"Popular Mechanics" is now a sharer in the glory of the "Cosmopolitan" and the "Transcript" in that it receives attention to the extent of a copious special number of the Lampoon. To the unmechanically inclined reader there must be satisfaction in finding here the realization of many of his most impractical dreams, and genial and often pointed scoffing at the more obvious foibles of one of the chief ornaments of our newsstands. Whether the devoted reader of "Popular Mechanics" who has for years compounded folding beds out of hen houses by following the directions in his favorite periodical, will be equally content, is another question, but surely in the intervals of his labors he may enjoy the full tide of Lampoon punning, alliteration, and nonsense. Nonsense it is, of course, but of the sort that might beneficially be made prescribed reading for many of us.
Many Delightful Features
In details the number is to be praised. Cover, style of type, and particularly the twisted reproduction of stock phrases known to readers of "Popular Mcchanies," live up to the best standards of other Lampoon burlesques. As to the material itself, although no one is likely to find here a newly uncovered vein of humor, no one with preconceived opinions as to what the Lampoon may be expected to offer, will be disappointed. Some clever drawing, some clever writing, faithful adherence to well-worn themes for jesting all these are found in their due proportions. Best of all these is the imagination so often lacking and wished for in other college writing and other college interests. Quite the most delightful features, to one reader at least, are the brief paragraphs sandwiched in at the bottom of many columns each containing an utterly commonplace fact stated with the gravity befitting the wisdom of a new Solomon.
Lack of Variety Only Defect
Yet somehow, as a whole, the number is not likely to achieve the recognition of the "Transcript" Lampoon, or the earlier but never-to-be-forgotten issue devoted to the Boston papers. This is not due, we may fancy, to any deficiencies in this year's board, but rather to the limited opportunity offered by the subject of this latest Lampoon. There is too little variety--after all when one has amusingly pictured and described a "Practical Canary Bird Feeder," or has devised a "Combination Comb and Worm Kit," one has sufficiently treated the usual contributions to "Popular Mechanics." To fill a whole number, then, involves some repetition, and, perhaps, at times some tedium for the reader. Of course an excursion into the advertising pages of the model offers the jaded Lampoon contributor one more field for jesting, but at last he must fall tamely back to invent a new contrivance or a new "helpful hint," which, however painstaking in its working up, suffers from close association with too many of its kind. Such are the penalties of "special numbers" except where the subject lends itself more easily to varied treatment. That the number, in spite of its handicaps, proves so entertaining, testifies highly to the quality of its individual contributions