The Man on Page 602

From the Mailbag

Dear Urban Legends:

I read somewhere that in a 1975 Sears catalog, there is a penis visible in one of the pictures. Is this true? It sounds kind of urban legend-y to me, but I'm curious to know.

Dear Reader:

One man's "penis" is another man's "innocent blotch," if you know what I mean.

I'm old enough to remember chuckling furtively over the photo in 1975 when friends were passing the infamous Sears catalog around.

Opinion seemed to be divided about half-and-half — some of us were utterly convinced that what we were looking at was the real deal, so to speak, while others scoffed. Cecil Adams has compared it to a Rorschach Test — i.e., the phallus is in the eye of the beholder.

Real or not, the "peeking penis" caused quite a stir at the time. Sears eventually tried to explain the phenomenon away as a printing blemish, but by then it had already been immortalized by country singer Jack Barlow (a.k.a. "Zoot Fenster") in a popular novelty song called "The Man on Page 602."

What's that you say? Need a closer look? I thought so.

(Photos courtesy of The Straight Dope).