By Jim Linderman

So Firm and so Fully PackedSo Firm and so Fully Packed is “a torrid tale of a plump lady who laced tightly.” Now THAT is how to promote a book. I could only hope for such a good blurb. Someone was thinking (but we will never know who) as despite top shelf drawings by fetish artist Eric Stanton on both covers, there is no publisher. There is no date, no place of origin… and I guess no literary value, though that is up to a jury of your peers. By publishing the book with no place of origin, the publisher was flirting with an obscenity charge.

Torrid TaleEven though patriot Thomas Paine, American advocate for freedom of the press, never thought a return address the British could trace was required on a pamphlet nailed to a tree… the New York State board of grumpy, “we know better than YOU” censors thought different, so they passed a law requiring that data on books. Place of origin and a legitimate address. They passed the law so they could track down mobsters printing porn, but really just because they thought they could get more of the mom vote I guess.

Slippery slope! Next they’ll be requiring every single person on the web have a traceable IP address!

Um… done.

Interestingly, Thomas Paine was a CORSET-MAKER by profession! See how my world all makes perfect sense?

Anyway, back to our digest. The book was written in 1958, but one can only tell if they read it. So Round, So Firm, So Fully Packed was a cigarette slogan. Now cigarettes were a far greater threat to our health than a 40 page digest with nary a swear word, much less anything which would cause cancer, but two women cavorting in lingerie was, well…  just WRONG somehow.

Merle Travis, inventor of the “Merle Travis style of picking” and country legend had a huge hit with his song by the title in 1947. Merle had two missions in life. One was to expose the horror and danger of Kentucky coal mining. Two was to avoid being a Kentucky coal miner. So he practiced with a guitar neck in his hand for ten straight years, then wrote “Dark as a Dungeon” about coal mining. He also wrote Sixteen Tons, Cannonball Rag, Nine Pound Hammer and of course So Round, So Firm, So Fully Packed. Merle Travis was a great American with a noble mission and a sense of humor.

So round, so firm, so fully packed, that’s my gal
So complete from front to back, that’s my pal
Merle TravisToasted by the sun and I’m a son-of-a-gun
If she don’t make my five o’clock shadow come around at one
You can bet your boots I’d walk a mile through the snow
Just to see that toothpaste smile they mention on the radio
If you don’t think she’s a lot of fun, just ask the man that owns one
So round, so firm, so fully packed, that’s my gal

So round, so firm, so fully packed, boy, she’s for me
She’s just like a money-back guarantee
Like the barfly goes for drink, like the bobbysoxer goes for Frank
And just like Jesse James would go for money in the bank

From head to foot she’s a perfect size, she’s a whiz
But she wears a 45, gun that is
She’s got the look that’s so impressin’, she’s got the poise that’s so
So round, so firm, so fully packed, that’s my gal

She’s done told me that I’m top hand
Won’t be long ‘til she wears my brand
So round, so firm, so fully packed, that’s my gal

Lucky StrikeShe made his “five o’clock shadow come around at one” is based in science! It has been proven orgasm increases beard growth! I can claim it is a scientific fact as there are people claiming evolution is not… and that climate-change is a left-wing conspiracy. It’s called freedom of press. Anyway, if Merle says it’s true (as a touring chart-topper with a considerable female fan base) it is true. Merle’s clever ditty was based on cigarette slogans. The song causes absolutely NO cancer, scientific fact. The brands referenced are Lucky Strike, Camel, Packard automobiles and Pepsi. I have no idea if Pepsi is harmful to your health, but I am sure the Packard had no seat belts.

So Firm and So Fully Packed (the book) is pretty good! I read it for this essay. Not good enough for me to reprint it and sell it on Kindle as my own (which I COULD do… no copyright) but still good. It discusses “volcanic reactions” produced in Marsha, a five foot four inch gal who was “round and roly-poly” when she tries on a corset for the first time. Personally I would have used the more acceptable phrase “lush” than “roly-poly” and sure enough… lush appears a page later. Anyway, that’s the entire plot. 40 pages of it. The book is as disposable as an empty pack of smokes.


NOTES: The best Merle Travis is the giant lump of coal produced by the Bear Family HERE. I do not see them offering a money-back guarantee, but you won’t return it. Ever. However, the hits are available on numerous budget label cut-outs or in “cold as steel no audio warmth” downloads. If you would like to write your own novelty record based on advertising slogans, the Advertising Slogan Hall of Fame would be useful. I’d make it Hip-Hop today, but country remains the most profitable musical format. Rap has two states, maybe three interested in it. Country has the rest. Every story needs a bad guy, so the Kentucky Coal Association is HERE. I am sure they will tell you their coal is as “clean” as the book here is “dirty” but have an open mind. The digest “Torrid Tale” is circa 1958 collection Jim Linderman.

Jim Linderman is a Grammy-nominated collector, popular culture historian and author. His network of blogs is approaching 4 million page views, and his VINTAGE SLEAZE BLOG which tells a true story from the golden age of smut every day has over 300,000 Facebook followers. For several years he has been working on TIMES SQUARE SMUT which will tell the story of several long forgotten writers, illustrators and mob-connected publishers from the 1950s who ultimately influenced contemporary culture.

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