The Tragically Hypnotic

Bernice was surely in his power now. Omar the Omnipotent was the greatest hypnotist this side of Hoboken (and he was pretty good on the other side, too). None of Bernice’s flapper friends wanted to go up on stage at the Bee’s Knees Supper Club and be a volunteer. But Bernice was always ready for fun.

Too bad that this wasn’t precisely the sort of fun she was always ready for. She was frozen in place all right. And her expression, noted her best friend Lucille, was identical to the look she had given that jellied olive-and-sardine salad that they had had at the bridge club luncheon last week.

But of course Omar was far, far more powerful than an olive-and-sardine salad. Everyone was amazed! Even though she wasn’t actually looking at the rays of hypnotic power emanating from the left side of his face, Bernice was stunned all the same.

That is because Bernice didn’t realize that they were just some wavy lines that Omar the Omnipotent had drawn in with a white pen.

And his name wasn’t even Omar, it was Hubert. You see, Hubert sent away for a mail-order course so that he could “make his life what he wanted it to be” and tried it FREE for 5 days.

The course consisted of a small booklet and a white pen.

[From Popular Mechanics, June 1929; the extra big version is here. This mail order course is from CHICAGO! For those of you who don't know why this is so significant, please click that Retro Chicago tag at the bottom of this post and prepare to be amazed!]

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9 thoughts on “The Tragically Hypnotic

  1. Kitchen Retro is where I learned that all innovations come from Chicago.Omar looks a bit like Bela Lugosi, at least in the small ad version. But maybe it's just the lighting. And the wavy white lines.

  2. Am I the only one who thinks that look on her face is a result of Omar standing a bit too close behind her and being a bit "suggestive?" The wavy white lines are just there to divert the audiences' attention away from his real goal to appease his loneliness.

  3. Omar, dear love, isn't looking at Bernice but at the jellied olive and sardine salad, still left on the table on the far left of the stage……..Bernice, on the other hand, is just starting to *feel* the effects of the salad she'd eaten only minutes earlier….Soon those wavy white lines would be drawn on an entirely different area of the photo.

  4. 1950s Atomic Ranch House – Thank you :)Betty – Omar was quite the dude, in his day.Bill – He does look like Bela Lugosi!Dr. Julie-Ann – I think you are on to something. Yeah, this is disturbing.Tori – I agree with you and Dr. Julie-Ann, he looks a lot like Bela Lugosi.Kath – That's true, the effect of the salad needs to be explored more, I think.Eric – Absolutely!

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