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February 14, 2019 / philosophermouseofthehedge

My Scary Valentine

At first glance, his name looks eerily like “outcast”: rejected by society or social group.

Were Richard Felton Outcault’s Valentines the origin of the demented doll Chucky in horror movies?

Boy with weird red mouth holding red paint brush and laughing dog on vintage Buster Brown Valentine ( 1903.Missouri History Muesum/USPD., artist life, reprod of PD art/

Oh, if that doesn’t warm your heart…Think the phrase is a sweet little note or a “Or Else” threat?(Buster Brown Valentine.1903.Missouri History Museum/USPD/

Vintage Buster Brown valentine with boy and dog. (USPD., artist life/

Keep telling yourself they are winking, not some dangerous pair grimacing with crazed tics.(

Winsome, cute, and sweetly appealing must vary by era.

(Managed to avoid Chucky? Pictures, trivia, plot summary of his scary movies here)

Guess that local Valentine Haunted House actually drew on some previous tradition.

Hallmark take heart!

Then again, there’s always a few party poopers:

An anti-materialistic - anti sugary sweetness Valentine. Valentine caricature by George Cruikshank/Comic Almanack of 1849 (USPD, artist life/

In 1849 there were mumblings about Valentines’ sugar overload and orgy of lovey-dovie gift giving once a year. Probably promoted by penniless artist and poets. (USPD/

“Something Like a Valentine”, a caricature by George Cruikshank from the Comic Almanack of 1849, illustrating an article which pretends to assert that Valentines shouldn’t harp on all that sickly sweet sentimental love stuff but instead should itemize the important things in life (such as “smuggled French gloves”) instead…” (
Reading from top to bottom:

  • I offer my heart and my hand
  • “I am young rich and handsome, good-tempered and well educated”
  • Millinery and Dresses unlimited
  • £300 per annum Pin-money
  • Smuggled French Gloves
  • A Love of a Page
  • Eau de Cologne
  • Splendid Suite of Jewels
  • Box at the Opera
  • Balls and Routs
  • Grand Piano
  • Champagne, Ices, Jellies, Tarts, and Cheesecakes
  • Annual Trips to the Continent
  • Town House — Handsome Chariot — Country House

Ah, everything old is new again

Hope your Valentines is a red letter day (with glitter, not gore HAHA)

Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge

Vintage Buster Brown Valentine with boy and dog by Richard Felton Outcault (1863-1928) (USPE artist life,

Not the shoemaker’s Buster Brown boy…some out of town relative, perhaps. It’s paint. Red paint. Tige, the toothy American Pit Bull Terrier, is just open mouthed by coincidence .(Richard Felton Outcault.1863-1928/ USPD/


  1. easyweimaraner / Feb 14 2019 7:04 am

    I want the young and rich one, who offers the dresses and the bling… and with a heavy heart I say no to the piano and the opera guy :O))) Happy Valentines Day to you…


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Feb 14 2019 11:18 am

      “Just as easy to fall in love with a rich man as a poor one” – do they say that anymore? (I think I’ve heard it whispered during pet adoption day cages HAHA)
      Thanks for dog trottin’ this way with a Valentine Day comment


  2. Kate Crimmins / Feb 14 2019 7:05 am

    That does look like blood! Reminds me of Grimm’s Fairy Tales. Those scary stories weren’t for kids.


    • shoreacres / Feb 14 2019 7:08 am

      Sure they were. They toughened us up for the realities of the playground!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Kate Crimmins / Feb 14 2019 7:15 am

        They gave me nightmares! My uncle’s wife looked like a witch. (Really she did) She was grumpy too. Those stories made me irrationally terrified of her as a child. (Hansel and Gretel)

        Liked by 1 person

        • shoreacres / Feb 14 2019 7:38 am

          Oh…. that would make a difference!

          Liked by 1 person

        • philosophermouseofthehedge / Feb 14 2019 11:48 am

          And those stories about evil step mothers who wanted to get rid of them! Every kid thought those were true!
          Had to laugh about the uncle’s wife – people forget kids do make connections to what’s around them and a child’s reality is so different to an adults’
          Whew, family visits must have been scary!

          Liked by 1 person

      • philosophermouseofthehedge / Feb 14 2019 11:45 am

        Do you remember the fad of Mad Magazine Valentines? Those were witty and sarcastic (but not crude or ethnically insulting). We got those when we were “old enough” in 6th grade – everyone laughed so much at the silliness and who pick which one for whom. Kids now are much too sensitive/ have been taught a victim mentality (or their parents at home are) and those cards would be accused of bullying or hateful.
        A return to letting kids have their own world – like in the original Peanuts shows where adult legs might be seen or some blurry blah blah blah adult talk – the kids were figuring out life on their scale might be a step in the right direction. Much to be learned on the playgrounds without adults barging in all the time “to explain”. Life on a small scale – lessons learned to use later in life. Peanuts – way ahead of its’ time. Thanks for the Valentines smiles

        Liked by 1 person

    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Feb 14 2019 11:39 am

      Whoa- these are grim fairy tale territory. I loved all those ancient version and searched everywhere for the variations…less scary than the urban legend tales the older cousins told in the dark at the farm on weekends…
      Valentines Day always brings up memories school projects with red construction paper and drippy glue. Perfection in Valentines, no, but how much fun. Hard to buy that kind of fun.
      Thanks for the astute observation and taking a stab understanding these creepy valentines!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. shoreacres / Feb 14 2019 7:07 am

    Impulsivity led to a great, non-gory Valentine’s Day discovery: two or three chocolate covered strawberries chopped and stirred into oatmeal really are quite good! Happy Valentine’s Day!


