Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Everything and everyone is out to get you (esp. the government)

That is one jolly skeleton!
Hey kids! I just learned some truth that does not surprise me in any way, really: apparently the U.S. government, back in the horrible, horrible Prohibition Era, were super-pissed that people kept drinking the boozes despite the fact that America's Sacred Document(TM) AKA the Constitution forbade its manufacture, sale, and distribution. SO: they decided to poison the bootleg boozes made with stolen industrial forms of alcohol to teach those dastardly drinkers a lesson. Some estimate up to 10,000 people were killed by America in this way, most of them (of course), poor people! Anyway, 'tis fascinating. Go check out this Slate article by Deborah Blum: "The Chemist's War: The little-told story of how the U.S. government poisoned alcohol during Prohibition with deadly consequences." I love history. But not poison. Very much, anyway. Hey, so about poison: Do you guys remember Mr. Yuk? I have polled people about my age and found uneven results, which led me to believe that perhaps Mr. Yuk was some sort of regional Pacific Northwest anti-poison campaign. HOWEVER, I have just consulted the internet and discovered that Mr. Yuk actually originated in Pittsburgh, since apparently the children there thought the skull and crossbones on bottles meant they were for baseball fans. Kids love pirates! Anyhow, I remember Mr. Yuk stickers stuck on various bottles of deadly poison household cleaners and such in my home growing up, and I'm not going to lie, I kind of want to buy the t-shirt. And OMG awesome/horrifying '70s PSA:


  1. I remember him!
    But I've never seen that video before, creepy.

  2. Can we get high and watch that PSA sometime?

  3. We didn't even need those fancy stickers, my dad used to draw Mr. Yuk on all of the toxic things in our house! I think that was the inspiration for the green tomato face? Also, just so you know, we didn't, like, keep lots of poisons around. My dad just tended to reuse bottles, so Mr. Yuk helped denote which containers no longer held their original contents. Alas, Mr. Yuk must not have been present the time my mom poured soap from a milk bottle onto her cereal...