The Hardy Boys are teen-age brothers (Frank is 18 and has dark hair and is thoughtful, while Joe is a year younger, impetuous and fair) who have been solving crimes since 1927. In hundreds of books (as well as on television) they have consistently stood for truth, justice, and a hearty and nutritious breakfast. As sons of internationally famous detective Fenton Hardy, and with their friend Chet Morton (who they good-naturedly bully about his weight problem) there are no lengths they won’t go to to bring criminals to justice. Young boys and quite a few girls of questionable sexual orientation have been enjoying the Hardy’s adventures for generations. Below are a few Fun Facts about the Hardy Boys and the world they inhabit.
- They live in Bayport, a town on the East coast of the United States. Bayport has about 50,000 inhabitants, roughly half of whom are hardened criminals who can’t outsmart a couple of teen-age boys. The town is rife with abandoned farms, spooky old houses, underground criminal lairs, caves, tunnels, waterfront dives, and disreputable retailers, doctors, and businessmen, as well as colorful low-life characters who are always willing to give the boys information.
- Bayport is a meteorological enigma because sudden storms will arise every time the Hardy’s take their speed boat, the Sleuth, out on the bay. Bayport also has a rich history involving just about every era of American history, and is littered with buried treasures, old manuscripts, cannon, and homesteads. There is also virtually every type of environment nearby, from the sea-shore to dense woods to river-cut mountains, all within easy travel distance of New York, Florida, Canada, and the Old West.
- Their famous father has never actually solved a case on his own. By coincidence whatever mystery the boys stumble upon is directly related to Fenton Hardy’s latest case. He invariably arrives a few seconds after they have solved the thing (and apparently takes all the credit, otherwise how did he get so famous?).
- The Hardy brothers emit some kind of force field that causes all mechanical equipment to fail: they can never use a car, boat, plane, train, motorcycle, or bicycle without getting at least a flat and quite often causing it to be completely destroyed. They always dodge any liability when they destroy the property of others because “it’s insured”.
- Both brothers (but especially Joe) have survived an enormous number of head injuries that invariably cause them black out, but leave no long or even short-term ill effects. By rights neither of them should be able to read, write, speak, or tie their shoes.
- All criminals have strange, foreign-sounding names, are “swarthy”, and speak a bizarre slang that is barely understandable. Only criminals use contractions such as “it’s”, “you’re”, or words like “ain’t”.
- The boys (and especially Chet) are always ready to put everything on hold for a delicious meal prepared by their eternally slim and attractive mother Laura Hardy, or their always “angular and peppery” Aunt Gertrude (who came to visit the Hardy’s in an early book and never left). No meal is ever missed or left-out of the narrative, and each is described in detail. There are as many as thirty or forty meals per-adventure. The boys are also careful never to get kidnapped on Sunday morning, otherwise they might miss a service at their vaguely Protestant church (or whatever vaguely Protestant church happens to be nearby).
- The Hardy’s are fabulously wealthy. Frank and Joe can rent cars, boats, and airplanes, motel rooms, travel to foreign countries, eat at restaurants, bribe informants, buy new clothes, or whatever else they need on a moment’s notice. They own motorcycles, a flashy convertible (which can always be repaired overnight no matter how badly wrecked), a speed boat, an airplane, an amazingly powerful ham radio, a full crime lab, musical instruments, and whatever else they may have the slightest need for. Their extensive collection of flashlights alone must be worth a fortune.
- All young girls find the Hardy brothers attractive. Iola Morton and Callie Shaw are their “favorite dates” – but that’s as much commitment as they seem willing to make. For all their sophistication as crime fighters and world travelers, they have both obviously never even kissed a girl.
- Time is strangely static. While days and nights pass, and now and then it is Winter rather than Summer, no one in the Hardy world ever ages, and school is always out for “vacation”. Yet somehow both Frank and Joe manage to be not only star athletes in high school, but top-level scholars, as well.
- Everyone in the Hardy world has been kidnapped more than once. Fistfights are a daily occurrence, and the Hardy home is constantly under siege from Bayport’s army of criminals. Even the family’s burglar alarm rarely keeps anyone out. The boys themselves never think twice about breaking and entering, physically assaulting people, or stalking anyone who comes within the boundaries of one of their “mysteries”.
- All adult authority figures allow themselves to be completely dominated by Frank and Joe Hardy. No one ever refuses to take them seriously because they’re “just kids” (except hapless criminal fools). All members of the law enforcement and U.S. intelligence communities not only allow them to interfere in their cases, but often take orders from the two boys, and readily give them permission to do things no other “civilian” would be allowed to do. The famous Hardy name is their ticket to even the highest seats of power.
- Any time they get near water the brothers seem to feel the need to dive into it, after first stripping to their “shorts”.
This list is far from complete. The incredible detail and subtle nuance of Hardy Existence could supply a lifetime of study and contemplation. For example, I haven’t even touched on the amazing amount of coincidence in the Hardy Universe – how seemingly completely unrelated people and events can turn-out to be solidly enmeshed with one another. Or how many times just the person they need to see wanders past at just the moment they need them to. For example, while visiting Niagara Falls to rescue a kidnapped Chet Morton, the brothers are confronted by the kidnappers (who outnumber them), when suddenly they are joined by friends Tony Prito and Biff Hooper, who just happen to be driving by on their way to Michigan to do some trout fishing. An excellent fistfight ensues. Man is that lucky or what?