March 27, 2003
Camtoons, Brian G. Hughes, Hugh Troy, and a bit more

So I rested, then surfed a bit...

It's been a while since I checked out Camtoons at Red Cricket's and somehow there was one posted in October I missed. How could I have been so lax? One of my missions in life is to burble with glee over the Camtoons. (Actually I may have read it in October, I just don't remember. Also it's about time to burble about Camtoons anyway.) I love it when Batman is involved. And Green Lantern is such a pig - I love that too. Dan, you rock, as always. Now if only we could get the man to post them on a monthly basis. Hey, I'm not greedy, otherwise I would have proposed a weekly camtoon.

Thanks to Davezilla's linkage to an Operation Name Generator, I know that if I ever want to rename my blog I'd have to call it - Operation Venomous Peach. Or Operation Irreversible Cockatrice. Or Operation Wrathful Necktie. Go read what he found, and then try for more. Report back anything epic.

And now, some more escapist stories.

Brian G. Hughes

"Hughes is credited with having been the first to drop a package of imitation jewels in front of Tiffany's. He also distributed tickets to banquets and other functions which never were held. Once he caused a frantic search of the Metropolitan Museum of Art by leaving a set of burglar tools and some empty picture frames on its doorstep.

Disguised ornately as the Prince of Amsdam, Cyprus and Aragon, he presented an old policeman's badge to the actress, Lavina Queen, who sat on an improvised throne in the old Waldorf-Astoria in the belief she was being made a Princess of the Order of St. Catherine of Mount Sinai.

...Best remembered of Hughes' pranks were those involving animals. For an entire year, through newspaper publicity, he kept alive interest in the South American Reetsa expedition which he said he had financed. Finally word came that one rare reetsa had been captured; quidnuncs lined North River to watch its arrival. Down the gangplank came an ordinary steer. Spell "reetsa" backwards.

Purchasing an alley cat for ten cents, Hughes belittled the ability of some of the world's leading cat judges by entering it in an important animal show as of the famous Dublin Brindle breed named Nicodemus by Broomstick out of Dustpan by Sweeper. Almost unbelievably, the carefully groomed feline won a first prize.

Crazy and In Charge: Brilliant tycoons have had a tendency to get eccentric, or worse
(Time Magazine - note the links in the sidebar)

"Yet for every celebrity eccentric, a dozen more labored in obscurity. Who remembers Brian Hughes? This 1920s box-manufacturing tycoon liked nothing better than to patrol the sidewalk outside Tiffany in New York City, an envelope tucked beneath his arm. When the moment seemed right, and pedestrian traffic sufficient, Hughes would let loose its contents, sending a spray of jewels (all fake) clattering across the sidewalk. The melee that ensued never ceased to please him. On rainy days, he would exit a restaurant and deliberately leave behind an expensive umbrella. When opened by a misappropriater, the umbrella released a shower of leaflets saying THIS UMBRELLA STOLEN FROM BRIAN G. HUGHES."

And then there's Hugh Troy.

Cornell University, 1999 State of the University Address

"Those of you from the oldest classes may remember the escapades of Hugh Troy, son of a professor of the dairy industry, who enlivened the campus from 1922 to 1927. An unrepentant prankster, Troy once borrowed a waste basket made from a rhinoceros foot and marched it across campus with the aid of accomplices and ropes, making a set of rhinoceros tracks that stopped at the edge of the ice on Beebe Lake. As Morris Bishop told it, the next day a professor of zoology identified the tracks as being made by a rhinoceros -- and half the campus, including Hugh Troy's father, gave up drinking campus water, which at the time came from Beebe Lake. And the spirit of Hugh Troy lived on in the large pumpkin that appeared suddenly and mysteriously atop McGraw Tower about 18 months ago."

Art Forgeries
"In 1935 the New York City Museum of Modern Art held a Van Gogh exhibition. On the theory that many attendees were more interested in the sensational aspects of Van Gogh's life than in his art, prankster Hugh Troy (see also our Campus Pranks section) molded a piece of beef, placed it in a velvet-lined box and attached a label that read: ``This is the ear which Vincent van Gogh cut off and sent to his mistress, a French prostitute, Dec. 24, 1888.'' Troy smuggled this supplementary exhibit into the museum, where it attracted the greatest crowds."

Campus Pranks
"Prankster Hugh Troy played a joke on a Cornell University professor who used to leave his galoshes out by the classroom door. During the lecture, he quietly painted them to look like feet, then covered them with soot to restore their black color. When the professor walked outside, the soot washed away so that he appeared to be walking barefoot.

Troy also used a trash can made from a rhinoceros leg, suspended from ropes, to make a track in the snow down from the campus to the lake. A zoölogy professor identified the tracks, and afterwards many people refused to drink tap water that originated in the lake, thinking that a rhino had crashed through the ice and drowned therein."

