The Ventrilo

The Ventrilo was manufactured by the fabulous Johnson Smith & Co., makers of novelties such as this fake money. This one is also a little – irregular. Shady, even. I mean, yes, you could use it to make pretty little bird calls. But why not fool people instead? 

That is obviously a ventriloquist on the right, with some creepy pals on his knee, – but what in the world is going on in the picture on the left? Is the schoolboy making the pack on the guy’s back talk? And if so, why? 

Lots of fun fooling the teacher, policeman or friends. Why, that does sound like fun. Possibly followed by detention  – either in the principal’s office or the local station house, your choice.

Pretend you are in a trunk or under the bed “or anywhere.” That sounds like fun,too. How about pretending you’re in a trunk, under the bed? There’ll be lots of laughs if you do that, say, at a party. Or when it’s time to go to school. Or when they’re coming to arrest you for using that Johnson Smith counterfeit money all over town.

[From a 1922 Popular Mechanics. Guess which city Johnson Smith & Co. was based in? Hint: we've been to this city many, many times before - and are never disappointed by the weird products there.]

The all-Halloween kitsch and retro starts tomorrow and runs through the 31st …

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6 thoughts on “The Ventrilo

  1. I love it!I can see the situation now: some young hoodlum has been cornered by a policeman.Hoodlum: It wasn't me, officer! I'm not here! I'm in that trunk over there!Police officer: Now, sonny, the game's up! Better come quietly and return the seventeen harmonicas you stole from Mr Mahoon's Musical Emporium!(Unbeknownst to the police officer, the hoodlum subtly puts the vertrilo into his mouth.)Hoodlum (throwing his voice so he sounds like he's in the trunk): No, really officer, I'm over here, in the trunk. I've been here all day. So I *can't* have stolen the harmonicas!Police officer (momentarily bemused, but then collecting himself): Right you are, my mistake!The policeman wanders off and the young villain gets off Scot free!It's a wonder they didn't sell more!

  2. OK, red alert… this ad says there's a small item that fits inside your mouth, followed by the words "used with above".Used with WHAT above? What's above? The only thing "above" is a short yet hideous collection of grammatically incorrect sentences.There's something either not included with, or not disclosed about this item that is most likely the thing that means you won't be able to throw your voice at all. The only thing you'll be able to throw is the stupid "Ventrilo"… straight in the garbage can!

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