Works in the Herald 1930

The U.S.A. Prohibition Commission has announced that bootleggers are selling a cocktail made of crude carbolic acid flavored with ginger. It had been responsible for several hundred cases of paralysis.

One must admit that drink's a curse, though most of us may drink a bit; but ere we go from bad to worse 'twere well to pause and think a bit. Though whisky fuddles many a pate, at least it bears analysis, and never yet produced a state of permanent paralysis.

Better the devils that we know -- the imps of maudlin merriment -- than those unseen that lurk below the crust of rash experiment. And man, an earnest Christian man, intent upon reforming us, ignores the fiends that use his plan for subtler means of storming us.

Poor human nature ever thus defeats humanitarians, who, if they would make saints of us, must needs be wide and wary 'uns. Better the sorriest sinner made, and hope to save the hide of him, than he who's far beyond all aid, with creosote inside of him.

So consolation lies in this for those opposed to revelry: In some reforms that go amiss may lurk the seeds of devilry. And, after all, is said and done: the many can't reform the one unless the one agrees to it.

Herald, 1 April 1930, p6

Copyright © Perry Middlemiss 2002