Monday, May 06, 2013

Elsie and the Looking Club

An old book held and celebrated for its cover but not flipped through and then pondered after the fact:

Wait, so is it about a weirdly sexy cow and her friends that spend all day looking at a mirror?

Or is it about a club that just likes looking at Elsie, the weirdly sexy cow, who may not be the most appropriate friend for these children to have?

What, exactly, are they watching Elsie do? Cow stuff? Lady stuff?

Does Elsie know they are watching? (I mean, she looks like she is into it.)

Or do they just all go around looking at things, Sexy Elsie and her human child-friends that maybe she had kidnapped for all I know, because they live in a strange world where a slender-shouldered, elegant cow-woman is somehow not the most interesting thing to look at?

But she is unusually sexy for a cow, no?

Did the children make the daisy chain for her? Is that hinting at something awful? Though literally speaking, they would have had to, because elegant forehoof notwithstanding, she doesn’t have the fingers necessary to weave daisies together.

Is it weird if I can only imagine the worst possible uses for the bucket at the bottom of the illustration?

Are they milking her?

Are they “milking” her?

God, I hope they are milking her and not “milking” her.

Is it a “looking but not touching” club?


  1. Elsie is actually the symbol for the Borden Dairy Company. I don't know what a "Looking Club" is, but maybe it's something like finding Waldo.

    1. Ah. Thanks for that. Very curious as to what looking has to with dairy enthusiasm. But still, thanks.

  2. Yep, that's Elsie the Cow of Borden's fame, wife of Elmer of Elmer's Glue (a detail I found unsettling, mascot-wise, even as a kid...what does glue have to do with milk? and isn't glue made from...uh-oh). Here's a decent plot synopsis of the book you're looking at, but it's still a bit baffling.

    Also disturbing: Elsie was featured in the early 1960s at a theme park called Freedomland USA, in an exhibit titled "Elsie's Boudoir". I do not wish to thank the Wikipedia editor who added the pun about Elsie's "calves" to that part of the article.

    Organized club or no, I'd at least rather be looking at Elsie instead of the mascot for the modern "Skinny Cow" line of ice cream sandwiches.

    1. WOW. So this is a lot, but still: wow. The name Eurydice Semiramis Terwilliger seems like something that needs an extra bit of life online.

      The author of the Etsy entry accurately notes the awkwardness of Elsie being married to Elmer, since there's nothing about using a bull as a mascot for glue that doesn't suggest that he IS the glue.