Episode 156: Smollop: The Marblehead Smallpox Riots

Sniff the blanket…Sniff, sniff, pass. Don’t bogart the blankie.

First off, I looked at smallpox multimedia (that is a thing) at the Mayo Clinic site so you didn’t have to. The pox look like barnacles on the side of an old, neglected ship. Barnacles that are each individually FULL OF PUS o my GOD run it’s the ENDTIMES

Seriously, don’t Google that shit. I took the bullet for you. You might end up with suppurating carbuncles, then I’ll be getting therapy bills, and it’ll be a big ole mess.

This entire Marblehead/Boston debacle can be summed up thusly: Death by committee. Mobs. More death by committee. Punishments. Meanwhile, more smallpox.

Puritan Village: The Formation of a New England Town * Sumner Chilton Powell

The New England Soul: Preaching and Religious Culture in Colonial New England * Harry S. Stout

For your next Trivial Pursuit game: Cotton’s first name came from his mother Maria’s maiden name: his parents were Increase Mather and Maria Cotton Mather.

The Life and Times of Cotton Mather * Kenneth Silverman
The Mathers: Three Generations of Puritan Intellectuals, 1596-1728 * Richard Middlekauff  (Richard, Increase, and Cotton)

Shall I interject here? I shall, verily. I need to point out how attractive Cotton Mather is on Salem (which is a splendiferous television show, by the by). How attractive, you ask? O, my dear. There’s nudity, my loves. Momma Carla is always looking out for you. Forget about that nasty smallpox and behold:


This actor’s name is Seth Gabel, and he does a wonderful job with the brooding and the angst…and the sex scenes.  He also looks remarkably like somebody I used to know, which is so very strange. But I do not let that stop me, no ma’am.

The actual sex screengrabs are behind the spoiler hideyhole after the band names list. They aired on WGN, but that doesn’t mean your boss wants to see ’em. You’re welcome.

Okay, I have to finish with a historical document, because, credibility and stuff and words.

Magnalia Christi Americana: Or, The Ecclesiastical History of New-England * Cotton Mather

Also, the last known natural case of smallpox was in 1977 in Somalia. (There was a “laboratory accident” in Birmingham, England, in 1978.) (source: World Health Organization)

Band names from this episode:

  • Pus in a Nutshell
  • Smallpox Party
  • Poxparty
  • Fancy Merchant
  • Speckled Monster
  • Castle Pox
  • Shellpus
  • Just Cause Clause
  • Spite Hospital
Salem sex pictures ahoy NSFW


I couldn’t even find the one I sought, in which he takes a woman from behind while preaching and holding his arms in a cruciform position. Yep. Don’t say I never gave you nothin’.


  1. Mr. Merle

    Apart from not knowing who Cotton Mather was (don’t forget his brother, Increase), you must at least have some familiarity with differences in written English over the past 300-500 years. By way of introduction, there are lots of superfluous e’s that aren’t pronounced, and s’s look like f’s for some reason. Also: the ‘h’ is silent in ‘heirs,’ ‘corps’ rhymes with ‘more,’ and it’s SUB-seh-quent-lee, not sub-SEE-quten-lee.

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