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This may be my new favorite ad

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Okay, it's not strictly fitting within the theme of this blog, like, at all. It's an ad, and it's in the personals, but it's not about love.

It is, however, seriously funny.

If the gentleman who, while laboring under an acute attack of moral insanity, on Saturday, broke into my office and carried away a Package of the printed proceedings in the Rollwagen will case will inform me, by note or personally, where I can obtain them he will much oblige and no questions will be asked. Edward F. Underhill, Stenographer, 39 Park row.

I'm laughing just typing this out. You have to remember - personals weren't free. Edward F. Underhill, Stenographer, paid money for this ad, and yet he had the...I don't know what to call it, but I'm going to go with "sense of humor" to include the line "while laboring under an acute attack of moral insanity."

I. Love. It. No, I mean it, really! This is, after all, Mr. Underhill's livelihood. Someone paid him money to sit in on a will hearing and take notes and type them out, and then some crazy dude comes into his office and steals them. Mr. Underhill is not going to get paid, he might even get in trouble - these are legal documents, after all - and yet he's somehow able to be funny. And it was probably pretty futile. The odds that the, er, "gentleman" who stole those papers is going to be reading the personals and have any intention of handing them back seems pretty small. Seriously, though, why would you break into a stenographer's office and steal the records of a will proceeding?

I do wonder if Mr. Underhill knows who did it and is addressing someone in particular. If so, I'd expect he'd call the guy out by name, unless there was some very good reason not to - but the way it's written does seem to imply he might have at least an idea of who it was, even if he wasn't 100% sure. That he calls the guy a "gentleman" is meaningless - people did that all the time with thieves (the one I linked to isn't the best example, because the author put it in quotes, but this was still common). I'm not sure why - maybe they thought the thief would be more likely to return the item(s) if addressed nicely?

In any event, I have to figure out how to work this into my daily life. Next time someone says something unkind to me, I'm going to respond with: "You're clearly laboring under an acute attack of moral insanity." Yes, this is going to be my new line. "Moral insanity"! Hee!

Having trouble reading the ads? Click one to enlarge!

©2009 Pam Epstein


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