Sunday, July 5, 2015

Der Tater Tot | Dead Potatoes Camouflaged

Spurious butterfly species (top)
Above Two examples of the same butterfly, known as the Brimstone Butterfly (Gonepteryx rhamni). However, the one at the top has been altered. It was sent by British butterfly collector William Charlton to London entomologist James Petiver in 1702. Sixty years later, it was examined by Carl Linnaeus, who (not noticing that the large dark spots had been added with paint) concluded that it was a new species, which he named Papilio ecclipsis. Today, the hoax is known as the Charlton Brimstone Butterfly.


Anon, THIEF USED CAMOUFLAGE: Job Monaghan's Potatoes Were Stolen in Boston Sunday Post, October 14, 1917, p. 10—

When Job Monaghan, a Wellesley [MA] mason, went to his vegetable garden yesterday to spade up a plentiful harvest of potatoes, which he confidently anticipated to find beneath a luxuriant growth of potato vines, he was confronted instead with a camouflage in his potato patch.

Having prepared a storage for the tubers, Job took his trusty spade and proceeded to dig in the potato patch for the long-waited-for spud. The first vine dug out unearthed not a single "tater." Thinking they had grown to an enormous size and had by their sheer weight sunk deeply into the soil he excavated as far as the handle of his spade would permit. He failed to uncover a single potato. The second vine was excavated the same as the first and a similar result followed.

Excavating-and-discovering-nothing was kept up until 85 vines had been accounted for. At this stage he claims to have lost count, because of his perplexity in failing to explain the vegetable phenomena.

He leaned on his hoe and gave himself up to meditation. After a little reflection he concluded that somebody had deftly extracted the tubers and had spruced the vines that they might stand life-like and be a deception. Some expert in the art of potato camouflage had done the work after first poaching the highly-prized spud.

"It surely was a work of art," contemplated Job Monaghan. "That man has missed his vocation. He worked with high skill in the potato trenches and deceived me with the alluring idea that a wealth of tubers lay awaiting my spade under the stout vines. His place is in France and his line is placing camouflage as a delusion to the German riflemen."


Anon, CAMOUFLAGE REPLACES STRONG ARM IN UNDERWORLD in Logansport Pharus Reporter, November 24, 1919, p. 12—

NEW YORK, Nov. 24—Strong arm methods are considered antiquated in New York's thuggery circles. Camouflage and the double-cross have supplanted the "rough stuff."

This is the information gained by Assistant District Attorney John F. Joyce in an interview with Charles Gless and Joe Hylan, ex-prize fighters, held as material witnesses in the killing of Harry Issacs, a laundryman. The prisoners told Joyce:

"Nowadays when a guy's hired to do up another guy he goes to that guy, they makes a deal, the guy to be done up camouflages with court plaster and maybe an arm in a sling, and then the strong arm guy brings round the guy what hired him, points out the 'damage' to the camouflaged guy, collects the coin, and splits with the lad what's camouflaged. See?"