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Dime Novels.

Remember these things? Of course you don't. The only people old enough to remember dime novels are too old to remember which side to pee from. Thankfully I'm here with a history lesson. Dime novels were cheap weekly storybooks published in the 1800's and early 1900's, mainly for teenage and preteen boys. They were filled with tales of mystery, adventure, sports and LEWD DEVIANCE.

As an example, have a look at the cover on the left. It features a popular hero of dime novels (called penny dreadfuls in England) who goes by the name of Dick Turpin. Of course, the obvious question on your mind right now is, "What's Dick doing with his hands in that barrel?" Followed immediately by, "What exactly is the bartender filling that mug with?"

I can already hear some of you saying, How juvenile! That's not what the publisher intended. All right, here's a pop quiz: What is the target audience for dime novels? Answer: Teenage and preteen boys. You're right, they'd never look at that cover and think of anything impolite.

This thing is like a write-your-own-filthy-joke contest. And it's genuinely subtle compared to others.

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Text © 2005 Kris Andrews