Tuesday, January 19

Being innocent when there were no mobiles

The exhibition shows gadgets sold by the Pérez Seguí Drugstore, including fake fingers, fruits and ice cream, and even

The exhibition shows gadgets sold by the Pérez Seguí Drugstore, including fake fingers, fruits and ice cream, and even “trigger” tobacco packages. |

December 28 has always been in the collective imagination as the day when nobody can trust anyone. Pranks are the order of the day, and some can be in very bad taste. However, the day of the Holy Innocents of 2020, today, will surely be very different from the one celebrated in Elche from the sixties to the eighties. The evolution of technologies has changed the dynamics of this event, and now surely the practical jokes are given through a video call or through social networks.

To go back in time, the Pusol School Museum wanted to recall what it was like to be the “victim” of one of these innocent fools in the last century. For this reason they have inaugurated a temporary exhibition for Christmas in which about 20 joke items that were sold in the old Pérez Seguí Drugstore are shown.

From stink bombs that ran out almost instantly by the great demand that they had even plastic “poops” or false teeth. This establishment was an icon in the sale of this type of item for a long time until its closure in 1994. Years later the museum received a donation from the entire drugstore, which included the inventory of these pieces that can now be seen by the public.

Borja Agulló, a museum technician, explains that the ingenuity of playing this type of joke began to occur in the sixties when plastic was already marketed in establishments. There was also this culture of acquiring these toys for all ages at fairs and street stalls at popular festivals.

Being innocent when there were no mobiles

This collection that is now shown in Pusol also has an explanatory sheet to spread among the little ones what kind of jokes their parents and grandparents used to do when they were young, jokes that came out between eight and fifty pesetas.

The assortment was varied and for all tastes. From the simplest with fruits, ice cream, cold cuts and plastic “poop” that they were very faithful to reality to gadgets for the innocent to get their fingers caught. One of the most risky was an explosive lighter that when uncovered it scared the other. At the same level was the packet of “Camel detonating” tobacco. It was apparently a normal tobacco packet with a cigarette sticking out. When the innocent wanted to catch it, the rest of the cigarettes shot jumped.

There were also those who used an apparently plastered finger that had a tube at the tip that released water. Then there were the false eyebrow and nose, one of the few items that new generations can continue to find, for example, in the party bag before eating the grapes for New Year’s Eve.


From the School Museum of Pusol they indicate that this Christmas season they are noticing an increase in visits, especially from Elche who decide to learn about local history. They also point out that these months are boosting social networks to compensate for the fact that face-to-face disclosure is more complicated since the covid-19 pandemic makes school excursions difficult and workshops such as the making of Christmas sweets cannot be developed.

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