Tuesday, December 8, 2009

The Package from Siam

The following story appeared December 5 1928 in the Syracuse Herald. The package from “Siam” was a plot device that was widely used in comic strips and comic books by artists like Elzie Segar and Carl Barks >

St. Louis, Mo., Dec 4. - Col. George Bungle has taken the offensive against his creator and tormentor, Harry J. Tuthill, comic strip cartoonist. Tuthill has just received, at his home in Ferguson, a St. Louis suburb, a fine large monkey. The brute was delivered by express, and the crate it traveled in bears this inscription: “From George Bungle, Siam.”

Now, as all the world of newspaper readers knows, George Bungle is the leading character in “The Bungle Family,” a comic feature produced by Tuthill. Col. George Bungle has been through many strange adventures in the course of his remarkable career in the comic strips. He suffered aphasia once, and was pursued by a designing woman. He got into a neck of trouble over a necklace that he never stole, and he has had remarkable experiences on the stock exchange.

Recently, however, Col. Bungle was flabbergasted, so to speak. Somebody sent him a white elephant. A real one, that actually ate enormous quantities of expensive hay and did a lot of damages in garages and other parking spaces. Bungle and his family were furious. They lay awake nights trying to identify the wicked sender of the elephant.

While the white elephant mystery was at its height artist Tuthill received the monkey. He doesn’t know who sent it, but the tag said it came from George Bungle. Tuthill has been almost as much embarrassed by his new pet as Bungle was discommoded by the elephant, that’s certain. Tuthill can’t give the beast away, and he doesn’t know how to support a monkey in the style to which he has been accustomed in the Siamese woods. But there is poetic justice in the situation, as Tuthill’s neighbors knowingly remark. The poor comic strip characters have to put up with a lot and Col. Bungle is the first one of them to turn on his master with some of his own bitter medicine.

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