The big news crossing the trivial-news desks this week was the discovery of some old Charlie Chaplin footage from the 1920s which appeared to show a woman talking on a cell phone. According to the YouTube comments which accompanied the video -- heavily laden WITH words capitalized for no OBVIOUS reason -- this was clear proof that time travel had been invented, and that we were being monitored by people from the future at all times, probably even in the bathroom. The obvious refute -- that someone capable of time travel would also be capable of using a communication device a hell of a lot more subtle than a cell phone -- seems to have been ignored thus far by this, the -- let's face it -- not the most intellectually towering corner of the Internet. So, with the YouTube community ignoring its mandate for conducting responsible research, it was left up to Cracked to get to the bottom of this mystery. After dressing myself in the most 20s-est garb I could find ...
A bastard to type in, but this really put me in the right frame of mind.... I began brainstorming a list of possible explanations for the footage. After nearly 80 seconds of effort, I came up with the following list of possibilities, conveniently grouped into three categories:
These explanations all involve something simple that explains the image without resorting to time travel, alien invaders or a mischievous genie. Consequently, they are pretty boring. If it helps, imagine hearing these read aloud by the voice of Hulk Hogan. That should make it more fun. It's a Hearing Aid
The lady's using some kind of hearing aid, either an ear trumpet, or the carbon microphone deally pictured above, which had supposedly been invented a few years prior to the footage. It's not clear what she's so keen on listening too, though something like "Hey Fat Lady! Yes you. The water buffalo. Get out of our shot," seems a likely possibility. ________________________________________________ Maybe She's Got an Itch
The lady is scratching her ear or earlobe or face because of some irritation. Was she a heavy drinker suffering from the DTs caused by Prohibition? Or did she have a case of the Frenchman's Complaint? ________________________________________________ She's Shielding Her Eyes
The shadows in the video reveal that there is a very bright light shining on the scene from a low angle, which -- considering the technology available at the time -- was either the sun, or the face of an angry, Old Testament God. So, she could simply be keeping the sun out of her eyes, or trying to avoid being turned into a pillar of salt. ________________________________________________ The Video's a Fake
The video itself could have been doctored in the modern era, either as an easter egg inserted by the studio which released the DVD, or by whomever uploaded the clip to YouTube. Modern technology makes manipulating video images to insert people not that difficult, so expect to see this lady showing up in the background of a thousand damned things across the Internet by this time tomorrow.
She's Just a Basic Crazy Lady
Next there is the sub category of explanations which rely on the premise that this is actually footage of the local town lunatic wandering around, being a burden on society. All of these explanations involve her speaking into a darkish, non-time-traveling object, speaking into it in the manner of a crazy person. It's a Rye Bread Sandwich
"Hello? Sandwich? Are you delicious? You sound so far away. I miss you." ________________________________________________ It's an Old Banana
"Hello? Old Banana? Have you gone rotten? I am sorry for neglecting you. I do not love the sandwich more than you. I just love it in a different way." ________________________________________________ It's a Goliwog
"Who's my offensive representation of a black person? You are! Yes, you are! My word. I'm crazy, and even I find this in poor taste. Maybe that means I'm sane and everyone else is crazy? I'D BETTER GO PEE ON THAT ZEBRA." ________________________________________________ It's a Brick of Hash
"Oh, Mr. Brick of Hash, me and my flapper friends are going to get so high on you. We are going to get high and have sex like dogs do with sailors." ________________________________________________ It's Some Patent Medicine
"No one must ever know the dark, horrible things we do together, Laxakola." ________________________________________________ It's a Rock
"Hello Mr Rock. How are you? I let Old Banana go bad last week, and now I feel awful. Promise me you'll never change Mr. Rock. Promise me you will always taste the same." ________________________________________________ It's a Black Dildo
"The doctor said that this should ease my climacteric flashes, but gave no instructions how to use it. I imagine placing it next to the brain -- the source of womanly ailments -- will do the trick."
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