Wanted—A Hairbrush

In which Eddie, the Cheerful Cherub, opines that the Old Adam has been too much for the League of Nations

EDGAR MARCH August 15 1932

Wanted—A Hairbrush

In which Eddie, the Cheerful Cherub, opines that the Old Adam has been too much for the League of Nations

EDGAR MARCH August 15 1932

Wanted—A Hairbrush

In which Eddie, the Cheerful Cherub, opines that the Old Adam has been too much for the League of Nations


MY DOCTOR says that a man who is arguing about the League of Nations should not emphasize a point by slamming his foot down on a black tomcat's tail. I agree with him. My doctor, who knows a lot and will some day become a great specialist, says that stepping on a black tomcat’s tail is bad luck. He said this first while pouring iodine down the permanent furrows on the back of my scalp. He said this and charged me three dollars, so I know he is right and I agree with him.

I am worried about the League of Nations. So is Josephus McDermott. He is the black gentleman cat with the bruised tail. The League of Nations has caused us to worry. It has ruined the back of my scalp, the tip of Josephus McDermott’s tail, my wife’s nervous system, and a pair of pants belonging to a newspaper friend of mine. This newspaper friend was wearing the pants when Josephus McDermott ran up them on his way to my scalp. The League of Nations is responsible for all these things and I am worried about it.

My wife says that a man of my age ought to know better than to make all that uproar, scaring a person most to death and getting all covered with scratches. My newspaper friend was no use to me, and he seemed to think I should pay for his pants. This newspaper friend is sometimes a little queer.

Josephus McDermott has abandoned my house and has taken up residence in an old box located in the centre of the gooseberry patch in my garden. He has taken up residence there because he believes that humankind has not changed since the vogue ran heavily to nice furry breech clouts. He appreciates that speed and a handy thorn bush saved many of his ancestors from becoming prominent in the breech clout market.

Josephus McDermott is a psychic cat. He knows what humankind was like in the good old days, and he believes it has not changed.

The League of Nations, about which I aun

worried, can send a delegation to argue with Josephus McDermott. They can send a delegation or a royal commission, and the members can stand outside myo patch and argue with him. They can tell him that humankind has changed and is civilized, and that now there is perfect understanding, brotherly love and increased taxes to cover their travelling expenses. I know what will happen. I do indeed. Josephus McDermott will ask them to arrange a new tip for his tail as a suitable memorial to the piece now missing. Josephus McDermott will ask this, and then he will cuss and invite them to go away from his gooseberry patch. Josephus McDermott is a reactionary and a Tory, but he is psychic and knows about humankind.

I disagree with this black gentleman cat of mine. I do indeed. I think that the League of Nations is a wonderful

idea but advanced. It often makes me thimc of paintings by advanced painters. That is what I really think of the League of Nations, It is a present-day sort of advanced painting arranged by people whose better natures got the best of them. My own better nature got me into trouble with Josephus McDermott. If it had not been for this better nature and an inhibition known as the thin veneer of civilization I would have thrown this newspaper friend of mine out on the lawn. Instead of that, I merely tapped my foot on the living-room fkx)r. 1 tapped my foot when my friend said that the League of Nations was an evidence of the upward trend of mankind. I tapped it, and nowo at me. I’m half scalped and my friend hasn’t any pants to speak of. This just shows that humankind should act natural and enjoy themselves, and not try to yearn upward without having a solid foundation to yearn from.

What Grandmother Taught

THAT is one of the major troubles besetting the League of Nations. When humankind lets its better nature get the best of it. then the old original foundation is absolutely forgotten. The original foundation used to be known as the Old Adam. I know that the Old Adam is in each one of us exactly one hundred per cent. We are just chockablock with the Old Adam. I know this and there is no use arguing with me. I know it because my dear old grandmother taught it to me.

