Partly True Hacks

Fibber McGee’s favorite magazine was Partly True, an appropriate choice of reading material for a man known for spinning tall tales. McGee’s enthusiasm for the fictitious periodical diminished a bit when 40,000 copies of the same issue were delivered to 79 Wistful Vista in 1954.

I am reminded of Partly True when I pick up a copy of a local free paper that features on the front page each week a couple oddities taken from under a “Did You Know?” heading. Recent issues of the newspaper posted such nuggets as “There’s an orchid that looks like a monkey’s face called ‘Dracula simia’” and “In late-1600s London, an attacker called ‘Whipping Tom’ would spank his victims with a rod and shout ‘Spanko!’ before running away.”

Fibber McGee would probably counter with a blurb from Partly True about a monkey’s uncle who looked like Bela Lugosi holding an orchid. Herewith Partly True Hacks spanks the rod and spoils the mild by whipping up some astounding exploits.

In 1930s New York a deranged man raced through the 12th Trust and Savings, tearing up deposit and withdrawal slips and tossing them in the faces of cashiers while shouting “Banko!”

In 1880s Wyoming prospector Sippin’Sam ran through the Last Chance Saloon tossing poured beverages off the bar in the faces of customers while shouting “Dranko!”

During the age of piracy Short Jack Copper went berserk after fifty days at sea on the dreadnought Tublardy and forced the Captain and First Mate into the water before diving off the deep end himself while shouting “Planko!”

In the court of Louis XIV a dandy who coveted lace pranced through the palace at Versailles grabbing kerchiefs and doilies, stuffing them up his frilly sleeves while shouting “Hanko!”

After being declared 4F in 1942, a disgruntled reject named Flatfoot Freddie pussyfooted through an army base in Kansas, tearing stripes, epaulets, and medals off the uniforms of officers while shouting “Ranko!”

Every day at the offices of SoTrueFacts the person who churns out the weirdest tidbit is acclaimed “Cranko!”


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