for Victory,” and the “The Yank in Dutch,” and ERB said the latter was the silliest film he’d ever seen, possibly because the film “The VelociPastor,” wouldn’t be released until 2018.
    The 100 word drabble for today was inspired by Christmas down under in 1942 and the film, “A Yank in Dutch,” which was also released as “Highly Irregular, and “The Wife Takes a Flyer.”


Ed and his good friend, Ham, went to a double feature. After the shows, they stopped in a pub. Ham said, “Pretty good day.”

Burroughs replied. “Not bad at all. I’ve got clean clothes and a haircut. The movies were stupid, but the beer is cold.”

Ham replied, “Yep, if I look closely, I can see which hair you had cut. I’m thinking that guy who plays Dagwood could be the next Tarzan. The way he screams “Bloooondddiiii,” makes him a natural for the Tarzan yell. Whatcha think about that?”

December 30:
On this day in 1922, Argosy All-Story Weekly published the fourth of seven installments of Tarzan and the Golden Lion. Only the first installment had Tarzan on the cover, but each installment had one interior black and white illustration by William Stout. The issue’s cover by Stockton Mulford went to the new serialized novel, “Good Looking and Rich,” by Edgar Franklin (Stearns), who was quite prolific, but is largely forgotten. The final installment of “Kain” by Max Brand (Frederick Faust) was also in the issue. If “Kain” has been reprinted I can’t find it. Perhaps there was a title change I don’t know about.
    Publishing details and much much more about “Tarzan and the Golden Lion” at:
    The 100 word drabble for today. “Sharp Dressed Man,” is a fictional conversation between Edgar Rice Burroughs and Bob Davis, the editor at Argosy All-Story.


“Davis, Burroughs here. I wanted to thank you for giving me the cover for the December 30th issue. Usually, I only get one cover for each  serialization.”

“Ed, what on earth are you talking about? Tarzan’s not on the cover.”
“It says, ‘good looking and rich.’ Perfect description of Tarzan. Tell the artist to drawn him a little more manly next time.”

“That’s not your cover. It’s for the Edgar Franklin novel.”
“If you say so, but Tarzan will still be good looking and rich long after Franklin’s story is forgotten. He didn’t even write it under his own name.”

December 31:
On this day 1983, Canadian writer and Burroughs historian, John Flint Roy, wrote a tribute to Edgar Rice Burroughs, a poem, titled “Who Hasn’t Dreamed?” Roy contributed several articles to numerous fanzines and was the author of “A Reader’s Guide To Barsoom.”
The entire poem may be read at: and in John Flint Roy: The Canadian Connection
Wishing everyone the best in 2024. The drabble for today was written by John Flint Roy. Here’s the poem,

“Who Hasn’t Dreamed?”

Who hasn't dreamed, and in his dream
Has heard the apes of Kerchak scream,
Or danced the Dum-Dum in the night
Beneath the jungle's bright moonlight?
Who hasn't hurtled through the trees
And brought swift Bara to his knees?
You are that smooth-skinned demigod,
That phantom of the jungle broad.
And now you doze on Tantor's back,
While ebon warriors plan attack.
Nkima comes to warn his friend
Of ambush hid around the bend.
But Tantor bolts beneath a limb;
Half-stunned, you're locked in battle grim,
Captured, and tortured at the stake.
Then Numa roars - and you awake.


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