Grandmother used to say, “Eddie, you are just chockablock with the real Old Adam.” Then she would swing on me with an ebonyhandled hairbrush. Lessons inculcated with an ebony-handled hairbrush remain seared on the memory. If you lave been instructed with the aid of one, you will realize that these quaint, old pre-League-of-Nations customs were effective. You knew you had better be happy and contented. Grandmother used to say that humankind was justo with the Old Adam. Grandmother was a wonderful woman. She said that in years to come mankind would be much more sensible; that it had better become more sensible or the Old Adam would destroy us all. I'm stringing with grandmother. That is the reason I am worrying about the league of Nations. The Old Adam is so active.

This newspaper friend of mine who had his pants torn, says I am a fool to worry. He says I am all wrong to worry, and that Japan’s conduct toward China was a scandal in the face of the upward trend of man. Continued on page 1,6

Continued on page 46

Continued from page 15

The Ixague of Nations, he says, should step in with the strong hand in all cases of this kind.

This newspaper friend is queer. He lost his temper when I said that the League of Nations lacked an ebony-handled hairbrush.

A league of nations without an ebonyhandled hairbrush, I said, is just another temptation for the Old Adam. And besides,

I told my friend, Japan had excellent precedents. Japan, I said, just took one look backward toward the dawn of history and saw so many precedents that she couldn't move her troops fast enough. And, anyway, China is used to being invaded. People have been invading China for so many generations that the folks there would become lonely if rough characters didn’t arrive every so often and create disturbances around the fringes. The only way to stop these rough characters, I pointed out, was to hand the League of Nations an ebonyhandled hairbrush and tell them to hop to it.

Ladies Don’t Like Peace

T USED to know an old sea captain. This sea captain was a veteran of the clipper ships, and he said that the clipper ships were smart ships. "Young feller,” he’d drawl, “you show me a contented fo’c’sle and I’ll show ye a sloppy vessel.”

My friend the clipper captain would have been amazed at the League of Nations. He probably would have shipped one nice, new oak belayin’ pin to Geneva, together with a pious instruction that it he used to axil off the next lily-fingered, putty-faced son of a sea scullion who suggested international ownership of a place in the sun. That was the kind of a clipper captain he was. He believed that a contented fo’c’sle indicated a slack afterguard, that a slack afterguard indicated a sloppy ship, and that a sloppy ship was a danger to all commerce on the high seas. Furthermore, this dipper captain lathered me with a rope’s end one fine morning for spitting to windward instead of to loo’ard, which act he calculated was Hying plumb in the face o’ Providence.

A man with an upbringing like that. I pointed out to my newspaper friend, could hardly help worrying about the League of Nations. A man with an upbringing like mine would not fly twice in the face o’ Providence; certainly not when the power of the Old Adam had been seared on his memory with an ebony-handled hairbrush.

That is all that is wrong with the League of Nations. It is an added temptation for the Old Adam. It is not a natural manifestation, and it needs an ebonv-handled hairbrush until mankind catches up with the ideal. It is not a'natural manifestation because the womenfolk do not approve of it. The womenfolk will probably be surprised and annoyed when they read this, but tit is true. The womenfolk will lie annoyed, but the cold truth is that fundamentally they do not approve of the League of Nations. Our ancestors first noticed this peculiar trait in the gentler sex many thousands of years ago, when all the game in the countryside drifted into their private valley. The game drifted in and the lads from over the ridge came along to pick up a few steaks and chops for dinner. Our ancestors sat in the sun in front of their caves and smiled the indulgent smiles affected by the well-to-do. They smiled and said to each other; j "The lads from over the ridge must he hungry. Look at them hacking into those j buffalo."

"Whose buffalo?” said an annoyed voice j behind each of our ancestors, j Our ancestors shuffled their feet and one j said:

“Oh, it’s nothing, my dear. Just old 1 Hairy Club and his gang getting a little i meat.”

“I should think they are getting a little,” these voices said. “If they keep at it we'll I be short ourselves, and you know how our

young ones do relish a taste of raw buffalo meat for supper.”

Our ancestors looked uncomfortable, and these voices kept right on sounding.