  4. colonialist / Feb 14 2019 8:14 am

    I think the brushes are prominent enough to dismiss gory thoughts from anyone who is not fixated with splashing out on horror!

    Liked by 1 person

    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Feb 14 2019 9:04 am

      Oh, those aren’t cleaning items? HAHA (But why why why the garish Night of the Living Dead mouth?) Love you to death. Future stalker who’s not quite there yet?
      Maybe the paint/ink smudged over the years. Vintage greeting cards/post cards are always intriguing.
      Thanks for painting a possibility! (Happy Valentines!)

      Liked by 1 person

      • colonialist / Feb 14 2019 2:17 pm

        From an era when garish shades of lipstick were in, even if they were actually out(side).
        Vintage pictures and ads can be hilarious with those damsels, with uniformly vapid expressions, in actions clearly putting them in their inferior places.
        2 U 2!


  5. Ally Bean / Feb 14 2019 8:56 am

    Champagne, Ices, Jellies, Tarts, and Cheesecakes? Well, at least that one has a bit of something for everyone in the family. Or as in my case, I’ll just take one of each, please. 💗


  6. susielindau / Feb 14 2019 9:58 am

    That first two are creepy. My bloody valentine…. Mwahahahaha!


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Feb 14 2019 11:13 am

      I went after the elaborate vintage cards, and then it was like a train wreck – couldn’t look away.
      Thanks for the red and read.
      (Hope there’s sun, fun, friends, and family warming your day!)

      Liked by 1 person

      • susielindau / Feb 14 2019 12:34 pm

        You too!


        • philosophermouseofthehedge / Feb 14 2019 1:59 pm

          tried to comment on your post, but WP must be tinkering again.
          An adventure first for the Queen, indeed. Quaint is fun and luxurious!


          • susielindau / Feb 14 2019 2:04 pm

            That’s weird! I’ll check to see what’s going on…
            I’m all about luxurious. LOL!

            Liked by 1 person

  7. angelswhisper2011 / Feb 14 2019 11:48 am

    I think they’rea bit creepy, but only at first side😺💗Heartshaped Pawkisses for a wonderful Valentine’s Day🐾😽💞


  8. The Hook / Feb 14 2019 12:21 pm

    I’ll never look at Valentine’s Day the same way again…


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Feb 14 2019 12:36 pm

      Me either. That creepy kid! Gads. What were they thinking (Please tell me the red mouth faded and it isn’t designed to be vampire lips)
      May your and yours be warmed by friendship and family on this day…and every day
      (How about a petition: Peace and love every day not just on one….oh, we probably couldn’t afford the gift’s bills or the calories HAHA)


      • The Hook / Feb 14 2019 1:38 pm

        You’re right, we couldn’t!
        I couldn’t, at least.


  9. cindy knoke / Feb 14 2019 1:40 pm

    Smuggled French gloves are important…..Unless you live in France. Happy Valentines Day! 💕


  10. The Coastal Crone / Feb 14 2019 1:51 pm

    No hearts and flowers there! I saw blood instead of paint…the dog looked potentially vicious. Wishing you a safe Valentine’s Day no matter what card you prefer to receive or send. These were not your usual vintage ones but then you are always original.


  11. Spinster / Feb 14 2019 2:16 pm

    Sounds better than what many have on offer for (potential) Valentine partners nowadays…

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Pied Type / Feb 17 2019 11:14 pm

    I’m Buster Brown
    I live in a shoe
    That’s my dog Tige
    He lives in there too.

    Been decades since I thought about that.

    Liked by 1 person

    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Feb 19 2019 10:18 am

      I had forgotten the dog’s name and rhyme, but those were vintage childhood. ( The red surely has faded on those cards into the grim appearances?) Dad was always insistent his kid should have well made shoes that fit well as he said your feet was what took care of your entire body – and you only got one pair of feet. Usually we went to Paul Parrot shoe store in the Village (collection of small nice shops) here. There was a very kind older man that had a huge following among mothers as he could fit the most difficult foot – and make sure there was room to grow but the kid wouldn’t trip over them because they were too big. The store had one of those tall boxes you could stick your foot in and you could see your foot’s bones…hmmm, X-ray you think? A whole different time – but the Village still exists as a lovely walkable shopping/restaurant area – still near Rice University. With the old spreading oak trees, it’s still vaguely like vintage Houston.
      Thanks for fitting a comment in here


  13. LordBeariOfBow / Feb 20 2019 6:45 pm

    When it comes to Valentines day I’m a party pooper, and proud of it 😈


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