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Wag loafs in defiance of Gestapo tourism tactics

Wagner says The Thing? is still your best entertainment value.

No such Thing(?)

Pictured is one of the many exhibits inside The Thing?, Arizona's bestest and mostest and est-est-est tourist trap hokum paradise, billed as MYSTERY OF THE DESERT.

Wonder and mystery surround The Thing? so it's no wonder that it's a mystery what a "Gestapo press" might be.

The Gestapo, of course, was the popular contraction of the name of the Nazi secret police, Geheime Staatspolizei.

What makes this exhibit as puzzling as The Thing? itself is the bluff-them-with-specificity date:

1705

It's not surprising that The Thing?'s esteemed and knowledgeable cultural historians have plucked the date 1705 from the air or from their anatomy -- it's standard practice at The Thing? to lend a certain gravity to an exhibit by assigning a date.

While I wouldn't think of spoiling THE MYSTERY OF THE DESERT, I think I won't be giving away any secrets by revealing that the year 1705 preceded the year 1933. I don't doubt that the Gestapo could have figured out an efficient way to use a hand-operated printing press as a torture device but, historically speaking, it is safe to say that there was no Gestapo in the year 1705.

The real mystery therefore is: what was the sign painter trying to say? Gestetner? Gestalt? Gestopityergekillingme?