“If you men had any gumption,” these voices kept right on, “you would go down there and make them stop killing all our buffalo and everything. That is what you would do, instead of sitting here in the sun like a lot of bumps on a log.”

Ladies Don’t Like War

OUR ancestors were just normal. They knew it was no use being strongminded under the circumstances. Our ancestors picked up their favorite clubs and made speeches to one another about defending their sacred rights. They ran this bluff on themselves and then, having been assured by the old men that during their absence the valley would be made fit for heroes to live in, they went down and chased the visitors back over the ridge.

Curiously enough, this made our ancestral womenfolk madder than the original cause of complaint. They were mad and not a little scared. Most of the boys had come home, all bruised and battered and with uppity lights in their eyes, and worst of all three or four of the most enthusiastic warriors had chased the visitors so far over the ridge that they somehow managed to bring back three or four pretty girls with them. That is what our ancestors did, and their womenfolk were annoyed about it.

“Things have come to a pretty pass,” their womenfolk said, “when you can’t go out and make a gang of rowdies leave our nice valley without getting into a fight and acting like that. And just look at those hussies you brought back!”

Our ancestors were puzzled and battered and a little sick of the whole show. Our ancestors did not know what to do about it. Their womenfolk were keeping right after them, so their better natures got the better of them. They had lost a lot of good spears, a few clubs, ruined the trade in hides, and had failed to get back in time to reap the crops. As I say. times were had. so their better natures got the better of them.

“Never again,” they said, “never again. We will make peace with everybody. This fighting and turmoil is no good.”

And they did. They went one up on the Old Adam. They said it was an ideal and that they were for it. Their womenfolk said this was a good thing. They said this was a good thing until the game drifted away over the ridge, and the children commenced asking for tidbits of raw buffalo for supper and more hides to wrap themselves in on cold nights. Then the whole show started again, and has been going on ever since. The menfolk just had to go out and bring in the bacon or its equivalent, and when another tribe got in the way the Old Adam did the rest. The menfolk enjoyed doing it. The womenfolk, being gentler and more emotional and urgent on the subject of plenty in the home caves, insisted on them having a good time.

Any one can see. now that the thing is properly explained, that the League of Nations needs an ebony-handled hairbrush to have a chance against Old Adam. The Old Adam has been in business so much longer, and besides has the assistance of the womenfolk. I first realized this fact one day when I dragged myself home after helping to chase a tribe called Germans back behind their own ridge. These Germans had been crowding in on our valley, and I had been given to understand that grub might be scarce if something wasn’t done about it. My mother, who never knowingly hurt any living thing, sent me on my way with a stem command to totally ruin all those bad Germans upon whom I could lay hands. I tried my best, and was doing from fair to middling when those Germans caught me at it; so, as I say, I dragged myself heme.

Mother greeted me. Mother was mighty glad to see me. She was also a little annoyed because I was deaf in one ear and a mite shaky on one side where these German lads had caught me at it. I knew she was a little annoyed because she said that war was just

dreadful and maybe those German boys had mothers, too.

Now you know why I am worried about the League of Nations. It is a wonderful ideal. It is indeed, and I am for it. But the Old Adam has so many hairbrushes.

Baked Ham Slices

Have ham cut in slices about one inch thick. Brown lightly on both sides in a hot pan, then place in a baking dish. Sprinkle with a few cloves and peppercorns, and pour a mixture of one half cupful of water and two tablespoon fuis of vinegar over it. Bake for about one and one half hours in a moderate oven, 325 to 350 degrees Fahr., basting occasionally with the liquid. Serve with raisin sauce.

% Cupful of seedless raisins 1 Cupful of water

4 or 5 Cloves ?4 Cupful of sugar 1 Teaspoonful of cornstarch 1 Tablespoonful of butter 1 Tablespoonful of vinegar A few drops of Worcestershire sauce

Add the water and cloves to the raisins and cook gently until the raisins are tender. Combine the sugar and cornstarch, add to the raisin mixture and stir until thickened. Add butter, vinegar, sauce and serve hot.