An Artful Hoax

"On display: Vincent Van Gogh's ear (that's how it was labeled).
Where: In New York's Museum of Modern Art in 1935, during the first exhibition of Van Gogh's art in the U.S.
Background: Hugh Troy, a New York artist, suspected that most Americans were more interested in Van Gogh the man than they were in Van Gogh the artist. To prove this, he mounted a shrivelled object in a velvet shadow box and wrote: "This is the ear which Vincent Van Gogh cut off and sent to his mistress, a French prostitute, Dec. 24, 1888." Then he visited the Van Gogh exhibit, and when no one was looking he put it out on display.
What Happened: The "ear" was mobbed, while Van Gogh's paintings were virtually ignored. It wasn't until later that Troy admitted that he had fashioned the ear out of a piece of chipped beef."

I can't believe that's the only information I can find on Hughes and Troy. There must be more. Can't seem to find any literature either. See, these kinda guys, the ones who have stories like this told about them - there's always more than just the goofy stories....

I've actually been googling these guys from a few days ago. I can't believe I can't find any more stories than that...

Meanwhile I bumped into this bit about that pumpkin mentioned earlier...

Mystery Pumpkin Appears on Tower Steeple

"In November, the university's pumpkin expert must have predicted the pumpkin was about to fall, because sawhorses appeared around the tower to keep people a safe distance away, with scaffolding at the entrance to allow people in without fear of a falling pumpkin. The sawhorses sported cute signs, showing a tower with falling pumpkin and warning people to keep away; the signs disappeared as collectors' items with minutes.

One of the news articles quoted someone from the university as saying the pumpkin weighs about 60 pounds. I wonder how they know this. Perhaps they weighed the tower before and after and calculated the difference?

As we go to press in February, the pumpkin is still there, although it has sagged and slipped quite a bit. There is much speculation over whether it is a real pumpkin, or if it is, how it was somehow fortified. Watch the Web page for further information!"

I was watching Unwrapped this weekend and they started showing how gumballs are made and some of the machines...
Wizard Vending, home of the Gumball Wizard
I need one of these someday, they are just too groovy.
I already have a regular old fashioned machine - I just keep it empty since I moved here. Don't want bugs inside it, see.

And here's a news story I just read:
North Carolina Girl Missing Since 1999 Returns From Mexico, Is Reunited With Mother
She disappeared when she was 11 years old. She managed to get home from Guadalajara - what happened and how she got there is not entirely clear - but now at 15 years old she's a mother of two children, one 3 years old, one 3 months old. Yeah, do the math, she had her first child at 12 years old. I can't imagine what she's been through. And just think of her mom - her baby is found, and her baby is now a mother - in just those four years.

But I am afraid that someone out there is already trying to make a movie of the week... Which I'm betting we'll see on Lifetime within a year. Kinda sick, isn't it?

Posted by batgrl on March 27, 2003 06:13 PM
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Here; have some Cthulhu!

Holy Spawn of Cthulhu, Batman! That's no Elder God! That's Linkmeister!!!
(on March 27, 2003 08:28 PM)

The pumpkin was later found out to have been placed there (that tower is high!) by rock climbers. But it was nearly a year before that was found out, I think. Wasn't there once a pumpkin cam?

Holy Spawn of Cthulhu, Batman! That's no Elder God! That's !!!
(on March 28, 2003 06:03 AM)

oh, that was me, btw.

Holy Spawn of Cthulhu, Batman! That's no Elder God! That's bunny!!!
(on March 28, 2003 06:06 AM)

My father knew Hugh Troy and we visited him when I was a boy, it was around Christmas and he had a tree cut in half so it looked like it grew throught the piano.
A few stories:
Hugh Troy was tall so he would hide change on ledges of buildings in Manhattan an dretreive them at a later date while walking with an unsuspecting freind he would ask for change and then go over to a ledge and retrieve the previously hidden change
Hugh had a friend who worked for Con Ed or such and along with some other friends the dug up part of the street in front of St Patrick's while the Police directed trafic around them, after digging for a while they loaded up ther too;s leaving the hole with the police directing trafic.
Hugh reportedly bought a park bench and would go to the park and sleep on the bench until the police would attempt to chase him at that point with the help of an accomplish they would pick up the bench and walk off, when stopped by the police and brought before a judge he would produce his receipt.
Hugh had a basement appartment in the city that hand a large front window that allowed a view of the appaertment from the street, and when the bathroom door was left open the toilet was visible so he painted a nude that appeared to be sitting on the toilet. This was apparently a head turner.

Holy Spawn of Cthulhu, Batman! That's no Elder God! That's pete!!!
(on May 13, 2003 07:03 AM)
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