Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Dear Maleficent

This is another one of those cards where the back is of more interest than the front. I wouldn't worry about James Shockley's dog; there's obviously some code language going on here. What could it mean though? Here's the message, sent to Dottie Hilker, in case you can't read it on the card:

Dear Maleficent:
Just to let you know that James Shockley's dog got hit.
Yours Truly
Drusilla + Anastasia

If you think you know what this means, please let me know. Here's the not-so-exciting front of the card:


  1. Whew, Christine, this is a tough one! You have to break out all your forensic skills. You've got a classical reference, a literary word from belles-lettres, and other stuff on a rustic, hayseed-themed card. At first glance, doesn't seem to make an ounce of sense. Jack/Youngstown

  2. How about this: it's something to do with Anastasia, the missing Romanov princess. Perhaps "James Shockley's dog" is a coded reference to her whereabouts...

  3. But then how do Maleficent (presumably the evil Maleficient from Sleeping Beauty) and Drusilla (Caligula's sister?) fit in? I think one of these ladies needs to step forward and explain this to us. After all, their correspondence IS our business.

  4. Dang!:} I'll go for long yardage on this one. James Shockley's dog--canine, not cryptographic--actually got hit. The note is written to Miss Dottie in the voice of the cats owned by the writer (Drusilla and Anastasia), and addressed to the cat owned by Miss Dottie. Sounds like the writer may be slightly mean-spirited absent information about Mr. Shockley and his dog.

    I like my theory, except the writing, a mixed printing w/ some cursive, and the illustration seem to suggest a male writer, which doesn't sound consistent with cutesy-poo rhetoric. Jack/Youngstown

  5. Fascinating .. . but, I must admit to being
    far too brain dead to figure it out!


  6. I like the idea of code much better than a dog being hit!

  7. 'The Dog' was a capo in the Shockley family, a British crime organization that specialized in shaking down pie and mash shops in London after WWII. Miss Dottie owned one of the most popular shops in town, and thus was a lucrative 'client' of the Shockley's.

    One day her son, Caligula, could take no more of this abuse of his mother, so chased 'The Dog' and his goons out of the shop, but tragically was struck and killed by one of the double-decker buses that jammed Piccadilly Circus, which Miss Dottie's shop fronted (see Christine's 7/2/10 post...). Miss Dottie, heartbroken at the loss of her only child, locked the door of her shop and boarded a ship for the United States the next day. As she stood at the rail, watching the shoreline recede, those around her were perplexed as she repeated the phrase, "pity the fool that ventures into the eel pit", over and over.

    Settling in Edgemere, Miss Dottie opened a new restaurant, named 'The Angry Claw', which specialized in blue crab and was also quite popular. She lived a quiet life, but was never seen smiling for over 20 years, until the day this post card arrived from the couple that ran the pie and mash shop across from her old store. Shortly thereafter, she appeared in Piccadilly Circus, selling frozen eel pops from a cart named 'Home', and wearing a grin that couldn't be beat.

    She could be found there every day, rain or shine, smiling until her death at 99 in 2007.

  8. Having just read the Anonymous explanation , I'm now wavering between frozen eel pops and my original assumption .
    Which was that this is just to let Dottie know that Anastasia isn't up the duff after all , panic over , so the three of them will be rooming together in college this year as planned .Writing probably shaky from relief , it being 1967.

  9. 'Up the duff'... had to look that one up, I learned something today, hooray!

  10. MR. Anonymous,
    I buy your story hook, line, and sinker, but if the card was sent from the place across from her pie and mash shop in England...shouldn't there be a British postmark?

  11. Hello? Do you think 'The Dog' was hit by a bus too? Heck no, he was found bludgeoned to death in one of the alleys off Piccadilly, apparently by a blunt frozen seafood instrument, based on the freezer burn on his flesh and the scent of fish permeating the crime scene... The 'eel pit' Miss Dottie had referred to was the tight knit group of pie and mash shop owners, they made sure to take care of their own, however long it took. Drusilla and Anastasia were too smart to send a card directly to Miss Dottie, so they routed it thru one of their suppliers in Turbeville, whose heirloom parsley was the secret ingredient in their famous eel liquor sauce.

  12. Sounds perfectly reasonable to me!

  13. What an enigma! Cartoon man's bloodshot eyes on the front, postmark of 1967 and a strange message -- made me wonder if it wasn't drug lingo of some sort!ha!

  14. Aha, I hadn't thought of that. I'm waiting for Dottie to come forward and explain this to us.



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