Dear Dr. Boli: While working on costumes for a revival of Cordelia’s Aspirations at the Shiras Theater, I was struck by the question of the bustle, that peculiar mechanical apparatus that gave women’s skirts such a ridiculous bulge in the rear. Why did women affect such a monstrous exaggeration of their own anatomy? —Sincerely, “Raven,” from Claude’s Costumes & Tattoo Parlor.
Dear Madam: Do you mean to tell Dr. Boli that artificial mechanical contrivances were responsible for— that is to say— This is dreadfully unsettling, and Dr. Boli will need some time to recover himself. He had always assumed it had something to do with a change of diet. Mechanical apparatus! Well, this is the frozen limit.